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Adding new headers and footers to existing PDF files is just a few clicks away from becoming reality using Acrobat® Pro. This video shows you how.

Wondering what the difference between Acrobat Reader and Acrobat Pro? The video gives a short explanation to help avoid confusion.

Resources:
We LOVE the video speed-up program MySpeed™ by Enounce. You can download a free trial here. Read our review of it here.
Want to purchase Acrobat Pro? Click here.
Interested in purchasing a Creative Cloud membership? Click here.

There are four types of guides in InDesign:

  • Margin guides (which aren’t really referred to as guides in Adobe literature, but they look a whole lot like things that are called guides, so I’m including them in this list)
  • Column guides
  • Smart guides (which I often find to be more annoying than smart, but they do come in handy sometimes)
  • Guides (also called layout guides, ruler guides or ruling guides)

In the following video, I show you how to create and change the settings for column guides, smart guides and layout guides.


My Speed Video Speed Adjuster

MySpeed™ by Enounce allows you to speed up (and slow down) videos as you watch them. “Speedreading for videos” is how Enounce describes it on their website. I’d say it’s a whole lot easier than speedreading.

We watch a good number of training videos here at Data Designs. I love this utility.

  • The average reader processes 200 to 250 words per minute.
  • The speed of most speech is only 100 to 125 words per minute.
  • MySpeed keeps me from becoming impatient and giving up on the video before they get to the part I really need to learn.
  • MySpeed saves me time while I’m spending time on training. That’s a good thing.

Speeding up videos occurs without any loss of audio quality – that means you avoid the Alvin syndrome – and it’s as easy as clicking a slider. You can increase the speed of videos up to 5 times faster or decrease them up to 3 times slower than their normal speed. You can alter the speed of online videos (including YouTube) or offline videos (with their Premium version only).

Best news: They offer a free trial. Give it a try here.

Our Experience
Most of the videos we watch are short, so we don’t save a lot of time on each video, but it all adds up. Since most of the videos we watch are training and how-to videos, there’s a good portion of the them that we don’t want to speed up because they’re doing demonstrations or we’re taking notes (in fact, sometimes we’ll slow them down at those times), but there are always other places where either we know the material or we’re not interested in that portion of the video.

Watching these types of videos, I did a few timed trials. I reduced a series of videos totaling 16 minutes, 40 seconds by two minutes. That may not seem like a lot, but it translates to saving 7 minutes for every hour of video you watch. That’s nearly a 12% time savings. And I got these results on videos by David Blatner, an InDesign Expert who could easy be described as a fast talker. I only increased the speed to between 1.1 and 1.3 times for this test. I’m looking forward to using MySpeed on videos in which the speakers talk much more slowly.

I did that once – just the other day I was watching a Toodledo tutorial. (I blogged about Toodledo here.) In this video I varied the speed between 1.0 (normal speed) and 2.0.

#UnintendedConsequences
Apparently I finished that Toodledo video at 1.5. The next morning, I turned on Pandora as I often do. The first few songs seemed a little fast, but it was background music and I didn’t fully process what was happening. Then an oldies fave came on – “Saturday in the Park” by Chicago – and I knew something was definitely wrong. MySpeed was speeding up my Pandora tunes! (Fortunately, a click put it back to normal speed.)

Download a free trial of MySpeed here.

And you gotta love the company tagline:
Enounce website

Calendar for 2014
 
 
Need to create a calendar for 2014? Check out Sandee Cohen’s blog on InDesignSecrets.com. She’s written about scripts and templates for creating 2014 Calendars that are available InDesign. Sure, there are lots of calendar programs that will print out a calendar for you, but that calendar will undoubtedly lack design and you may not be able to print it in the format you’re looking for. Find a script or template that will meet your needs in Sandee’s blog.

Why reinvent the wheel when someone else has already done the heavy lifting?

One of the most critical areas of document creation and management is version control. Even when only one person is working on a document, it can be easy to lose control. Without a system in place that is used consistently, you will experience unnecessary and annoying mistakes. When more than one person is working on a document, the potential for errors multiplies exponentially.

What is version control? Version control is managing the document and all its pieces and parts so that changes are always made to the most current file. When version control is lost, changes are made to an old version of a document, causing all changes that occurred in the interim to be lost or wasted. It’s difficult for errors like this to be found because when proofing changes to a document, project managers typically only check the changes (which is totally appropriate). It is the desktop publisher’s responsibility to maintain version control of the files in their possession — but that responsibility extends to the client once they have received a draft or copies of the files and make changes to those files without communicating them to the desktop publisher.

There are many legitimate reasons why multiple versions of a document may exist. Here are some of them, and a discussion of good desktop publishing practices:.

The document may have crashed the software while doing a particularly complex task. (Don’t be scared. This happens. It’s nearly always recoverable with little loss of data.)

  • After opening the file that caused the crash, the good desktop publisher will immediately do a “Save-As” to save the file with a different name (or version number). Of course, they may not want to immediately delete the previous file until they have confirmed that the new file hasn’t been corrupted by the crash. For a period of time, multiple versions of the file may exist, but a good desktop publisher will have a file naming system that makes it obvious which file is the most current.

It is sometimes best to work on desktop publishing files on a local drive rather than over a network. This means that copies of files may exist both on a commonly accessed network drive and on a local drive.

  • The good desktop publisher implements practices that are consistently followed to ensure that the most current files are in a specific location. When changes are made to the file on a local drive, the files must immediately be copied to the network drive, updating the master files. Even if it’s the end of the day and the desktop publisher plans to work on the files first thing in the morning. Things happen, priorities change, assignments change and the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.

Provisional changes have been made to a document that the desktop publisher or project manager is not confident will ultimately be kept. In other words, she is just as likely to go back to the previous version as keep the updated version. Hence, both files are kept until a decision is made.

  • The good desktop publisher names the files in such a way as to make it clear what’s happening.
  • For extra security, she puts notes on a non-printable layer in the files that help her understand the file names and serve as a reminder to all who open the file.

Files are maintained in multiple physical locations. This is especially an issue when a project has been completed and files are delivered to the client. Both the desktop publisher and the client now have copies of the final printed document.

  • The good desktop publisher provides copies of all files associated with project to their clients, but maintains an archived file copy.
  • The good project manager knows that if changes are made to the files by the client, he must provide new files to the desktop publisher when additional changes are requested.

Changes are made by the printer after the project manager reviews the printer’s proof.

  • The best policy is to have all changes made by your desktop publisher and have them provide new print files to the printer. Otherwise, changes made by your printer will not be rolled into the desktop publisher’s archived copy of the file or be reflected in the next update to the document.

Changes are requested to printed documents, either for printing an updated version or simply to maintain current information for whenever it is next printed.

  • The good desktop publisher has procedures in place that allow for such changes to be made while backing up the data regularly and keeping track of which version of the file is the most current.

Good desktop publishing procedures provide a methodology that protects users from making changes to an obsolete version of a file. Consistently using those procedures ensures good version control. Good procedures + consistent implementation = quality documents, less confusion, fewer errors, and lower costs.

Many people are seriously interested in moving to Adobe®’s Creative Cloud but have some nagging issues. This purpose of this post is to address those issues. Here are the questions we hear most often:

Does the software run on the Cloud? Do I need Internet access to use the programs?

No. When you purchase a subscription, you download all the software that you want to use to your local computer.You obviously need internet access for this. Your software is then stored and run from your computer. You will also need Internet access to validate your license periodically. If you have an annual subscription, you are required to validate your software license at least every 99 days. If you are a monthly subscriber, you must validate your software every 30 days. Validation is automatic if you start any Creative Cloud program while you have an Internet connection. You’ll never have to do anything.

Am I required to download all the Creative Suite programs? Am I required to download all the programs I want to use when I first subscribe?

No. You can download only the programs you want to use. You can download additional programs at any point during your subscription. This is a great opportunity to play with all the great Adobe stuff that your budget would never allow before.

Am I required to store my files in the Creative Cloud space?

No. While subscription to the Creative Could includes cloud storage, you can (and in our opinion should) maintain your files on your local drive. Use CC storage for collaboration and/or backup — or not at all. The choice is yours.

If I cancel my subscription to the Creative Cloud, do I lose access to my files?

No. If you maintain your files on your local computer, you will have access to all your files. If you maintain your files in the Creative Cloud storage space, you will be downgraded to a free storage membership which includes 2GB of storage.  If you’re using more than 2GB of storage, you will not be able to sync files until the amount of online disk space used in your account drops below 2GB. You have 90 days to reduce your online usage, after which you may lose access to some or all files.

What you do lose if you cancel your subscription is access to the software, so unless you have a traditional CS6 license, you’ll have access to your files, but be unable to use the software that reads them. If you are an occasional user of Adobe programs, you can opt for a month-by-month subscription and cancel it during months when you don’t need it. Anytime your subscription is active you can use your files.

Am I required to install upgrades and new  CC programs as they are released?

No. You choose when and which upgrades or new software to download to your computer and install.

If I have a perpetual license Adobe program, can I have both it and the Creative Suite version installed on the same computer at the same time?

Yes. You can have both installed at the same time. We maintain copies of CS 3, 5, 5.5, and 6 applications on our systems so that we’re able to access old files from our archives or that are provided by clients. We also have the Creative Cloud version installed. If you keep multiple versions of Adobe products on the same computer you just have to be careful to not use Windows’ File Explorer to open you files. It will always want to open the file in the most current version of the software associated with a file type. That means that if you open an InDesign CS5 file by double-clicking on it in File Explorer while you also have a newer version of InDesign on your computer, it will convert the file to the newer file format so that it can open in the newer version. If you wanted it to open in CS5 and stay a CS5 file, you need to open it from within InDesign CS5.

Can I install the Creative Suite programs that I download on multiple computers?

Yes – but only on two computers that are used by the same person. The program may not be used on both computers at the same time. So if you need it on your desktop computer at work and also on your laptop, no problem. And here’s a beautiful thing – you can split your two installations between two different operating systems. In the past, you were required to purchase a PC version of the software or a Mac version. Now you can share a single subscription between both a PC and a Mac. Again, it is limited to a total of two installations and they may not be used at the same time. Check out Adobe’s licensing agreement for more information. (Scroll down the page to the “Adobe Creative Cloud Products” subhead.) Warning: Download the file, don’t view it online. It is a 511-page PDF done in 29 different languages. It seriously freaked out my browser when I viewed it online. No damage was done, but I had to shut down the browser. It caused all my open tabs to convert to various foreign languages.

More questions? Give us a call (419-660-0500) or check out Adobe’s FAQ page.

Remember, Adobe®’s incentive pricing for the Creative Cloud ends August 31. Check out this blog for more info.

Adobe Creative Cloud Just a reminder, folks…

Adobe® has announced that their incentive pricing to join the Creative Cloud ends August 31. This pricing is available to users with previously registered product serial numbers of Creative Suite 3.0 and above and requires a one-year subscription commitment. The incentive pricing represents a significant discount from their standard pricing structure. Standard pricing is $49.99/month; their incentive pricing ranges from $9.99/month to $29.99/month, depending on the option that you choose. See the image at the end of the blog for more pricing details, or click here to go to Adobe’s site.

That may seem pricey to some of you, but consider three things:

  • Annualized, you’ll pay between $120 and $360 at the discounted rate. This approach simply breaks the cost into monthly payments. Yes, when the incentive price expires, the price increases (presumably) to an annualized price of $600. That’s about the same that we’ve been paying for a Creative Suite software upgrade. If you upgraded Creative Suite every other year, it’s a wash. The price may seem a bit hefty, but perhaps not so much when you consider the second point.
  • Logos of Programs Included in Adobe's Creative Cloud SubscriptionWith the exception of the lowest subscription plan, you are gaining access to many, many quality Adobe products. The full Creative Cloud subscription gives you full access to more software than was included in the Creative Suite Master Collection (the biggest conglomeration of Adobe software under the old system), which sold for $2,600 per copy. How many of these logos do you recognize? They’re all included in the CC subscription fee. In case logos aren’t your thing, here’s just some of the programs included in a Creative Cloud standard subscription:
    • InDesign® – desktop publishing
    • Photoshop® and Lightroom® – image manipulation
    • Acrobat® Pro – portable document creation
    • Illustrator® – drawing
    • Dreamweaver® and Muse™ – website development
    • Edge Animate – creates interactive web content
    • Typekit® – website font management
    • Premier® Pro – video production and editing
    • Audition® – audio editing
    • After Effects® – cinematic visual effects and motion graphics
    • Bridge – image management and more
    • And more…click here to learn more about these programs and others included in the CC subscription
  • Programs are updated and enhanced on a regular basis. You will no longer have to wait a year or two to receive the latest updates. As Adobe rolls them out upgrades and new features for each program, they are available to Cloud subscribers. With the pace of changing technology today, this is a great benefit, but if that makes you nervous, you can relax because you choose whether or not to update your copy of the software.

This article doesn’t begin to address other benefits of CC membership, the most prominent of which is cloud storage. Check out Adobe’s site for details.

Adobe’s incentive pricing for individual users is summarized in their graphic below. They also have team subscriptions available. If you have two or more users in your office, check out their team subscription pricing here. Click here to purchase Creative Cloud. Still have some concerns? Check out our blog, Adobe’s Creative Cloud – Addressing Top Concerns About Going to Subscription Service.

Creative Cloud Discount Pricing

Toodledo Task Management
It seems that I am forever looking for a great To-Do List tool. For years I was a dedicated Day-Timer user. Unfortunately their transition from being a paper product to a digital one wasn’t very successful. Enter Franklin Planners. They were good, but still too cumbersome to be fully useful. Digital planning was in its infancy and none of the available products seemed to help. So eventually I gave up on digital organizers and for about the past ten years, I’ve simply used Excel spreadsheets to manage my tasks. Over the past year that’s been overwhelming – not working effectively and taking too much time. Not to mention that no one else could understand my spreadsheets so task delegation wasn’t efficient. This year I set about looking for a new system. I was looking for something that is less than a full-blown project management system (because they tend to be too complicated) but much more than a simple to-do list.

After creating and recreating my to-do lists in several different programs and living with each for about a week, I’ve found one that I’m nearly completely satisfied with. (Are we ever fully satisfied with anything? There’s always tweeks we’d like to make, enhancements we’d like to add…but that’s the tradeoff between simple and complicated or off-the-shelf and custom-built.)

Let me introduce you to my friend Toodledo. Yes, it’s a cutesy little name, but it’s a powerful organizational tool. Toodledo is a web-based solution that you can get on your mobile phone, in your email, on your calendar, integrated directly into your web browser, and more. I’ve found some of the integration a little clunky, but as a desktop/laptop/mobile app it’s doing a great job helping me organize and manage my life.

Toodledo Screen
Entering tasks is simple – click on “Add Task”  and type a short title or description. You can then provide as much (or as little) additional information about it as you’d like. The more info you identify, the more capability you have for sorting and viewing. You can provide only a due date or identify a start and end date. You can set priorities and identify a task as being a repeating task. Tasks can be set to repeat at just about any interval (using preset criteria or identifying your own in plain English) and to repeat from the scheduled due date or from the completion date. I love the latter option. There are things I want to do weekly but they’re not so critical that they must be done on a certain day. So perhaps I have a task that I schedule for Tuesday, but Tuesday gets overcrowded, and then Wednesday falls apart, and it doesn’t get completed until Thursday. Toodledo reschedules it for the following Thursday.

You can assign tasks to folders, contexts, locations and tags. Each of these terms can mean whatever you want it to. We use folders to identify customers and tags to identify the person responsible for the task. If you assign locations, a mapping feature in Toodledo allows you to sort by distance from a specific location, making it easier to be efficient with sales calls or errands. Assigning contexts allows you to identify tasks based on similarity of effort. You can sort and filter by contexts so you can focus on similar efforts and efficiently complete them. Here are just a few of my contexts:

  • Writing – I write for four different blogs, as well as books and training material. When I’m in a writing mode, I want to easily see all the things on my writing to-do list without being distracted by everything else that screams for my attention.
  • Web Effort – It’s not something I do regularly, so it always requires taking my brain to a “website management” place. Once my brain is there, I want to do all the website management tasks at once.
  • Client Support – I want these tasks to stand out prominently and I want to be able to filter out all other tasks when I’m focusing on client effort.
  • Accounting – Like web effort, once I start on accounting, I want to get in the groove and do all of it at once.

You can also identify length of time it takes to complete a task. Have twenty minutes before your next meeting and wondering how to be effective during that time? Sort your tasks by length and you will easily be able to identify what can be accomplished in those twenty minutes. I love this feature.

Additional features include an ability to define and track goals, identify tasks to goals, collaborate with other Toodledo users, import and export tasks, and customize what task information appears on your screen as well as how it displays.

Toodledo has created a helpful and well-done set of videos training users in the basics of the system. They’re available on Toodledo’s YouTube channel.  Each video is less than five minutes, so they can be watched and implemented quickly and easily.

Toodledo is available at four different subscription levels: free, Silver ($14.99/year), Gold ($29.99/year) and Platinum ($9.99/year). I tried the free version for a couple of weeks before upgrading to the Silver version. The silver version allows you add the collaboration feature and allows you to create subtasks. It also allows for customizable alarms and longer retention of history. The Gold and Platinum versions include features I don’t need but are worth the cost if you need them – cloud storage and file attachments are the most significant. We have all the cloud storage we need from other sources and we maintain our files in a very specific manner – adding them as attachments to our to-do list isn’t it.

View panel of Toodledo

 

The power in Toodledo is its ability to view, sort and filter based on any of the fields or task characteristics that you’ve assigned. Toodledo’s flexibility allows you to mold it into whatever type of to-do list or time management app you need it to be. You can re-sort tasks with one click, or use the top menu to sort by multiple criteria. When you add in the filtering and viewing capabilities you can create custom lists that drill down to the level of task management you need at any given time of the day. Be careful, though — it’s easy to get lost in the number of levels of filtering and lose tasks. It takes a bit of practice to learn these features, making them work for you.

Despite my warnings, the real usefulness of Toodledo is in its ease of use and simplicity. Check it out if you’re in the market for an easy but robust task manager.

Save Money on Your Next Project
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We’re often asked by project managers how they can save money on the creation of their catalog, training manual, price list book or other large document. Here’s seven of our top tips. They will go a long way toward saving you money and making sure your document gets completed when you need it.

Whether you are managing the project or doing the production of the document, these seven tips will help keep your budget intact and your frustration level low.

1.  Understand the process

Understanding the desktop publishing process can help you keep your costs low and get your projects completed on time. Desktop publishing is a bit like cooking:

  • In cooking, you gather ingredients from various sources, use a variety of tools, apply some kind of process to the ingredients, heat it up, and “it’ll be done pretty soon.”
  • In desktop publishing, you gather graphics, text and tables; then use scanners, computers and various software programs; put it into production, and “it’ll be done pretty soon.”
  • If you start cooking before you’ve gathered all the ingredients, it generally leads to wasted time, a messy kitchen, and a lower quality meal.
  • Plunging into desktop publishing without first gathering the finished pieces of content means wasted time, an excessive number of drafts, and a final product that may not print properly.
  • Cooking without following a recipe means your results are probably not repeatable.
  • Desktop publishing without following good industry standards means you may not be able to update your document efficiently (or at all) when needed.

2.  Determine the content before you begin desktop publishing

Good organization is the solid foundation of all desktop publishing projects. The bigger the project, the more important that foundation becomes. It’s important that you and/or your desktop publisher manage both the computer files and the project. This begins by having a firm handle on the content of the document, the breakout of sections, and the basic content of each page. Yes, you may experience changes as you get further into development, but the more you identify before desktop publishing begins, the more money you save in revisions.

3.  Determine the look and feel of your document before desktop publishing more than one section of it

Develop sample layouts and select the one that will best present your information to your audience. Then work through a representative section of the document. Review the layout and make changes if desired. After you have a firm layout, then move on to desktop publishing other sections. You’d be surprised how much making a “few simple changes” to the layout can impact costs after a document is completed. Making a few simple changes can mean making them on multiple pages in multiple documents.

Look for the “worst case” – your most troublesome tables, graphics, or whatever – and design around them first. You don’t want a few difficult elements to dictate global design changes after you’ve completed a significant portion of the project.

It is especially important to determine the document size before a project starts. Changing a page size even by a small amount after the project is completed requires going into each file and making adjustments in multiple places. It often requires “reflowing” the contents of the entire document to accommodate the new page size and can introduce a lot of unexpected errors if not proofread meticulously.

4.  Gather all (OK, most of) the pieces before requesting a draft

What do we mean by “gathering the pieces?” Generally, a document is made up of some combination of text, graphics and/or tabular data. Those are the pieces. To begin desktop publishing without all of the pieces is pretty much a waste of time. OK, not necessarily a complete waste of time, but it’s a shot in the dark, and one that promises that your final cost will be higher than if you started desktop publishing with all the pieces in hand. Your desktop publisher can create a great layout, formatting text and leaving room for photos that are to come. Then the photos (always!) come in a different size or shape than anticipated. Guess what! A significant chunk of the work that went into laying out the first draft becomes wasted. And as much as we all like to get paid for our work, a good desktop publisher is going to feel bad when their costs seem inordinately high for the type and size of document produced…even if it’s because it had to be redone from scratch four times!

5.  Provide the desktop publisher with the best information possible before desktop publishing begins

Take time to actually look over the pieces and parts you gather before passing them on to the desktop publisher. You will avoid unnecessary drafts. Nearly every client we work with assumes that their project will require only one draft, with only minor edits before it’s ready to go to print. In reality, nearly every project we’ve done requires at least three drafts (and sometimes as many as eight or ten). The better you review the material before desktop publishing starts, the more “final” your first draft will be. The better you review the first draft, the better the second draft will be…and the less likely a third and subsequent drafts will be required.

6.  Get your committee involved early

If your document is going to be created by more than one person or reviewed by more than one person, get them involved early. It is not unusual for us to provide what we thought was supposed to be a final draft and then hear, “I’d like this to be reviewed by several more people before we go to print.” What you are really saying is, “I’d like to pay you more money because there are people who have never seen this who I want to involve now that all the work is done. These people are going to have totally different ideas about how the information should be organized and presented. They’ll probably even insist that we add some new information or remove others. So put the document on hold for a few weeks and we’ll get back to you with major changes that will require several more drafts.” Really. We get this more often than you’d expect. Involve those people in the process early if you want to stay within your budget.

7.  Assume that no changes are possible after the document goes to the printer

The printer’s proof copy is the first copy of the document printed by your commercial printer. They have prepped the document for commercial printing and before they print your full quantity, they give you a printer’s proof to review to make sure they’ve properly set up the print run. That’s the real purpose of the printer’s proof. The purpose is not to review the document a final time to ensure the content is good. Yes, you can make changes after receiving the printer’s proof copy of your document, but it will generally cost you a lot more money. Print shops generally charge a lot more to make these last-minute changes than your desktop publisher does to create your document. If you choose to send the document back to the desktop publisher (which we recommend for version control, but that’s next week’s blog), you still incur more costs than if you had reviewed the document more closely before it went to the printer.

Have the mindset that the document is finished before it goes to print. This might sound obvious to many, but our experience shows that too many people who have input on the contents of a document (those folks in #6 above) don’t really look at it until they get the printer’s proof copy, so they pay for multiple print set-ups and printer-proofs, in addition to paying for additional desktop publishing to make the changes and provide new files to the printer.

We understand the real world. Things happen that keep you from being able to implement all seven of these tips for saving money on every project that you do. Still, doing as much as you can to implement as many of them as possible will help keep your project within your original budget and and put it on a track for being completed on schedule.

There’s always more than one way to accomplish a task in InDesign. This video blog demonstrates 4 ways to underline text. Sure a simple underline works when that’s all you want, but in this blog you’ll learn the more advanced methods of underlining text or paragraphs. Watch the tutorial by clicking on the video below or use this link to view the tutorial in YouTube.