« April 2008 | Main | June 2008 »

May 26, 2008

Reggio Emilia InDesign User Group Chapter Meeting

On Saturday, May 24, Leonardo Agosti held the first Reggio Emilia InDesign User Group Chapter Meeting, and it was a great success. Over thirty of our friends (the vast majority from inEditoria.net, my first attempt at creating a community around InDesign in Italy), and some unregistered participants showed up. It was great being able to put a face on names that I had read about in my InDesign forum for years. I got to show my presentation on the "making of InDesign" and do the technology preview of the feature that would allow InDesign CS-next users to export in a format (.xfl) which would in turn enable authoring in Flash Professional CS-next. Cool stuff!
Present were also Mauro Boscarol (italian color management guru), and Matteo Oriani, an Application Engineer at Adobe Italy. Discussions were interesting and vivacious.
One of the attendees told me that "it is such a relief to see that there are other martians out there that can spend a day talking about this kind of stuff". Exactly! This is what the InDesign User Groups, or user groups in general for that matter, are for: learn new stuff, share ideas, and meet "martians" just like you.
We then all went to eat "gnocco fritto", "tigelle", stuffed with salami, cheese, ham, and things I better not remember. Literally saw cholesterol levels go through the roof. But man, is that stuff good.
Cannot wait for the next Reggio Emilia InDesign User Group Chapter meeting.

May 22, 2008

Nordics tour. Wow, and thank you!

Four countries, 7 cities, 9 days; Helsinki, Oslo, Malmö, Götheborg, Stockholm, Copenhagen, and Aarhus. I had the great opportunity to talk to about three thousand of our friends. What I showed in the three hour presentation included the Appearance Panel, working with Symbols, and Live Color in Adobe Illustrator CS3. I then went to show just how cool the kuler color community is; and remember to post your own colors (who knows, maybe yours will be "most popular"). After that we got an in depth look at how Object Styles can make your work more efficient in Adobe InDesign CS3.
That is also when I showed the fastest way to get a Photoshop file into an InDesign document. Thank you all for not answering that the fastest way would be a "copy and paste", which would obviously be wrong.
Here's a little reminder:

drag_drop_photoshop.jpg

Yes, just drag and drop the icon onto your InDesign page. This is the fastest way!

Using Object Styles reduces production time drastically because image frames in InDesign know how to behave when an image gets placed into them. Also using styles (paragraph, character, and object styles) is an essential operation to best export your Indesign content to the web by using the new Cross Media Export feature that allows you to export in XHTL for Dreamweaver CS3; these styles will be turned into fully fledged CSS declarations that are so easy to edit in Dreamweaver.
Then we had Peder Engrob, and Alan Rosenfeld show us 15 minutes of fun using the Creative Suite 3 with Leopard. Cool stuff!
After the break, I showed the audiences a technology preview of what our engineers are working on for InDesign CS-next and Flash CS-next. Like I said, a preview, no guarantee it will make in the next release. Basically we are working on a new feature that would allow InDesign users to export their beautifully laid out content into Flash! Here's an example of what it could look like. Interactivity, animation and more could be added in Flash to create an engaging reading experience. Make sure to look at the last page, and see how publishers are already leveraging Flash for their publications.
I also showed some Photoshop CS3 Extended magic, using such features as Auto-Align Layers (yes you can do vertical panoramas too), Auto-Blend Layers, Vanishing Point, and 3D objects. Here's a little more info: Photoshop CS3 extended supports 3DS, OBJ, Collada, KMZ, and U3D, the choice is yours. Oh, and since we are talking about KMZ here is where you can find the Adobe Photoshop CS3 Extended Plug-In for Google 3D Warehouse™ on Adobe Labs.
Leaving the best for last, I then edited a movie using Photoshop CS3 Extended, animating Opacity and Position of a pasted logo, and then placed the movie onto my InDesign document, which I then turned into an interactive PDF with embedded movie and navigation buttons.
Thank you Finland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark, for the enthusiasm you showed me! This makes my job truly rewarding!
Thank you also to Benny Thaibert who wrote a review in Danish (Adobe Indesign seminar på fisketorvet)

Your help needed to cure the "Stupid PDF Syndrome"

Tim Cole and I felt an urgent need to do this Public Service Announcement at Caffè Fibonacci on Adobe TV. The "Stupid PDF Syndrome" is an affliction that affects millions of PDF files each and every day. Here's how you can help.

stupidpdf.jpg

View the movie on Adobe TV by following this link.

Oh, and yes, so that the search engines can catch this, it is all about the Adobe PDF Print Engine.
For more information about how you can help, click here.

May 8, 2008

InDesign User Group Switzerland - Grüezi zämme

switzerland.jpgToday I attended the Swiss InDesign User Group Meeting in Nottwil, Switzerland.
The organizers had a very peculiar request; they wanted me to talk about "how InDesign is made". So, a couple of weeks ago, during a stay in the Seattle Adobe headquarters, I did my homework and interviewed Product Managers Chad Siegel (who also gave me a behind the scenes tour) and Michael Ninness. The history behind InDesign is actually quite thrilling!
The attendees all enjoyed my slide show (believe it or not). The session then evolved into a Q&A session on InDesign. I herewith make it a point again, Adobe does listen to users and we gather information from all over the world to provide the solutions users really need. Even the Feature Request/Bug Report Form actually gets read and analyzed with great cure.

After that I did a session on my favorite tips & tricks in InDesign, which spanned all the way from nested styles to my beloved "cornered frames".
Then, everyone came on stage and showed their favorite trick. And, since we were in Switzerland, we put it to the vote. And the winner was Roger, who won a software package of his choice. Not bad.
Merci zämme!

May 6, 2008

CS3 A tutto ritmo - Day 3

Today Paolo Santoro, Matteo Oriani, and yours truly are in Florence, my home town (so to say). How could I miss that?
Attending were about 150 friends from Tuscany, and beyond. Again, in the four hours of the presentation we went through a complete workflow that included InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop Extended, Dreamweaver, and Acrobat. The thing that marvels me each time we do that, is how much users still do not know, and how much I can learn from their questions. Truly inspiring.
The tour now goes to Mestre and Rome. I will be in the Nordics, so Michela di Stefano, and Alberto Comper will be replacing me.

florence_panorama.jpg

Grazie a tutti quelli che hanno partecipato! E' sempre bello poter insegnare e imparare qualche cosa.