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This Week in InDesign Articles, Number 14

Sorry it’s been so long since my last report of articles, blog posts, videos, and other cool things InDesign users should be aware of. My only excuse is that we’ve been going nuts adding other stuff to the site, such as forums and free membership options.

Here’s some fun links that you probably want to take a look at:


There has been a slew of information about ePUB and electronic documents coming out, including our own videocast and blog posts on the topic.

  • If you’re really into ePUB, you must check out the last issue of InDesign Magazine, in which Gabriel Powell lays it all out for you, including some ePUB editing tricks that have never been published before, as far as we know. If you’re not a subscriber already, you should subscribe immediately so that you get that issue!
  • Gabriel has also followed up on his article with some great video tutorials on epub docs on his Instant InDesign web site.
  • If you’re thinking ebook, you’re probably excited about the B&N Nook. Here’s some info about making docs for the Nook.
  • If you’re interested in the Kindle instead, check out these good suggestions for getting ID files ready for Kindle.
  • And if that wasn’t enough, even Colin Fleming at Adobe is doing excellent videos on making epub and Kindle on Adobe TV. Here’s the introduction video. And here’s Part 2 and Part 3 (where the meat is).

(Colin was filling in for Rufus Deuchler on the CSInsider series. Unfortunately, we just learned that Rufus is no longer with Adobe… not by his own decision. We’re very upset by this, as Rufus has been an incredible contributor to the worldwide creative community. For example, his Adobe blog posts — such as this one on creating interactive pdf/swf files — are always chock full of great info. Our hearts and minds go out to him, and we look forward to seeing where he pops up next. Of course, we’re already trying to get him back as a contributor here at ID Secrets.)

More Cool Videos

  • Okay, if you like type, you have to watch this wonderful video called Typophile Film Festival 5 Opening Titles.
  • Also, Adam Jury, who has been contributing in various ways in blog post comments and on the forum, has also been making some InDesign video podcasts. I’m not sure how the name of his site relates to InDesign, but he’s definitely offering some good words on InDesign.

Scripts and Plug-ins

  • Everyone wants to get into the right-to-left act. One of our sponsors, In-Tools, still offers a great plug-in solution called World Tools. And now we’ve gotten notice that Winsoft is offering a plug-in called ScribeDOOR for making the International English (or US) version of InDesign CS4 handle a wide variety of languages, including Arabic, Farsi, Tamil, Hebrew, and more.
  • Peter Kahrel continues to amaze. Here’s a cool GREP editor that you’ve got to see if you’re into GREP.
  • Kris Coppieters did a brain dump on the subject of the Script Label feature that is worth reading and contains some interesting script examples that could be helpful.
  • Zevrix just released a new tool called File Courier, which, (from their web site) “delivers files and folders to FTP and local destinations, sends automatic e-mail delivery notifications, creates low resolution PDF previews and offers other advanced professional features.” I haven’t tried it yet, but it looks cool and Zevrix is known for their good products. Introductory price of only $29! Cool.
  • Elpical has also released their very interesting Claro Layout product, which lets you do Photoshop-like image adjustments (“make better!”) right inside InDesign. Wow.
  • Here are some interesting scripts from Loïc Aigon that bear more examination. Anyone tried these yet? Some commercial, and some freebies!

Other Links

Some Free Stuff

  • Do you use Fusion to run Windows on a Mac? If so, do yourself a huge favor and grab this free ebook from Take Control books! While you’re there, buy some other low-cost ebooks from them, such as these ebooks about the iphone. They’re awesome.

Whew! That’s a lot. My web browser feels much lighter now. (Yes, I really did have all those windows open at the same time, and that doesn’t even include the windows I have open right now on quantum entanglement, SSL certficates, and event planning. Those are for another day, I guess.)

David Blatner

David Blatner

David Blatner is the co-founder of the Creative Publishing Network, InDesign Magazine, and the author or co-author of 15 books, including Real World InDesign. His InDesign videos at are among the most watched InDesign training in the world. You can find more about David at
David Blatner

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10 Comments on “This Week in InDesign Articles, Number 14

  1. Thank you for mentioning Smashing Magazine. You said: “I?m not sure I agree with every point entirely, but it?s a darn good overview.” Of course I am very curious what you would have done different ;-)

  2. @Marco

    Instead of EPS I use either PSD or PDF, depending on the content.

    PSD will always output as raster. So if you’re going to have type, vector masks, vector shapes etc. then a PDF would be better.

    PDFs can be editable in photoshop and can also contain layers, and most importantly the photoshop pdf will output vectors and raster.

    Just my two cents.

  3. Thanks for the link and the kind words, David! As for the name of Dirty Words Design:

    * Originally [and still, to a degree] I view the show as something that’s talking about tips and tricks and off-the-wall ways to do things. There are already great resources for teaching “best practices” and “from the ground up” training, and I don’t think duplicating those things does much good for the community.

    * I have a potty mouth, and while I haven’t cursed on the show before, I don’t rule it out! I won’t publish the profanity- and Red Bull-fueled rant about Activation that I recently recorded … but I was tempted!

    * I didn’t want to put InDesign in the title, as I didn’t want to be locked into just talking about InDesign.

  4. @Marco: Oh, I knew I’d get in trouble for including that caveat. ;)
    I love that you’re pushing the RGB workflow. That’s very helpful. Here’s a few thoughts, though:
    * RGB isn’t technically a “wider” gamut, it’s a different gamut. There are some CMYK color that cannot be represented in RGB. But for a general audience, your statement is fine.

    * I do not think it’s a good idea to have all CS apps have the same color settings. See this post for more on why I think ID should use General Purpose and PS should use General Prepress.

    * The discussion of using custom target profiles is really important, but way more complex (unfortunately) than you could cover in the size of that article without scaring people away. But the basic idea of getting a profile and then specifying that profile when exporting the PDF (using Convert to Destination Preserve Numbers) is a great direction to point people.

    * There are times when converting to CMYK in Photoshop is better. For example, if you need to do touchups on the black plate (e.g., to remove black dots from a model’s face) or because you need to print the same image 100 times from InDesign (better to have PS do the conversion once than ID doing it 100 times).

    * Most people are printing to offset sheetfed presses. I’m hearing reports that using the GRaCOL profile in CS4 provides significantly better results in these situations than SWOP, for example (which wasn’t ever really intended for sheetfed).

    * You also sort of ignore the PDF/X3 or PDF/X4 workflow, where you’re actually sending the RGB images in the PDF, and letting the printer do the conversion. That is a much better solution, as long as the printer is on board (most north american printers are not, but it’s a joy to find those who are).

    I haven’t even read all the comments on that post, but it looks like there’s quite a discussion!

    I applaud your tackling these issues, though. Thanks.

  5. @Eugene Tyson: You’re absolutely right. And one more: Spotcolors and P’shop PDF will work just fine too of course ;-)

    @David: Oh not in trouble, certainly not, ha ha. I love a good conversation! (Heck, on SMag I just reply’ed to about 150 comments, lol) Thank you for your detailed comments! I agree with you on (almost) everything. It’s important people understand this is a highly detailed conversation and differences pop up because f the way we choose to use the Creative Suite. In the end we all want the same thing, nice artwork!

    “Using sRGB for InDesign?s default RGB working space just makes sense.” Technically this is correct of course and it is way better than converting everything to cmyk up front, but you are a veteran designer and know exactly what you’re doing. I work in a large studio with files going back and forth, in and out, and feel sRGB really has nog place in a print-environment. I try to keep it simple for everybody and stick to aRGB for new P’shop files and for InDesign. Some parts of the cmyk-range and a lot of the Pantone colors are out of range for sRGB as well. I try not to use it unless for web. If I ever need to send out RGB files in the near future (whenever the Certified PDF people pick it up) using non-icc-tagged images from the web will be a problem I suppose.

    I’m not really in to the US CMYK profiles like swop and such, but anything FOGRA related is cool. Adobe uses a altered set for Europe with a so called ‘short black’. It was based up on the older FOGRA 27 dataset, and Isocoated_V2 on FOGRA 39. But I think Adobe has incorporated this as well know.

    Yes for some specialized pictures it might be a good idea to manually remove little dots. However people sometimes forget to select the right kind of cmyk-profile in P’shop or afterwards select another cmyk-profile when exporting to pdf in InDesign. The possible advantage of eliminating small dots in the black plate would get lost when the inkt-buildup (and such) is set for the different kind of paper. A lot of designers also start to change the curves and white/black ratio, contrast etc. after converting to cmyk in P’shop. This is generally a bad idea as the profile has already optimized the colors for the paper and process…

    The article skipped smarter PDF files on purpose. It could be a separate article all together. I would love to export with layers, icc-tags, rgb images, transparency and such but for now it is not commonly accepted… When printers understand more about icc I’m sure they’ll love to receive smarter PDF files!

    Thanks again for taking the time to comment on your thoughts! I enjoy talking to the experts. (You’re the expert David, I’m just a guy that bumped his head a lot of times during the pre-press process. I just happen to remember exactly when,where and how I bumped it!)

  6. This is really coming down to colour management which is a huge issue by itself. I’ve heard the argument many times that you should use PDFx4 and whatnots, but I have not come across any printers in over 10 years that want a pdf supplied like that. They want it PDFx1a or just plain old PDF 1.4 flattened to a pancake and then reversed over with a monster truck. The last job I sent to print was PDFx1a and looked fine on my end. The printers got it and couldn’t process it, in the end they had to print it to PS and then redistill it and it went through their system. I didn’t condone their method, I just let them know if it came back wrong it was on them.

    As for Fogra, once I started using this colour profile I started to get much richer colours in my prints, it made a huge difference.

    I have working spaces set to sRGB and Coated Fogra 39.

    I have Policies set to Convert for both.

    Is there anything I should be doing different? Or should take this one to the forum?

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