Mighty automator actions with Preview

Many of you are familiar with the Tiger program Preview.  Perhaps you even used to curse its existence—until you successfully set up all your TIFFs, PDFs, and JPEGs to open in Photoshop or Acrobat instead of automatically launching in Preview. At first glance you may wonder if there is even a point to Preview; it … Read more →

XML Snippets in InDesign CS2

Last month I talked about XML and why you need to learn more about it. Recently, I discovered a practical use for XML, namely, snippets—a feature of InDesign CS2. The InDesign Help menu briefly describes the XML snippet. The InDesign CS2 Classroom in a Book has a page on it as well. Both of the … Read more →

Five rules for MetalFX design success

MetalFX has become very popular over the last few years and is now burnishing magazine covers, samples, and ads everywhere. MetalFX Technology, a company based in the United Kingdom, created the system that incorporates MetalFX colour palettes, a swatch book, and software plug–ins for Photoshop, Illustrator, Artpro, InDesign, Freehand, and QuarkXPress. MetalFX has created Custom … Read more →

Add FlightCheck Online to automation workflow

The “Do It Yourself” Web to Proof and Web to Print workflows are closer than you think.  Software products are available that reduce the amount of work involved in creating Web Pages, Log Ins, File Checking & Routing, Email Notification and System Logging.What do we need to successfully put our own system together?  Complete information … Read more →

Table formatting and scripting

When designing in InDesign or Quark, you often need to layout and format tables. Both programs have basic table tools built in and will take an existing Excel table, place it and make it easy to format. Subsequently changing and updating the data can be a challenge, but there are some tricks. Tables are easy … Read more →

Automate your backup strategy

When a job leaves the bindery and is shipped to the customer, this usually triggers the archive of the job. The job is moved from the main server and burned to DVD. This is a manual task performed by a responsible person on a daily basis. Right now, can you backup your entire server in … Read more →

DIY automation for niche markets

Specialized markets don’t always use page layout programs which have workflows designed for them. Often, workflows involve Adobe Illustrator, dielines, layers, spot colours and odd page sizes. These workflows don’t fit with standard preflighting software, standard pdf workflow software, proofing systems and regular separation workflows. Specialized prepress workflows rely on the ingenuity of the production … Read more →

You have mail – your files are ready

Many workflows have operators monitoring email and FTP sites. Phone calls are made to confirm FTP file receipt or emails are sent. The files are downloaded, unstuffed, unzipped, put into standard folder structures and sent to preflight. The SWITCH products from Gradual Software in Belgium have surfaced. They automate these tasks and integrate them into … Read more →

The reality of the remote press approval

On many occasions I’ve been asked about online proofing. There are several products out there offering annotation tools and collaboration through email. Some products you can purchase outright and others are a subscription service hosted by the supplier. There is something for everyone. But, when it comes to online color proofing, the field is narrowed. … Read more →