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Monthly Archives: June 2013

Data Designs Publishing turns 25!July 1 officially marks Data Designs Publishing’s 25th anniversary!

Yes, we started desktop publishing when the industry was still in its infancy…

1985 – Aldus Corporation released PageMaker on the Macintosh. It used Adobe’s PostScript page description language. (Aldus and Adobe merged in 1994.)

1986 – Aldus released PageMaker for the PC.

1986 – Ventura Publisher released. It later became Xerox Ventura Publisher and then Corel Ventura.

1987 – Quark released QuarkXPress.

1987 – Adobe released Adobe Illustrator.

1988 – Data Designs entered the desktop publishing world. We, of course, were the only major desktop publishing milestone in 1988 – at least the most significant one! We opened our doors with a state of the art PostScript laser printer, two powerful (by 1988 standards) PCs, and a couple of copies of Ventura Publisher software. We had a couple of years of desktop publishing experience under our belt working for a non-profit organization in Chicago before we decided to make it our full-time career.

Since we stepped into the industry we’ve seen the introduction of CorelDRAW (1989), Adobe Photoshop (1990), FreeHand (1990), Acrobat and the PDF file format (1993) and Adobe InDesign (1999).

We’ve been using the major desktop publishing programs since their infancy. We started using:

  • Ventura Publisher when it was version 2.0 – it came on twenty-one 360K floppy drives, installing a program that was mind-boggling 4.49MB.
  • Aldus PageMaker when it was version 3.1. (We went to it reluctantly, believing it to be a downgrade from Ventura.)
  • CorelDRAW, Photoshop, Acrobat and InDesign when each was version 1.0.

There were other programs along the way, and tremendous changes in the industry. Of course the greatest changes are being made today with cloud and mobile computing.

Over the 25 years we’ve operated out of four home offices and enjoyed working with many employees, but two require special recognition:

Donna Smeal served as our office manager for 13 years. Our move to Norwalk in 2005 made it too long of a commute for her to continue with us. Besides, she had a growing cruise travel business that has since blossomed. If you ever – ever – want (or need) to take a cruise, she’s the best agent you’ll ever find. Check out her website here. (For those of you who have never cruised, we find it to be the most relaxing, most affordable, and most fun vacation available. Unpack once and let the ship take you to exotic locations while lavishing you with great food and entertaining you with shows, dancing, games, and relaxing deck chairs.)

Charlotte Tuttle holds the employee longevity record, having been with us for 14 years. She has served us and our clients invaluably as a desktop publisher and account manager during that time. We are so very thankful for her talent, friendship, and faithful service. Whenever Donna sends us on a cruise (which isn’t nearly often enough), you’re likely to be speaking to Charlotte while we’re gone. She is abundantly capable of handling everything in our absence.

What will the next 25 years bring? Changes happen so quickly in the publishing industry that I doubt anyone has a clue. For now, we’re celebrating the previous quarter century.

Happy 25th anniversary, Data Designs Publishing!

Watch for our our e-newsletter, The Alpha Channel, for a special rate in July in honor of our 25th anniversary.

We are HUGE fans of keyboard shortcuts. Studies have proven again and again that you save a ton of time when you type commands from your keyboard instead of moving your hand to your mouse then moving the mouse pointer to the proper place on your screen to implement a command.

Of course you only save time if you know the keyboard shortcut. Otherwise you’re losing time while your brain searches it’s various nooks and crannies to find the illusive info.  I hate it when my brain heads into nooks and crannies! Much time is lost there. So, here’s our tips for learning keyboard commands:

  • Only learn the ones you use most commonly. The most common keyboard shortcuts are consistent across most Windows programs. Start with those.
  • Use alliterative mnemonics to help remember commands whose keyboard shortcut begins with the same letter as the command.  For example, Ctrl+P is the keyboard command for “Print” and Ctrl+S is the keyboard command for “Save.” Remember, “P” stands for “Print.”
  • Use associations to learn similar commands. For example:

Paste: Ctrl+V
Paste Into: Ctrl+Alt+V
Paste in Place: Shift+Ctrl+Alt+V
Paste without Formatting: Shift+Ctrl+V

  • When neither of the above exist, create your own phrase that foolishly reminds you of a shortcut. Back in our first year of business – which, by the way would be 25 years ago next month – we were reading a software manual (yes, we did that in those days) and came across the sentence: “Remember: Control-J stands for help!” It struck us as so foolish we still remember it (and we remember that it was in the seminal word processor, WordStar). So create your own phrase to remember shortcuts that have no alliterative mnemonic or association to help hang onto. One I’ve created is a bit cumbersome but it has helped me learn a keyboard shortcut that I use all the time. The keyboard shortcut to toggle typographical quotes is Ctrl+Alt+Shift+’. That’s quite a shortcut! I toggle typographical quotes many times a day, sometimes many times in an hour and I struggled to learn this command, so I’ve created this foolish memory aid: “To toggle my quotes, I’ll need to lose control and alter my shifts.” Foolish, meaningless, but I was able to remember it. Remembering it leads to using it which leads to auto-pilot, finger-memory desktop publishing.

So how do you learn what the commands are?

Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts

Click on Keyboard Shortcuts from the Edit menu and you’ll get a screen that looks like this:

Keyboard Shortcuts

The drop down menu from the Product Area mirrors the menus at the top of the InDesign screen, so you can find keyboard shortcuts associated with each menu item. The lower part of the screen shows the keyboard command associated with the menu command. This image shows that Export is accomplished with the keyboard command Ctrl + E.

Download the List

See the “Show Set…” button in the above image? When you click on it, it will open a complete list of the keyboard shortcuts in *.txt file in Notepad. That file looks like this:

A List of Keyboard Shortcuts

It’s not pretty, but it can be quite helpful. It identifies all the commands available through the top menu row of InDesign and provides the shortcut associated with the command (if there is one). You can search through the document (using the FIND command in Notepad) for specific InDesign commands, or save the file to Word or Excel and make it more useful. Once in Word or Excel you can sort the data in a way that is meaningful to you.

Yes, it takes a little work to learn the shortcuts, but learning them will save you lots of time in when working on that hot deadline project. Don’t forget to download our TIPCards with the most commonly used keyboard shortcuts.

While writing a post about Adobe Indesign keyboard shortcuts, it occurred to us that a second InDesign TIPCard would be in order. Our newest TIPCard provides shortcuts for file opening, saving, and document setup as well as general editing shortcuts.

Click below to download a TIPCard that puts these shortcuts at your fingerTIPs.

InDesign Keyboard Shortcuts TIPCard

Watch for tomorrow’s blog with tips for learning and using InDesign keyboard shortcuts.