Author Archive

July 27, 2009

InDesign to Flash

At this year’s Adobe Summer Institute I experienced a jaw-dropping-moment when I witnessed an Adobe trainer demonstrate InDesign’s export-to-swf feature. I have been using InDesign CS4 since its release, but had no idea this gem-of-a-feature was tucked into InDesign’s export command.
Check out this short tutorial and prepare to pick up your mandible!
Scott Trudeau

2:24 PM Permalink
May 28, 2009

Create Stunning (Online) Presentations

The Adobe Lab gurus are pretty smart cookies. They have just released a slick online presentation program that will allow you to:

  • create your own professional presentations online using built-in tools and layouts.
  • Simplify working with others on presentations. Create, revise, and collaborate on the same presentation at the same time — all online. No need to e-mail attachments back and forth or track down who has the latest version.
  • Meet your deadline with ease. With simultaneous editing, no one is locked out of the presentation while others make changes.
  • Access your presentations from anywhere. Your presentation is always available online so you can do last minute tweaks, present it from wherever you are, or deliver it offline by exporting to Adobe PDF.

The free service “behaves like a desktop presentation application but operates inside a web browser.”
Check out this article for additional information…
Go to Adobe Labs to Check it Out!

6:16 AM Permalink
February 26, 2009

Reflecting on TCEA 2009

I have to say, the 2009 TCEA conference was the best of ‘em yet!
TCEA (Texas Computer Education Association) continues to host one of the largest educational related technology conferences in the US. This year’s Texas-sized conference hosted over 400 sessions and workshops and a slew of panel discussions. The conference also had more than 400 companies exhibiting their products in over 800 booths!
While the economy was taking a hit, the conference certainly seemed to be faring well. Over 8,000 education professionals attended this year’s event, and most of those that attended ended up spending a large amount of time checking out the latest technology products inside the “vending area.”
The Adobe booth was very well attended. The Adobe software gurus did an excellent job “wowing” the crowd as they demonstrated how to create PDFs, edit video, build websites, and do amazing stuff with digital images and print.
I stayed busy teaching Adobe-centered workshops throughout the week. This year I taught five workshops – and every seat was full! I was most worried about filling pre-conference workshops, as the onslaught of conference attendees tends to reach its peak toward the middle of the week. However, I was pleasantly surprised that both my early-in-the-week workshops (Adobe Captivate and Photoshop Elements) were packed full of eager-to-learn educators.
Toward the middle of the week, I had the opportunity to host two Photoshop CS4 workshops and an Adobe Acrobat 9 workshop. The Acrobat participants were amazed (as I still am) at Acrobat 9’s ability to generate student portfolios. I also noticed ear-to-ear smiles as they learned how to run the Acrobat form wizard to effortlessly crank out interactive forms – simply amazing!
Photoshop CS4 is always great fun to teach. I had to chuckle when I heard the gasps of amazement as the participants learned how to stitch together a folder of images into a panorama (File>automate>Photomerge). One guy exclaimed, “This just made the conference worth every dollar!” (Tip – you can also run Photomerge from Photoshop Elements – New >Photomerge Panorama).
Perhaps the fact that my lovely wife was able to join me for the final two days of the conference added to this year’s enjoyability factor. She has been making an effort to integrate technology into her 5th grade math class and wanted to pick up a few more tips and techniques. She asked her principal if she could attend and he gladly granted her permission. Let her story serve as a lesson – sometimes you just have to ask.
By Thursday evening I had completed my conference commitments and was looking forward to enjoying some of the great food and entertainment that Austin, Texas is famous for. My wife and I joined a tableful of other people at MariaMaria restaurant for a fine experience that consisted of great food, superb company, and a wonderful atmosphere. Thanks Adobe!
Make sure to include next year’s TCEA Conference in your 2010 itinerary. You will learn a heap of great information and have a blast while doing so.

7:16 AM Permalink
January 22, 2009

Bibme – One-Stop Citation Shop

Building a bibliography just got a whole lot easier; “Bibme” makes citing sources a breeze. Bibme offers a huge database that auto-fills bibliographic information automatically. The site also offers a “Manual Entry Mode” that provides a template for your citation, but the “Automatic Bibliography Maker” is so darn easy!
I decided to take Bibme for a spin using a book my daughters recently finished reading, Gary Paulsen’s “Hatchet.” I typed in the title of the book and hit the “Find Book” button. In the blink of an eye, Bibme had returned a handful of results to select from. Sure enough, the first result was the one I was looking for. I clicked the “Select” button and “wah-lah,” there sat my results!
But don’t stop there, Bibme allows for multi-source citations! Simply create another search and click the “Add to My Bibliography” button. Bibme adds the sources to the “My Bibliography” area where you can choose to delete or edit the entry. You can also select from various formats, such as APA or MLA and it supports citations for magazines, newspapers, websites, journals, film, and even interviews!
When you are done, save your bibliography to your account (free) and export it to your word processor.

2:09 PM Permalink
January 19, 2009

Not Too Late! National Film Festival for Talented Youth

It is not too late for budding filmmakers (22 and under) to submit their work to the National Film Festival for Talented Youth (NFFTY). NFFTY “is the only film festival that provides young filmmakers a “full feature” festival experience with state-of-the-art venues, access to industry professionals, broad public exposure, and an inclusive atmosphere.”
You can still submit under the WAB Extended Deadline – January 30, 2009.
Eligibility Requirements:
•22 years or younger at completion of filming
•Films must fit into one of the seven categories
•All music and other copyrighted material must be original or filmmakers must have obtained permission from the owner
•All films must be in English or subtitled in English
•Music Video
•International (outside US)
For details visit

7:30 AM Permalink
January 15, 2009

Adobe Connect is One Slick Tool

A few days ago I was able to put Adobe Connect “through the ringer.” I had dabbled with Connect a handful of times, but last Tuesday, I had the opportunity to teach a day-long workshop that “connected” educators from various locations across Texas.
In all honesty, I had a few pre-workshop jitters. Would the participants be able to follow my directions? Would the class be engaging? How would the audio sound? Would the participants be able to see what was happening on my computer screen?
To my delight, everything worked out great!
The day before the workshop I logged into my Connect dashboard and set up the meeting. I then announced the host URL (the address of the meeting) by sending an email to the participants. The preparation took about five minutes.
The morning of my workshop, I logged into my Connect meeting a bit early to make sure the audio and screencasting functions were working properly (just a precaution). I then shared my screen, turned on my mic, and the workshop started promptly at 9:00. I spent the next five hours teaching a course on ways to implement Adobe Acrobat 9…and it went without a hitch!
The end-of-workshop feedback was fantastic. Everybody enjoyed learning over Connect and it saved some serious travel dollars. The only complaint from the participants was that they couldn’t see the instructor. That was my fault, as I was using my PC (no webcam) and not my Mac. Connect would have easily allowed me to broadcast a small video if I had used a computer with a web cam. Live and learn…
All-in-all, I feel that Connect is a very viable alternative to face-to-face instruction. It allowed for multi-location synchronic learning (something that face-to-face instruction cannot provide), but also saved some coin. What a bargain!
Scott Trudeau

7:26 AM Permalink
December 12, 2008

Create a Photoshop Turducken

Happy Holidays!
I was browsing my neighborhood grocery store looking for a turkey to fry when I glanced down and discovered a Turducken! Now, I had always thought a turducken was something conjured up in fables and fairytales; but there it sat, like some sort of monster from a Mary Shelley novel, all packaged up and ready for holiday consumption.
The first thought that crossed my mind was “YUCK”, the second thought was, “This would make one heck of a Photoshop project!”
Watch the tutorial. (You may need to resize your browser window to adjust the size of the video)
Source Image Links > Make sure to read the Creative Commons Usage Rights – duck – turkey – hen
Scott Trudeau

1:59 PM Permalink
November 17, 2008

Adobe Acrobat – Basic Form Calculations Made Easy!

If you haven’t had the opportunity to sign up for a FREE account I suggest you do so in the near future.  You get a handful of some really fantastic tools which include Buzzword,  Adobe Connect Now, a PDF tool, and some online storage space.  Buzzword is the perfect application for laying out a document that will eventually be turned into a PDF interactive form in Acrobat 9.

Acrobat 9 is Adobe’s newest PDF publication tool and the Adobe “wizards” have made it easier than ever to turn a simple document into an interactive PDF.  In this tutorial I’ll demonstrate how to:

  • layout a form using Adobe’s free Buzzword service (really cool)
  • export the file to PDF
  • convert the PDF to a digital form using Acrobat 9’s “Form Field Wizard”
  • configure the fields to calculate form data

Scott Trudeau

12:06 PM Permalink
October 24, 2008

Zombies in Plain English

Halloween is the perfect time for the high school, junior high, and middle school masses to rise up and demand the death of the good ol’ “how-to” paper!
If I read another “how to prepare the perfect cup of coffee” or “how to brush your teeth” or “how to make the perfect peanut butter and jelly sandwich” I’m going to let out a gut wrenching, Nightmare on Elm Street, horror movie- styled scream (perhaps a yell…scream sounds a bit girly).
But there is hope! “Zombies in Plain English,” is a 3-minute video short that describes how to survive the Halloween season with your “brain intact.” It is also a prime example of an engaging and creative how-to paper.
Oh yeah, there is only one thing cooler than a zombie how-to paper. A zombie how-to paper followed with a zombie technology project. After the students have penned their how-to master piece, let them turn it into a video!
“Zombies in Plain English” doesn’t use fancy Hollywood special effects. It uses simple drawings and a good narration. Armed with a computer and some inexpensive video editing software (think Adobe Premiere Elements) students could easily create an exciting and engaging DIGITAL how-to PROJECT.
So rise up, and drive a stake through the heart of the traditional how-to paper!

7:35 AM Permalink
October 15, 2008

Adobe Education Technologies Blog

So…what do you get when you mix together a slew of super-smart Adobe technology team members, educational related topics, and a blog? You get great reading material!
The contributors of this new blog have a wide variety of expertise and their articles reflect a cornucopia of talent. The “Adobe Education Technologies Blog” offers certification news, upcoming eSeminar schedules, technology integration tips and tricks, and a wealth of product information.
Make sure to visit the Adobe Education Technologies Blog

7:30 AM Permalink