Ultramarathon Man via Flash Media Server

I’m no Flash Media Server expert, but I love it when Adobe technology solves problems and creates unique experiences. It’s like my dishwasher: I don’t know EXACTLY how it works, but it gets the job done.

In this case, it’s Flash Media Encoder and Flash Media Server allowing my to watch multiple live video feeds of Dean Karnazes attempting to break the world record for miles run on a treadmill in 24 hours! How fitting that he’s making this world record attempt on the summer solstice. Did I mention that he’s doing this two stories above Times Square in New York City?

I’ve met Dean, and last fall I had the chance to run four marathons with him in his quest to run 50 marathons in all 50 US states in 50 consecutive days. What a great guy and what a fantastic experience. If anybody can break the record it’s Dean. I wish I could be there to run with Dean in NYC today, but at least I can enjoy a bit of the event remotely. Go, Dean! (and thanks to FMS for the video streams)

InDesign CS3 – From Tab Text to Formatted Table in Less Than 30 Seconds!

Everybody who enjoys the copious amount of tweaking necessary to make tabular data look beautiful in a page layout application, please raise your hand. If your hand is up, skip to John Nack’s blog.

Everybody else, read on, because I’m about to show you how to make short work of formatting tables in InDesign CS3. In fact, we’ll do it in less than 30 seconds.

Continue reading…

Customized InDesign CS3 Contact Sheets

The other week a customer who builds their Sunday newspaper advertising insert with InDesign asked me if they could use use the Contact Sheet Script to make an InDesign contact sheet out of individual INDD files. I thought it was a great idea, and didn’t see why it shouldn’t be possible, considering that IDCS3 can now place INDD files.

I tried the script on it’s own, but it doesn’t recognize INDD files without a bit of tweaking. Here’s the solution:

  1. Locate the file called “WasScriptLibrary.jsx” on your hard drive and open it with the ExtendScript Toolkit application or your favorite script editor.
  2. Locate this string in line 755:

    WasLib.fileFilters.putValue( “Contact Sheet”,”PNG,JPG,JPEG,TIF,TIFF,GIF,AI,PSD,PDF,EPS,EPSF” );

  3. Change the string to:

    WasLib.fileFilters.putValue( “Contact Sheet”,”PNG,JPG,JPEG,TIF,TIFF,GIF,AI,PSD,PDF,EPS,EPSF,INDD” );

This allows INDD files to be included in InDesign contact sheets. Note that it places different file sizes at the same dimensions and always places the first page of the INDD file. Hope that helps!

Migrating Acrobat 8 Tracked Reviews

I don’t know how common this is, but a customer recently asked me how to migrate a tracked PDF review in Acrobat from one computer to another. Scenarios include upgrading from Acrobat 7 to Acrobat 8, upgrading to a new computer, or tracking reviews from a laptop if you travel. If this sounds interesting, here’s the solution:

  1. Copy the file "Workflows" from this location on the old Mac HD/users/username/Library/Preferences/Acrobat/(version number)/Collab/Workflows to the same location on the new machine. The file path on Windows should be similar under the "Documents and Settings" folder.
  2. Relaunch Acrobat.
  3. Now copy the tracked PDFs from the old machine to the new machine. If the PDFs have the exact same file path on the new machine as they did on the old machine, then you’re done. If they don’t have the same file path, then just click their filename in the Tracker window and Acrobat will prompt you to tell it the new file path.

That should take care of it!

Tip for GoLive>Dreamweaver Migrations

As a follow-up to my recent post about new tools to help you migrated from GoLive to Dreamweaver (if you want to) I wanted to offer an extra tip that will hopefully help some of you. I recently learned that the GL2DW extension assumes (for better or worse) that your GoLive site is in good working order and using the new site folder organization scheme that’s been in use for the last few versions.

If that’s not the case, the GL2DW extension can hiccup in the conversion process. To tidy things up before running the extension, open your site in GoLive and choose Site>Convert Site to New Structure. If the menu command is grayed out you’re in the clear. If it’s available, you should let ‘er rip.

Migrating from GoLive to Dreamweaver?

GoLive is not dead (you’ll be seeing a new version layer this year) and you don’t have to switch if you don’t want to, but if you’re thinking about migrating from GoLive to Dreamweaver, then there are some good resources you need to know about. Click on over to http://www.adobe.com/products/dreamweaver/switch/ and check out the goods, including a 17-page migration guide written by me (Adam) and my long-time writing partner and GoLive expert, Lynn Grillo. The migration guide supports a new extension that is included with Dreamweaver CS3 that helps convert your GoLive sites to be Dreamweaver-ready. Please let us know if these resources are helpful.

If you’re using GoLive and don’t plan to switch to Dreamweaver, we also want to hear from you! Is it emotional? A specific couple of features? A certain workflow? Let us know!

Indianapolis InDesign User Group Inaugural Meeting

They’re popping up everywhere, and the newest one’s in Indianapolis, Indiana. Noha Edell (presenter extraordinaire) from Adobe will be there on April 24, 2007 to shows off CS3, and it’s a great way to network with other designers in the area. The meeting starts at 6:30PM, runs until 9PM and the location is:

Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance
225 South East Street
Indianapolis, In 46202
United States

Get more details and sign up online. Enjoy!

CS3: Creative License Conferences Across North America

Now that CS3 has been publicly announced, we’re getting our engines revved up to hit the road and sweep North America with several one- and two-day conferences. Whether you work in print, web, video, motion graphics, or mobile, there will be something for you. Come see all the components of the new Suites, including Design, Web, and Video Production. Dates range from May 16 to June 26, so check out the details and register.

Two-day Conference Cities
One-day Conference Cities

Placing InDesign files in InDesign Files

No, that title is NOT a typo. One of the coolest new features of InDesign CS3 is the ability to place InDesign documents (INDD) inside other InDesign documents. I think it will take folks a while to get their heads wrapped around that one, but I can’t wait to see how folks end up using it. Lots of collaboration possibilities come to mind, but let us know what comes to mind for you.

In the meantime, I’ve been doing some testing and conferring with the InDesign team and I’ve dug up a few nuggets that should help you get acclimated to the possibilities:

1. InDesign CS3 can be used to place any version of InDesign document, all the way back to version 1.0.

2. Some folks are freaked out by this possibility and they want to know how to turn it off. Well, for better or worse, the same import filter that enables the placement of InDesign documents also enables the placement of EPS files. I really don’t think you want to be turnin’ that one off.

3. If you want to edit the original InDesign layout, just Option/Alt-double-click to edit the original layout in InDesign. The placed INDD looks great in the layout, but you cannot edit the individual pieces. If you need that functionality then I recommend an old standard: Copy and Paste.

There’s more where this came from, but in the meantime, how do you imagine using this new capability?

TypeFitter Plug-in for InCopy Now Free

If you’re not familiar with Teacup Software, they put out some great plug-ins for InDesign and they also do custom plug-in development. Among their various plug-ins is a sweet little gem called TypeFitter which makes it easy to tweak word spacing, letter spacing, and glyph spacing to stretch or shrink a story to fit. I’m sure there are purists who will say we shouldn’t be doing this, but why not accept the reality AND make it easier?

The plug-in isn’t new, but what is new is that the fine folks at Teacup are now giving away the InCopy version for free! It supports the Mac and Windows versions of CS1 and CS2. If you want the plug-in for InDesign it’ll cost you $59US, and I’d say it’s worth the price if only for it’s ability to instantly find all widows and overset text!