Adobe Illustrator offers a simple tool to quickly apply colors, strokes, fills, effects, change fonts, and more to every item on a layer at once. The Target icon, the little round icon displayed at the far right of each individual layer in the Layers panel, is used to select every item on the layer. Click the circular Target icon, then apply a stroke, change a color, or apply a style to all the objects on the layer. This can be particularly useful if you organize your Illustrator documents as I do, putting all type on separate layers, backgrounds on another layer, etc.
Did you know you can quickly and temporarily switch to the Zoom tool in Photoshop CS4 simply by hitting the Z key? How about by hitting Command + Spacebar? Command + or Command – works pretty well too. Adobe offers a plethora of ways to use the tools available in Photoshop, and my friends at CreativeTechs have posted 11 ways to Zoom in Photoshop CS4 to prove the point. Some of these options I was unaware of, or simply had forgotten about. Some are more cumbersome for me than they’re worth. But the fact that there are so many ways to accomplish such a simple task is impressive, if you ask me. Be sure to check out all the other great tips available at CreativeTechs – it’s a great resource for users of Adobe’s Creative Suite apps!
If you haven’t looked in your Mac OS X Dock preferences since upgrading to Snow Leopard, you may have missed a handy little preference that will save you space in your Dock when you minimize windows. Neat-freaks read on… (more…)
If you have an InDesign object such as a text box, or an image frame in your document and you wish to remove any stroke and fill it currently has, you can do it with a quick keystroke. Simply select the object in question and hit the Slash key ( / ). This will set either the fill or stroke to None, depending on which you have active at the time. To remove the color from the other attribute, just hit the X key to switch and hit the slash key again.
One of the things I love about Adobe InDesign is that there’s usually more than one way to accomplish virtually any task. Take placing images in your document. InDesign offers a plethora of options to improve productivity in this area, thanks to keyboard shortcuts. In my Image-placing shortcuts in Adobe InDesign article at Macworld’s Creative Notes blog, I show you some handy shortcuts for placing single and multiple images into your document using InDesign.
You may have noticed that some of the functions in the Control panel in Adobe Illustrator are blue with a dotted line underneath – they’ve actually been around since at least Illustrator CS2. Those blue words with the dotted underline mean that particular function is clickable. When you click on the function name, the appropriate panel for that function opens on the fly (see screenshot above). The panel will close when you click anywhere in the document, or select a different tool. The Control panel is already context-sensitive, meaning it changes depending on which tool you have active, but this clickable function feature makes it even more handy because you don’t have to keep as many panels open to have them readily available, nor do you have to use a keyboard shortcut.
Everyone knows you can move an object in Adobe Photoshop, InDesign or Illustrator by selecting it and hitting one of the arrow keys. This typically results in the object moving one point at a time. But if you hold down the Shift key while hitting the arrow keys, the object will move by 10 points. Not a huge time saver, but every little bit helps.
If you’re familiar with Windows, you know you can print a document from the desktop simply by right-clicking on it and choosing the print document option. If I recall, we had that option on the Mac back in OS9 and earlier. While we have Desktop printers, I don’t care for having more icons sitting on my Desktop. I also don’t care to have them in my Dock, so the drag & drop method is out too. Thankfully, there’s an easy way to get OSX to have a Print Document option in the contextual menus just a right-click away. (more…)
I love keyboard shortcuts. Knowing them, and using them as often as possible can speed-up your workflow quite a bit. I recently showed you how to use the Arrow keys to control InDesign’s polygon shape tool. Today, I found a bunch of other uses for the Arrow keys over at InDesignSecrets in a post titled Me and My Arrow: Ten things to do with Arrow keys. Turns out, those Arrow keys are useful for more than just navigating text.
If you’re like me, you don’t particularly care for OSX’s Dock magnification feature. I just don’t like trying to hit a moving target, especially when I’m dragging files to drop on an icon on the Dock! But every once in a while, I do have the desire to have the feature enabled. You can quickly enable Dock magnification, without turning it on in your System Preferences by holding down Control + Shift while hovering your mouse over the Dock. When you release the keys, Dock magnification is turned off.