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Vegas + dekePod = magic, baby!

Hello friends of dekeOnline. It's 2am and I have to do a 4-hour presentation tomorrow. If that sounds like complaining, perish the thought. I can't wait for my afternoon session. But I have to get a little sleep at some point, so I'll make this short.

First, I'm currently sitting at a desk in a room on the 14th floor of Mandalay Bay, which is one of two hotels at the extreme ends of the Las Vegas Strip. Mandalay Bay is the one with the Shark Reef exhibit in it, right across from the main airport. How is it I'm managing to hang with both the sharks and the jets? Because tomorrow marks the beginning of Photoshop World, that twice-a-year gala event where we celebrate all things Photoshop. And photographic. And just plain phun. Read more » 

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Stretching a Photo in Illustrator (and Elsewhere)

Hey gang,

Meant to have this post up bright and early Monday morning, but the punative Internet gods conspired against me and robbed me of my usual beloved-martini-in-hand 3am site access. Jerks.

Anyhoo, as promised, more detailed information about the "Stretching a Photo in Illustrator" trick from last week's dekePod. Remember her?


(Image ©2008 Andrzej Burak. Used by permission of iStockphoto.)

Here's the full story: Read more » 

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dekeOnline dominates the name Deke

That's right. Google the word "deke," and guess which site comes out on top? What are the odds of that? We even beat out that ice hockey term that I've never actually heard anyone actually say.

Okay, so apparently, they bandy that term in Canada. Which brings me to this week's topic: International interest in See the map below? The more green you are, the more folks from your country who have visited dekeOnline. It might be the only map where the U.S. is more green than, say, everywhere.

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News Flash: B/C No Longer Suckz

Recently, a few of you expressed mild to moderate surprise that I resorted to Brightness/Contrast to fix an image in the Lab mode. (See this and this.) So I figured I'd run an article that I wrote about a year ago for Photoshop User magazine. Okay, so it's a repurpose, but this version appears as I submitted it, headline and all. By which I mean, with a couple of hours of updating with the denizens of in mind. Anyway, here goes:

Ask a group of Photoshop experts to name the worst function in all of Photoshop and you’ll probably get a variety of answers: Defringe (doesn’t work), Dust & Scratches (removes neither), Pattern Maker (doesn’t work), Edit > Menus (removing commands doesn't simplify the program), or my personal antifavorite, the sharpen tool (takes a perfectly good image and makes it look like it was rendered in iron filings). But I think you’ll find a fair amount of consensus around what has traditionally been the most notorious image destroyer in all of Photoshop, Brightness/Contrast.

wanted poster Read more » 

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Creating Anchored Comments in InDesign

More and more of my graphically inclined authors are choosing the option to create their chapters in InDesign. Problem is, InDesign doesn't (really) have the two things an editor needs to communicate effectively within the document during the editing process: trackable changes and efficient comments. For the latter, there's the Notes palette, but unfortunately that hasn't improved since we learned to hack it into CS2. It still has an impossibly hard-to-select reference point and a weird sense of order. (If you are still using InDesign CS2 and would like to know how to get the Notes palette, check out this InDesign Secret.) I came up with a system for creating comments with anchored objects that the dekeTeam is still using today, even after the Notes palette became a regular cast member in CS3, because my anchored comment system works better. Here's how we do it. (Oh, and I'm using a draft of the upcoming Illustrator One-on-One book so you're getting a miniscule sneak peak here for what it's worth. Nothing but the best for you people.)

By the way, as far as tracked changes goes, yes, I know about InCopy. I've used the InCopy plugin effectively, but it adds another layer of complexity (and another $250 a person to the process). I've actually had authors simply tell me it wasn't going to happen. InCopy seems ideal for collaboration in real-time, say, on a magazine project, but in the book world, chapters go linearly to each person and we rarely work across the same server, which ultimately makes InCopy more cumbersome than it needs to be. What I really need is to be able to track changes, a la InCopy, in the regular old InDesign Story Editor. I've whined about this incessantly to Michael Ninness, our beloved friend and InDesign Product Manager. I truly believe he'll make sure it happens one day, just to shut me up. Read more » 

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