Podcast 97 Transcript
To hear the audio episode from which this transcript was made, or to comment on this episode, go to the InDesignSecrets Podcast 97 page.
David Blatner: Welcome to InDesign Secrets Episode 97. I’m David Blatner. I’m here with my cohost Anne-Marie Concepcion.
Anne-Marie Concepcion: Well, you need to go drink water? What’s up?
David: Trying to inject some excitement, some personality, some intensity into this podcast.
Anne-Marie: We should like get all these crazy radio sound effects… [sounds]
David: We don’t need crazy sound effects because we’ve got Anne-Marie.
Anne-Marie: Our podcast and blog at indesignsecrets.com are the independent resource for everything InDesign.
David: It’s true. 999. Hey coming up on today’s show we have an interview with Sandee Cohen.
Anne-Marie: 010101. [laughs]
David: That will be fun.
Anne-Marie: OK I am shutting up.
David: That will be great. We also after that we have the obscure, we’re going to jump right from that into the Obscure InDesign feature of the week eekeekeek…
Anne-Marie: Which is an interesting one.
David: An interesting one show paragraph break marks [dog barks].
Anne-Marie: Zoe loves that one. Yeah.
David: Hi Zoe. Show paragraph break marks. It’s an obscure one. It’s new in CS4.
Anne-Marie: Yes, new one in CS4. There’s been an InCopy for a while and they took a feature from InCopy editing and added it to InDesign, which was interesting. But, we also want to say hello to any new listeners from the Design Tools Weekly Podcast. I have listened to design tools weekly podcast. I love that show that’s the one done by Jay Nelson and Jeff Gamet. Jay does the design tools monthly newsletter that I’ve been getting for years. It’s fantastic and he has been plugging InDesign secrets in the podcast for I think the past dozen episodes or so..
David: That’s very very nice of him. Very kind of both of them. So, we want to give a shot out to both of them. Thank you and people if you want a good design. If you want to keep up with your design skills and your knowledge of what’s out there? What kind of utilities and hardware/software that’s out there go check out Design Tools Weekly so and definitely design tools monthly if you want to get a great thing mailed to you every month. I love design tools monthly. So, let’s put a show. We’ll put a link in the show notes about both of those things. Thanks that would be cool.
David: Sponsor. Oh! We’ve got a couple of sponsors, official sponsors of InDesign Secrets. This episode is sponsored by Recosoft. Someday we will truly nail down this pronunciation of Recosoft or Recosoft, makers of PDF2ID and we also want to thank the makers of World Tools from InTools. Harbs, thank you so much for your sponsorship of InDesign Secrets and to tell you a little bit about both these products we have…
Anne-Marie: We put Sandee on the spot.
David: We did. So, let’s listen to Sandee to tell about those and then also listen to her talk a little bit about her new book and PDF that’s available to everybody.
Sandee Cohen: First of all Reco or Recosoft ID2, PDF2ID, VDF two ID, the whole thing there if you have inherited a PDF from wherever from a Word document, from an old InDesign document, from an Excel spreadsheet, you can turn that document into an InDesign file and the newest version of PDF2ID has all sorts of incredible new features, my favorite of which is to look at the page and intelligently link text frames. That to me is greatest thing. It has wonderful software. It will look at a page and figure out where styles should be and then give you styles and we all know there isn’t no styles in Acrobat.
So, anybody who has these orphan PDFs, this is your product.
Anne-Marie: Excellent that’s great and we completely agree and so have you used and do you know about World Tools from InTools.
Sandee: I have not gotten it because I am not one of those people who need it, but the concept here of World Tools is fantastic, the whole concept is. Certain languages Arabic, Hebrew. They don’t read from left to right, they read from right to left. How do you set type for those programs without necessarily having to buy the ME version. Well, what InTools has done with their World Tools is giving you a tiny little drige and this is a product that then allows you to set type backwards, and for anybody who is doing a let’s say a temple bulletin that might need a little bit of Hebrew text or anybody who has got public, they’ve got information from any of the Arab newspapers that they want to provide.
You know, the Middle East is an important area of the world, and not being able to set the type correctly is a stumbling block. Any designer who has that need should get this and, as I heard in the podcast a couple of weeks ago, the greatest thing about the World Tools is, if you buy it and then you realize I really need the full ME the publisher is going to give you a discount based on the amount of money that you already paid for the World Tools product.
David: That’s right you could just try our World Tools to see if it works, and if it doesn’t then upgrade to the full ME version. That’s a really good point.
Sandee: And so I think that is a great idea and those are two important products for anybody who is working with Middle Eastern text.
David: Thank you Sandee.
Sandee: You’re welcome.
David: So, Sandee, tell us about this book. I’ve never heard of this visual quick quackster. Quick? What have you done? What have you rot upon?
Anne-Marie: What does VQS stand for is that a venereal disease?
Sandee: No, that’s a type of video format. There was VHS and VQS.
Anne-Marie: All right, I used to have VQS recorder I remember.
Sandee: Exactly much better then the Betas.
David: So, Sandee, the VQS is out now? Is it a real book?
Sandee: It’s a real book. It’s in paper with binding and a cover and all that stuff. However, we changed the book. Peachpit, the publisher, tried to say that fast, came to me and said we need to keep the page count down and so I had the unfortunate task of figuring out which of my chapter babies I had to throw out and of course I couldn’t do it. So, I said to them, “Well, look. Let’s try this. Let’s take one chapter and put it online.” We did a little debate as to which chapter to do and I said, “You know what I’d really like is to take the chapter called Interactive and Multimedia, chapter 18, and make it an Interactive and Multimedia PDF.”
David: huh. That makes sense.
Sandee: So, in addition to showing people how to do these things, the whole chapter would be an example of this type of thing.
Anne-Marie: That’s like the coffee table book.
Sandee: Exactly. Exactly like the coffee table book.
Anne-Marie: It’s a coffee table.
David: What? It’s a coffee table, itself?
Anne-Marie: Did you used to watch Seinfeld?
David: I watched it once.
Sandee: Well, Kramer had a book about coffee tables that turned into a coffee table.
David: Great. OK. Great. So, you’re saying that your book is a coffee table.
Sandee: No. My book is an interactive and multi… My chapter is an interactive and multimedia document.
David: And I’m just giving you grief because I actually have the PDF here in front of me and it is great.
David: You know, you’ve got to get the book just for this chapter because it’s such a good example of doing an interactive PDF. It has every possible type of thing you would want: a hyper link…
Anne-Marie: She’s got the arrows going on, a footer to advance pages and go back and what I especially love are the screen shots. Tell us about how you did these screen shots.
Sandee: Well, this is something and anybody, and you two have done books, you’ve done magazine articles. You know that the hardest part of putting anything of tutorials into print is that the screen shot is too small to fit on the page.
Sandee: So, what I did was use the show/hide field button technique for the screen shots. When the viewer of the PDF rolls over the small screen shot, a larger one appears that is easily readable. And then when you roll off, it hides.
Sandee: And it’s really fun. It’s a lot of work. I had…
Anne-Marie: Did you put that programming in “InDesign” or in “Acrobat”?
Sandee: Everything in the chapter, with the exception of adding SWF movies, was done in “InDesign.” Everything.
David: Wow. It’s great. And you know, I love the movies. I love the fact that you do have movies. You have a lot of Quick Time movies in here. And it’s perfect because a lot of times you want to show how something is done. You know, drag this on top of this, but it’s very hard to describe in text what exactly you’re supposed to drag on top of, just as an example, and you show it so easily. You just click on it and all of a sudden you get a movie.
I like the fact that you’ve got those big red lines, red dot dash lines around the things that are movies.
So, you just click on it, you see the movie, and you immediately get it. And it’s one of the reasons why I am such a big fan of ebooks and why I’m hoping we’re going to see more of these ebooks in the future.
Unfortunately, like you said, it is a lot of work. It adds a lot of work for the author or the production person, but it just makes it so much easier for the reader, for the viewer.
Sandee: Well, now I have a question and Peachpit has asked me this question. Most of the movies in the chapter, when you see, let’s say, how to move a, I think it’s a hyper link or a swatch, or something like that, from one position in the panel to another, our question was, do we need sound? I don’t think you do because you’ve got the caption. Somebody’s voice is really superfluous, redundant, and not necessary.
Anne-Marie: What I think we should do is do a second version with your voice and then charge it extra.
David: The only disappointment for me was that I can’t find any movies of you. I mean, a picture you, Sandee, like a little head shot saying “Welcome to my chapter.” I would love that. But, as for the movies that show how to do a technique, no I don’t think they are necessary.
Anne-Marie: Well, I don’t know if I have the latest version of Sandee, but when I click on the movies, they do appear, but there’s no controls. Did you do that on purpose? Or, I mean, there’s no controls like to pause or rewind. They just kind of loop. Is that what you meant to do?
Sandee: Yes. I did mean to have them, not controlled. There is one movie that is controlled, and that is a movie that shows you that when you set control, what happens. [laughter]
Sandee: No. I believe, in a captive audience, once they start a movie and look, the movies are all of seven or eight seconds.
Sandee: The sound idea was… see… and I disagree with a picture of me about this, too, David, is that it’s not video training like you guys do for lynda.com. It’s not print. It’s not video. It’s a hybrid. I do call these things hybrids.
But, unlike video training, where the video and the personality of the presenter is very important, this is primarily book with video as necessary to propel the instructional on.
Sandee: Boy, did that sound highfaluting. [laughter]
Anne-Marie: Now, Sandee, while you were putting this together, this tour de force, did you run into any road blocks or any frustrations or wish lists for CS5?
Sandee: Well, there were two important ones. Number one: The reason that I added the SWF files in Acrobat, is there’s a bug on the Mac. And the bug on the Mac I’m not going to get into all the technical data, but basically it’s better to insert SWF Flash movies into Acrobat than in “InDesign” and I’m expecting at some day Adobe will change this, but right now it is better to do it in acrobat. That was number one. The second one was that it was a heck of a project. Every time I did one of those show/hide fields, there’s a lot of clicking and pushing and choosing and dragging and scrolling and all that stuff. And after the whole thing was done, I never do things in the middle, but after the whole thing was done, I asked Peter Truskay over in California, one of the best… Peter and Jim Berkensier, one of the best set of scripters I know, to do a little script that automated the process for me.
And if people are interested, I will give you in the show notes, Anne-Marie, a contact, and people, if they are interested, Peter and Jim are selling this script for a very small amount.
Sandee: But, it really automates the whole process.
David: Oh, that would be great because it is a hassle when you have a lot of buttons. Everything that you want to hide or show has to be a button if you do it in InDesign in this particular field, and then those buttons having to turn those buttons on and off is really tedious. So, that’s cool to hear about. I didn’t know about it.
Sandee: This broadcast is actually the public announcement of the script.
David: Excellent. Excellent.
Anne-Marie: Do they have a name for it?
Sandee: You haven’t asked me the most important question. How do people get the electronic chapter?
Anne-Marie: So, Sandee, I would assume that you would get it after you bought it. There would be a URL to download it.
Sandee: Well, the whole thing of it is if you go into the book at Chapter 18, there are actually four pages of Chapter 18 that explain what the topics are. This is in the print book. The online chapter is what, 50 pages. It’s a huge thing. In that opening, there is a URL, and the whole thing is, basically, www.peachpit.com/ indesignCS4vqs. one word but you can see it in the book. Now, the hard part is once you go to this URL, you have to enter a secret code. The secret code is the ISBN number for the book.
Anne-Marie: So, you’re releasing that information. That’s very cool. Thank you very much, Sandee.
Sandee: Now, I’m not saying that you have to buy the book. I hear there is a way you could find the ISBN number of a book without actually buying it.
Anne-Marie: Yeah, there’s an obscure website, I believe, that lists it.
David: But, I think everybody should buy the book to begin with. That’s even better because it is a very good book and especially for anybody who is just starting to use InDesign, you’ve got to have the Visual Quick Start Guide. I know you’ve been doing this from the very beginning since Version 1.0; you’ve been doing the VQS for InDesign. And, you know, it’s just very, very good and it’s necessary. It should be on anyone’s desk who is starting to work with InDesign, you know, for the first six months.
Sandee: This is the way that I feel about the chapter. First of all, yes, I would like all the beginners, all newbies, who are starting with InDesign to go out and buy the book. I think it is written for beginners and it really helps; however, I’d be very upset if somebody who bought my Version CS and were now up to CS4. They don’t need to buy the book yet. However, anyone who is seriously interested in interactive and multimedia just writes down the ISBN number, go to the website, download the chapter. This is my way of publicizing interactive and multimedia features, and my feeling is you don’t have to buy the book if you’re already an intermediate to advanced user. Just get the chapter.
David: That’s right.
Anne-Marie: That’s very generous because I know a number of people who bought the VQS book only because when people say, how can I learn more about interactive PDFs, well, the very best writeup is in Sandee’s VQS book.
Sandee: But, not any more. That’s the whole thing. The print version doesn’t have this there.
David: That’s excellent that you and Peachpit are giving that away.
Anne-Marie: It even has a linked index in the end of it. Very sharp. Well, a linked index at the end of a chapter. That’s unusual. Thank you very much for doing that, Sandee.
Sandee: Well, that was not done using the index feature. That’s actually a Table of Contents that was simply put at the end of the book.
Anne-Marie: Oh, that makes sense.
Anne-Marie: Wait. Hang on a minute.
Sandee: She’s having trouble with this.
Anne-Marie: Yes, I am. But only the page numbers are linked.
Sandee: Yeah, actually, I ended up redoing the whole thing.
Anne-Marie: Did you have to do that by hand?
Sandee: I actually did that part by hand because I had screwed around with the TOC, and it lost some of the links. So, I did that one, but it’s only a few things.
Anne-Marie: There’s only a few hundred.
Sandee: No, no. There aren’t a few hundred, and there’s a trick there though. If the same number is above the same number; I’ve got see page three, three, three, three I just put a button that covered all of those threes.
Anne-Marie: It’s fascinating. Right. So, if you open this up with Acrobat, then you can sort of see the innards of how this is constructed.
Sandee: The book is copy protected.
David: It is. You turned off allowances, so you can’t actually go in there and pull that apart.
Anne-Marie: Too bad. [laughter]
Sandee: Hey, I can’t give the whole thing away.
David: So, Sandee, now that you have completed all of this excellent work and you’ve got this out there, what is next on your plate?
Sandee: I’m actually right in the middle of a project that I started a while back and then had to put on hold and now I’m back in it. Many years ago, Robin Williams no, not that Robin Williams; our Robin Williams and I wrote a book called “The NonDesigner’s Scan and Print Book,” which is an entry level book for designers and production people who have no idea what dotgame is and what RGB is and what duotones are, and all that kind of stuff. It’s very entry level, but it’s very much out of topical things. It’s out of date. It’s really out of date, so I decided to update it without Robin. Robin is off doing great things with Shakespeare and things like that.
So, I have a new book which will be coming out sometime in the late spring called “From Design into Print,” and that is all about if you’re a designer and you don’t have a production manager explaining these things, this is the entry level book. It is also the book that I always said: you read this book to then understand David’s “Real World Scanning and Halftones.”
David: That makes sense.
Anne-Marie: Yeah. So, that’s great. And that book is oh so necessary. You know, so often I’m thinking about all these training clients where they call and they say like: hi, I just hired as the marketing manager for, you know, this distributor or whatever and I need to learn InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator and Acrobat. Can you tell me how long it would take? Well, I’m like, well about four years. Then, I go there and you feel like a day each and during the training they’ll be like, is this a spot color job? And they have no clue what a spot color is. They have no clue what a bleed is. It’s, basically, teaching them prepress and how to prepare their project for printing as well as designing and using the software.
So, I always wished there was a book like what you’re talking about that I could say, “You need this book to save me from talking your ear off”.
David: That’s right. Here’s what resolution is. Here is what a halftone is and so on, just the basics. People need those essential basics, so that’s great.
Anne-Marie: I love how you’re attacking it from both ends here, Sandee. You are doing interactive plus you are doing print, right? You’ve got them coming and going.
Sandee: I’ll never give up print. I will never give up print. I have ink all over my hands.
David: That’s from the New York Times that you read this morning.
Sandee: No, no, I don’t have toner.
Anne-Marie: You probably read it online.
Sandee: I did. I do not have toner on my hands. I have ink.
David: Ink; we love ink. Listen. We’d better go, but this has been terrific, Sandee. Thank you so much for taking the time to talk with us and to share this really great information about interactive PDFs. We hope everybody starts getting this stuff.
Anne-Marie: Thank you so much.
Sandee: Thank you guys [mimics theme music].
Anne-Marie: That’s a second career for you.
Sandee: That’s my favorite part of the show. [laughter]
David: [mimics theme music]
Anne-Marie: She’s very good with that.
David: She is. She is. We’ve got to get her on officially, the official music maker, I think, something like that. OK, let’s talk about the Obscure InDesign Feature of the Week, eek, eek, eek.
Anne-Marie: And that was something that you discovered that was added to CS4. I didn’t even know that was in there.
David: It was one of those accidents. I was looking around and, of course, you always find these things after the book goes to print, right? So, Real World InDesign, which is actually coming off the press either yesterday, today or…
David: Finally should be in bookstores soon. “Real World InDesign” is off on its magical journey to readers, and all of a sudden yesterday I found “Show Paragraph Break Marks.” It’s like, where did that feature come from?
Anne-Marie: Well, I don’t think it was mentioned anywhere. I wonder if it’s even in the documentation.
David: I doubt it. I doubt it. You’ll have to go look for that.
David: Well, let’s tell you where it is. It’s under the View menu in InDesign CS4, under the View menu under Story Editor. There’s a special Story Editor submenu under the View menu, which has things like High Depth Ruler and Style Name Called. We’ve talked about those in the past, I believe, but there’s a third new feature in there called “Hide or Show Paragraph Break Marks.”
Anne-Marie: Now before we even mention that, I think we should mention what the Story Editor is. There are still thousands of InDesign users who have not discovered the Story Editor.
David: Oh no. Really? You’ve got to use Story Editor. Folks, you’ve got to force yourself to use it. It’s one of those things. Force yourself to use it three times, and you’ll be hooked. It’s awesome.
Anne-Marie: That’s right. Basically, you just select any text frame or click inside any text frame with a type tool and go to the Edit menu and choose Story Editor or just press control or command Y, toggle to open and close. That’s what I usually do, and that opens a single scrolling window containing the text contents of that story, of that frame. So, like, even if the story jumps from page one to page 20, you’ll have one window that contains the entire text. It appears like on top of or beside the layout, and you can flip back and forth between Story Editor and the layout.
Any edits you make in one view are immediately reflected in the other view, so there are lots of good reasons to use the Story Editor. Footnotes are a lot easier to work with the Story Editor because they appear in line. Notes appear in line and lots of cool features.
Story Editor is one of the main views in InCopy. It’s kind of like, if you’ve ever worked in Word and you’ve worked in print preview versus normal view you know how normal view removes page breaks and sort of one scrolling window, that’s what Story Editor is all about. But, the issue is that Story Editor does not show formatting in layout view, either in InCopy or InDesign.
You could turn on invisibles. I mean, the hidden characters so that you can see the [inaudible 27:15], the end of paragraph marks, but other than that, it’s kind of hard to tell when paragraphs begin.
David: It is really frustrating.
Anne-Marie: It doesn’t show first line indents or space above. They are one right after the other.
David: Right, which is really crazy. The one little clue in CS3 and earlier was that every paragraph begins with a paragraph style, so in the left column if you have that visible it’s one of your preferences. If you have that visible, it actually shows you the name of the paragraph style.
Anne-Marie: That’s right. That’s in CS4, too.
David: That’s in CS4, too, as well. That was the one thing I kind of got used to just having to look there OK, that’s a big enough paragraph. That’s a big enough paragraph and so on. But, what I really wanted was indents. What I really wanted was indents because that’s naturally; I want to see the beginning of a paragraph indented. Story Editor wouldn’t do that. At least, it wouldn’t do it in InDesign. You had to do this option InCopy.
Anne-Marie: Yeah, you had that option in InCopy all the time, and when you turn it on what it does is it adds first line indent to every single paragraph in the Story Editor whether or not there is an indent in that paragraph in layout. It’s not an actual indent. You see like little weird little double chevron kind of thing going on so that it lets you know that this is actually kind of a marker. That’s why it’s called “Show Paragraph Break Mark.” It’s actually, I think, three chevrons in a row. All of the paragraphs have the same indent or mount. I think it’s probably sort of a half inch or something like that. It just helps you really distinguish paragraph from paragraph.
David: Yeah. I love it. I’m going to have this on all the time now in Story Editor in CS4. It’s so much more useful in working in Story Editor to be able to see one paragraph from the next. I think it’s actually four different the right angle bracket kind of effects in a row. You might have to add that to your special characters PDF.
Anne-Marie: Here’s something else. A secret obscure tip on top of a tip is that when you turn that on you also see the paragraph break marks in your notes panel when you insert a note into a story. The notes panel also does not show formatting, right?
Anne-Marie: But, if you write multiple paragraphs of notes you’ll see the paragraph break mark appear there.
David: Wow. Cool.
Anne-Marie: I once got like a tech report call saying, “What is this thing in my notes panel and how do I get rid of it?” That was InCopy tech support that I got a call, and I said, “Oh, you have to turn it off in the View menu. That’s when I first learned that they are apparently sharing some of the same code.
David: That’s interesting, so the notes panel also shows you the indents for each paragraph if you have multiple paragraphs or even if you only have one paragraph. It starts off with that. It’s that simple. That could freak you out. Interesting. All right. Well, there we go. Excellent. That’s the InDesign Obscure Feature of the Week, eek, eek, eek.
Anne-Marie: That’s it for Episode 97. Be sure to check the Show Notes on our blog at indesignsecrets.com where we’ll have links to all of the places we’ve mentioned and our sponsors as well. We’d love to hear what you thought of the show. Leave a comment in the Show Notes or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Until we meet again, this is Anne-Marie and…
David: David Blatner for InDesign Secrets.