Search This Blog

Book File Portfolio Eases Proposal and Bid Generation and Provides a Competitive Edge

Book files are useful for many things. For example, a designer (me) who values economy of motion might connect a dozen separate portfolio pieces together via a Book file. The portfolio documents wouldn’t be sequentially numbered and certainly wouldn’t want style synchronization. However, instead of opening and printing each of the 12 documents individually, documents that are most likely spread throughout numerous folders on the designer’s computer, you can print the entire portfolio, exported to PDF, or packaged with a single command—possibly without opening even one of the documents.

I do this very thing, as a matter of fact. Often, as part of a project bid, I’ll be asked to send samples of my previous work. Like most of you reading this, my body of work is broad and varied, but a client or prospective client only needs to see what is relevant to the project at hand. You wouldn’t, for instance, send photos of product packages you’ve designed to accompany a proposal to design a travel agency’s intranet website. Each set of work samples should usually be a subset of your entire portfolio, with pieces chosen specifically to convey to the client, I know how to do the job you want done. See? I’ve done similar work before to the benefit of other clients.

Some of my previous work is in native InDesign documents, some in QuarkXPress documents, some in Illustrator, PDF, websites, scans, image files, and so on. I include all of them in an InDesign Book file. QuarkXPress documents I convert to InDesign just for the portfolio, for websites I take screen shots, and for all other assets, I simply place them into their own InDesign documents. All of these purpose-built INDD documents reside in a single folder with the INDB Book file, but the pieces that are natively InDesign, as well as the placed assets, remain wherever they happen to live on my hard drives—client folders, other project folders, and so on; the Book file will happily manage them from multiple locations.

All the pieces I might want to send along with any proposal or request for samples are added to, and managed through, a single Book file. When I need to print or create a PDF to accompany a proposal, I choose the relevant pieces, select them individually in my portfolio’s Book panel, and then choose Print Selected Documents or Export Selected Documents to PDF from the panel’s flyout menu.

For instance, if I’m proposing a magazine template design, I include only my previous magazine work; if I’m bidding on an advertising job, I include primarily ad-centric prior work; and so on. I selectively choose which pieces to include from the Book panel that includes all of my portfolio pieces. When I output, the result is a single print job or PDF, displaying only what I want included and nothing I don’t, without the hassle of hunting down and printing each piece individually or converting each to a PDF and then combining PDFs. Naturally, in addition to being less work, it’s faster to open a single file—the INDB—select a few entries, and then choose one menu command—than to deal with the documents individually. Thus I can nearly always get a PDF of selected pieces in front of a prospective client’s eyes while we’re still on the initial phone call. And that gives me an edge over any competitors the client called before me, competitors who promised to get some samples together and off to the client the next day or even later in the same day.

Using the Ink Manager to Correct Photoshop Channel Disasters

Every few months I see in person or read about in online forums someone who, through some weird accident, wound up creating a two- or three-color image in Photoshop using a dozen or more channels. In the document’s Channels panel, he has multiple channels (plates) for each of the two or three spot colors. Why is this a disaster? Because each of those channels will be treated as a separate plate, turning a 2- or 3-color job into a 10- or 12-color job; the price of printing goes through the roof, as does the poor pressman who has to run the thing. The worst I ever saw personally was a two-color PSD with 14 channels for a single spot and 11 more for the second color. As near as I could figure, the designer, whom we’ll call Jane, had mistakenly used channels like layers, creating a new channel for every new object or section of color while she painted.

When these types of Photoshop images pop up, there isn’t a great deal that can be done to fix them within Photoshop. Sometimes cutting all image data off the extraneous channels one at a time and pasting onto a single target channel works, sometimes it doesn’t. Splitting the image into two, one to hold each color, merging the channels down into a single channel each, and then reconsolidating the images also works once in a while. Converting the image to grayscale and then back to duotone in Photoshop consolidates the channels easily but destroys the original color separations and usually requires copious recoloring work.

InDesign’s Ink Manager has provided the solution to Jane’s problem via ink aliases. If you find yourself dealing with such a Photoshop document, place it into InDesign and output from there.

Select one instance of each doppelganger ink as the primary, and, using the Ink Manager, alias all the others to their primary. Upon output, you’ll have just one plate for each color. Often images such as those previously described are set in multichannel color mode, and InDesign does not support placing PSD images in multichannel. InDesign only handles images in the CMYK, RGB, and Lab color spaces.

To get around the limitation:

1. Re-open the image in Photoshop.

2. On the Channels panel, create four empty new channels, and drag them to the top of the channels list.

3. Convert the document color mode to CMYK via Image >Mode >CMYK Color. The conversion will automatically turn the four empty channels into empty Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black channels. Spot channels—the ones containing all the image data in this case—will be preserved, and upon save from Photoshop, InDesign will now be able to import the image.

Note: If the image will be the only content of the InDesign document, you’ll wind up outputting blank

C, M, Y, and K plates. When it’s time to output, disable printing of the cyan, magenta, yellow, and black inks in the Print dialog Output pane.

Often when channel disaster images are made, they contain several identically named channels (e.g., PANTONE 462 C). Photoshop doesn’t care that these are the names of spot colors, only that they’re the name of channels, which is what leads to this problem in the first place. InDesign, however, does care about taking in two or more spots with the same name, and it will complain, preventing you from importing the image. If you get this, just go back to Photoshop’s Channels panel and rename the duplicate channels to something like PANTONE 462 C copy 1, PANTONE 462 C copy 2, and so on. This will also make it easier to identify the target and aliased colors in InDesign.

Once correctly aliased, the extra inks will disappear off the Separations Preview panel, leaving only one of each ink.

The Importance of Google

Why a special guide just on Google? Aren’t there hundreds, if not thousands, of search engines

out there that need to be worried about? There are many other search engines and search directories that exist, but Google is the most prominent, most used, and most important of them all. At the very least, it is the search engine you should focus your website promotion efforts on first. So let’s discuss why this is so…

Without a doubt, Google is the largest and most used search engine in the world today. Google currently indexes over 3.3 billion Web pages (as well as PDF, Word, Excel and other files), over 425 million images, over 800 million Usenet (newsgroup) messages, and performs more than 200 million searches per day (as of September 2003).

Google also currently provides search results to other search engines and directories, notably Yahoo!, AOL, Netscape, Lycos, CompuServe, Earthlink, and AT&T Worldnet. This means a # 1 ranking on Google also mostly likely will land you a # 1 position on these partner sites as well! I say “likely” because the partner sites

tend to blend their results a little bit so the rankings across the partners may not be exact. To repeat:

a #1 ranking on Google also generally means a #1 ranking on:






Lycos (Sympatico)

AT&T Worldnet

With its partners included, Google is now responsible for powering over 76% of all search engine traffic to websites.

In addition, the chart illustrates that more people are spending time on Google searching for what they need than on any other search firm. If you also include Google’s two major search partners AOL and Yahoo!, this is a lot of time web surfers spend in just a few places.

Clearly then, Google is where you need to focus your website promotion efforts. After you have applied the techniques, have monitored your results, and then refined your efforts over several months time, you should start seeing dramatic results. As an aside, the other major search engines are starting to look for the same elements as Google. So if you get it right for Google, you have also gotten it right in general for all the other search engines!

Thread and Unthread Text Frames

Thread and Unthread Text Frames and Flow Text Threaded text frames are the foundation of multipage documents, and, whether manual, auto, or semi-auto, flowing text is the way to pour that foundation.
Master It Create a new document with a two-column master page text frame and employ the skills learned in this chapter to lay out a multipage Word or other text document. There should be no overset text when you’ve finished.
Solution Learners will create a new document with two columns and the Master Text Frame option checked in the New Document dialog. They must then override the master text frame on the first page of the document, and pursue the technique described in “Autoflow in Master Page Frames” to lay out a multipage textual document in threaded frames.
Create Bulleted and Numbered Lists. InDesign CS3 offers more creative and structural control in updated bullets and numbering features and the new Lists property.
Master It In a new document, use Lists and Bullets and Numbering to re-create the headings from this chapter’s section “Threading and Unthreading Text Frames” as a hierarchical list.
Solution Learners should create three levels of lists in the Lists dialog, and then in Bullets and Numbering, set options to create the following hierarchical list, although the numbering systems may vary.
1. Threading and Unthreading Text Frames
A. QuarkXPress vs. InDesign
B. Threading Frames
i. Threading Pre-Created Frames
ii. Threading without Pre-Created Frames
iii. Threading Upon Import
iv. Threading without Text
C. Threading Tips
D. Viewing Threads
E. Managing Threads
i. Unthread Text Frames
ii. Removing Frames from a Thread
iii. Adding Frames into a Thread
iv. Duplicating Frames in a Thread
F. Autoflowing Text
G. Autoflow in Master Page Frames
i. Autoflowing Immediately
ii. Use the Master Text Frame
H. Jumplines
Write and Word Process in InDesign The world is changing, and writing and editing in the layout application is no longer such a crazy idea.
Master It In Story Editor, write a paragraph or two discussing how something you’ve learned in this chapter will benefit your work. Include at least one footnote, and set its options for a pleasing appearance on the page.
Solution After creating a new text frame, learners should open Story Editor with the menu command or keyboard shortcut and write the essay. They should also insert and, through
the Type > Document Footnote Options, style the footnote.
Fixing, Finding, and Changing Text and More. In addition to beefing up its already solid text support systems of spell checking, hyphenation, and Autocorrect, InDesign CS3 completely revamps Find/Change with incredible new capabilities.
Master It Using the two-column, multipage document created just a few moments ago, use the new Find/Change features to convert the text frame to three-columns with a 0.25-inch column gutter. At the same time, give the text frames a semitransparent background color (while keeping the text fully opaque) and a frame inset.
Solution Learners should use the Object tab in Find/Change, searching for all text frames, and setting the described graphical attributes in the Change Object Format Options dialog.

Interact with Documents

Interact with Documents Visually, Change Zoom Level, View Modes, and Display Performance
InDesign provides numerous means of changing the way you interact with documents, how fast they move, how you see them, and what you see.
Master It Open any InDesign document containing text and images on the same page. Open three different views of the same document, arranged simultaneously onscreen, zooming all to fit the page within the document window, and compare the views according to the following options:
· View 1: Preview mode with High-Quality Display display performance.
· View 2: Layout mode with Fast Display display performance.
· View 3: Bleed mode with Typical Display display performance.
Solution Learners should open a document and then, using the Window >Arrange >New Window command, create two other views on the same document. They should then manually arrange the trio comfortably onscreen, and by changing the View >Display Performance setting and the different modes at the bottom of the Tools panel, establish the comparison described above.
Build and Manage Grids and Guides The foundation of any well-laid-out document is a well-thought-out grid.
Master It Create a new document and build a grid on the master page consisting of six equal columns and three equal rows within the page margins. Once that’s done, apportion the top row into three equal sections.
Solution Learners should use the Layout >Create Guides utility to create the initial grid with six and three, no gutters, and Fit Guides to Margins. Next, to divide the top row, they will have to manually drag down two horizontal ruler guides. After unlocking guides, they will precisely position the new manually created guides with the Transform or Control panel’s Y field.
Create and Manage Book Files Often one person finds it easier to work on longer documents by breaking them up into chapters or sections and connecting them via a Book file. For workgroups wherein different people are responsible for different sections of the document, a Book file is essential to productivity.
Master It Working alone or in a group, create at least three InDesign documents of several pages of text each. Save each document, and then create a Book file to connect the documents. Finally, create a single PDF from the entire book.
Solution Learners should preferably team up to create InDesign documents and then designate one individual to create the Book file. Once the book is set, the Export Book to PDF command should be chosen from the Book panel flyout menu.
Index Terms and Create an Index An index helps readers find content. From simple keyword lists to complex, multilevel, topic-driven indices, InDesign handles them all, marrying index entries to referenced text through index markers.
Master It Open or create an InDesign document containing a story of at least three pages in length. Working through the document, create index entries and cross-references for at least 10 words, one of which should be a word that repeats numerous times throughout the story (use a common word such as the if needed). Once the terms are indexed, generate and place the index story on a new page.
Solution Learners may take several routes to accomplishing the indexing depending on the story and words chosen, although their methods should conform to those described in the sections “Creating Index Entries,” “Cross-References,” and “Power Indexing” under “Indexing” in this chapter. With all the options available to them in the Generate Index dialog, the final output will likely vary as well from learner to learner.
Create Tables of Contents Tables of contents direct readers in logical or virtually any order to content, and InDesign’s TOC options are varied and powerful for myriad uses.
Master It Open or quickly create a rudimentary book-style document containing body text and several heading paragraphs utilizing at least two levels of headings. Create and assign paragraph styles for the body text and headings. Using what you’ve learned in this chapter, generate and place a hierarchal TOC.
Solution Before beginning with the Layout >Table of Contents command and the corresponding dialog, learners should create a document that has text and styles in the format of Heading 1, Heading 2, and Body Text, with several paragraphs of each style. Then, in the Table of Contents dialog, the Heading 1 and Heading 2 styles should be moved into the Include Paragraph Styles list, assigned Levels 1 and 2 respectively, and then the TOC placed into the document. The other options available for formatting the TOC will vary by learner.

Efficiency with InDesign

Work Efficiently with Text Text comprises the most space in the average InDesign document. Unfortunately, editing and restyling text occupies the majority of a creative’s time in the document. Used wisely, paragraph and character styles, nested styles, text variables, and data merge eliminate repetitive actions and hours of work.
Master It Use Excel, a database, or Notepad/TextEdit to create a new flat-file database of information. The data may be anything you like—a mailing list, product listings for a catalog, directory listings, etc.—but should include at least three fields and three rows. Save the file as either comma or tab delimited; this will be your data source file. Beginning with a blank InDesign document, build a variable data target document to hold the records from the data source file. Include static information as well as field placeholders. Format all text—static and placeholders—and create paragraph and character styles to make the initial and follow-up formatting easier. If you have appropriate places to employ nested styling, do so. When the target document is ready, effect a data merge to generate a press-ready variable data project.
Solution Owing to the multiple steps and complexity of this exercise, a great deal of variance in learners’ results is to be expected. Upon completion, the learner should have a merge document with all data correctly imported. Additionally, all text in the document should be assigned to paragraph and/or character styles.
Work Efficiently with Tables Barring additional investments in third-party plug-ins, each table created in prior versions of InDesign had to be individually and manually formatted. The more creative the formatting, the more arduous the task of styling multiple subsequent tables to match. New table and cell styles make it a one-click operation to format tabular data and to instantly update all tables to match future formatting changes.
Master It Begin with a table of data. If you have tables in preexisting InDesign documents, use those (save the document under a different name, just in case). If you don’t have such documents already, create a new layout and add at least two tables; the sports or financial sections of today’s newspaper are excellent places to find tabular data you can use for FPO. Style one table with alternating fills, custom strokes of your choosing, and with appropriate text formatting using paragraph styles. When the first table is styled to your liking, build table and cell styles, and then use them to format the second table.
Solution Results will vary, but learners should end up with two (or more) identically formatted tables. Additionally, all text within the tables should be assigned to paragraph styles and cell styles.
Work Efficiently with Objects Working efficiently doesn’t end with text and tables. Graphics, paths, and containers are part of any InDesign document, and creating and editing them productively is also important to the efficient InDesign-based workflow.
Master It Using either your own or a client’s various media logos (RGB, CMYK, grayscale; with and without taglines; iconic and full logos; and so on), build a shareable, reusable logo library. Now create a second library of text frames and other objects you use at least occasionally. Make sure to give each an object style before adding them to the library so that other objects can quickly be styled to match and so that formatting changes don’t take too much time. Don’t forget to label objects in both libraries for rapid identification and filtering by you or your coworkers.
Solution When finished, learners should have two INDL libraries. Every object in each library should be labeled. The majority of objects in the second library should have object styles assigned to them.

Collaboration in InDesign

Collaborate with Other Designers Teamwork and workgroup-based creativity is common among larger publications. Collaborating efficiently is crucial but rare—until now.
Master It Working alone or together with colleagues, create or convert a pre-existing, multi-page document into a candidate for the Placed Page Collaboration Workflow. Assign content to coworkers, and have them design or alter the existing design of their portions of the publication and deliver their respective INDD documents back to you so that you may update and finalize the overall publication.
Solution Learners should apportion a multi-page document such that one or more separate pages are assigned to each member of the learner’s workgroup. Content on those pages should be removed to separate InDesign documents and then placed back into the original locations as placed and linked INDD documents. The other members of the workgroup should edit their assignments and return the art to the team leader working with the core document. The leader will then update linked assets to bring the document current. Watch out for pages with duplicated content, which indicates that the learner forgot to delete the original objects from the core document subsequent to generating the assigned component documents.
Collaborate with Writers and Editors It’s a control thing, man. Laying out the page is the domain of the designer; editing the copy is the realm ruled by editors. Neither group wants governorship of either material forced upon (or even really given to) the other group. Thankfully, with InCopy, Adobe’s best-kept secret, there’s no longer a need for either editorial or design to give up its control, freedom, or field of view.
Master It Open or create a layout containing at least two separate stories. Create assignments for two collaborators, assigning at least one story to each, and then generate and email an InCopy package for each assignment to its assignee. If your collaborators have InCopy CS3 on hand, have them edit the stories and return them to you as InDesign packages. Finally, update the content in the layout from those packages.
Solution If learners do not have access to InCopy or coworkers with InCopy, forgo the second part of the exercise. In the first part, the result should be an Assignments panel that lists two assignments with at least one content item each. Both assignments should display the purple gift box icon denoting that they’ve successfully been packaged. Also check File>User to ensure that the learner correctly identified himself to InDesign, per the instructions in this chapter.
Share Reusable Settings They say the definition of the word insane is doing something over and over while expecting different results. I agree with that definition, but I would like to propose my own addendum: doing the same thing over and over when there’s no reason to do it more than once is also insane. In this thing we do, there is more than enough insanity thrust upon us by deadlines, clients, limited budgets, malfunctioning software, temperamental RIPs, and so many other sources; we must do what we can to salvage our own peace of mind and maintain productivity. Save a brain cell; share a setting.
Master It Examine your work, the typical documents you create and contribute to, the styles, swatches, and other reusable settings you use at least once a month. Save them all. Put them on a USB flash memory stick or email them home to yourself. Then, send them to your coworkers or lab partners, and ask for their reusable settings in return. Each of you should then load pieces you’ve exchanged into your respective versions of InDesign. It’s time to collaborate efficiently. Solution Given that each learner will likely opt to save and share different types of reusable settings, there is no check against their progress other than that something was transferred between the InDesign users and successfully loaded into their copies of InDesign.
Blog Widget by LinkWithin