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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 May, 2006

    Printers You Can Trust

    Sunday, May 21st, 2006

    Here is a list I compiled of the best printers in the United States and Canada. If you can’t find anyone here to do the job right, you’re too picky.

    Lower your standards just a bit and give your business to one of the fine establishments listed below.

    • Hickey’s Printing
    • Better Late Than Never Litho
    • Skip & Skeeter’s Bait, Beer, Printing & Jerky
    • Dead Trees & Poisonous Chemicals Fine Lithography
    • You’ll Get It When We’re Darn Good ‘n’ Ready Print Crafters
    • Hot Lead & Parchment Printhouse
    • Sweaty’s Stinky-Print
    • It’s Not Our Fault Litho
    • Tortoise’s Steady-Print
    • Looks Good To Me Litho
    • Dickey’s Letterpress, Offset, Flexo, Silkscreening & Tattoo Parlor
    • Deadlines Schmeadlines
    • Plates ‘R’ Us
    • Rollers ‘n’ Things
    • Freddie’s Fast & Cheap Printing… “We’re fast & cheap”
    • We Just Bought a Mac Litho
    • Any Color As Long As It’s Black Litho
    • Bubba’s Big Press
    • Helga’s Haus of Heidelbergs
    • Moirès & More

    You can do better than this… Submit your names for the most comprehensive list in the history of printing.

    The Great Missing Font Mystery

    Saturday, May 13th, 2006

    Have you ever opened you InDesign document only to have it scream at that your missing fonts?
    Who needs ‘em? Just print it, anyway, you’re thinking?
    Ahh if it were only that easy.
    No, you have to find ‘em, one way or another. But what if the missing font isn’t really there? What if it’s on the list but InDesign won’t show you where it is or won’t let you swap it with something else…now that’s wierd.
    One trick I like to do first is the ol’ InDesign Interchange Format.
    I received a file from a reader just this week with Times Bold Condensed showing up for no reason. Sure enough, it didn’t exist in the doc. After running it through the inx format…good as new.
    Click Here to Watch the Video
    Or what about when you copy and paste from another document, or drag from the library and all of a sudden…when the fonts were fine…they’re not fine anymore? Now that’s just crazy.
    We’ve created a little video to show you one common reason for The Great Missing Font Mystery.
    Click Here to Watch the Video
    If you have other examples of missing font issues, be sure to let us know…we’ll add them here.

    Starting With a Spread

    Saturday, May 13th, 2006

    According to the Laws of Printing, odd number pages have to be on the right side…period…no questions.
    But what if you’re doing a simple two-page spread or four-page brochure and you want the two spreads as spreads in the Pages palette?
    Many people just ignore page one and build on pages 2-5…but who really wants to do that?
    Well, there’s a better way. In the fly-out menu of the Pages Palette, you’ll see the option Allow Pages to Shuffle, which, by default, is checked…uncheck it.
    Now you can move page one to the left, drop page two on the right side and add other spreads below.
    Click Here to Watch the Video

    Quick Apply

    Saturday, May 13th, 2006

    There comes a point when working with Style Sheets that you might have too many of them. Add to this the fact that there are now three kinds of styles: Object, Paragraph and Character.
    So how do you sort through them quickly without having to move your mouse all the way over to the three palettes?
    Quick Apply.
    There you go…Quick Apply.
    Simply Cmmd + Return (Mac) or Cntrl + Enter (Windows) and you’ll see a menu drop from the Control Palette. Type in the first letter or two of the style and you’re rockin’.
    Click Here to Watch the Video
    If you have an object selected with the selection tools, you’ll see the menu contains ALL the styles in your document. If you have your insertion point (cursor) inside some type, you’ll only be offered the Paragraph and Character Styles.
    Give it a go.

    Style Sheets for Objects…now that’s cool

    Saturday, May 13th, 2006

    How many centuries have we been using Style Sheets in our pagination software… PageMaker has ‘em… that says something.
    But in the past, we were only offered Style Sheets for type. Headline, body copy, cutline, etc. But what about the boxes?
    Nope, we had to click…shift + click… shift + click… our brains out until we selected, then changed all the objects manually… spread… after spread… after spread.
    Not any more. Nope. Now we’ve got Object Styles.
    That’s right. Style Sheets for boxes. Isn’t life sweet? And they’re as easy to use and create as Paragraph and Character Styles.
    Click Here to Watch the Video

    If I only had a G5 with Creative Suite 2 in the 80s

    Tuesday, May 9th, 2006

    Often I think back to the early days…not wood or lead type…not that early. My early days, when I used to use a CompuGraphic MDT350 to write my stories. Or my old Nikon Nikkormat film cameras…and layout boards…and line tape…
    Or what about PageMaker 1.0…on a PC 286AT…with run-time Windows…and a 300dpi laser printer? Ahh…those were the days.
    I was thinking about one of my first freelance projects using PageMaker on that old machine, and I remembered that it had a memory limit. Not based on RAM or Harddrive space, but a limit within the program.
    It would happen something like this: you’d be typing along, working on page 25 of the document and all of a sudden…POW!!!…a message would pop up…mid-sentance…saying “you have reached your memory limit” or something to that affect.
    So now what do you do? Delete enough characters to work, save the document, do a save as and break your document into two parts. Eventually I had broken my 120 page catalog into six 20-page docs.
    Aaaahhhh…the good ol’ days.
    And what about the speed? Outputting the final pages at a blistering 1 page every day.
    There was the project where I wanted to put the page number inside a circle. When I printed the page out, they weren’t arranged like they were on my monitor. To make it work, I had to move the page number until it looked good on the printout…which, of course, meant the file on screen looked like a train wreck.
    Remember Photoshop pre-Layers…and pre-Actions…and pre-History? Oh yeah…they weren’t always there.
    It doesn’t take long for my thoughts to move to “What if I had a time machine? What if I could go back to the 80s with a G4 laptop, loaded with Creative Suite 2? What would that do to the competition?”
    Oh, I know it’s just a pipe dream, but it’s still fun to think about how different things would be.
    I think of how I really could have used things like Object Styles, Snippets, Anchored Objects and the eyedropper over the past two decades.
    One thing that hasn’t change, though. I think it’s funny when I hear people say “This Creative Suite is so easy to use and so powerful, now everyone is going to think they’re a designer.” Well, I’ll tell you…I heard that back in the mid 80s at the birth of the Desktop Publishing age.
    These faster computers and more powerful software programs don’t magically make people designers…they just help people create crap faster than ever before.
    So tell us what it would have been like for you if you had a G5 with Creative Suite 2 in the 80s…or the 90s for that matter.

    InDesign: Adjust Text Attributes when Scaling

    Tuesday, May 2nd, 2006

    Here’s a thing that gets some people so frustrated they throw chairs across the room…or at least growl a lot.
    When adjusting type, sometimes the size is shown as the original size, then, in parenthesis is a second size to the right. Now what’s that all about.
    Well, the size in parenthesis is the adjusted size and the other, to the left of it, is the original size.
    Click Here to Watch the video (more…)

    InDesign: Click Through Objects

    Tuesday, May 2nd, 2006

    It doesn’t take long for your document to get busy enough that you have to stack objects on top of objects.
    So you do you click through without having to move stuff out of the way?
    Click Here to Watch the Video (more…)

    InDesign: Ignore Text Wrap

    Tuesday, May 2nd, 2006

    QuarkXPress converts quickly learn that InDesign’s Text Wrapping is different from Runaround.
    There is a preference that will allow you to make them behave the same, but I don’t recommend it, and we discuss that elsewhere.
    Here we want to focus on how to make type that is designed to go over a photo that has Text Wrap turned on. By design, since Text Wrap forces ALL type out of the perimeter, then the type placed over it would also be forced out, making you think you’re not typing anything.
    Click Here to Watch the Video. (more…)

    InDesign: Interchange Format

    Tuesday, May 2nd, 2006

    Need to take your InDesign CS2 file back to CS1?
    Well then you’ll need the InDesign Interchange Format.
    Click Here to Watch the Video. (more…)