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Showing posts from December, 2009

Dealing with Wildcards in Adobe InDesign

Changing hyphens in number ranges to en-dashes, a common need in typesetting, can be frustrating to perform. This is because of the way 'wildcards' work: you can find all hyphens with 'any digit' either side, but you can't use the same wildcard function to leave those digits untouched when you change the hyphen to an en-dash. This means that either you delete the digit either side of the hyphen when the en-dash is inserted or you try and use the wildcard in the 'Change to:' box and this leaves you with '^9-^9' between your digits (and still deletes those digits next to the hyphen anyway). The solution. While the new GREP function in CS3 and CS4 seems to promise the answer , for those less technologically minded the vanilla Find/Change Text might do a better job. This article from 2002 explains how it is possible with two Find/Change operations (which can be saved for repeated use), you can stop wasting what can amount to hours of time. The principl

Quick Look timesaver

If you have OS X Snow Leopard (10.6) you probably already know that you can view your files in an iTunes style preview mode. You've also probably found the Quick Look icon, which lets you see a preview of the entire file without opening it. Maybe you've also figured out the shortcuts for Quick Look (Spacebar or Cmd + Y), or found that you can highlight multiple files at once and move between them using a contact sheet style layout. But did you know that once the Quick Look viewer is open you can return to the Finder window and select a new file (or indeed files) to be instantly displayed without the rigmarole of closing and opening the viewer again? Give it a try. I guarantee that it will save you time. Tip: It's easiest if you drag the Quick Look window so that it is next to rather than over the Finder window.

NeoOffice just saved me two and half hours of work

Have you ever had Microsoft Word telling you that it can't open your file due to corruption or that it wants to save a recovered version? If so, you know the pain of rewriting and reformatting the whole file. An alternative is to ignore Word and try opening it in a different program. Often I find that NeoOffice (or OpenOffice for non-Mac users) - free to download - will open the same file without complaint. You can then resave and open in Word, or copy and paste the contents from NeoOffice into a new Word doc. Tip: If you are experiencing problems viewing graphs and figures in Word (e.g. Word:Mac 2004) then NeoOffice and OpenOffice can help you with this as well.