Podcast 211 Transcript

To hear the audio episode from which this transcript was made, or to comment on this episode, go to the InDesignSecrets Podcast 211 page.

Anne-Marie Concepcion:  Welcome to “InDesign Secrets” Episode 211. I’m Anne-Marie Concepcion and I am here along with my co-host David Blatner.

David Blatner:  Howdy! “InDesign Secrets” is the world’s number one resource for all things InDesign.

Anne-Marie:  Yes, and B, coming up on today’s show in news we’re going to talk about PePCon, of course, about the new release of CC 2014, and the InDesign conference.

David:  Ooh!

Anne-Marie:  We’ll discuss a little bit of the PePcon conference highlights and some tips we learned there, new features in InDesign CC 2014 which was released since the last time we did a podcast, and the obscure InDesign feature of the week is Ink Alias.

David:  I cannot believe that we have not done that feature.

Anne-Marie:  I know.

David:  Isn’t that crazy

Anne-Marie:  I guess it must be very obscure. It even escaped our attention.

David:  It’s a good one, though, very important one. But first, we should mention that this episode is sponsored by Managing Editor, MEI. They’re a first-time sponsor with “InDesign Secrets.” We’re happy to have them aboard.

Anne-Marie:  Very happy. In the news. We’re going to talk about some of the news bits later on in the show. One bit of news is that my course for lynda.com, “InDesign CC: EPUB Fundamentals,” the update that I did for CC 2014 just came out a few days ago. If you want to learn about all the new reflowable EPUB features there are many in InDesign CC 2014, check that out.

David:  If you’re doing EPUB work, you really need to keep up with CC because they keep adding more and more stuff with every new version.

There’s another title at lynda.com which should be available by the time you’re listening to this. That is my new InDesign insider training, “PDF for Print” title, which is basically all about how to make a good PDF for print, where I go into lots and lots of details. Some of it’s quite technical, but a lot of it is really fundamental tips and tricks for making sure you get a good quality PDF. A lot of people still have trouble making good quality PDFs out of InDesign. I talk about how to do it.

Anne-Marie:  Let’s go into some of the conference highlights. PePcon was just last week, right

David:  I know. It’s bizarre to think about that.

Anne-Marie:  It was huge. Huge, awesome event. We had almost 600 attendees.

David:  Larger than any other PePcon we’ve ever done, by a good hunk.

Anne-Marie:  I think it was 24 different countries.

David:  We had people come from Brazil, from Columbia, from all over Europe, from Thailand, from Australia. It was quite an amazing event for the four-day PePcon.

Anne-Marie:  We kept people hopping with evening events. We had this feature and VIP dinner on Sunday night. On Monday night, we had the Ignite InDesign with a huge crowd and 13 presenters, five of whom English was not their first language. They did fantastic.

I loved the Creative Wow thing that we did on Tuesday night with the developers talking about their skunk works projects that they were working on.

David:  That was my favorite session of PePcon. There were so many great things going on at PePcon, but the Creative Wow…We had 70 attendees, InDesign users, mostly. We had 10 or 12 developers showing these amazing scripts, plugins, and add-ons, things that they were doing with InDesign that were blowing people’s minds.

Anne-Marie:  Absolutely. You’ve heard us talk about Rorohiko so many times, and all the cool stuff that Chris does, and the great scripts. He was up there showing some neat things that aren’t released yet. It was just amazing.

It was an after-dinner thing. We told attendees, “If you want to come by, go ahead.” I was surprised that we had 70 people show up, because I would think most of them were like, “I need to stop doing PePcon things for once.” They were there. It got really high ratings, too. That too was one of my favorite sessions.

David:  What’s another session of yours that was…

Anne-Marie:  I really liked this new speaker that we had, Kat.

David:  I can’t remember. What’s her last name

Anne-Marie:  Kat Topaz. Great name. That’s her real name. I double cheeked. Kat Topaz from Storycode. She presented in a panel on case studies, “What we learned moving from print to tablet.” That was what her company is all about, Storycode. They tell stories on a tablet. She did an excellent job. It was fascinating, watching that kind of creative mind at work. The end results were stunning.

David:  To be clear, when you say storytelling, storytelling was actually one of the themes of the entire event. Ann Marie, you talked about that in your opening keynote on Monday morning, the idea that we’re all storytellers. No matter what we’re doing, we’re really telling a story.

When you talk about the idea that Storycode is telling stories, they’re really doing enterprise level, B2B publishing with graphs and all kinds of GPS apps. They’re still telling stories, but they’re not doing children’s books. They’re doing high end…

Anne-Marie:  No, no, that is right, that is an alignment. Thanks for clearing that up, but the fact that no matter what kind of communication that you are doing, no matter what level, B2B or B2C, is that you need to engage the reader or the consumer. You need to bring them through a story and make them want to do something or give them a feeling and that was the theme I think.

I heard that a lot after they did a keynote that we are the new story tellers. I heard a lot of people talk about that and about how lot of the sessions were recognizing that what we are doing is story telling.

David:  That was pretty cool.

Anne-Marie:  Absolutely. That was good.

You know there were so many good tips.

It was amazing every time we do one of these events. I love it because I am always learning new things. I have been in this industry for over 25 years and I am still learning new stuff, and everyone came with some really good stuff. I figured why don’t we just pick a couple of our favorite tips, maybe a tip each that we learned.

David:  OK. Do you have a tip that you learned from somebody, at PePcon

Anne-Marie:  I do. I have a tip and I don’t know though. I know that I used it at PePcon, but I don’t know if I learned it. I used it for the first time with PePcon stuff.

Think that either you or Mike Rankin tell me, or may be was one of our speakers, and this was because I was in charge of doing the PDF compilation of all the speakers’ handouts [indecipherable 0:06:47] .

A lot of the speakers would give me a PDF of their slideshow and either PDF of 75 slides, 75 page PDF, or a couple of speakers who didn’t know how to make PDFs I guess gave me their InDesign file with the same thing, and I needed to create a PDF. They had four of those per page.

David:  Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Anne-Marie:  Right

David:  Yep.

Anne-Marie:  And you cannot export to PDF from InDesign and do thumbnails.

David:  That’s true. That’s right.

Anne-Marie:  Right

David:  Right.

Anne-Marie:  OK. I know you had to think about it, because it’s like, “Can you

” I checked and, “No, you cannot.”

You cannot print thumbnails from Acrobat either.

David:  Mm-hmm.

Anne-Marie:  Even if they gave me a 70 page PDF, I couldn’t open up an Acrobat and figure how to do thumbnails.

Then somebody told me this cool tip that you can place in InDesign. If you create a new document in InDesign, which is what I would do, and then you go to file place and you select that InDesign file or that PDF file.

Of course, you can say in the Options that you want to place all the pages, and normally that would give you…your Place Gun would load up and you can only do one per click. One page will come up per click.

What I wanted to do was create a grid, as I was dragging out the Loaded Place Gun, and then cap the up arrow and the right arrow keys, so I would have a grid of four, and then automatically place four pages, but you can’t do that with an InDesign or PDF file. It won’t work.

It will only work that way with separate images, with multiple images that you have selected.

The tip was, in the Options dialog box, same place we say, I want to bring in all the pages. There is a check box there that says Include Captions or Create Captions.

David:  Create Static Captions.

Anne-Marie:  Thank you. Create Static Captions along the way.

The thing is that first it will let you place all of these things using any kind of multi place grid that you want, and then it will load everything with captions which are whatever you have set up for Captions setup. You just click another tool because you don’t want the captions.

I was able to quickly load up my cursor with 70 pages of an InDesign file and another InDesign file dragged out four pages of it. Go to the next page, four pages of it. Next page, four pages of it, the end.

David:  Then, like you said, once you have done the placing of pictures, then you just select one of the other tools.

Anne-Marie:  Right, because you see the cursor loads up with the first caption which by default is going to be the file name of the document.

David:  And you don’t need the captions.

Anne-Marie:  No.

David:  You just want the pages themselves. You just switch to something like the selection tool and that throws away all the captions that are on the Place Gun, the Place Gun [indecipherable 0:09:29] .

Anne-Marie:  And you are done.

David:  And you are done.

Anne-Marie:  Yeah.

David:  I love that. That is a really…

Anne-Marie:  I don’t remember who told me, but whoever told me that, thank you, thank you, thank you. I will be so grateful to you as I was laying out this handout thing.

David:  You know who first came up with that

I happen to know. Oh, Michael Ninness.

Michael Ninness who was at Adobe, then he was at lynda.com, and now he back at Adobe, and he came up with that, and I know that because he told me, I got so excited that I wrote it up as a blog post. We’ll put a link in the show notes. I asked him, so how did you figure that out. He is like, “Well, it was just luck.”


David:  We put a link in there. That is a good one. That is awesome.

You know at PePcon, one of the things that I learned…I’m always learning about plug ins, scripts, add-ons and one of them, Erica Gamet did a whole session on cool free add-ons that you should know about, because InDesign users, you’re not efficient with InDesign if you’re not using scripts and plugins.

Anne-Marie:  Right, right.

David:  And there’s all free ones out there, so you might as well be using them. She showed one that I had never heard before, which is from 65bit, actually, 65bit.com. They have one called Reveal, which lets you reveal documents inside a book panel.

Anne-Marie:  Oh yeah. I remember that one.

David:  Yeah, and if you have a book with 40 documents in there and the document is coming from all over the place you don’t exactly know where you have them. You can reveal the documents on your hard drive using this little add on that sneaks its way into the book panel menu and you say reveal these documents. It’s very, very cool.

Anyway, little things like that, it’s not huge, but it can certainly save you a lot of time. I’m so grateful to Erica for digging up these very cool free or very low cost things that InDesign users need to know about.

Anne-Marie:  Absolutely. I thought…Do we want to talk about the people’s choice scripts

David:  Let’s move on, but let’s keep that for next time and we’ll make a blog post about that.

Anne-Marie:  Yeah. Good idea.

David:  You need to keep checking the InDesign secrets blog. We’ll do a blog post about people’s choice scripts, because these are more free scripts that developers wrote at PePcon. Actually, we wrote them at PePcon during the show and then release them for free so very good stuff.

Anne-Marie:  Yeah. OK. So, let’s talk about MEI briefly, MEI Managing Editor. They have a solution called TrueEdit. TrueEdit is a turn key solution that integrates with InDesign and GPS. It allows teams to collaboratively create, manage and deliver digital content regardless of whether your contributors are remote or they’re working within InDesign.

David:  That does sound like something that they just emailed you to write.

Anne-Marie:  I made that out on the top of my head.

David:  [laughs] Here’s what I know about MEI. They did a breakfast sponsorship at PePcon and I sat there and I went…My mouth was going to drop open. Because you know there is all of these high end systems like K4, or what WoodWing is doing, the high end workflow systems and the problem is they’re typically made from medium to large size companies.

But what about the rest of us

What about those of us who needs a workflow system but we’re a small company, small to medium company. Well, that’s where TrueEdit is steps in and it really looks very clever so we’ll learn about that.

Anne-Marie:  Yeah, we’ll put a link in the show notes about living to [indecipherable 0:13:08] of the video there that shows what it’s all about. Pretty cool. Very cool. They happen to see MEI supporting these medium size publishers as well.

David:  Absolutely. All right, InDesign CC 2014, or technically, it’s called the 2014 version of InDesign CC.

Anne-Marie:  No, no that is not correct. Technically, it’s called the 2014 release of InDesign CC.

David:  [laughs]

Anne-Marie:  Did you know that

David:  I did. Yeah, OK the 2014 release of the InDesign CC.

Anne-Marie:  That’s right.

David:  However, the painful part is if you look at the…when you install it, it actually installs the name of that application is Adobe InDesign 2014.

Anne-Marie:  So it’s going to be called CC 2104.

David:  So it’s totally…Actually I call it CC 14…Just to confuse things. Anyway…

Anne-Marie:  I’ve got CC 0.2

David:  [laughs] CC 0.2. I like that. And it’s actually technically, if we really want to get technical, it’s InDesign 10.0, so InDesign has finally turned 10. It’s the 10th major version of InDesign, and it’s shipped last week right in the middle of PePcon actually and we’re very happy because on the first day of PePcon on the key note, they did a sneak peak of InDesign 2014 CC [laughs] whatever you want to call it.

Anne-Marie:  The 2014 release of InDesign [indecipherable 0:14:27] .

David:  Thank you. They did a quick pick and Chris Christian stood up and showed the fixed layout EPUB feature, which I think again is jaw dropping and it’s amazing that you can export a fixed layout EPUB right out of InDesign and it’s like a PDFs almost.

Anne-Marie:  Looks like a PDF in its pixel-perfect positioning of all your texts and images and layering, but it’s technically a valid PDF, which means that e-readers and e-readers software the supports this specification of EPUB 3 can accept them for sale. So you can sell your EPUB 3s in the Apple iBook store, for example.

David:  I love that.

Anne-Marie:  Also Kobo supports it, and Google Play supports it — not 100 percent so that’s where we are right now. I did a video at Lynda.com couple of years ago, which is the updates coming out shortly to the new CC 2014 stuff, but it’s a horrible process to do it yourself manually to create one of these things. Each page is basically stand alone web page. The fact that you can just choose fixed layout export is hardly any prep needed at all other than making sure the funds are there, and that’s it, you’re done.

David:  Yeah, it’s shocking. It’s so easy to get an EPUB, fixed layout EPUB out of InDesign now. That’s huge. But there’s a bunch of other feature in a CC 14 whatever you want to call it.

Anne-Marie:  I think before we even jump in there, I think we should mention and address the fact that this is actually another application. It’s not updating CC.

David:  Good point.

Anne-Marie:  You now have two CC versions. You have CC 9.0 and you have CC 2014 — 10.0 as you said — which causes some confusion because a lot of people understood Adobe to say, “Once we subscribe to Creative Cloud, we’ll just be getting updates to that application.”

But sometimes, you need a separate version of the application and we can link to…There’s a couple of good articles about why that is, but now you have two. If you want to delete the first CC, that’s up to you, I don’t know if all plug-ins and scripts have been updated to work with CC 2014. I personally would hold off and keep both CC and CC 2014 there. You can always re-download it from your Creative Cloud application.

David:  Right.

Anne-Marie:  Just like you can download CS6 if you want to.

David:  I completely agree. It’s a good idea if you have the disk space to have both around.

Here’s the way I think about it. CC 2014 is just like a new version just like we have CS5 and CS6 in our computers, you have both at the same time. This is the same thing. CC 2013 and CC 2014 are basically just like CS5 and CS6.

Anne-Marie:  Kind of, kind of. The reason I would keep CS5 and CS6 around is if I need to work with the client only on CS5. But if the client only have CC, then they also have CC 2014.

David:  Yes, but they may not be using it yet, right

Because like you said, there are a lot of work flows with plug ins and so on that only works with CC and are not going to work with CC 14 yet. So you really still need both and in fact if you save a document out of CC 2014, a CC user, the 2013 version can’t open it. It’s the same thing, you have to export as IDML, you have to save it as IDML, and then a CC user can open it, or a CS6 or whoever else.

In fact, that is one of the cool new features in CC 2014 is you can package out of CC 2014, you can actually request that it save an IDML file and a PDF file for that matter in the package, which is great. If you’re going to package something off and send it to somebody else, you can just say, “Yeah, give me a PDF of the file and give me an IDML file.”

It takes a little bit of extra time to do that, but it works beautifully. It’s great.

David:  Another cool feature with CC 2014 that addresses that issue of having multiple versions of the app is seamless updates.

Anne-Marie:  Oh, I love this.

David:  If you’ve created your own custom settings in CC and then you install CC 2014, I don’t know if it’s optional or automatic, but when you open it up it will offer to replicate all of your custom settings from CC.

Anne-Marie:  I think it’s automatic. In fact, I was pushing Adobe to make it an option, because I thought maybe some people wouldn’t want and I don’t think they did it. I think they…It’s automatic.

David:  What

Anne-Marie:  It’ll find your old versions of InDesign and it will import…

David:  Copy it over to the new preferences folder, I believe is what it does.

Anne-Marie:  And convert them, if necessary, so that you still have your keyboard shortcuts, you still have your workspaces, you still have your saved find/change queries and so on in this new version.

David:  It’s really cool. In fact, I was pushing for an option, only because I always like options, but the truth of the matter is I can’t think of anyone who really would not want InDesign to do this. It’s really very, very clever. In fact, there’s so much that they’re copying over.

There are over 100 different things. You don’t realize that there are so many different preferences in InDesign. But there really are. I believe it even copies things like your eyedropper tool preferences and your sync preferences and just all kinds of stuff.

Anne-Marie:  Do you know what I haven’t tested, maybe you know, does it copy over print presets, all those presets that were…

David:  Yeah, I think so. I’m pretty sure it does. I was trying to stump them. I’m like, “Well, does it copy over your trap settings

” And they’re like, “Yeah, it does.” I was like, “Nobody even uses those.”

Anne-Marie:  Right, I just checked. Yes, it does copy over PDF presets and print presets.

David:  It’s really, it’s the way it should have always been, but it’s so nice that they finally got that in there. Yeah, I’m really happy with the seamless upgrade. That said, I have heard a couple people saying, “It didn’t work for me. I installed CC 2014 and it didn’t work. Nothing came over. Blah, blah, blah.”

But the good news is you can always, if it doesn’t work or if you need to update something, you can always go to the edit menu and choose “migrate previous local settings.” We should do that as an obscure feature one of these days.

Anne-Marie:  Well, it’s too late now, you already told everybody.

David:  I’m sorry. Sorry. But it’s very cool, because it basically forces the seamless update to happen when you want it to. So, neat, huh

Anne-Marie:  It is neat.

David:  A couple other new features. There are very important new features that they added, color groups. You can now have, they call them groups, I call them folders. But they’re basically folders of colors that you can create.

We’ll do more on this later, but one of my favorite things there is you can select a whole bunch of objects that have various colors, even unnamed colors, on your page and click the color group button in the swatches folder and it will make a new color group and turn all of those colors into swatches and put them into the folder.

Anne-Marie:  Very slick.

David:  Yeah, it’s really slick.

Anne-Marie:  Thinking ahead.

David:  It’s nice to have groups of colors.

Anne-Marie:  Believe or not they actually addressed some long document issues.

David:  They did. Finally. Yay.

Anne-Marie:  Yeah, it’s not all about EPUB and DPS. They went back and they took another look at footnotes. They updated how footnotes work. They “added some enhancements,” as they call it.

For example, if you have an object that’s wrapping, footnotes will also wrap around the object. If you, for some reason, want to put your document into text frames that are shaped like an egg or a triangle, then you’ll still be able to see footnotes at the bottom, which before it could only work with rectangular text frames.

David:  Right. They’re little, incremental improvements. We know there are a lot of people that want more improvements for footnotes. We all want all kinds of things. Why can’t footnotes straddle across multiple columns, things like that

Believe us, the Adobe people know that that’s a problem and they’re going to keep working on it, they’ve promised us that they’re going to keep working on that and who knows how long it’ll take

Turns out to be a very difficult problem technically, but they’re going to work on it. They understand that people need that. What’s another long document one they did

Oh, tables.

Anne-Marie:  I don’t know.

David:  Table rows.

Anne-Marie:  Not that really long document.

David:  Yeah, not really. You’re right, but it’s a very cool feature.

Anne-Marie:  If you have a long table, then I guess it counts.

David:  Yeah, but you can now drag and drop table rows and columns. I love that, the ability…Because so often you have one row out of order and it’s such a hassle just to move a row to a different place or move a column left or right. Now, it’s easy, you just select the whole column and then you just drag it, you get a little, special icon at the top.

You just drag it left or right and it just reorders everything. Very, very slick. Again, the kind of thing that you think, “Well, that should’ve been in there all along.” But it’s technically quite difficult for them to do, so we’re so glad that they’re adding those features. They’re going back to old features and giving them so new life, which I’m happy about.

Anne-Marie:  Absolutely. That doesn’t mean that’s the end of it, because they’re going to, of course, continue to be updating CC 2014 as the months go by. So we should keep an eye out for that and we’ll let you know when those happen.

We do have an article on indesignsecrets.com where Steve Werner goes through some of these. I think he has an expanded version of that in InDesign Magazine.

David:  Yep, exactly. This next issue of InDesign Magazine that’s coming out, the July issue, has a lot of details about CC 2014, so definitely check that out.

I want to throw one more feature that they put into CC 2014, because it’s one of my favorites. It has to do with QR codes and data merge.

I did this title for data merge for lynda.com and they have now made QR codes work with data merge, so you can just make QR codes on the fly out of a data merge, which we actually did for PePcon. All the name badges that we made for PePcon, everybody had a little QR code on there.

We did those. I actually did those with the prerelease beta version of CC 2014.

Anne-Marie:  Did anybody appreciate that

Did anybody say anything to you about that

David:  No, because we forgot to tell people that it was on there.

Anne-Marie:  You’d be like, “How come there’s a splotch of ink on my badge

What the heck

David:  Someone must have figure out what that thing on their name badge is.

Anne-Marie:  Yeah, if you went to PePcon and you figured it out, please add a comment to the show notes.

David:  Yeah, please do. All right, so we should jump into the obscure InDesign feature of the week.

Both:  Eek, eek, eek, eek, eek, eek.

Anne-Marie:  That was Ink Alias. An alias for your ink.

David:  I think we actually did talk about this, not as an obscure feature. We talked about it briefly in a previous podcast. But it’s really worth talking about, because it’s a feature inside the ink manager. Ink manager is a feature that too few people know about. It’s a really important one.

Ink manager lives inside the swatches panel menu or the export PDF dialog box or the print dialog box. It actually shows up in a bunch of different places, like five different places.

Anne-Marie:  The ink manager has a feature inside of it called ink alias. When might you use ink alias

David:  Well, you would use ink alias if you have too many inks and you want to, say, whenever I call for this ink in my document, I want you to put it on this other place.

Anne-Marie:  Yeah. When you talk about inks, we need to be clear that we’re talking about a spot color, a particular ink color that you’re going to be printing with. It’s great to be able to alias one spot color to another for lots of different reasons.

For example, let’s say you’ve got Pantone 286, which is my favorite color, and you have Pantone 286C or Pantone 287, which is pretty close to it. But you want them both to print out on 286, on the 286 plate. Well, you just alias your 287 or your 286C or whatever you’re calling it, to 286 and when you print, they’ll all alias together.

David:  Yep.

Anne-Marie:  It all shows up on the same plate, which is very cool. Here’s another way that I like using this. People might send you a PDF or an AI file or some other document that has a spot color in it, let’s say Pantone 123.

David:  Is that your least favorite color

Anne-Marie:  Yeah, probably. No, it’s just the next one I could think of. And you need to make it show up on Pantone 286. Well, you can place that PDF or AI file or whatever into your InDesign document and set up your ink alias and it won’t look, at first, like it’s aliasing. But when you print or export a PDF, it really will alias. All that Pantone 123 will show up on the 286 plate.

And, here’s the trick, you can tell InDesign to make it look like the aliased color on screen. The way to do that is to turn on the overprint preview checkbox in the view menu. Go to view, choose overprint preview, and it will make all your ink aliases kick in. Yeah.

David:  So you can get a preview of the ink aliasing happening.

Anne-Marie:  Yeah. That’s why I like to say that the overprint preview is really misnamed. It should have been called the “Make it all look a little bit more accurate” feature.

David:  Because that’s what it’s doing, it’s making the whole document look a little bit more accurate, like as it’s really going to print or export to PDF. I like that.

Anne-Marie:  Yeah, right, because getting the aliasing working right has nothing to do with overprinting.

David:  Yeah, right, right. Why is it called overprint preview

Anne-Marie:  Just [indecipherable 0:27:56] .

David:  It should just because called “better preview.”

Anne-Marie:  Better, there you go, view better.

David:  Yeah, better preview.

Anne-Marie:  All right, that is it for Episode 211. Be sure to check out the show notes on our blog at indesignsecrets.com where we’ll have links to all the places that we mentioned. We’d love to hear what you thought of the show. Leave a comment in the show notes, start a topic on our forums, or email us at info@indesignsecrets.com.

Until we meet again, this is Anne-Marie Concepcion and…

David:  David Blatner, for InDesign Secrets.


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