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    Russell Viers is a Transition Expert in the publishing world. Since 1997 he has helped newspapers and magazines adapt to changes in the industry. Read more...

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  • Archive for April, 2006

    Tighter Border Control with InDesign

    Thursday, April 27th, 2006

    Here’s a question I get all the time: “Why won’t InDesign’s borders go to the inside of the frame instead of half-in and half-out?” Good question, for sure.
    Click here to watch the film
    It will, but not right out of the box as a default.
    You can use the Stroke Palette’s Align Stroke option to push it to the inside (middle button) with the frame, or multiple frames, selected.
    But what if you want that to be the default?
    You can make it a document default by deselecting all frames and selecting the middle button, or if you want it to be the application default, close all docs and do the same.
    Warning: Only the right frame tool (without the X) works as a default. If you make a frame with the left one (with the X in it), if you add a stroke, it will be half-in and half-out again…bummer.

    Features and Fixes…things we’d like to see in CS3

    Monday, April 3rd, 2006

    Just today I was demonstrating the Text Wrap feature of InDesign and, once again, I had to accept the hard truth…InDesign isn’t perfect…yet.
    I know, it’s difficult to swallow, but let’s face it. If InDesign were perfect, we wouldn’t have anything to look forward to.
    Yes, there will be a CS3 someday. And when that happens, we will all, once again, be filled with that childish excitement generally reserved for birthdays and first dates. When it happens and what it will offer is only for the Adobe Gods to answer.
    But for now, we can do our part. Let’s compile a list of features we would like to see added to future versions and I’ll submit it to someone who will care. After all, one needs only use InDesign for an afternoon and it’s pretty clear that Adobe has been listening to us since they first released this great product.
    I’ll kick this off with a feature that was actually mentioned as a possible feature with the release of InDesign back in 1999, when Adobe was still calling it K2 and demonstrating it in dark warehouses on the edge of town…top secret stuff.
    I remember clearly that they hoped you could not only place, but edit PDF files in InDesign. It was even written in on of the white papers introducing the world to what this program was going to be.
    I’m not bitter about it…not trying to beat anybody up…just mentioning it again in case it was forgotten. Can you imagine if you were a newspaper and you placed a PDF ad on a page and could also edit it without outside software…at least for some basic stuff like typos?
    Another feature that would help the few spell checkers of the world would be a “previous” button, so when you’re cookin’ on deadline and click too fast, zipping by a word you meant to check, you could just press the previous button and go back.
    How about a button (it’s always a button) that will allow the frame, frames or group you have selected to be centered on the page automatically…and instantly?
    An Illustrator feature I would love to see added to ID relates to the align palette. When you have two objects selected to align, you can click on the one you want to have stay put, in Illustrator, and the other object, or objects, will align to it. Doesn’t work that way in ID. You are best served to lock the position of the one you want to align to prior to pushing the button…and I’m too lazy for such things. (more…)

    It’s hard to sound tough and say Snippet…

    Saturday, April 1st, 2006

    Widgets was already taken…as were Sniglets and bonbons. So what was left for this wonderful new creation from the Adobe Gods? Snippets.
    Hmmm…I’m sure there were a lot of people sitting around a big table discussing this at length before settling on that name.
    I actually like the name, but it’s hard to sound tough when saying it. There are lots of tough names in the Adobe world. Actions, Clone Stamp, Master Pages to name a few. But snippets isn’t one of them…but then neither is Droplet…or dongle. (more…)

    What else can InDesign do? Adding functionality with Plug-ins…

    Saturday, April 1st, 2006

    I love InDesign…no question. And whenever I work on a project, it continues to amaze me how many real solutions it offers me as a user.
    However, with as many users InDesign has, from so many different markets, it would be impossible for Adobe to address every need without the application becoming unmanagable.
    So what’s the solution? Plug-ins.
    InDesign was created to function primarily on plug-ins. Almost every palette and dialog box and function you use is driven by a plug-in.
    So what’s the point? Well…Adobe has made the technology available to programmers with big brains who sit down and write new plug-ins to do things to meet specific needs…or in some cases, general needs that Adobe may not think of.
    For example, a new plug-in I downloaded the other day is essential to any designer who needs his/her iTunes blasting to get through deadline. This plug-in from Knowbody software (www.knowbody.dk/) allows you to control iTunes from within InDesign. You don’t have to leave your work to turn up the volume on when Tom Jones starts in with She’s a Lady…or skip ahead when you hear any Bobby Goldsboro tune. (more…)