celebrating 100

we finally made it – 100 posts in 100 weeks. 30 InDesign tips, 30 InDesign scripting lessons and a bunch of other stuff — touching the hearts and minds of people in over 100 countries. not a bad effort.

many many flags

thanks for your support and encouragement and occasional dollars. it’s good to know this stuff is finding a warm home in living brains out there.

a big thanks also to all those talented people out there who share their knowledge, experience and skills on blogs, forums, etc. it makes learning something like applescript a whole lot less frustrating.

macgrunt owes a particular debt of gratitude to Marc Autret, an absolute giant of InDesign scripting and the brains behind indiscripts. he’s very generous in promoting the work of others — like featuring macgrunt at, you guessed it, 100 in his list of 140+ InDesign and Creative Tasks You Didn’t Know You Could Automate

… and this from Philipp Geuder — an awesome InDesign script to truly blow you away : layout invaders

keep grunting

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aussie, aussie, aussie

someone once said — something along the lines of — “if you ever want to invade australia, do it in january, because there’s no-one doing a goddamn thing.” — which goes some way to explaining why there have been no posts this month.

so we’re going to finish this slack month with a slack post — but one which demonstrates a handy little applescript trick — the say command. and we’re going to make it a bit aussie-themed on this important anniversary because, well, why the hell not?

Australia Day Logo

to date, the scripts on this site give feedback to users through dialogs — little windows that pop up with appropriate messages. but there’s no reason why you can’t use apple’s text-to-speech technology to give verbal feedback to users when tasks are complete, or whatever.

… and it really is as simple as this :

say "something"

that will give you something in whatever the default voice is set to. there are a bunch of different voices to choose from in the speech panel of your system preferences :
screen grab of speech preferences

specifying a particular voice for your feedback is also simple :

say "aussie, aussie, aussie" using "Alex"
say "oy, oy, oy" using "Alex"

or you might prefer to use a random voice :

set mgVoices to {"Kathy", "Vicki", "Victoria", "Alex", "Bruce", "Fred"}
set mgTheVoice to some item of mgVoices
say "aussie, aussie, aussie" using mgTheVoice
say "oy, oy, oy" using mgTheVoice

and now you can also download additional voices to play around with — just click on the customise option in the system voice dropdown :
screen grab of voice download options

you can find samples of some of the voices over at NextUp

but …
you have to be a little careful with your voice choice. here’s a little homage to monty python :

say "strailya, strailya, strailya, we love you" using "Bruce"

now bruce doesn’t do a bad job (alex is better) but how would it sound with an australian voice? well the results are disappointing — karen (who pronounces her name more like ‘corinne’) doesn’t know how to speak australian. i reckon she’s a ring-in. when asked to say ‘strailya’ — a very basic aussie term — she instead says ‘stray liar’ — very odd behaviour for an aussie sheila.

the closest you’ll get with poor old kazza is this :

say "strail yuh, strail yuh, strail yuh, we love you" using "Karen"

… and the same goes for that un-australian “Lee” too — flamin’ wowser.

there are a few other things you can play around with when using the say command (rate, pitch modulation, volume, etc). check out the standard additions dictionary. unfortunately, not all properties work with all voices (eg. pitch and modulation do not affect the australian voices) :

say "chuckus a tinny would you darlin?" using "Lee" speaking rate 200
delay 0.2
say "no worries love" using "Karen" speaking rate 130

have a bonza aussie day — and keep grunting

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… a short interlude …

it’s time for a short break — after fifty posts in twenty eight weeks.

it was said in days of old that macgrunt is all about workflow automation and optimisation. but macgrunt is also about rest and relaxation — and verily so.

thanks for reading, hope you’re finding this stuff useful — normal transmission will be resumed as soon as possible.

if you haven’t seen it yet — have a chuckle with the very first macgrunt post — iQuit

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InDesign tip : #01

most of the indesign tips that appear here will be focussed on increasing productivity. but, for now, let’s start with a bit of frivolousness. this works in CS4.

go to InDesign menu > about InDesign
then type ‘butterfly’
– click to pin and unpin butterflies
– option-click to shoot them down
– return to quit

… hours of fun for all the family

thanks to Iain Anderson : funwithstuff

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there’s something appealing about beginning with quitting. this little app was inspired a couple of years ago by a story about a freelance designer who created a fake error message to communicate his disgruntlement. you can find one version of the story here. the original artwork is attributed to Juan Carlos Pagan. wouldn’t it be kinda cool to have an actual working version to really give it to ’em?

the designer you treat like shit …

iQuit screen grab

iQuit.app — a dialog box with expletive-ridden abuse made with love and care for your favourite employer/manager (it’s up to you how you deploy it).

download iQuit – thanks to box.net

warning: do not click the ‘ignore’ button unless you know how to force-quit an application. it will send you into an eternal loop of abuse. disclaimer: MacGrunt takes absolutely no responsibility for any consequences arising from the use of this app. it’s a simple applescript which will do no harm to your computer, but may well do harm to your career.

screen grab of some of the message windows

update : 17 July : iQuit updated to show a ‘clean’ warning icon. congratulations to you if you downloaded the original, limited-edition, branded version.

update2 : 19 July : Juan Carlos Pagan leaves positive feedback on the iQuit application version of his original artwork. read his comments below.

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