Category Archives: Tools

Articles on Peripherals and Software

Understanding Photoshop Smart Objects & Layers

A long overdue tool in Photoshop is Smart Objects. Smart Objects function a lot like groups in that they let you combine multiple layers and help you stay organized in your document. The biggest advantage to Smart Objects is that pixel data AND vector shapes you store in a Smart Object are perfectly preserved letting you resize and manipulate without affecting the original image data. This is incredibly handy for Photoshop pieces where you have photos that you are constantly resizing up and down to fit. It also means that you can embed complex vector assets directly from Illustrator.

Quark for InDesign Users, Part 2

QuarkXpress and Adobe InDesign are the two main layout programs used in the graphic design industry. Quark was the leader–and almost the only game in town–until about 2002 when Adobe released InDesign. At that time many Quark users were irritated that their needs were not being address and InDesign really came in at the perfect time. Many Quark users quickly jumped over to InDesign. Adobe was really smart in practically giving in away free if you bought the Creative Suite–basically a bundle of Photoshop, Illustrator and Acrobat–the core programs in any designer’s arsenal.

But Quark is still hanging on and indeed, will probably never go away, so it’s good to at least be comfortable working in both, even if you prefer one over the other. Last time I told you about the Tools palette in Quark, and also pointed out some helpful shortcuts you can use. It’s important to know the differences between Quark and InDesign in terms of working with images.

Quark for InDesign Users

Recently I had to take over a huge project that was done in QuarkXpress. Not my forte if any of you have noticed! I’m an InDesign girl through and through. In fact, up until this project, I hadn’t worked in Quark very much at all.

It was a learning opportunity—something that I’ve come to enjoy—even if it was full of frustration and aggravation about the differences between the two layout programs.

I thought I’d put together a little collection of my observations about the basic differences between working in Quark vs. working in InDesign. Hopefully it will help those of you who are transferring from one program to the other.

InDesign Project — Bleed and Layering Master Pages

I thought I had finished my last InDesign Project installation and then I realized I hadn’t walked you through setting up bleed or talked to you about the different screen/view modes. Tracey had also asked if I would further expand on the idea of layering master pages. Sorry this is a little out of the normal flow of a project!

InDesign Project — Lists, Tabs and Final Details

To date in the InDesign Project series we have looked at Grids, Guides and Baselines, Setting Up Master Pages and Styles and Working with Text and Images. Now it’s time to take a deeper look at formatting text by using tabs and bulleted lists and number lists. We will also discuss checking the file before exporting it to PDF to send to the printer.

InDesign Project — Working with Text and Images

I should’ve said something about shortcuts at the very beginning of this series. Shortcuts are so invaluable to me and once you get used to them, they will speed up your workflow quite a bit. I’m not going to publish all the InDesign shortcuts I use because I’ve already done that!

Now comes the fun part! All the setup details are out of the way and it’s time to start compiling everything and watch the final document take shape.

In this step of the InDesign Project, we’ll talk about placing and working with images and text.

InDesign Project — Setting Up Master Pages and Styles

Last time I showed you how I set up my files with Grids, Guides and Baselines. Now let’s continue down the road of good file prep practices and look at the Master Pages and text styles. These are all very important steps! Don’t skip them for the sake of saving time at the beginning. You’ll regret it later when you have a messy file and you’ll probably be embarrassed to pass it on to another designer.

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