Rounded Corners

How to Round Corners in InDesign (prior to CS5)

For a contract job with a large local retailer, the Creative Director asked me to come up with ways to make the lives of the art directors a little easier. Part of the new branding requires a colored box with only one rounded corner. Also, the coupons need to have a Japanese dotted stroke with one rounded corner. In CS5 and up, this is no problem. All you need to do is draw a rectangle, select the corner you want to round, hold down the shift key (if you do not hold down the shift key, all the corners will round), then drag toward the center of the rectangle and voila! You now have a rectangle with one rounded corner. It’s not quite so simple in previous versions of InDesign. What do you do if your company hasn’t upgraded its Creative Suite software? Like most Adobe apps, InDesign has more than one way to skin that rounded corner cat! Let’s examine a couple, shall we? Continue reading

InDesign Easter Egg

Alien Easter Egg in InDesign

Friendly alien from InDesign waves to youFor those of you designers who are long in the tooth, you may remember the great Easter Egg in Quark Xpress. If you had a tough day and needed to add some humor to your workflow, you could select an object or text box that you wanted to delete. You pressed the keyboard shortcut Command + Shift + Option + k, (k for “kill”) and out marched a little Martian who would zap your selected item with his ray gun. Poof! Away went the offending text box or object and all was well! Unfortunately, the Martian is no longer with us. The killjoys at Quark XPress took him out. Come to think of it, Quark XPress is almost no longer with us! Coincidence? Who knows.  Continue reading

Google, We Need To Talk

Google Plays the Popularity Game

Google Just finished reading an excellent article by Owen Powis on the site. He basically bemoans how Google, with its new algorithms for determining page rank, has quite frankly gotten a lot of things wrong. In case you’re new to SEO (if you’re really new, that stands for search engine optimization), Google uses a complex set of rules to determine the search results when a user searches for a term. While no one knows the exact set of rules that go into play (Google ain’t sayin’), most SEO experts agree that the right combination of keywords and links plays a significant role. Lately, social media is contributing heavily into the equation. In short, to rank well, you need to be popular! Continue reading

Are You A Troll

Story of a Facebook Group Troll

Troll © Doug Wildman

Troll © Doug Wildman

I was recently invited to join a copywriter’s group on Facebook. Even though I am more a designer than a copywriter, I was honored to be invited. Besides, what better way to make some good relationships with copywriters who may someday need to collaborate with a designer! In case you missed it, I have written before on forming relationships with social media. This is why they call it “social” media. The group turned out to be quite active, and I even joined in a few conversations in which I had an interest. All went well until… Continue reading

How To Make Printer Spreads in Quark XPress

How Do You Convert Facing Pages to Printer Spreads in Quark XPress?

printer spreads screenshot

Printer Spreads in the Pages panel

Admittedly, like most everyone else in the design world these days, I use InDesign. However, since my designing days pre-date InDesign, I am quite familiar with Quark XPress. Back in the day, I knew every keyboard shortcut and could use every tool in the Quark XPress arsenal. When I took my assessment test for Aquent (around the year 2000), my score was off the charts! I credit this knowledge to my time spent at The Charlotte Observer newspaper. Since we had daily deadlines, you needed to be knowledgeable and quick. Ah, but I digress yet again… Continue reading