One of the many vital resources any designer makes use of is stock photography sites. We would all love to have the budget for a photoshoot on each job, but the reality is that 90% of the jobs out there have a budget more condusive to Royalty Free photos. The problem is, of course, that stock photos tend to get “old” quickly. You see the same photos being used everywhere. While I’m sure most designers know about Getty, Veer & Corbis, it’s the much smaller and specialized sites that can make or break your work – sites that don’t charge $500 for a single photo. The recent trend is going to the subscription model where you pay a flat fee per year for all the photos you want. One such site is AbsoluteVision which offers photos in the JPEG2000 format – which includes an alpha channel for “cutout” images, and custom drop/cast shadows for a realistic cutout photo. Did I also mention that AbsoluteVision offers a free photo download every week. You don’t even need to be a paying subscriber, just register and you’re off to build your own image library! My only “catch” is a warning to not go crazy with the royalty free photo use. Spend some time searching for just the right photo, with so many photo sites out there, I know you will eventually find it. Rushing through and picking a photo from the old PhotoDisc archives on Getty is a sure way to get people to laugh or ignore your 1970’s era photo in an add proclaiming how up-to-date your bank’s new secure deposit service is!
When you’re working in a document in Adobe InDesign, have you ever found yourself typing a long story in multiple text blocks that are linked, perhaps even across multiple pages, and you realize you want to go back to the beginning of the story to reference something or simply want to re-read what you’ve typed? You can do this easily by hitting Command + A (to select all the text) then hit the Left Arrow key. You can also accomplish the same result by hitting Command + Home. Of course, you can also substitute the End key for the Home key to move the cursor to the end of the text.
When you are editing type in Photoshop, you most likely are quite annoyed by the visible baseline just under the type you are editing. You can get rid of the ugliness by activating (clicking on) the type with the Type Tool, then go to the View Menu and deselect Extras – this will temporarily hide the baseline under the type.
You can copy items from multiple layers at a time in Photoshop by simply adding the Shift key to Command + C or selecting Copy from the Edit menu. Now when you paste, it will give you results as if you had flattened all your layers before making the copy command.
Did you know that when you’re using a tool that has a Slider, such as the layer settings in the Layers Palette, after clicking the Slider button you can use the left and right arrow keys to increase or decrease the slider by 1%. You can also hold the Shift key down while pressing the arrow keys to increase or decrease the amount by 10% at a time. This is helpful when the area you’re adjusting is subtle and you want to keep your eye on the image, instead of the slider.
I was reading through Mac OSX Hints, as I do every day, and came across this helpful hint for adding a keyboard shortcut to OSX’s Archive feature. It’s quite easy to do, and nothing extra is needed other than a Panther or Tiger install. Go to System Preferences, open the Keyboard & Mouse Preference Pane, and then click over to the Keyborad Shortcuts Tab. Finally, click the plus sign at the bottom and fill in the following information: Application: Finder Menu Title: Create Archive Keyboard Shortcut: Command-Shift-A (or whatever you like) Now just log out and log in, or relaunch the Finder to complete the process. Now you need only select a file and press the keyboard combo you set up to create an archive of that file or folder.