Sunday, May 22, 2016

The easiest way to create a portfolio web site

Adobe Portfolio is a new benefit for Creative Cloud members. It is an extremely simple way for a designer to create a “portfolio” or “showcase” Web site of recent work.

Screen Shot 2016 05 20 at 10 46 41 AM

There are many other ways to do this, of course. You could build a Web site from scratch, use a WordPress template, create a site with Adobe Muse, or use one of the many competing systems for building portfolio sites. But Adobe Portfolio is free for Creative Cloud members, is simple, and is easy to update with fresh content at any time. And the sites created by Portfolio are responsive, meaning they will adapt to different screen sizes and look great on all mobile devices and desktop browsers.

A Portfolio Web site is free with every Creative Cloud subscription. Initially, each Portfolio site will be assigned the URL But if you have a custom domain of your own, you can easily publish the site with your domain, resulting in a URL like

Screen Shot 2016 05 20 at 3 59 46 PM

To get started with Portfolio, visit, and sign in with your Adobe ID. Next, you will be prompted to choose one of a half-dozen “layouts". Now, don’t panic at this point. As a designer I’m sure you’re thinking “real designers don’t use pre-designed layouts or templates”. But these layouts are highly customizable, with each one offering a different navigation style and functionality. See the following examples to get a sense of the wide variety of looks that can be achieved using these templates as a starting point.

Benjamin Bartling

Cristian Girotto

Joshua Fathers

Matthieu Dennequin

Gabriel Martins

Rachel Mayes

Mikko Umi 

After choosing a template, you’ll want to upload a few projects. A project can be as simple as a simple JPEG export of an InDesign layout, photography of final print or product output, a mockup showing how the project looks on a mobile device, video clips, or a combination of all of these along with explanatory text and captions. 

Once you’ve created your projects, you can take as much time and care as you want to modify the interface, navigation, and look and feel of the Portfolio web site using the simple Portfolio interface. You can preview the results in the browser using the “Preview” button at the bottom of the screen. Once the web site functions and appears as desired, it is time to publish the site. Clicking the “Publish Site” button publishes the site to Adobe’s servers. The Web site hosting is free with your Creative Cloud membership.

Screen Shot 2016 05 22 at 3 24 13 PM

An added bonus of Adobe Portfolio is that you can choose to sync your projects with Behance. Behance is “the world’s largest platform to showcase and discover creative work”. Think of Behance as a way to show your work and gain visibility within the creative community, and your Portfolio Web site as a place to showcase your work to potential clients and be discovered via search engines. When you create a project in Adobe Portfolio, you are asked if you want to also publish the project to Behance. If you don’t yet have a Behance account, you will be led through the process of linking your Adobe ID to Behance.

Screen Shot 2016 05 22 at 4 00 24 PM


Likewise, if you upload projects from, you have the opportunity to also publish those projects to your Adobe Portfolio Web site.

Adobe Portfolio is so easy to use. There is no longer any excuse for any designer to go without a modern, responsive, mobile-friendly Web site. You can put together a custom portfolio web site with a few projects in the course of an evening, and then continue to build it out with new projects as you complete them.

Follow @AdobePortfolio on Twitter to discover new Web sites that have been created with Adobe Portfolio. If you create a portfolio web with with Adobe Portfolio, let me know. I’d like to see it!

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Use to sharpen your skills is the best on-line resource for video-based training. The breadth and depth of the library in the “Design” category is particularly strong. Now, I’m probably biased as I’m a author, but they really do have great courses from some of the best authors in the business.

Screen Shot 2016 05 02 at 8 57 48 AM


I watch courses to learn new skills that are outside my core area of expertise. But it’s a constant challenge to find the time. But now there are more options for accessing courses than ever before.

Can I watch courses on my iPad? My TV?

There are mobile apps for iPad and iPhone as well as Android and Windows 8+. There are also desktop apps for Mac OS X and Windows 7+. These apps allow you to download entire courses so that they can be watched offline on your phone, tablet, or laptop. Suddenly, long flights become a great place to learn new things!

And speaking of flights, if you are fortunate enough to be flying on Virgin Atlantic, you can access courses free on many Virgin Atlantic flights. 

If you have an AppleTV or Roku device, you can access courses and watch them on your large TV in the comfort of your living room.

What does it cost? training is extremely low-cost. $24.99 gets you a month of unlimited training. You can save money by purchasing a year-long subscription, or just pay for individual months as you need the service.

Some library systems provide free access to For example, here in St. Paul, MN, the Ramsey County Libraries provide free access.

Some corporations provide access to company wide, as do some educational institutions. 

Here’s a link for a 10-day free trial of so you can try it out!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Camera RAW for Designers

Photoshop’s “Camera Raw” dialog box was created specifically for the needs of photographers. The controls in this box are presented in terminology that avid photographers are familiar with, so it can be intimidating to graphic designers and others who aren’t photographers.

But there are many things that that this dialog box does much easier than anywhere else in Photoshop. And with the ability to use the Camera Raw dialog box on any photo in Photoshop via Filter > Camera Raw Filter, these features are accessible to anyone. Here are 5 of my favorites:


1. Open a photo that exhibits “fall away”, which happens when you shoot a photo of a tall building from street level

2. Choose File > Camera Raw Filter

3. Click the Lens Corrections tab

Screen Shot 2016 04 12 at 5 25 45 PM

4. Click the “A” icon. This will attempt to fix the photo, applying a “balanced” amount of perspective correction. Compare the image below to the image above.

Screen Shot 2016 04 12 at 5 34 03 PM

Post crop vignette

Adding a bit of vignette to photos, especially portraits, can help focus the viewer’s eye on the subject. Camera Raw makes this simple.

1. Click the Effects tab

Screen Shot 2016 04 12 at 5 43 36 PM

2. Find the “Post crop vignette” slider, and drag it to the right to add white, or to the left to add black. I’ve purposely overdone the amount of vignette in the example below to make the effect obvious.

Screen Shot 2016 04 12 at 5 48 28 PM

White balance

Sometimes photos taken under incandescent lighting are too warm and yellow, and photos taken under fluorescent lighting are too cold and blue. This is easily fixed with Camera Raw’s “White Balance” settings.

1. Click the Basic tab

Screen Shot 2016 04 12 at 5 55 21 PM

2. In the “White Balance” drop-down, choose Auto, and then further tweak the Temperature and Tint sliders as desired.

Screen Shot 2016 04 12 at 5 56 02 PM


The Clarity feature applies a local contrast algorithm to the image, which often makes the image look sharper and more vibrant.

1. Click the Basic tab 

Screen Shot 2016 04 12 at 6 07 16 PM

2. Locate the Clarity slider and drag it to the right until the image looks good.

Screen Shot 2016 04 12 at 6 07 46 PM


Dehaze is amazing. It excels at removing haze from outdoor scenes.

1. Click the Effects tab

Screen Shot 2016 04 12 at 6 21 03 PM

2. Locate the Dehaze control, and drag the Amount slider to the right.

Screen Shot 2016 04 12 at 6 21 34 PM

Want to learn more Photoshop? Join me at the CreativePro Conference in Minneapolis in July!

Friday, April 08, 2016

List of apps created with AEM Mobile

I’m frequently asked by clients to provide a list of public apps that have been created with Adobe’s AEM Mobile platform. I thought I’d publish the list here, and try to keep it current as I become aware of new apps. If you are aware of an AEM Mobile app that should be added to this list, please post a comment below.

I’m limiting this list to apps available in the US Stores. There are many privately-distributed corporate apps that have been created with AEM Mobile, but since those aren’t available to the general public, I’ve not listed them here.

Academy of Art University Schools [iOS]

Adobe Create [iOS] [Android] [Windows]

Adobe Youth Voices [iOS] [Android]

AECOM See Further [iOS] [Android]

Canberra Visitor Guide [iOS] [Android]

Citygram Austin [iOS] [Android] [Windows]

Colmar Mag [iOS] [Android]

Experience Life Magazine [iOS] [Android]

Gather Journal [iOS] [Android] [Windows]

Gourmet Traveller Wine [iOS] [Android]

Happy Wedding Magazine [iOS] [Android]

Inside Energy [iOS] [Android]

National Theatre Backstage [iOS]

Qantas Magazine [iOS] [Android]

Rochester Institute of Technology Media Sciences [iOS] [Android]

SapientNitro Insights [iOS] [Android]

SiNTLUCAS [iOS] [Android

South Bay Pulse [iOS] [Android]

Swiss Universe [iOS]

The Times of London Weekly [iOS]

The Window from Barneys New York [iOS]

Thunder Plus [iOS] [Android]

Thomson Reuters Our Story [iOS] [Android]

Top Gear Magazine [iOS]

UNC Leadership [iOS] [Android

Virgin Australia Voyeur Magazine [iOS]

Voice of Wealth [iOS] [Android

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

A fix for ExtendScript Toolkit running slow

This post will only be of interest to people who create or edit scripts for Creative Cloud applications such as InDesign.

Since the end of 2014, the ExtendScript Toolkit, which is Adobe’s script editing tool, has had a problem with running very slowly on Macintosh computers running OS X 10.10 or later. See this forum thread for more details.

Scripter extraordinaire Chuck Weger discovered that disabling the “App Nap” feature of OS X restores the performance of the ExtendScript Toolkit.

1. Press Command-Shift-U to open the Utilities folder on your Mac

2. Double-click on the Terminal app

3. At the prompt, type:

defaults write NSGlobalDomain NSAppSleepDisabled -bool YES

For more information, see this article.

Want to learn more about scripting InDesign? See my InDesign Scripting Made Easy course on