Archive for the ‘InDesign’ Category

Charts & InDesign

June 17, 2010

Do you like fancy charts & graphs in your InDesign publications? The options used to be pretty limited, with cutting & pasting from Excel being the easiest. It was just too bad that they were so low quality that printing them commercially was a disaster.

Then Adobe added the option into Illustrator. You could, at first, manually create them and then Adobe added the Graph tool. I’ve always found it to be somewhat limited but then that may just be me.

So what’s my point? Well the folks over at InDesign Secrets blog pointed out that there is an add-in script available for InDesign for creating charts & graphs. It may be worth checking out.

Do You Design?

February 24, 2010

Today Macworld.com had a nice article on their top 5 design sites. While not all of us do our own designing it’s still not a bad idea to be up on design in general. By doing so you put yourself in a better position to discuss your design or piece with a graphic designer if you are using one.

They’re all good sites, some of which I already use. It made me review where I go when I want design tips. So in addition to those, I subscribe to these:

I’m sure they are plenty of others I use, none come to mind right off the bat. I highly recommend searching for your own and keeping up to date.

Is Your File Corrupt

February 4, 2010

I was helping a co-worker the other day with a Word document. She was experiencing all sorts of problems. It would look just fine on the screen but when she went to print it, all of the text on one line would be condensed into a tiny little square. This would happen throughout the document in random places. It would also do it if she converted it to a PDF.

Sounded like corruption to me. Unfortunately there is no “sure” way to test for this. You have to start over. And by that I really do mean START OVER. Do not copy one little character from that file into a new file or you could copy the corruption. Yuck!

So how does this happen and what can you do to minimize your risk? Files can become corrupt for a variety of reasons but one of the most common is because of how we do our work. Here’s what I mean:

I need to create a letter. I already have a old letter document that I want to use ‘most’ of the text from.

  • So I open it
  • go Save As
  • give it a new name
  • delete a bunch of text that I don’t need
  • type in new text that I want to replace the old text with
  • done

One the surface this doesn’t seem so bad. It’s a real time saver and I don’t have to re-type a bunch on information that I already have in an older document. Right?

Here’s the problem. The more times you go through the steps above, the move likely that your end document will start to get sloppy. What I mean by this is that “pieces” of computer code can get left behind when you delete and replace existing text with new text. That can cause corruption.

How many times has that document been copied? Your letter may be a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy …

That’s a lot of copies!

The better way is to create your base document and save it as a template. This format minimizes your risk of corruption as long as you use the template each time, not a previously saved copy of the document.

By using a template, you’re starting out with a relatively clean copy; reducing the risk of corruption. This applies to ALL file formats.