Archive for February, 2011

TIFF vs PSD vs EPS vs PDF vs…

What file format should you use when using InDesign? Which ones to avoid?

It seems like every few months this topic pops up again: Which is the best file format to use for graphics? Some folks insist that everyone should use EPS and TIFF. Others think AI and PSD. And what about PNG or JPEG?! Here’s my take on the subject, after over 20 years of doing this:

EPS is a dying format. There is virtually no reason for you to ever save anything yourself as EPS. Here are good reasons to use an EPS file:

  • if you already have an old vector graphic (from Illustrator or Freehand or something);
  • if some software is making it for you (such as this Barcode plug-in); in this case, the software is likely doing special stuff that can only be done in PostScript, then encapsulated in the eps.

PDF is the current and future of publishing. If you have a vector Illustrator document, save it in PDF or AI (see below). The only reason to save a Photoshop document as a PDF is if you have vector type or “shape” layers. (No other format, besides eps, can save vector info from PS.)

AI (native Illustrator format) is great for most files from Illustrator, as long as you’re not using them in other programs. If you’re going to use them in something other than InDesign, consider using PDF instead. By the way, if you save an .ai file, make sure you include the PDF in it (that’s an option when saving), or else InDesign can’t read it.

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Quick Tip: Quick Masking with the Pen Tool in InDesign

Let’s say you are up against a tight deadline and you need to send a proof within a matter of hours to a client. Within your design you want to include a clipping path and exclude an unwanted background on one of your photographs. You don’t really have time to switch to Photoshop to make your amends and then jump back into InDesign. If you did spend time perfecting your clipping path using Photoshop, your client may decide they’re not keen on the image, so this is simply wasted time and money. To solve both problems we are going to create a mask within InDesign using the mighty Pen Tool.

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Content Viewer for Android

In an  Adobe Digital Publishing blog post,  Dave Dickson announced the availability of the Content Viewer for Android. To help our customers capitalize on these opportunities I’m excited today to announce that Content Viewer for Android, part of Digital Publishing Suite, is available immediately for download through the Digital Publishing Suite Prerelease program.  Compatible for use on […]

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Setting Poetry, Flush Left, Center on Longest Line

Every so often I hear a cry for help on the subject of setting poetry. The request is usually something like “how do I set a poem on a page so that the longest line is centered.”

It’s easy to center all the lines on the page, but that’s rarely what publishers want. So how can you keep your text flush-left (left aligned, ragged right) and center that longest line?

My favorite trick is:

  1. Place the whole poem inside a text frame. Make sure no extra blank lines are in there. (The last line should not end with a return.)
  2. Double-click the lower-right text frame handle with the Selection tool. This resizes the frame to fit the text along the right and bottom edges.
  3. Cut the frame to the clipboard with the Selection tool.
  4. Paste the frame into a larger text frame (probably the main text frame that spans from margin to margin on the page) with the Type tool. This pastes the frame in as an inline object on its own paragraph.
  5. Click outside the poem frame, in the larger frame, and choose Horizontal Alignment to center it.

Once you do it two or three times, it goes much faster than it takes to read the above instructions.

Here it is in pictures… first the original text frame… View original post

Quick Tip: Using Em Dashes, En Dashes and Hyphens within InDesign

When using dashes you have three options available, a hyphen, an en dash and an em dash. Choosing the right dash for the job in hand is usually overlooked and misunderstood. This Quick Tip will outline the differences between the three dashes as well as advice on when and how to use them correctly within your designs.

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Good Things in Small Packages

When you’re setting type, small capitals have two important roles to play: one graphic and one editorial.

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Interactive Shortcuts Guide for InDesign CS5

Keyboard shortcuts are a big time saver! And when I say big, I mean BIG! :D I love shortcuts, and by time, they become part of you, and your everyday workflow! But! It’s becoming difficult to remember all shortcuts when you use more than one program, and I know you do! So, I decided to create nice little interactive shortcuts guide and to be even better, I wanted to use just InDesign‘s interactive features!

It was quite a challenge for me even though I knew how to use InDesign and InDesign‘s interactive features. I know, it sounds crazy, but InDesign is really awesome for creating interactive content too! To be honest, I was quite skeptic about interactivity inside such awesome typographic software, but I’m really blown away! Flash is powerful, and you can do a way more and have much more control, but InDesign is just simple and effective! Here are few screen shots that were made from finished InDesign layout before exporting.

So, you might be wondering how this is really created. Here is short outline of workflow I’ve used to create this interactive guide. Remember, I’ve used just InDesign!

  • Collect all shortcuts PC and Mac
  • Create InDesign Keyboard Layout
  • Create Object Styles for Normal/Over/Click keys
  • Input all shortcuts to tables (every key to separate page)
  • Merge shortcuts page to Multi-State Object with script
  • Assign every key to Multi-State Object state
  • Export to SWF

I think there is no need to explain how to use this guide. :) Simply start it and explore! In case you still need some help, there is short Quick Start Guide. :)

That’s it! I hope that you will find this guide useful and helpful! Please, if you have any suggestions, feedback, and even if you find errors, do not hesitate to send me an email!

Launch Interactive Shortcuts Guide

If you want to put direct link to
Interactive Shortcuts Guide from your blog or website,
PLEASE use original URL!


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Digital Publishing Suite Freebies to Make iPad Publishing a Bit Easier

One of the things I love most about the InDesign user community is the willingness to give. This is easily confirmed by the myriad free scripts and plug-ins, blogs with tips and tricks, and user forums all dedicated to InDesign.

In that spirit, I’d like to point out a few freebies for those of you interested in Adobe’sDigital Publishing Suite tools. For those of you unfamiliar with DPS, these are collection of plugins and AIR applications that allow InDesign CS5 to publish to the iPad and hopefully soon, to other tablets.

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Changing Layer Visibility in an Interactive PDF

Here’s a tutorial on how to change layer visibility in an interactive PDF file.

Show/hide buttons can let you show and hide objects which have themselves been turned into buttons. But, in InDesign, show/hide buttons cannot control the visibility of layers. I think it’s because of the way buttons are handled in a PDF file. They are treated as a separate “layer” above the “content” of the PDF file. (The Preview panel in InDesign CS5 is mostly accurate in previewing SWF output, not PDF, because it uses InDesign’s new Flash capabilities.)

However, you can change the layer visibility of a PDF file, you just can’t do it in InDesign alone. You also have to make use of the layer controls in Acrobat. So here’s a simple example which has three layers—a yellow background, text, and a graphic. We’d like to turn the background on and off with a button.

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The Art of Choosing the Right Paper

Choosing the right paper for your printed media can be tricky. Paper tells about the function of the product, it’s feeling and quality. Therefore it’s a crucial part of the overall experience of your final product. Best of all is to start thinking about the choice of paper even before you start your work on the computer, not only to get the feeling right but also because of printing issues and costs. You can then optimize the production and design according to the paper of your choice. Here are some of the things to keep in mind about the use of paper for your printed media production.

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