This blog is about Graphic Design, Vector Art, and Cartoon Illustration

Power tools in Adobe Photoshop, InDesign, Dreamweaver and Illustrator

Adobe Photoshop, InDesign, Dreamweaver and Illustrator all have something in common - there are ways to accomplish hundreds, even thousands, of tasks with just a few mouse clicks. Real pros know these, and it will make your work easier, make you hit deadlines with ease, and it will get you out the door at quitting time!

If you are a Graphic Designer, or a Graphic Design student, who "brags" about how many hours a project took, or how late you stayed working on something, you are probably just telling everyone that you don't know how to use Adobe's power tools. There are a lot of them and I would like to talk about a few here. It's all about learning these tricks and understanding that computers love to do what humans hate to do - repetitious tasks. In fact, if you are doing anything at all that is repetitious, you should ask yourself, is there any easier way? There probably is!

Here are a few power tools that you should know -

Photoshop - Actions. Actions allows you to record a complex series of tasks and then apply them with a single click. Even better - Batch. You will find Actions under "Window". Batch is under File>Automate. While you are there until midnight, a pro has created an action and a batch and was home before rush hour.

InDesign - Master Pages. Master pages let you not only place items on hundreds of pages with just a click, they allow you to change hundreds of pages with the same amount of clicks. New logo on every page of the 2,500-page manual? Click! Done.

Dreamweaver - Cascading Style Sheets file. When you go to use CSS for your typography in Dreamweaver, make sure that you create a separate file that links to all your web pages. Don't like those purple Helvetica 18 point headings? Change them on all of the pages in the whole site using the CSS page.

Illustrator - Symbols. Instead of drawing something and copying and pasting it, turn it into a symbol. If it repeats all over the drawing, and you can change it once and it changes in every instance. Need to change 275 six-pointed stars to eight-pointed stars? Do it once and it's done.

And this is just the beginning. Once you start learning these power tools, your productivity goes up like a rocket. And it's kind of fun. Zoom-zoom!

If you would like to get personal on-site software training in Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator or Dreamweaver in the greater Phoenix, Arizona area, please contact me. Paypal accepted, morning appointments only.

Contact Brad directly