Photoshop tip : action within an action

here’s a tip based on one from a brilliant online resource — Tiny Tutorials. you really should subscribe to that site — it’s awesome.

you can record an action in photoshop. you do it so that you can replicate particular sequences of commands on future images. this is invaluable to anyone interested in streamlining their workflow. if you’re using photoshop and NOT already using actions, you’re probably a loony.

but you probably already knew that. however, you may not already know that you can easily include an existing action in your recording of a new action. the image below shows that, while recording an action (“Screen Grab”), you can click on another action (“yellow highlights) and PLAY it :

screen grab showing how to play an existing action while recording a new action

this results in a “play action…” command being added into your new action :

screen grab showing "play action" command added to new recording

two things to be careful of if you start using this method :
• playing another action during recording WILL actually play that action on the image you’re currently working on; and
• do not move or rename your actions, or the “play action…” command will fail when it can’t find the action to play.

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upgrade or go to hell

it looks like Adobe are giving their customers the finger — with a recently announced change to their upgrade policy :
“With regards to upgrades, we are changing our policy for perpetual license customers. In order to qualify for upgrade pricing when CS6 releases, customers will need to be on the latest version of our software (either CS5 or CS5.5 editions). If our customers are not yet on those versions, we’re offering a 20% discount through December 31, 2011 which will qualify them for upgrade pricing when we release CS6.”

you can read the full post here : Adobe Creative Cloud and Adobe Creative Suite: New Choices for Customers.

this announcement was made only a month ago — giving users a very small window of opportunity if, indeed, they hear about the change at all.

photoshop guru, Scott Kelby, has published a very polite plea in An Open Letter To Adobe Systems.

let’s hope Adobe are sensible enough to heed the voice of reason.

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InDesign tip : #11

a brilliant little feature in InDesign is screen mode. it lets you quickly get a clean preview of a page — with all hidden characters, guides, grids, frame edges and the pasteboard hidden. in other words, you can go from this (normal screen mode) :

screen garb of page in normal screen mode

… to this (preview screen mode) :

screen grab of page in preview screen mode

… in an instant. there are also options for both bleed and slug screen modes.

you can access this from the view menu or, even easier, from the bottom of the tool panel (this grab is from CS2, other versions are similar) :

screen grab of tool panel showing screen mode button at bottom

but by far the easiest way is with the simple keyboard shortcut ‘W’. just make sure you’re not editing text when you use it. you can have the text tool selected, no worries, just don’t have it active in a text frame.

but wait, there’s more…
the default background colour is light grey — a good, all-purpose colour — but you can change it to anything you like, in your preferences :

screen grab of Guides & Pasteboard preferences showing preview background option

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