10 Tips for working with PDF files

Working with PDF files

If you’re a designer, you most likely have a copy of Acrobat Pro (or the new Acrobat DC). But it’s quite likely that your clients do not. If you want to be a hero to your client in need of help with their PDF files, you can share some of the tips found in this excellent article from Hongkiat for working with PDF files when you don’t have a copy of Acrobat Pro.

The tips include converting documents, extracting text to other file formats, opening PDF files with passwords (which I’ve covered here), merging PDF files, and more.

Guy quits job at Apple—rants about it. Whatever.

Apple Campus 2

There’s two sides to every story. Ben Farrell has posted a lengthy screed about what it’s like to work at Apple, and why he quit. IF his story is 100% true and not over-dramatized out of bitterness, it’s a sad story. However, I’m not sure this was the best way to leave a job, even if it is accurate. At least Mr. Farrell was classy about it, not calling-out anyone by name or title.

Photoshop Smart Objects: linked vs. embedded

Using Photoshop Smart Objects is a great way to work non-destructively. You can embed a Smart Object directly in a Photoshop file or link to a separate file and update it and reuse it in multiple projects.

I recently had a co-worker ask what they were and why I use them. I had a difficult time explaining it, so when I came across this video tutorial, I quickly fired-off a link. It’s a great walk-through for those who’ve never used them.

I’m all Apple Watch(ed) out…

I'm all Apple Watch(ed) out...

All the hullabaloo over the Apple Watch has absolutely worn me out the last few days. Of all the products Apple has ever released, the Apple Watch is the one product I believe is worth waiting for the next version. Too many unanswered questions!

Master bullet and numbered lists in Adobe InDesign

InDesign's bullet list feature

Maybe it’s just a sign of our shortening attention spans, but these days we seem to want more and more of our information in quickly-digestible bullet points. And then there’s our insatiable need to quantify. We absolutely love lists: the Top Ten this, the 100 Greatest that, 50 ways to leave your lover, and so on.

So with all these lists to work with, we can be thankful that InDesign has robust tools for creating bulleted and numbered lists. If you’re not familiar with using bullet and numbered lists in Adobe InDesign, this article from CreativePro will make you a “list-master” in short order.

60 expert logo design tips

The title of their article could have also been: “60 things modern clients aren’t willing to pay for, or even think about.”

But hey, you still should. Take a look at all the great advice in this article… just remember that you’re not likely to be paid to put it to practical use anymore.

Feathering the edges of a selection along the edge of a document in Photoshop CC

In previous versions of Photoshop, if you selected an area of an image that included an edge area and then chose Select>Modify>Feather, the Feather would be added to the entire selection. While this might be desirable in some instances, in the majority of cases, it would be ideal if the feather was only applied within the image (and not to the edges). As a result, in the current version, the engineering team has changed the default behavior so that they feather is not applied at the edge (the canvas bounds) of an image.

Julieanne Kost enlightens us about this feature that I’m sure most people don’t even notice is there. Be sure to check out all her other awesome posts while you’re there, she has a lot of great information and tutorials.

Create text columns on a single Photoshop layer with this uber-cool extension

UberColumns for Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop’s text capabilities are adequate for most users, but one area that is sorely lacking is the ability to set text in columns. It’s a royal pain when you’re mocking up a website to have to set two separate text layers and align them when you want multiple columns of text.

UberColumns to the rescue! uberColumns is a simple add-on that allows you to convert a single block of text on a layer to a specified column layout, including the ability to customize the gutter width.

  1. Simply use your text tool to drag a text box out and enter your text as you normally would.
  2. After committing the text, click the layer icon for your text so the layer is active.
  3. Open the Columns panel from Window>Extensions>Columns. Type the number of columns in the box on the left, and the amount of gutter space in the box on the right, and hit OK.

Your text should now be converted to columns. You will likely have to adjust the overall width by using your text tool to adjust the width of the text box. And that’s the beauty of UberColumns, you can adjust the columns simply by adjusting the text box as you normally would.

UberColumns is 100% free, and works with Adobe Photoshop CC, and CC2014. I absolutely LOVE this extension!