Monday, November 26, 2007

Selecting the table "character" in InDesign

Tables in InDesign are "Inline Graphics" meaning that they appear in the text flow, and move as the surrounding text in the text frame gets longer or shorter.

Sometimes it's necessary to select the table as a "character", or to position the text cursor to the immediate left of the table. But it can be difficult to position the text cursor precisely between the left edge of the table and the left edge of the text frame. Here's a better way:

With the Type tool, click to the left of the first character of the text in the upper-left cell in the table. Then, when you have a flashing text cursor there, just press the left arrow key on the keyboard. This will move the cursor out of the table, and into the surrounding text, positioning it directly to the left of the table. If you then press the right arrow key on the keyboard, the cursor will skip over the table and position itself to the immediate right of the table.

This might seem obscure, but I've found it helpful on numerous occasions while working with tables. I hope you find it useful as well.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Updates for Bridge, Photoshop & Camera Raw

Adobe has released updates for Photoshop (10.0.1), Bridge (2.1.1) and Camera Raw (4.3). In particular, the Bridge update claims to address a couple of things that can cause Bridge to crash. Access the updates through Help > Updates in any Creative Suite application.

Cool InDesign Server example

Visit to see a neat example of Adobe InDesign Server in action. This clever and entertaining site was created by XMPie as an example of what can be done with InDesign Server and XMPie technology to create personalized cross-media communications.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Exporting JPEGs from Illustrator

Below is the quickest, easiest way to save Illustrator CS3 artwork to JPEG format. This method will allow you to export just the selected artwork, or the entire file. It makes no difference if the artwork is on or off the Artboard.

1. Select the artwork you want to export.

2. Double-click on the Crop Area tool (or press Shift-O [the letter O, not zero] and then return)

3. Choose Fit Crop Area to selected art for the Preset

4. Click the OK button. You may need to manually adjust the crop boundary if your image contains a mask.

5. Choose File > Export

6. In the Export dialog box, choose JPEG for the Format. Give the file a name and a location to save it to.

7. Click the Export button.

8. Fill in the JPEG Options dialog as desired, and click the OK button.

To remove the crop boundary, select the Crop Area tool, and then hit the Delete key.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Multi-file Place

InDesign CS3's Multi-file Place command makes short work of placing multiple files into your layout. But what if all the files you need aren't in the same folder? Here's how to place images from multiple folders at once with Multi-File Place:

On the Mac, use List view instead of Column view in the Place dialog box. (List view is the one with the "flippy triangles" that allow you to view the contents of multiple folders simultaneously). Then flip open the folders you need, and command-click to select multiple files.

On Windows, you will need to switch to the "Adobe Dialog" by clicking on the Use Adobe Dialog button in the bottom-left corner of the Place dialog box. Then, use the icon in the upper-right corner to switch to Details view. Now you can open multiple folders simultaneously by clicking on the plus signs to the left of the folder names, and then control-click to select multiple files.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Some round, some not

It's easy to round the corners of a selected frame in InDesign via Object > Corner Options, but this command rounds all the corners of the frame. What if you want just some of the corners to be rounded?

The easiest way to do this is to select a frame and double-click on the CornerEffects script found in InDesign's Scripts panel (Window > Automation > Scripts). The script is installed by default in InDesign CS3. It's included with InDesign CS2, but not installed by default. The CS2 scripts can be downloaded here.

When you run the script, a dialog box appears asking you what type of corner effect to apply, the "Offset" (radius), and the Pattern. If you choose first point for the Pattern, the upper-left corner of the frame will be rounded. If you choose second point, the upper right will be rounded, and so on, proceeding counter-clockwise around the frame. You can also choose options such as "first two", "second and third", etc.

Note that this script can also be run on polygons, stars, and other non-rectangular frames, leading to some interesting results.