When Smart Objects Are Not So Smart

Smart Objects offer some wonderful flexibility in Photoshop; they allow endless transformations without a cumulative loss of data, because each transformation is a fresh start from the original data, whether that data is raster or vector. Why, you can even open a Camera Raw file as a Smart Object, which allows you to go back...
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InDesign Inner Shadow Effect Misbehavior

I recently encountered a weird problem with the Inner Shadow effect in InDesign. It took a bit of digging to figure out how to fix it. Graphic frames with an Inner Shadow looked fine in InDesign, even with Overprint Preview on. The outcome was fine if the file was exported with PDF/X-4 or any other...
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Is [Paper] White? Sometimes…

New users of InDesign are sometimes confused by the [Paper] swatch— “Is it white? What color is it?” I explain it as “No ink prints here,” because “knock out” often doesn’t make sense to newbies who know nothing about printing. But there’s something you might not know about [Paper]— you can change its appearance. Even...
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Positive Lookahead – GREP for Designers

During a recent ‘Demystifying GREP’ presentation I gave for the InDesign User Group in Perth, I found myself almost physically jumping into a sentence when explaining the concept of Positive Lookahead. I’ve made my speaker notes available: What is GREP? (2.4Mb PDF download). I promised the group I’d write up some posts on lookaheads and...
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My guest-blogpost about (blank) Paragraph Returns

It’s been a very busy start to the new year. Working on great electronic publishing projects and transitions with clients… has meant I’ve had little or no time to write some blog-posts. I thought I’d start the year off with a guest blog-post over at InDesign Secrets. Today’s post is inspired by Liz Castro, who...
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Find the Meaning Behind the Metrics at MAX

Adobe MAX, the creativity conference, takes place from October 4-8 in Los Angeles, CA. Over 5,000 of the most creative minds will connect at this annual gathering of designers, creative industry leaders, developers, strategists and more. Come to MAX and learn the skills you need to quickly become successful with DPS. Sessions and labs have...
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Regionalized Interface

You may not have considered this, but software has to be regionalized to accommodate multiple languages. As you might expect, translating technical terms and interface components can be a challenge. But it’s important to make it easy for end-users to interact with the software. In that spirit, I propose this change to the Buttons panel...
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InDesign May Not Update Homemade Illustrator Spot Colors

This was brought to my attention by a friend at EBSCO Media. The scenario: You’ve created a dieline in Adobe Illustrator, which uses the manually created global spot color “Dieline.” It’s set to, say, a fluorescent green for easy identification. Place the AI file in InDesign; the dieline spot color is added to the Swatches...
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The Only Pre-checked “Preview” Checkbox In InDesign

I understand the logic behind leaving InDesign’s Preview checkboxes unchecked: Rendering complex content or effects could have an impact on redraw times, aggravating users. (Of course, what really aggravates users is having to check those dadgum Preview checkboxes.) Of course, if you check a Preview checkbox once, it remains checked in future sessions (unless you...
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Back to School Special: 30 Simple Adobe InDesign Tutorials

What You'll Be CreatingWith autumn approaching it’s time to get back to school! Here’s your New Term reading list for Adobe InDesign - a list of easy beginners’ tutorials and articles exploring everything you ever wanted to know about InDesign. So class, here's your homework...Get Familiar with Basic Tools and TechniquesExploring what tools are on...
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InDesign Secrets Video: Uncovering InDesign’s Special Font Folders

Fonts. Can’t live with ‘em, can’t live without ‘em. Sometimes you can’t get ‘em to load properly in InDesign. And sometimes you might’ve wished you could have some fonts available to a specific document (or to InDesign in general) and not activate them on your computer. And indeed you can make fonts available only in InDesign or...
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Why Fixed-Layout EPUB From InDesign is a Big Deal for Designers

by Gerald Schmidt From a very early glimpse (just a table with a few splashes of color) at the start of 2014, to the big unveiling earlier this summer at PePcon and the Creative Cloud launch, the new fixed-layout EPUB export feature has been, for me, the year’s main event in the InDesign world. Selecting Export...
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The InDesign Conference Returns to Seattle

There are two kinds of people in the world: those who love delving into history and those who prefer to focus on the present and future. (Of course, I don’t really believe that there are only two kinds of people, but it is such a convenient saying.) My problem is that I am forever wanting...
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Getting Started with InDesign and Illustrator

Over the last 12 months, I've recorded approximately 144 hours of video training on Adobe's CS5 applications. That's 12 courses in all, and enough video to consume 18 days of your life if you did nothing but watch me 8 hours a day. (Please don't do that, however. I don't want to be responsible for...
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Yeah, But Will It Print?

Hi, dekeOlytes. So over at lynda.com, there's a free InDesign FX movie every other week from master effecter Mike Rankin. Mike's techniques are very cool, and made from 100% pure InDesign (so they're extra healthy). Thing is, a few people have been asking if Mike's effects will actually survive the printing process. And this week...
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Five Key Things about Working with Graphics in InDesign

As I mentioned in my last post, I've been working more with InDesign lately and thinking about how learning InDesign's layout capabilities might be of interest to more people as the Creative Cloud model makes it more readily available (i.e. it's free as part of your subscription, so you might as well give it a...
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