Monday, March 28, 2011

Need Photoshop CS5?

My friend Gloria has a brand new, shrink wrapped copy of Photoshop CS5 Extended for Windows that she wants to sell. I told her I'd help her get the word out. This is your chance to pick up a genuine, full version (not an upgrade) of Photoshop at a great price! Contact her at 651-491-2336 for more details.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Copyfitting InDesign text

I'm in Abuja, Nigeria this week doing InDesign and InCopy training for one of the media companies here. One of the things that I've taught is the various ways to make text fit a fixed amount of space in InDesign.

Here's a list of the ways that I can think of to adjust body text so that it will become slightly shorter or longer to fit a fixed amount of space...

1. The best way to copyfit, (without affecting the typography) is to edit the text. An InDesign-InCopy workflow makes this really slick, allowing a copy editor to edit the text to fit the space in the context of the InDesign layout.

2. Select all the text, and apply a tiny tracking adjustment to the text. Do this with the control panel, the character panel, or the following shortcuts:


option-left arrow/right arrow (to adjust tracking by the amount set in preferences)

command-option-left arrow/right arrow (to adjust tracking in 5x greater increments)


alt-left arrow/right arrow (to adjust tracking by the amount set in preferences)

ctrl-alt-left arrow/right arrrow (to adjust tracking in 5x greater increments)

3. Select all the text, and adjust the word kerning by a tiny amount. Do this with the following shortcuts:


command-option-delete (to remove space between words)

command-option-\ (to add space between words)

(add the shift key to multiply the amount by 5)

(command-option-q will reset the tracking and kerning values back to the default)


ctrl-alt-backspace (to remove space between words)

ctrl-alt-\ (to add space between words)

(add the shift key to multiply the amount by 5)

(ctrl-alt-q will reset the tracking and kerning values back to the default)

4. Select all the text, and adjust the horizontal scaling by a tiny amount. Use the fields in the control panel or the character panel to do this.

Obviously, you could also adjust the type size or the leading, but both of these affect the appearance much more that the 4 methods listed here.

Keep in mind that doing a couple of these things in small amounts, rather than just one of the things in a large amount, will usually be less noticeable. In a perfect world, you wouldn't need to do any of them, but in narrow newspaper columns, under tight deadlines, these measures are often inevitable.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Incredible workflow enhancement tool

[The following is a "guest post" by my friend Ed Klemz from Central Coast Solutions.]

There is an incredible FREE web tool you need to know about – Wolfram|Alpha: Computational Knowledge Engine. Its a color selection and analysis tool, and so much more!

This web site brings together certified information from EVERYWHERE - all scientific, statistical, mathematical, political, medical, all of it. And this isn't "wiki" data that has no basis in fact, only certified and highly scrutinized data gets to be referenced. See About Wolfram|Alpha to learn more about this tool, and how it came to be.

You present equations or terms to Wolfram|Alpha, and it gives you the answers. The depth of information here is nothing short of ridiculous, and this should be the home page for any research person, marketing trend guru, or anyone who wants to know the most common baby names in the US...

What about color you ask?
Since the entire knowledge base of human experience has been made available us in this tool, what happens if you enter something like "html green"? Why it tells you everything you want to know about it, including complementary colors, values of RGB, HEX, HSB, nearest web and Pantone equivalents...very handy.

Now enter "RGB 249, 86, 2" and see the stats, and note that it is Pantone 1655 - my favorite orange. On the "Representations" block, click the "More" button and see its CMYK value as well. Now we are getting somewhere!

Wolfram|Alpha is a lot more than just information
Its computational, meaning it can do math with your inputs. So red + green = olive. You get the picture.

Its all about workflow
Many top designers, art directors and brand managers have a set of colors worked out for developing their client's branding guidelines that show the RGB, CMYK, HEX (web) and Pantone values of each, and restrict the color set to colors that have equivalents across all four color spaces. This one simple thing streamlines your workflow and makes color perform from print to web with no variations.

Now go and Explore! To say this is the tip of the iceberg is a gross understatement.


Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Preventing a compound word from breaking at the hyphen

Amy wrote and asked:

Is there a way to set InDesign to keep "ACME-PRO" together and not insert a line break after the hyphen?

There are at least two ways to accomplish this:

1. Type ACME-PRO with a discretionary hyphen at the beginning (immediately before the A). A discretionary hyphen is typed as command-shift-hyphen (Mac) or ctrl-shift-hyphen (Windows). Then replace the hyphen between the E and P with a non-breaking hyphen, typed as command-option-hyphen (Mac) or ctrl-alt-hyphen (Windows).


2. Select ACME-PRO and format it with the "No Break" character attribute, located in the Control panel menu.

Method number one is preferable, since it is visible, permanent, and it doesn't create a character or paragraph style override.

Either of these solutions could be applied throughout a document quickly with Edit > Find/Change.