Logitech offers alternative to Apple’s Magic Mouse

Logitech Ultrathin Touch Mouse

Made with a brushed metallic body and a silky-smooth touch surface, the Logitech Ultrathin Touch Mouse T631 perfectly complements the sleek good looks of your MacBook Pro or MacBook Air. There are two things I really like about this mouse (though I’ve not actually used one).

The first thing is that it’s wireless functionality is handled via Bluetooth, rather than the obnoxious little USB dongle that Logitech has been known for using in the past. I hate taking up a USB port for a wireless mouse.

The second cool feature is the fact that, unlike most all other wireless mice, you don’t have to plug it in to a charger or use batteries. The Ultrathin Touch Mouse features an internal battery that you can charge by plugging it in to a USB port. Now I know what you’re thinking: You just said you hate using up a USB port. But at least you only have to do it for a short amount of time. Logitech claims that one minute of charge time provides enough juice to power the mouse for another hour (under normal working conditions).

The Logitech Ultrathin Touch Mouse is available for $69.99, but there are coupons available – one popped-up right on the Logitech site when I visited it. If you’re in the market for a new mouse, and you love the idea of using touch gestures like the Apple Magic Mouse.

My favorite new InDesign CC 2014 features

Adobe Creative Cloud 2014

If you’re a graphic designer, you no doubt know that Adobe released new versions of the major apps in their Creative Cloud subscription this past week.

I’ve been using InDesign CC 2014 the last few days, and had no troubles at all with the software. While Adobe focused on specific features for all the apps, it’s often the case that the little things make all the difference. For me, this is definitely the case with the latest InDesign. There are two new features that make a world of difference for me. (more…)

Extension compatibility with Adobe Creative Cloud 2014 apps

Adobe Creative Cloud 2014

If you’re an Adobe Creative Cloud subscriber, you’ve no doubt downloaded and installed the latest versions of the CC apps. Adobe has smartly opted to install the apps beside existing CC apps, so you now have two versions of the main apps. This is important because many extensions and plug-ins are not yet compatible with the latest versions of InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator.

Extensis has announced that Suitcase Fusion 5 font auto-activation plug-in updates are on the way (they currently don’t work in CC 2014) and will be free.

One of my favorite Photoshop plugins, GuideGuide, has been updated to work in PS CC 2014. AlienSkin’s EyeCandy, BlowUp and Bokeh (no longer sold) plugins appear to work fine simply by copying the plug-ins from the old PS CC plugins folder into the new version’s plugin folder.

I’m still waiting on an update for the incredibly useful FlatIcons extension to be updated.

If you rely on an extension or plug-in that hasn’t been updated to work with the new Creative Cloud 2014 versions, you can still use them in the older CC versions of the apps which are still installed on your hard drive – unless you un-installed them.

Free font: Reckoner

Reckoner font
Reckoner font is free for commercial use and includes a regular and bold face, plus some special characters. It’s an all-caps font, so you’re pretty much limited to headlines and logo type, but it looks great.

And that’s why I don’t use Windows: Reason #178

Windows 8 updates
Shaun McGill explains his rather unpleasant experience buying a Windows 8 laptop. Having used Windows 7 for a few years, I was pleasantly surprised at how easily I was able to adapt to the Windows experience. But from all I’ve read, Windows 8 is amateur hour in comparison. If Windows 7 was Mac OS X, then Windows 8 is closer to DOS in comparison. It just doesn’t make any sense.

I’m not sure where Microsoft is going with their future OS versions, but I do know that if they want to stop the continued trip to consumer irrelevance, they had better make a full stop and reverse.

Free Webcast: Font management in Adobe Creative Cloud

Font management seminar
Fonts. We love them. From cool to crazy, free and open source to extremely expensive, there are a massive number of fonts in the world, and we want to collect them all for current and future projects.

While impressive, an ever-expanding personal font collection can become unwieldy, problematic and even unusable over time.

Join Extensis font management expert Jim Kidwell in this free webcast to learn how to:

  • Remove corrupt fonts from your workflow
  • Dispel the dreaded “missing font” dialog box in Creative Cloud apps
  • Efficiently organize your font collection
  • Speed font prototyping
  • Remove font duplicates
  • Clean font caches
  • And more

PlaceIt: Free screenshot app marketing images


When you want to show off your app or other visuals meant for specific devices, it’s always best to show them in the context of how they’ll be used. PlaceIt takes your images and app screenshots and places it within an environment for a final photo that can be used as marketing collateral. There are tons of environments, or stages as they call them, you can place your image in, including smartphones, tablets, laptops, desktops, outdoor boards and more.

You simply choose the stage you want, upload your image to PlaceIt, and bam, you have a clean image showing off your screenshot as it will be seen by potential viewers.

The small comp images (400×300 pixels) are free, with larger images costing $8 to $80 depending on size and usage. That may seem expensive, but when you consider the cost of buying a stock photo, and the time it would take to mask out the image area and drop your image in, it’s well worth it.

Adobe Bridge CC’s missing Output module: How to get it back

Bridge CC Output module

When Adobe shipped Creative Cloud, Bridge was missing a feature many designers and photographers use quite often – the Output module. The Output module allows you to select folders of images and create a customizable contact sheet in PDF or Web Gallery format.

Thankfully, Adobe has made the Output module available as a stand-alone install, which you can download here. It’s fairly simple to install, and of course, absolutely free to all Creative Cloud users.

Import free assets into Photoshop and Illustrator with BlendMeIn

BlendMeInBlendMeIn is a nifty new Photoshop and Illustrator extension that allows you to search thousands of assets, including popular icon packs, without leaving Photoshop or Illustrator, and place them in your document directly via a Panel.

Unlike FlatIcons, which I recently reviewed, the artwork available in BlendMeIn is free via Creative Commons Attribution license. Unlike FlatIcons, it works in Adobe Illustrator as well as Photoshop. I still prefer FlatIcons, but this is a great option.