Tagged: preview

SneakPeek allows you to view your InDesign and Illustrator files on the Mac, iPhone or iPad

When Apple introduced Quick Look in the Mac OS it was a huge productivity boost to many designers and photographers. Quick Look allows you to view QuickTime compatible files in an overlay right in the Finder simply by selecting the icon of the file and pressing the Space Bar. It wasn’t long before users began seeking out plugins to view more file types than just PDFs and JPG images though.

SneakPeek Pro, by Code Line Communications (the company that brought us Art Directors Toolkit, arrived on the scene and took Quick Look to a new level. This simple Preference Pane allows you to view layered Adobe Photoshop files, Illustrator .ai and .eps files, and InDesign documents. SneakPeek doesn’t stop with just a preview image of your document though. The Quick Look overlay SneakPeek provides also displays information about Illustrator and InDesign files, such as the colors used, the images placed in the document, fonts used, and general file information such as multiple page previews (see the image below).

SneakPeek for Mac

SneakPeek Pro for Mac allows you to view your graphics files in the Finder

I’ve found SneakPeek Pro for Mac to be a valuable addition to any designer’s toolbox. But with more and more designers working on the road, the ability to view graphics files on the iPhone would be nice addition. Thankfully, Code Line has finally brought the power and usefulness of SneakPeek to iOS device users.

SneakPeek renders previews of graphics files stored on your iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. It works by providing an “Open in SneakPeek” button to your favorite iOS applications like Mail, Dropbox, Safari and just about any app that gives you access to files.

SneakPeek for iOS

SneakPeek for iOS allows you to view the same file information as the desktop version

With SneakPeek installed on your iPhone, you can check the InDesign file for a client’s new business card layout that just got emailed to you without waiting to get back to the office. And rather than viewing a jagged JPG file attached to an email of a new logo, you can view the actual Illustrator file. SneakPeek for iOS also offers you the same file information as SneakPeek Pro for the Mac – such as fonts, images and colors used.

SneakPeek Pro for Mac is available for $19.95, and offers a 15-day demo for you to test out. SneakPeek for iOS devices can be had for only $9.99 directly from the Apple App Store. Both versions of SneakPeek can save you a lot of time, and are well worth the cost of ownership.

HyperDock brings Windows 7 window previews to OS X’s Dock

Windows 7 has a cool feature where you hover your mouse over an icon in the Task Bar and a preview of the windows belonging to that application pop-up in a preview; allowing you to quickly switch to a specific window if you have more than one open in that app. It’s one of the few features found in Windows 7 that I wish was built-in to Mac OS X. Fortunately, there’s a System Preference utility available that brings that feature to OS X.

HyperDock (free while still in beta) gives you that capability and more. Because HyperDock is a Preference pane, no icon for it will clutter your Dock, and uses relatively little system resources to do its job.

HyperDock previews

HyperDock offers application window previews in Mac OS X's Dock

HyperDock allows for plenty of preview bubble customizations when hovering over Dock icons, including size of previews, a close button, and more. When you hover over one of the Dock previews for a second or so, the window itself appears on screen at full size as well.

Among some of the other cool features of HyperDock is what I consider a killer feature, Window Snapping. With the feature turned on, moving any resizable window to the left, right or bottom edge of the screen automatically resizes the window to fill half the screen and docks it to that side of the screen. Moving a window to the top edge of the screen resizes the window to fill the active area of the screen – leaving room for the Dock to remain in view.

There’s plenty to like in HyperDock, and hopefully it will be priced reasonably when it ventures out of beta.

Preview your Photoshop brush sets without loading them

Adobe PhotoshopIf you’ve followed this site for any amount of time, you no doubt noticed that I have a great fondness for Photoshop brushes. I download every decent brush set I come across. My custom brushes folder has hundreds upon hundreds of brush files. One thing that has always bugged me is that in most cases, I have no idea what ALL the brushes look like before I bother loading them into Photoshop to preview. Most sites that offer brushes create a preview image that shows off only one or two of the brushes in the set, and typically they apply other Photoshop effects to make them look better in the preview. Thankfully, the options I’ve covered below make previewing your brushes easier. (more…)

Quickly convert your .eps or .ai files to PDF without Illustrator

PreviewIf you need to send a copy of your Adobe Illustrator .eps logo to a client or someone without the ability to use .eps files, you probably want to send them a PDF. Don’t waste time firing-up Adobe Illustrator, Apple has made it easy with Preview (check your application folder). Preview is obscenely fast at opening PDFs, .jpgs, .eps and even .ai files. Open your .eps or .ai file in Preview and save the file. Preview will automatically choose PDF as the file format. The great thing about doing this is that the resulting PDF file can still be opened and edited in Adobe Illustrator.

Get better .eps preview images from Photoshop

You may have noticed that if you save .eps images from Photoshop, when you place them in InDesign, Quark or other layout application, the image is jaggy to outright ugly. This is because the .eps image is using the default preview mode of 1 bit/pixel (or 256 colors). You can get beautiful full color/full resolution preview images in your .eps file simply by changing the Preview setting when you save the .eps image. Simply select Macintosh (JPEG) from the Preview: drop down menu. No more jaggies! Never use the TIFF preview image option. It seems to cause a lot of problems with RIPs at service bureaus, printers and publications when outputting.