Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Easily delete text in InDesign/InCopy

Bonnie wrote today and pointed out that on my InDesign CS4 keyboard shortcut reference guide, I've listed the same keyboard shortcut (command-delete) for both "Delete one word to the left" and "Delete one word to the right".

Believe it or not Bonnie, this isn't a typo (though I'll admit it could be more clear!) This brings up an issue that many people don't understand, so I thought it would be worth explaining here.

Some Macintosh keyboards have two delete keys, one that's two rows above the return key, and another that is between the main keys and the numeric keypad, directly above the cursor keys.

On this type of keyboard, the left-most delete key deletes a single character to the left of the text cursor, and the right-most delete key deletes a single character to the right of the text cursor. Likewise, command-left delete key deletes a word to the left of the text cursor, and command-right delete key deletes a word to the right of the text cursor.

If you have a Mac laptop or a smaller Mac keyboard that only has a single delete key, fn-delete deletes one character to the right, and fn-command-delete deletes one word to the right.

On most Windows keyboards, the left-deleting delete key is labeled as "Backspace" and the right-deleting key is labeled as "Delete" so Windows users don't have this confusion.

I've updated the InDesign CS4 keyboard shortcut reference guide to clarify this issue.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Fall Seminar Series

I'm excited to announce the "Back to School Fall Seminar Series" that I'm holding in the Twin Cities on 9/9/2009 and 9/11/2009. This series of four low-cost half-day seminars is open to everyone who wants to do more with less, to be more productive, more efficient and more effective in Adobe Creative Suite. The seminars are:

Session 1: Power through your work with InDesign Styles
Wednesday, September 9, 8:30 a.m. - 12:00 noon

Session 2: InDesign typography
Wednesday, September 9, 1:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Session 3: Photoshop masking techniques
Friday, September 11, 8:30 a.m. - 12:00 noon

Session 4: Introduction to Flash for print designers
Friday, September 11, 1:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.

The seminars are very inexpensive, thanks to the generous support of my friends at Adobe, Central Coast Solutions and Data Print Distribution (DPD).

Please consider coming to one or more of the seminars. I'd love to see you there!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Where to find Adobe PDF icons

Julie wrote:

Where in the world can I get an Adobe .pdf icon? I need to add the little icon to our website... There are so many variations on the web that I don't know which is official and which is not!

I get asked this frequently, so thought I'd write about it here. The "official" Adobe pdf icons can be found at www.adobe.com/misc/linking.html. You will also find icons for "Get Adobe Reader" and "Get Adobe Flash Player" there.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Font identification help

Have you ever run across some text set in an interesting typeface, and wondered what font was used? Gone are the days of poring through font specimen books or endless font samples on web sites. Instead, try WhatTheFont.

This free tool from Bitstream lets you upload a scan of a type sample, and then it automatically tries to identify the font from the sample you've uploaded. Depending on the quality of the sample you've scanned, it works amazingly well.

If the automatic recognition doesn't work, you can submit the image to the WhatTheFont Forum, where real live actual people will help you solve the case.

If you have an iPhone, you can just snap a photo of the font in question and use the WhatTheFont for iPhone app to quickly identify it, no scanning and web uploading required. Near instant gratification!

As an alternative, Identifont and Fonts.com both help identify a font by asking you a series of questions about the appearance of certain characters in your sample.

Fontscape helps you choose a typeface by organizing typefaces into many different categories, such as appearance, dimensions, mood, etc.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

New web site

I just spent the last few days hunkered down in my office wrestling with the intricacies of CSS while rebuilding the Gilbert Consulting web site. My previous web site used tables for layout and positioning. I decided to join the 21st century and bring my site up to modern standards with CSS. Hopefully the new site also does a better job of explaining who I am, what I do and how I do it.

A few interesting items I ran across while sweating through the web site rebuild:

  • Adobe's Dreamweaver Developer Center houses all kinds of CSS goodness, tutorials and links.

  • I found Pop Menu Magic 2 from Project Seven very helpful for creating the menu system. The newsgroups run by Project Seven at forums.projectseven.com were invaluable for troubleshooting a couple of thorny issues with the menus and CSS.

  • The inclusion of the O'Reilly CSS Reference Guide in the Dreamweaver CS4 Reference panel is great. Concise O'Reilly guides for HTML, JavaScript, XML, PHP and other syntax are also included in the Reference panel.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Minneapolis InDesign User Group meeting

I've scheduled the next meeting of the Minneapolis InDesign User Group for Tuesday evening, August 4, from 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. at the Minneapolis College of Art & Design (MCAD). The agenda is still being finalized, and will be posted on the IDUG web site soon. If you're in the Twin Cities area, please save the date and plan to attend!

Minneapolis InDesign User Group meetings are free and open to the public, but registration is required. Hope to see you there.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

How to format a Table of Contents

I've written a feature article for the latest issue of InDesign Magazine (Issue 30) about how to format a Table of Contents (TOC). The seven-page article is about how to format many different types of TOC layouts. Even if you never work with TOCs, you will learn something new from the article about tabs, indents, special characters, GREP and other formatting options. Of course, Issue 30 is chock-a-block full of other great articles and tips too!

Use coupon code FRIEND to receive $20 off a one-year subscription, or code FRIEND2 for $15 off a two-year subscription.

You can also purchase single issues at InDesignMag.com

If you're serious about taking your InDesign skills up a notch, I highly recommend this magazine.