Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Sneak peek at future Adobe technology

If you're curious what might be in store for a future version of Photoshop, or other Adobe products, here are three resources you should check out:

1. My friend Rick sent me this link to a cool video on the Photoshop Facebook page. The video shows a preview of "PatchMatch: Content-Aware spot Healing and Fill tools" or "intelligent hole filling". You've got to see this in action...it's pretty cool.

2. More info about PatchMatch, and all kinds of other technologies, are discussed and demonstrated at Adobe's Advanced Technology Labs.

3. Future versions of actual products (as opposed to "technologies" are presented, and sometimes available for download, at Adobe Labs.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

How to identify a font in a PDF

Have you ever received a PDF and wanted help identifying a font used in the file? If you have Acrobat 9 Professional, here's an easy way:

1. Open the PDF, and choose Advanced > Print Production > Output Preview

2. Select "Object Inspector" for the Preview.

3. Click on the text you're wondering about, and the font that was used should be displayed in the Output Preview panel.

If the font isn't displayed, then the type has been converted to outlines or is a raster image.

If several objects are stacked on top of one another, the lowest object in the stack is listed at the top of the dialog box.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Use GREP find to truncate lines of text

A student from one of my on-site InDesign training classes asked how to remove the end of each line of text in an InDesign-created directory listing, as shown in the example below. Each line of the directory consists of some text, a tab character, more text, and then a paragraph return.

In her email, she said "there are thousands, nay, millions of these pesky things...can Indesign find and replace wildcard strings?"

InDesign CS3/CS4's GREP Find/Change feature is made for just this sort of thing. Choose Edit > Find/Change, and fill in the dialog box as shown below.

In this case, \t represents a tab character, and the plus sign after it means to look for "one or more" tab characters. The period stands for "any character", and the asterisk after the period means to look for "zero or more" of "any character". So the entire Find phrase means "look for one or more tab characters that may or may not be followed by additional characters." Since the "Change to" field is empty, the found text will be replaced by nothing.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Photoshop brush size shortcuts

A good shortcut to know for changing the brush size in Photoshop CS2-CS4 is to use the [ and ] (left and right square bracket) keys. Each time you press one of these keys, the current brush will decrease or increase in size. Add the shift key to change the hardness of the brush edge. This works with most other tools besides the Brush tool, such as the Magnetic Lasso, Erasor, History Brush, Blur, Dodge/Burn, etc.

If you have Photoshop CS4 running on a computer that supports OpenGL (choose Preferences > Performance to see if your computer supports this) there is an even better shortcut.

With any brush or painting tool active, use the shortcuts below to precisely change the brush size by dragging with the mouse. You will see immediate, interactive on-screen feedback as you drag.

Change brush size: option-ctrl-drag
Change brush edge softness: command-option-ctrl-drag

Change brush size: alt-right mouse button drag
Change brush edge softness: shift-alt-right mouse button drag