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How to add a box around a paragraph in your InDesign document

InDesign Paragraph Rules trick

If you’ve ever wanted to place a box around a paragraph in the middle of a container of text, you know what a pain it can be.

Keith Gilbert shared a way to do this using paragraph rules. It is a multi-step procedure to set up this trick, but once you’ve created it and saved it in a paragraph style, it is effortless to use.

If you only need to do this once or twice in a brochure or pamphlet, it’s probably easier to just place a separate text container inside the existing text container where you want it. But if you plan on applying this effect fairly often in a long document of text (such as an annual report, magazine, or instruction manual), this is probably going to be a real time saver.

This tip is a few years old, but still works. I’m actually surprised Adobe didn’t add a feature that does this automatically back when they added Paragraph Shading; another effect we used to manually create using InDesign’s Paragraph Rules feature.

How to create engaging images for social media

Engaging social media images

David Ogilvy, the father of advertising, was famous for spending an inordinate amount of time on headlines.

Back then, social media didn’t exist. If it did, Ogilvy would probably give equal time to creating the perfect complementary image.

The Buffer.com blog has some great tips for creating social media graphics. The article is meant for non-designers, but if you’re new to social media marketing, it’s worth the read.

Amazon Prime coming to Apple TV this fall. Maybe.

The tech giants, who are increasingly competing for customers’ time, eyeballs and money, are close to an agreement to bring an Amazon video app to Apple’s Apple TV set-top box, according to people familiar with the two companies.

Ahhhh the famous “people familiar with” source. Those people seem to know everything. Accurate or not, this would be a huge win for Apple. HUGE. Perhaps even enough to move the Apple TV out of the “hobby” category.

Here’s hoping.

Google JPG is 35% smaller/higher-quality – but you’ll never use it

Google has come up with an algorithm that reduces JPGs by 35%, or maintains existing file sizes but dramatically improves quality. The new JPG is 100% compatible with existing programs and web browsers on all platforms. It’s 100% open-source and compatible with the current JPG standard.

And not a single person will ever use it.

Ok, maybe that’s a bit of a stretch. I’m sure some people at Google will use it. And probably a few geeks who like to tinker, but don’t rely on producing visual graphics for income.

Just because it’s free, or offers the end-user a better user experience, doesn’t mean it’ll actually be popular. Unless Google can convince EVERY LAST IMAGE EDITOR ON THE PLANET to use it by DEFAULT, it’s not going to matter. Google Maps is better than Apple’s iOS Maps. Wanna guess which map app is more popular on the iPhone despite that? Convenience trumps everything.

One has to wonder what the point is. Coming from Google, the angle they take is faster website loading.

I’m sorry, but having a 100kb JPG be reduced by 35% means absolutely nothing. The site is not going to load faster, because a 100kb JPG loads instantly to begin with. Ridding a site of Javascript for tracking and ad-serving is the only thing that’s going to speed up a website (something we know Google is never going to do). Heck, I get emails with 1MB animated GIF images in them that load virtually instantly.

But if Google can convince Adobe to use the algorithm as the default in Photoshop when saving JPGs, I’ll be happy to re-save a ton of old JPGs that are still 30MB in size due to their massive size and PPI settings.

What’s Apple’s next chapter in podcasting?

If I had to place a bet on a major change in Apple’s approach to podcasting, I’d place it on adding money to the equation.

Jason Snell over at SixColors covers a lot of Podcasting history in this article, and I think it’s all pretty much spot-on.

Apple has a virtual monopoly when it comes to Podcasting—pretty much owning the distribution of them with iTunes, and with a huge portion of the overall audience using an iPhone and Podcast app to listen to them. The only thing left for Apple to do in this arena is figure out a way to make more money.