A practical introduction to Web analytics for technical communicators

What analytics parameters do you rely on to track the performance of your technical content?

At the STC India Conference earlier this month; my colleague, Vikrant Rai, and I presented a session that discussed some key content-related parameters. Here is the slidedeck:

A closer look at the Photoshop Generator syntax

- Joel Brandt and Samartha Vashishtha

The Photoshop Generator feature offers great flexibility in the ways you can rename layers/layer groups to specify size and quality parameters. Stepping beyond the recommendations in the Help article, this blog post looks at some valid variations that you can use while tagging layer/layer group names.

Before we begin, let’s look at the conventions followed in this blog post:

gradient_suffix-prefix

Space case

  • The filename portion of a layer/layer group name can include space characters. For example:
    250% Foo Bar Baz.gif
    Result: Generates a single file named Foo Bar Baz.gif scaled by 250%
  • While specifying absolute sizes, you can omit the space character between the height and the width. For example:
    100×80 foo.png
    Result: Generates a 100 px x 80 px-sized PNG file named foo.png
  • Do add a space character between the size parameter (prefix) and the layer name. For example:
    100×100 foo.png
  • You can omit the space character following the separator (, or +). For example, any of the following layer names generates two files—foo 1.png and foo 2.jpg—from the tagged layer:
    foo 1.png,foo 2.jpg
    foo 1.png, foo 2.jpg
    foo 1.png+foo 2.jpg
    foo 1.png + foo 2.jpg
  • Do not add a space character between an absolute size dimension and its unit. For example, the following layer names are invalid:
    80 x 100 px imagename.png
    4 in x100 imagename.png
    90 mm x120 cm imagename.png
  • Do not add a space character between the layer name and the suffix. For example, the following layer/layer group name is invalid:
    100×100 imagename.png 5%

Mixing units

While specifying the size parameter, it’s OK to mix and match the supported units—px, cm, mm, and in.

If no unit is specified for a dimension, Photoshop assumes it to be px.

Examples:

  • 80 x 100px foo.png
  • 4in x100 foo.png
  • 90mm x120cm foo.png

Wild cards

While specifying absolute sizes, you can use the ? wildcard in place of a dimension.

Examples:

  • 100x? foo.png
  • ?x60in foo.png

Hyphenated quality parameters

You can add a hyphen before the quality parameter (suffix) to make your layer/layer group names more readable.

Examples:

  • foo.png-8
  • foo.jpg-100%
  • foo.png-32

Some other Don’t’s

  • Don’t use unsupported units.
  • Don’t mix absolute and relative sizes. For example, the following layer name is not valid:
    50% 80×100 foo.png
  • Don’t specify out-of-bounds values. For example:
    foo.jpg-101%
    foo.png-42
    0% foo.png

That’s all for now! Hope you have fun using Generator and other exciting enhancements in the September 2013 release of Photoshop. In case you haven’t already reviewed the What’s New, here’s the link.

 

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Photoshop CC refreshed!

totem-photoshop-cc-150x150.png.adimg.mh.150.mw.150Photoshop CC has been updated with exciting new features and enhancements! See these Help pages to understand what has changed:

What’s New: http://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/using/whats-new.html

Information about the new Generator functionality: http://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/using/generate-assets-layers.html

General Help landing page: http://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/topics.html

CQ Cloud Manager is here!

Adobe has announced the general availability of CQ Cloud Manager, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) that enables reduced time and costs for provisioning, managing, and metering Web Experience Management (WEM) solutions supporting digital marketing initiatives. Cloud Manager takes advantage of cloud computing technology, such the Amazon Web Services (AWS) public cloud, to start up CQ clusters quickly and consistently.

Using CQ Cloud Manager, Digital Marketing organizations can provision and deploy instances of their Web environment without having to procure hardware or pay large upfront costs. This ease of provisioning allows enterprises to rapidly engage customers, drive market shares, and focus on innovation.

The infographic below captures the overall CQ Cloud Manager framework:

 

To know more about Cloud Manager or to learn how to use it, refer to the documentation.

LiveCycle ES2 is out!

If you haven’t caught the news already, LiveCycle ES2 is out! This is a major release of the software suite that enables enterprises to improve productivity through intuitive applications and efficient processes. I spent the better part of my time over the past eight months documenting it.

Catch the Adobe press release here.

LiveCycle ES2 now integrates more tightly with the Flash Platform and PDF technologies. This enables enterprise developers to create user-centric applications that contrast with the more traditional, unwieldy system-centric applications users have had to tolerate. New Adobe application modeling technology brings higher productivity to Adobe® Flex® and LiveCycle developers and allows them to more efficiently write applications by reducing the amount of code and simplifying data and service integration. Also, a new LiveCycle ES2 plug-in for Adobe® Flash® Builder™ 4 beta lets developers more seamlessly embed LiveCycle ES2 technologies into any Flex based application. Furthermore, the new Adobe® LiveCycle® Collaboration Service (formerly Adobe Flash Collaboration Service), a hosted service, provides developers and enterprises with a scalable solution to easily build real-time, multi-user collaboration into existing or new RIAs. The powerful and flexible framework accelerates the development and deployment of user-centric applications by enterprise developers.
If you’re looking for documentation resources that could help you get started, visit these links:

A valuable addition to the LiveCycle documentation set this time is the troubleshooting guide. Read it here.