Thursday, 31 May 2012

New bits in CS6 part four: Primary Text Frames

As mentioned previously, the Master Text Frame check box in the new document dialogue window has been renamed. Its now called Primary Text Frame. Is it just a name change? How does it differ? What does it do? All these questions and no more will be answered in this quick look at this new CS6 feature.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

New bits in CS6 part three: Liquid layouts

Liquid Layouts and Alternate Layouts are two sides of the same double sided print. As mentioned previously you use the Liquid Layout Rules when creating Alternate Layouts. These govern how objects on a page will react as you apply new page sizes. The main difference with Liquid Layouts is that you can perform these on the fly using the improved Page Tool. The options available are essentially the same so it should be a doddle!

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Say it with styles part one: Character Styles

There are a few things that can highlight the difference between a novice InDesign user and a experienced one. Near the top, if not the very top, of my personal list is the understanding and proper use of Styles. Once you know a bit about Styles and all they entail your workflows will have the opportunity to be greatly enhanced. Then when you start using Next, Nested and GREP Styles you will wonder why, or even how, you ever worked without them. But before all of that we need to begin at the beginning.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

New bits in CS6 part two: Alternate layouts

InDesign CS6 is all about the repurposing of stuff. So much so that pretty much anywhere you look that word, repurposing, keeps popping up. Most of the of the new features introduced in CS6 are designed to work together to make this repurposing easier. With that in mind it's difficult to treat them individually. But I am going to try anyway! First up is Alternate Layouts.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Fun with tables

I quite like pixel art. In fact I like it a lot! Not so much the more modern stuff. Don't get me wrong that is incredibly impressive. I wouldn't know where to begin to paint a picture in that style. My preferred pixel art style is flat and mostly stuff from old video games. With not an excessively large amount of pixels on offer, the detail the great pixel painters can create is amazing. Which rather nicely brings me to Tables.

Friday, 11 May 2012

New bits in CS6 part one

InDesign CS6 has arrived! The trial can be downloaded from here so there is no reason not to roll up your sleeves and have a good dig around to see what's new. This is not a comprehensive guide to whats what in this jazzy new edition of everyone's favourite piece of software. In fact its a very very quick look at a couple of things I noticed straight off the bat. So with expectations suitably muted lets step inside…

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Farewell drinks (Off topic)

It's time to say goodbye to a trusted and useful piece of equipment. No, not my customised Amiga 1200. I am not crazy. It's my humble 2008 13" Macbook. It has served me well over these past years. Although to be honest I always hated the white plastic finish.

Monday, 7 May 2012

We are all story editors now

To most people I would imagine the Story Editor looks a bit pointless. For one thing, it is presented in the plainest of plain text. That's just ugly. The Story Editor, as it's name implies, is concerned with content and not fancy formatting. As shown in my previous post on Conditional Text, it can also enable the easy selection of anchored objects. But there is more, including seeing styled content at a glance, tracking changes to documents, easily viewing or adding xml tags and having footnotes appear next to their references. There are plenty of reasons to edit within the Story Editor. So, forget formatting for a moment, take a deep breath and climb onboard the Story Editor express.

Monday, 30 April 2012

A new purchase

I have long been a fan of scripting, if it can be scripted and can shave nano seconds off a job, I am there. I would rather spend an hour writing a script to perform repetitive tasks than actually do them. AppleScript is usually my bag. It was the first scripting language I had a go at and I found it really easy to pick up. More recently though I have been eyeing JavaScript from across the room. After a couple of half cocked attempts scratching around the surface I still find myself resorting back to AppleScript when actual working, finished scripts are required. It's always far easier to stick with what you know!

Sunday, 29 April 2012

The joy of (conditional) text

The other day I made a ham fisted attempt, with words and my mouth, to explain the workings of Conditional Text. I have a sneaky suspicion the person I was explaining it to was just being polite as I persisted to mumble and bumble my way through a terrible demonstration. In light of that moment, I am having another crack at it here, with these words and my fingers.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Quick keyboard shortcuts

Can you handle the excitement?
The Application Bar, I keep it at the top of the screen. I spend a lot time going up there. Whether its to change a font size, move a frame or just flick through the multitude of options on a rainy day. The Application Bar, it's the place to be. But rather than mouse up to it every time, the quickest way there from anywhere in the document is to use command/ctrl+6. This shortcut drops you neatly into the first available field or button, depending on what is selected on the document. But wait! Hands off that mouse! There is more, here are a couple of useful things to know whilst you are at the bar.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Smooth Flows

When it comes to overset text, most InDesign users are probably aware of how to manually thread text frames together in order to flow text. But there is also a simple way to flow text and automatically add as many pages as necessary. This rather excellent feature goes by the name of Smart Text Reflow.