Thursday, May 30, 2013

New Kuler Web site and App

Adobe recently updated their Kuler Web site, and have released a Kuler App for the iPhone. I've written about Kuler previously here. Kuler is "a cloud-based application for making color themes using an iPhone or your browser."

Most notably, the Kuler Web site uses standards-based responsive design, so it works beautifully on any browser on any device. 




The Kuler app for iOS makes it super-simple to create color themes using the phone's camera. You don't even need to take a photo. Just point the camera at a scene that inspires you, and Kuler attempts to capture a color scheme from the scene.


Also, Kuler finally supports CMYK colors, in addition to RGB, HEX, LAB, and HSB!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Dropbox file versioning and recovery

One of the best, but most overlooked, Dropbox features is the ability to easily retrieve previous versions of a file, or even deleted files.

In the long dark years before Dropbox, my folders often looked like the screen shot below when working on an important project. The folder is full of what I call "paranoia saves". I would leave behind a trail of sequential versions of my files in case they became corrupt, or in case I changed my mind and wanted to revert, or "roll back" to a previous version. But no more! Now I let Dropbox take care of all this "versioning" for me, automatically!


Here I've made a folder in my Dropbox folder named "reports". It contains a report I've been working on for a couple of days. Notice that it contains only a couple of files...not multiple versions.


If I right-click on the "2012 Report to members" file and choose View Previous Versions from the context menu, you will see the file and all previous versions listed on the Dropbox Web site. Each time that you save your file, the file gets synced to Dropbox and an archive of the previous version is created.





There are two very different ways to restore a version on the Dropbox Web site:

1. If you click on the blue version number, the file will be immediately downloaded to your browser's downloaded files location. In this case, the file does not replace the original file.

2. If you click the radio button next to a file, and then click the Restore button, the file is restored to its original location, replacing the latest version of the file. So be careful with this!

But what if you've deleted a file from your computer? If the file was originally in your Dropbox folder, no problem! Just use the Dropbox menu item at the top of your screen (or in the bottom right of your screen if you are on a Windows computer), to access your files on the web site.




Navigate to the folder where the file you deleted was, and then click the "Show Deleted Files" icon at the top of the screen.


This will reveal any files that have been deleted within the last 30 days in this folder. Deleted files display in light gray type. When you find the file you want, you can either right-click on the file and choose Restore, or even click on the filename to reveal the previous versions of the deleted file!


Dropbox keeps deleted files and previous versions of files for 30 days. If you wish to retain files longer, you can purchase the "Packrat" option from Dropbox. This will save deleted and previous versions of files indefinitely. Packrat is included with Dropbox for Business accounts, and available for a fee with Dropbox Pro accounts.

Of course, your Dropbox storage isn't unlimited, so you may be concerned that all these deleted files and old versions of files take up space in your Dropbox account. Remarkably, they don't! Deleted and previous versions of files don't count against your storage quota.

Armed with the knowledge that you can retrieve previous versions of your saved files, and even restore deleted files using the Dropbox version history and file recovery features, you should now be able to simplify your workflow and sleep well at night, knowing that the files in your Dropbox folder are secure.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

InDesign User Group Meeting May 29!

Finally, after a long winter break, I've scheduled another meeting of the Twin Cities InDesign User Group. Please join us on 5/29/2013 to learn more about Creative Cloud, and learn some InDesign tips!

You can learn more about the meeting topics, and register to attend HERE.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Photoshop workshop this Thursday!

This Thursday, May 16, from 2:00 - 5:00 pm in downtown Minneapolis I'll be presenting a "Photoshop Techniques for Architectural Photography" workshop. In the workshop, which is open to the public, I'll share Adobe Photoshop tips and techniques that are particularly helpful for editing and enhancing architectural photography. Techniques will be shown using Photoshop CS6 Extended, but many of the techniques will apply to earlier versions of Photoshop also.

Topics will include:

  • How to swap the sky in one photo with the sky in another, how to create artificial sky, and how to change the color of the sky.
  • How to easily remove unwanted objects such as date stamps, power lines, trash cans, exit signs, and security cameras.
  • Easy techniques for color and tone correction.
  • How to adjust for the distortion introduced by wide angle lenses.
  • How to stitch multiple images together to create a larger image
  • How to bring out details lost in the shadows.
  • Two fantastic techniques to help you batch process multiple images at once.
  • How and why you might want to paste from InDesign to Photoshop
  • Why and when you should use Smart Objects.
  • Advanced cropping techniques

...and much more!

You can register for the workshop here.

Monday, May 06, 2013

News from Adobe MAX day 1

I'm at the Adobe MAX conference this week. At the keynote session this morning, Adobe made a LOT of announcements. If you are interested in Adobe's vision of the future of graphic design (and you should be) watch the recording of the keynote here.

I'll no doubt be writing much more about this here in weeks to come. But here are a few hightlights of particular note to readers of this blog:

CS6 is the final version of Creative Suite

Future versions of InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop and other programs will be named InDesign CC, Illustrator CC, Photoshop CC, etc. The only way to stay up to date with these programs will be via a Creative Cloud membership. Many of the Creative Cloud revisions will be rolled out in June.

Previous versions

When CC versions of programs are released, CS6 versions will also remain available for download as part of your Creative Cloud subscription.

Fireworks is dead

Adobe has ceased further development of Fireworks. They will continue to sell Fireworks CS6, and it will remain downloadable for Creative Cloud members.

InCopy is part of Creative Cloud

At long last, InCopy, the editorial version of InDesign, will be part of your Creative Cloud subscription.

Typekit fonts for the desktop

Typekit, Adobe's platform for serving fonts to Web sites, is being extended to make many of the Typekit fonts available for desktop use in InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop. With a technology called "Sync fonts" you can locate a Typekit font, sync it to your system, and it will be available immediately for use.

Upgrade for CS6 users

There will likely be a variety of upgrade paths and offers to Creative Cloud, but a $19.95/month "first year" price for owners of CS6 was announced.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Watch for Adobe news next week!

Adobe has posted a web page where you can sign up to watch the keynote sessions from Adobe MAX online. The teaser headline says "See what's coming next." If you are interested in what Adobe might be announcing, you should check out these sessions.

Adobe has also posted a YouTube video that is a sneak peak of the "next version" of InDesign. Check it out.