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DDP Resources

In our series on how to use the features in Adobe® Acrobat® Pro, today’s blog covers the Interactive Objects panel. You’ll be able to add buttons, audio, video and more using this panel.

We’re attacking this in two parts – the “Add Buttons” feature and then all other features. The other features are so similar, that you’ll find the video covering all of them to be shorter than the “Add Buttons” video. Remember, you can click on the four-corners icon in the bottom right of any video to enlarge it to full screen.

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Part 1 of 2: Adding Buttons

Learn how to add buttons, give them effective actions, change the way they look and respond, edit and duplicate them.

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Part 2 of 2: Adding Video, Sound, SWF and 3D Objects
Learn how to add video and sound to your PDF files. You’ll follow the same pattern to add SWF and 3D objects.

Enjoy! I hope your interactive PDF files are incredibly effective!

Learn more about Brainstorming, Unleashing Your Creativity to Think Outside the Box here or purchase your copy here.

Start learning on Udemy today!. Udemy.com is an online training resource with courses offered in everything from Adobe products to beer making. You’ll find Microsoft courses and yoga instruction. You can learn a foreign language or learn how to build an internet marketing business. According to their website two million students from more than 190 countries are taking online courses at Udemy. Just yesterday we reached an agreement with Udemy.com to offer our clients 60% off the price of most courses purchased by March 24, 2014. Use coupon code THANKS317 when ordering. Click here to check out their product offerings. You’ll find courses in all price ranges. And at 60% off some of them are a steal! We purchased a $200 web development course that will cost us less than $80! In the past we’ve strongly endorsed Lynda.com for training. We still love them. Udemy.com is different enough to have them in your training arsenal as well. Their range of topics is much greater than what is available at Lynda.com, and Udemy.com gives you lifetime access to any course you purchase from them. Lynda.com allows you access only for as long as you keep your subscription active. (You can read more about Lynda.com here.) Another significant difference to note is that with Lynda.com you can be sure that the courses have been developed by professionals in their field. All their courses are quality courses. Udemy.com allows a wider range of instructors, so be sure to read the course descriptions and reviews before purchasing. But for the coming week, remember that you can get 60% off – so that course you’re considering at $99 might be a whole lot more attractive at 60% off – less than $40. So check out Udemy.com today and add the courses you want to improve your business skills or start a new hobby to your library.

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.

Yes, You Can Have Your Book Published!
DDP Helps First-Time Authors through the Publishing Jungle

A lot of people have an idea for a book that they’d like to have published. It could be about their business or technical knowledge, a hobby, the history of a family or organization, or a work of fiction. Some authors want to sell their book to make money, while others plan to give it away as a gift or business promotion.

Regardless of the subject matter, one thing remains a constant — the prospective author gets lost in the jungle of the publishing process. Our flowchart provides an overview of the process. You can download a more detailed flowchart here. The detailed flowchart identifies tasks associated with each of the boxes in the flowchart below. It is color-coded to identify which of those tasks are typically completed by the author and which are completed by Data Designs Publishing.

Book Publishing Roadmap Overview

Yes, the publishing world feels like a jungle to first time authors. No worries, mate! We’ve gone ahead with our machete and cleared a path for you. Sure, you may still have some hard trekking to do, but we can help, and at a price that may pleasantly surprise you.

Here’s how to get started:

Step #1 – Believing You Can Do It!
The most daunting task for new authors is taking that first step – believing that they can write a book and get it published. Publishing gets easier by the day, but knowing the ropes hasn’t changed a lot – you’ll benefit from partnering with someone who has gone before you.

Step #2 – Writing Your Manuscript.
The second hardest task is preparing your manuscript – that is, writing your book. Again, we can help make your job easier. We recognize that writing comes more naturally to some people than others. We also know the pitfalls that trip new writers up. So we can help you organize your jumbled thoughts, provide innovative ideas for getting your words on paper, and we can even help with the writing itself if you’d like.

Step #3 – Everything Else!
Having a finished manuscript is just the start. But unless you start, you’ll never get to all the other steps. Data Designs Publishing can help you with all the other steps. We can create the layout for your book, work with you to design a cover, arrange to have your book printed, convert it to an ebook that you can sell on Amazon, and more. We’ve done it before and we’ve created a roadmap of the entire process, which you can download here.

Front Cover of My PoemsOur Specialty
By the way, our specialty is helping first-time authors get published. We recently helped a first-time author through the jungle, publishing My Poems by Cindy Hay with photography by Terry Caudill. We helped Cindy with proofreading, image editing, layout, cover design, printing, and distribution. She now has many copies for sale and for gifts, and it’s available for purchase on Amazon.com. If you are a poetry lover, check out her book, My Poems. It is the first published collection of Cindy’s writings. It expresses vulnerability, joy and pain as she responds to life. All proceeds go to benefit Ekklesia Revived Prayer Center in Norwalk, OH. Copies may be purchased here.

What we did for Cindy, we can do for you. Give us a call at 419-660-0500 to discuss finding your path through the publishing jungle. With the right guide it’s easier than you think.

We’ve launched our first online training course – a 6-week webinar course on Adobe InDesign CS5. To introduce the course, we conducted a free webinar that was jam-packed full of tips and best practices while we taught how to create a single-page brochure. Click here to view a recording of the webinar. Among other things, you’ll learn about paragraph and character styles, text and image frames, the Selection and Direct Selection tools, how to flow text manually and automatically, how to align and distribute objects…and a whole lot more.

Click here to view a recording of the webinar. Click here for info about our 6-week course. Adobe Indesign Basics & Beyond Click here to register for the 6-week course*.

* This link will register you for the first of six videos; you will be registered to receive the remaining five videos automatically. Register today – the course begins on June 29. All webinars will be recorded and posted so that you can watch at your convenience and view them as many times as you. We will invoice you for the entire course when you register.

Give us a call if you have any questions.

 

We are strong advocates of keyboard commands. Studies consistently show that using keyboard commands is more efficient than selecting  menus and options with a mouse. Learning keyboard commands can take some practice. Welcome, TIPCards. We’re creating a series of TIPCards that will help you find the keyboard command you need for basic functions. The following TIPCards are currently available:

  • Special Characters – providing keyboard commands for things like registered trademarks, copyright symbol, the diameter symbol, typographical quotes and other commonly used special characters. These keyboard commands can be used in most Windows programs.
  • InDesign Navigation – keyboard commands that help you move from one open document to the next, from page to page, and around the current page. On its flip side, the TIPCard identifies common keyboard commands related to viewing the document – changing magnification and toggling guides and special characters on and off.
  • Excel Tips for Beginners – provides basic navigation keyboard shortcuts and commonly used cell editing commands.

Why TIPCards?
Because they make life so easy. Even though we use special characters in InDesign and Excel every day, there are some common commands that we don’t use often. Then we find ourselves in the middle of a project that would benefit from repeated use of some of the commands. It’s
so much easier to pull the TIPCard out of a top drawer and check a command than hunt through program menus or help screens to find what we’re looking for.

TIPCards are available for free download from our DDP Resources/TIPCards page.

Is there a program you’d like a TIPCard for? Or perhaps a series of related commands that it’d be helpful to have at your fingertips. Let us know. Add a comment below or email us at Tips-Tricks@DataDesignsPublishing.com. We’ll add your request to our production list for future TIPCards.

Check mark.
There are specific things to keep in mind when reading a proof that will help reduce pre-press expenses. Following are some of the key things to consider and look for when proofreading a draft. We’ve formatted this into a checklist that can be printed and used as a checklist.

Click here to download the checklist.

General Items

  • Take your time — you may or may not be on schedule with the job, but don’t let a deadline make you careless. 99% of the time the better choice is to miss a deadline and have a more accurate document.
  • Decide in advance that a good proofreading of the document will take more than one review through it. As a minimum you’ll want two passes through the document – one to check content and one to check layout. If the document is complex in layout or content, three or four reviews may be appropriate.
  • Make a list — better yet, make two lists – one for content and one for layout. Depending on how long each list is, you may decide that more than two reviews are needed. You can only check so many items on a page at one time before you begin to miss things.

Content Items

  • Check the writing for consistency in style and verb tense.
  • Check technical data for correctness (was the source document correct?) and accuracy (does the desktop published data match the source document?).
  • Check for commonly misspelled words, especially those that might be common to your industry, those that may be one word or two words, and hyphenated words. (At the very least be consistent in your usage of the words.) We’ve often seen these words used incorrectly: multipurpose, flowchart, adapter
  • Check the content of figures – they are often overlooked.
  • Check figure and table numbers if used. Check both the actual numbers for numerical sequence, and check their references within the document.
  • Check for correct copyright and trademark usage

Layout Items

  • Check text styles — are all styles for headlines, subheads, body copy, etc. consistently applied?
  • Check for layout issues in the text — watch for things like:
  • Misaligned tabbed information
  • Extra spaces between words or sentences – there should only be one space after a period that marks the end of a sentence and typically there are no spaces when periods are used in acronyms (although typically periods are not used in acronyms)
  • Use of quote marks (“ ”) instead of inch marks (“) – 1/2” is just wrong; it should be 1/2”
  • Inappropriate line breaks
  • Bad column or page breaks
  • Check that right and left pages are correctly appearing as right and left pages if appropriate.
  • Check line weights and styles for consistent usage.
  • Check the use of colors if appropriate.
Click here to download the Proofreading Checklist PDF.

Publishing Roadmap Overview
Writing and publishing a book is not the undecipherable mystery many people think it is. Yes, it is a process – one that we found much simplified after we flowcharted it. We’re providing that flowchart, or “roadmap” as we call it, as a resource to budding authors. You can download it below. You can also find it in the DDP Resources section of our website.

The graphic at the right shows an overflow of the process – the downloadable PDF greatly expands on it.

We find the roadmap to be an incredibly useful tool for explaining the publishing process to first-time authors as well as tracking our progress when publishing a new book.

If you’re even thinking about writing a nonfiction book, give us a call. It’s probably less expensive than you think and we can help every step of the way…that means from idea generation to writing to publishing (as an ebook or in print) to marketing.

Click here to download the DDP Book Publishing Roadmap.