Archive for October, 2006

InDesign Does Super Duper Script

I was recently working with a notable ad agency that’s in the process of upgrading from Creative Suite 1 to Creative Suite 2 and they had some unique requests related to type handling in InDesign. Essentially, they wanted several superscript variations of certain characters for use in the ads they design. Considering the level of complexity of their requirements, I suggested the best option might be to recut their typeface or create a good collection of character styles.

Then I told them that if they could live with only two flavors of superscript, then InDesign already had all they tools they needed! This trick is so easy it’s almost silly, but it’s not something I’ve seen many people try:

  1. Open the application preferences (Command/Control-K) and select the Advanced Type category.
  2. Assign a negative percentage, such as -50%, to the Subscript position value.
  3. Now create your second superscript variation by assigning the subscript text attribute.

Voila! That’s all there is to it. You see, InDesign makes the reasonable assumption that superscript is going above the baseline and subscript is going below the baseline. This means that two positive values move the text in opposite directions, which might seem a bit odd if you think about it too much. The solution is simply to give subscript a negative value which moves it in the opposite direction and provides for a second variation of superscript. I’m sure it’s obvious by now, but you could reverse this trick and create two variations of subscript if that’s the problem you’re facing.

I’d love to hear back if this solution solves any real world problems out there!

InCopy ACE Exam Now Available

It’s been a long time coming, but we’ve finally posted an InCopy ACE Exam. Now all of the InCopy trainers and consultants out there can get certified and “prove” your proficiency. I realize you’ve been getting along just fine without the exam, but at the same time we all know some clients want a bit of reassurance the first time they hire you. Now how do you go about adding this cool new badge to your Adobe Scout uniform?

  1. Normally, you’d see the exam listed on, but the page hasn’t been updated yet.
  2. To be an InCopy CS2 Certified Expert you also need to be an InDesign CS2 Certified Expert. You should be able to take the two exams in any order you like, but if you’re still reading this post, you probably already have your InDesign CS2 ACE.
  3. Go directly to and take the exam online.

The exam costs $50US and you have a whole two hours to take it. There are only about 40 questions, so I doubt you’ll need all that time. The cut score (ACE exams are multiple-choice, pass/fail) is 73%, so study up and let us know who it goes!

Work Smarter, Not Harder with Photoshop

There’s a great new Photoshop book hitting store shelves entitled Working Smart in Adobe Photoshop CS2 by Conrad Chavez. Yeah, yeah, I know, there’s already a boatload of Photoshop books out there, so do we really need another one? Well, I had the privilege of doing the technical editing on this book and I’d say it’s unique for at least two reasons:

  1. It’s a lean, mean book. Instead of trying to teach you everything under the sun, it’s a focused read under 300 pages. (This means you’ll probably actually read it, unlike the stack of Photoshop books on most designer’s book shelves.)
  2. It’s about about efficiency and working smart. No step-by-step tutorials, no cheesy neon styles, no quizzes. It takes a step back from the minutiae and looks at the overall efficiency of the workflow.

This is good stuff, folks. Don’t miss it!