Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Spring speaking engagements

Spring is just around the corner, and with it, an increasingly busy schedule. Here are three local events I'll be speaking at, as well as an event in Washington DC that you should consider joining me at.

March 24: AAF Central Minnesota Professional Development Luncheon in St. Cloud, MN: 5 Things Every Designer Must Know About the Adobe Creative Suite

April 28: MMPA 2011 Magazine Summit in Minneapolis, MN. I'll be presenting 2 sessions at the Summit: Repurposing Magazines for Tablet Devices and Adding Interactivity and Multimedia to Magazines with InDesign CS5

May 12: National Association of Government Communicators 2011 Communications School in St. Paul, MN. I'll be presenting one session: Designing for multiple outputs: iPads, Kindles, e-readers, tablets, Web sites, and smartphones

May 23-24: InDesignSecrets 2011 Print and ePublishing Conference in Washington DC. I'll be presenting two sessions: XML and InDesign Demystified, and Data Publishing with InDesign. I'll also be hanging out to answer questions throughout the conference. This conference is going to be great...don't miss it. Mention code DCKG523 to receive $25 off the conference registration.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Adobe Forms Central

Today Adobe announced Adobe FormsCentral. This is a solution for creating HTML forms, distributing them, collecting responses and analyzing the data.

I haven't tried FormsCentral yet, but I know that many of my readers are involved with Acrobat, LiveCycle or HTML forms to one extent or another, so I thought I'd give you an early heads up. It will be interesting to see how this stacks up agains similar cloud-based form and data collection solutions.

For more information, read this post from the Acrobat Solutions team.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

iPad layout templates for the Adobe Digital Publishing Suite

Designing in Adobe InDesign CS5 for the upcoming Adobe Digital Publishing Suite entails creating a document that's 1024 x 768 pixels or 768 x 1024 pixels. But the Adobe Viewer obscures a 6 pixel vertical region on the right side of the screen with a vertical scroll indicator, and the Viewer "chrome" that appears when the user taps occupies 44 pixels at the top and bottom of the screen.

I've created a couple of simple CS5 template files, one for each orientation, that mark these regions with guides, have the measurement system set to pixels, and the transparency blend space sent to RGB. For more information, read the explanatory notes on the pasteboard of page one in the templates.

You may download the free templates here. I hope you find these useful!

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Selecting objects outside an Illustrator clipping mask boundary

Starting with Illustrator CS4, objects that are masked but extend out of the mask boundary can't be easily selected. Usually, this is intuitive, and a good thing. But sometimes you need to be able to easily select these objects outside the clipping mask boundary. This can be done, but it's far from obvious how. Sure, selecting View > Outline lets you see the objects outside the mask boundary, but you can't directly select them.

Here are 3 ways to do this:

1. The Edit Contents/Edit Clipping Path buttons in the Control bar. Clicking the Edit Content button (or choosing Object > Clipping Mask > Edit Contents) selects all the masked contents. You can then double-click on any of the objects to edit them in Isolation mode


2. The Lasso tool. Dragging around masked objects with the Lasso tool selects them, even when they fall outside the mask boundary.

3. The Layers panel. Twirling open the group containing the clipping path in the Layers panel will let you access each masked object. Click the round circle to the right of any object to select it.