Friday, January 21, 2011

FreeHand MX on Mac OS X 10.6

A designer client of mine just bought a screaming fast 12-core Mac Pro. She'll be using it to run the usual design apps: InDesign, Photoshop, Bridge, Premiere Pro, Soundbooth, etc.

But she doesn't like Illustrator.

She wants to run her ancient copy of FreeHand MX 11.0.2 on her shiny new mac. :~(

I warned her that it probably wouldn't install or run on this new hardware and OS. And I was right. It installed, but wouldn't launch. But lo and behold, there's a tech note and solution buried on Adobe's Web site. Installing Rosetta, and then installing the Freehand Registration file included in the technote makes it possible to launch and run Freehand!

Adobe makes the following disclaimer:

No updates to FreeHand have been made for over four years, and Adobe has no plans to initiate development to add new features or to support Intel-based Macs and Windows Vista.

Freehand requires Rosetta to be installed. Rosetta provides PPC code emulation allowing applications containing PPC code to run on Intel based Macs.

Your mileage may vary. Who knows how well it works, or whether it can print/save/export/create PDFs successfully. But I thought this might be of use to someone else.

Now, time to starting learning Illustrator everyone!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Missing the point?

I've been working extensively with the upcoming Adobe Digital Publishing Suite with a handful of clients. I'm excited about publishing content on the iPad and other tablet devices in general, and about Adobe's solution in particular.

The iPad has been hailed as the "Savior of News" and the "Savior of Publishing". While this may be breathless hyperbole, I'm convinced that one of the great uses for tablets is reading long-form journalism and features offline, presented in an art-directed environment.

There have been a number of recent articles (such as this one by Darrell Etherington) claiming that magazine publishers looking to distribute their content for tablet devices need to think more like apps, and less like magazines. For example, Khoi Vinh states that:

In my personal opinion, Adobe is doing a tremendous disservice to the publishing industry by encouraging these ineptly literal translations of print publications into iPad apps. They’ve fostered a preoccupation with the sort of monolithic, overbearing apps represented by The New Yorker, Wired and Popular Science. Meanwhile, what publishers should really be focusing on is clever, nimble, entertaining apps...

These articles are missing the point. Many magazine publishers and other content creator cannot afford to create and maintain custom apps, much less multiple apps for multiple tablet platforms. So some content creators are turning to solutions such as Zinio or PixelMags. These solutions make it easy to repurpose content for tablets, but the big drawback is that they simply re-create the printed page on the screen, often resulting in text that is too small, spreads that are cut in half, and very limited interactivity.

The Adobe solution, on the other hand, allows content publishers to re-design their content to take advantage of the specific size and aspect ratio of each tablet, and also add an expanding list of interactive and Web-connected features. All of this is within the grasp of the same designers who are designing and producing print pages. No higher-priced application programmers are necessary. Yes, it will require additional staff for magazines to pull this off, but it's a predictable, measurable number of additional hours needed each publication cycle.

Bottom line: The Adobe solution is about enabling publishers to leverage existing design and production resources to easily publish tablet-optimized content.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Reducing the file size of PDFs exported from Illustrator

Kim wrote to me today and asked

"In Illustrator, we make our PDF files via File > Save As: Adobe PDF. But Illustrator makes the PDF file sizes VERY large, even when saving as Smallest File Size. What can we do about this?"

All recent versions of Illustrator default to saving a copy of the entire .AI file inside the saved PDF file, so that Illustrator can open and edit the PDF file later. This makes it handy if you don't want to keep track of a separate .AI file and .PDF file. You can have a single PDF file that is editable in Illustrator, but also viewable by others with Adobe Reader. The big downside is that the file is large.

The workaround is to just save and maintain a .AI version of the file for editing purposes, and a separate .PDF file for sending you your print vendor or for others to view. Here's how:

First, make sure you've saved your work as an Illustrator .AI file.

Next, choose File > Save a Copy, choose Adobe PDF for the Format, and click the Save button, you'll see the dialog pictured below.

Just deselect the Preserve Illustrator Editing Capabilities option, then click the Save PDF button. You may see the warning pictured below. If so, just click the OK button, as long as you've previously saved a .AI version of the file.

The exported PDF file should be much smaller.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Twin Cities InDesign User Group meeting

I've scheduled another meeting of the Twin Cities InDesign User Group for Thursday, January 20, 7:00 p.m. in the large auditorium at MCAD. Click here for full details about the meeting.

If you've never been to one of these meetings, you should join us. Meetings happen whenever I get around to scheduling them (3-4 times/year). Between 100 and 200 people attend each meeting. We generally geek out about all things InDesign, and always conclude the evening with fabulous door prizes.

For this meeting we're bringing in my friend James Fritz from Milwaukee to show how to create interactive presentations in InDesign CS5, and I'm going to spend a few minutes talking about scripts and plug-ins to make linking and unlinking text frames in InDesign CS3-CS5 much easier.

Twin Cities InDesign User Group meetings are FREE and open to the public, thanks to generous support from MCAD and Central Coast Solutions, but pre-registration is required. If you're not yet a user group member, click here to sign up. If you're already an IDUG member, click here to register for the meeting.

Monday, January 03, 2011

2011 Minnesota Magazine Mingle

The Minnesota Magazine Mingle is a unique opportunity for professionals in the magazine world to come together in a casual setting.

“This event is good news for magazine professionals. It’s inspiration and the opportunity to network right in one room. What more could you want?” says Steve Schiffman, President of MMPA.

Bring your colleagues to this unique event. Generate ideas from magazines on display and from the people in the room with you.

Light refreshments, cash bar. Fabulous prizes, too.

Sign up early for reduced rates (including discounts for multiple registrations).

Sponsored by MMPA and The Loft Literary Center.

Click here for more information and to register online.