CDPUG BlogSphere

News for Digital Designer and Members and Friends of the Cleveland Digital Publishing Users Group

Apple today released the public beta of OS X 10.10 Yosemite!

Simultaneously, we’ve published “Take Control of Beta Testing Yosemite,” by Joe Kissell. You can buy it for a suggested price of $5 from Leanpub. Read on for all the details, or just click the link to get your ebook:

The Yosemite beta is exciting stuff, at least for those of us who love poking around in new software to see what has changed. But the rewards of beta testing come with risks and responsibilities, so in “Take Control of Beta Testing Yosemite,” Joe Kissell draws on years of experience with testing every version of OS X since 10.3 Panther to make sure you know what you’re getting into. Follow Joe’s advice and you can be confident that you won’t mess up anything as you switch to and from the beta.

In the 51-page book, Joe teaches you what’s involved with beta testing in general, and he discusses the pros and cons of installing the beta on a startup volume, virtual machine, separate volume, SuperDuper sandbox, or (best of all) a separate Mac. Next up, you’ll run the installer (without letting it delete itself). With installation completed, Joe suggests key post-installation tasks and categories of software you may need to reinstall, plus gives tips on how to look for new features and report any bugs you may find. Perhaps most important, Joe explains how to switch between the beta and your main installation of OS X, how to downgrade from Yosemite if necessary, and how to upgrade to release version when that ships.

You may be thinking, “Really? A book about how to beta test Yosemite?” We won’t pretend that it’s essential, even though there are helpful details you won’t find elsewhere (such as which virtualization program can run Yosemite as a guest OS) and advice that could save you significant headaches (such as the best destination for your installation). And, of course, the lifespan of the book is limited — it’s useful only until Yosemite ships.

So we’re doing something unusual with pricing: we’ve set a suggested price of $5, but you can pay whatever you think it’s worth — whether that’s more or less than the suggested price, or even nothing at all. (That’s why there’s no MUG discount this time. And if you get it for free and later decide it was valuable to you, you can come back and buy a copy.) Paying helps Joe and his wife keep their baby in diapers and gives us concrete feedback that books of this sort are worth doing.

In keeping with the fast and fluid nature of beta testing, we’ve decided to publish this ebook exclusively via Leanpub, which was designed for quick releases. Had we used our traditional method, we wouldn’t have been able to publish the book at the same time as the public beta, and we would need more time to react to new versions (nor would we have been able to do the choose-your-own-price approach). Any updates to the book will be free.

Thanks for your support of the Take Control series and our authors!

cheers… -Adam & Tonya Engst, Take Control publishers

What can’t 3D printers do? We’ve all heard news stories about 3D-printed food and medical prostheses—even cars and entire houses. But how does additive manufacturing, as it’s also known, really work? And how can an at-home hobbyist get started? Ira teams up with Makerbot’s Bre Pettis to present the ultimate beginner’s guide to 3D printing.

Check out this link to listen to the Science Friday Podcast on the ABCs of 3D.

Adobe Creative Cloud 2014 Create Now! Event at Cleveland Botanical Garden

On June 26, Adobe sponsored a great evening for 205 creatives at the Cleveland Botanical Garden. After a cocktail hour in the gardens (catered by Bon Appetit), the crowd was treated to two hours of feature highlights from Senior Adobe Evangelist Paul Trani (@paultrani, and, and Adobe Community Expert Jim Maivald (@TheAdobeGuy, and

Paul started by announcing the new pricing plans for the cloud, including the Photography Program – Photoshop and Lightroom for both desktop and tablet for only $9.99 a month. Then he launched into the new features for desktop applications, focusing largely on the developments in Photoshop and Illustrator. Photoshop now has Typekit pumped into it, making the font service readily available throughout the Design applications. You can preview different fonts in a design by simply hovering over them. Smart Objects have also been sharpened up: you can now convert embedded Smart Objects into linked ones and package them into a single directory. Both of these features are a great aid to collaborative design.

More and more distance collaboration is going on these days (thus the need for the Cloud), and Adobe has added Collaboration to the files you have in the cloud. Not only can people work on the same files in your Cloud account now, they keep a memory of the changes – much like the History panel in Photoshop.

Back to Photoshop, they’ve also upgraded the smart guides to show spacing information (that marvelous tool added to InDesign some years back) – a feature that will help with creating comps for the web in particular. There’s also a new Focus Area selection tool, which selects or masks only the parts of an image that are in sharp focus. In tandem with this feature, the new Blur Gallery is quite impressive, with new path and motion blur effects. The outstanding upgrade, though, has been in 3D extrusion and construction. Photoshop now has an efficient mesh repair feature, and works smoothly with 3D printers. Paul had some beautiful samples of objects he had designed and then made on 3D printers.

Illustrator has both a greatly improved Pencil Tool (smoothing now works!) and Pen Tool. The Pen Tool now has a live Bezier curve preview, so you know what the results of your path will be.

Moving on to web tools, Muse has been completely re-engineered. The in-browser edit feature works much like a content-management system; collaborators can update images and text, while the designer/developer maintains control of the HTML and CSS.

Jim Maivald completely demystified Premier for our audience, primarily made up of designers. The Live Text templates and capabilities that had been only available in After Effects are now in Premier. Keying features have improved green-screen issues such as ghosting and halo effects. The element that resonated most with our crowd was the new Master Clip (aka Master Pages) that can be used to apply the same settings and adjustments to all instances of a clip. New masking capabilities, combined with Master Clips, make basic editing even more accessible.

Paul finished up the evening by focusing on the five new tablet Apps and Adobe’s first foray into hardware – Ink and Slide. The new apps are Sketch, Line, Photoshop Mix, Lightroom and Creative Cloud for iPhone and iPad. The excitement, though, is all around Ink and Slide: Ink is a three-sided digital stylus that is pressure sensitive and connects to user assets on the Cloud. Slide is a ruler enabling precision sketching, such as straight lines and perfect circles, and even french curves. All I know is this is the one thing that will make me get a new iPad (mine’s too old to run IOS 7, which these new tools require).

As a grand finale, Carl Staub won a ONE YEAR FULL SUBSCRIPTION to the Creative Cloud 2014. Five other members won Adobe Swag Bags, with post-its, pens, mints and more!

If you attended the event, please complete the Adobe survey for another chance at winning a subscription to Creative Cloud at

“Take Control of Automating Your Mac” makes tasks quick, accurate, and repeatable

What’s the key technological advance of the past 50 years? CPUs are faster and drives hold vastly more data, but arguably the most important conceptual leap is copy and paste. Why? Because it lets you leverage work you’ve already done, in a manner that’s quick, accurate, and repeatable. But you know that, and not only do you already understand the utility of copy and paste, you probably also press Command-C on the keyboard instead of choosing Copy from a menu because the keyboard shortcut is faster.

Congratulations, then, since you’re already automating your Mac in one essential way that makes your work quick, accurate, and repeatable with consistent results. In his newest book, “Take Control of Automating Your Mac,” Joe Kissell embarks on a mission to help you find shortcuts to the things you’re already doing regularly so you can focus on those creative or subjective tasks that only you can do. The book normally costs $15, but the 30% MUG discount drops that to $10.50, and better yet, it comes with coupons worth over $60. Learn more about the book and buy it via the coupon-loaded link below.

It’s important to realize that you don’t need to be a programmer — or even particularly geeky — to automate your Mac. Everyone uses copy and paste, and most of what Joe explains in “Take Control of Automating Your Mac” can be used by anyone, from novice to expert. Nor is specialized software necessary. OS X has oodles of built-in automation features like keyboard shortcuts, configurable gestures, and automatic launching of key apps. But clever Macintosh developers have created brilliant utilities that go far beyond OS X’s features, and Joe explains how to use such stalwarts as Keyboard Maestro and Hazel, plus delves into the included automation capabilities in apps like Microsoft Office and Nisus Writer Pro.

In short, Joe wants to do three things with “Take Control of Automating Your Mac”

* Show you lots of tools and techniques for automating your Mac.
* Offer concrete examples you can use as is or adapt to your needs.
* Inspire you with extensive lists of further possibilities.

To that end, he devotes chapters to the following topics, to show you how to:

* Develop an automator’s mindset
* Use OS X’s built-in automation features
* Take full advantage of input devices to save clicks
* Automate text expansion for faster, more consistent typing
* Control the Finder, with a launcher and by organizing files with Hazel
* Supercharge your clipboard to remember and reformat previous copies
* Write macros in Microsoft Office and Nisus Writer Pro
* Create rules to file email automatically in Apple Mail and Outlook
* Log in to Web sites faster with a password manager
* Automate cloud services with IFTTT and Zapier
* Set up automatic backup and syncing
* Get started with Automator and AppleScript
* Control nearly anything on your Mac with Keyboard Maestro

Put bluntly, we want to help you use your Mac more productively. It pains us when we see someone repeating the same mind-numbing steps over and over, when we know a Keyboard Maestro macro could easily do it all with a single keystroke. To aid in that, we’ve included discounts on eight of the most important apps Joe covers in the book: 20% or 30% off on Keyboard Maestro, LaunchBar, Hazel, Nisus Writer Pro, TextExpander, TextSoap, TypeIt4Me, and Typinator — look for coupons at the back of the ebook.

So, read “Take Control of Automating Your Mac” and get Joe’s expert advice on how to make your repetitive tasks quick, accurate, and repeatable, whether by setting up your Mac to type “quick, accurate, and repeatable” whenever you type “qar” or by creating whatever filing, launching, typing, clicking, sorting, filtering, or other shortcut that will save you from boredom and let you get to the fun stuff faster.

cheers… -Adam & Tonya Engst, Take Control publishers

P.S. Check out some of our other recently released ebooks, all at 30% off:

* Take Control of Your Apple Wi-Fi Network
* Take Control of Podcasting on the Mac
* Take Control of Your Paperless Office
* Take Control of Dropbox

My Life with Omni Focus 2 for iPhone – HIGTD or “How I Get Things Done”

Over the years, I’ve tended to reject the “blank on a shoestring” approach to anything from marketing to time management. I personally think it is most productive to use the tools that are not only available, but best suited to achieve the desired end result. Free is fine but not an acceptable substitute for a more effective solution that carries a cost. The right tools not only make us money, but also make work more enjoyable because they save time and make us more productive. This is the line in the sand that turns a cost into an investment.

Everyone’s circumstances are different, so a task that may seem easy to one person may be monumental to another, based on their particular and differing workload and workflow.

Also, the challenges can be widely different, for a one-person business or department versus a situation where there are numerous people as part of the process.

First and foremost, I believe my brain is for doing the work and completing the projects, NOT for trying to remember what that work or those projects are.

It is about removing the stress of forgetting what and when something needs to be done. That just leaves one with the stress of actually doing the work and then getting paid on time.

Yes, I could keep my life, both personal and business, organized with pen and paper but I don’t always have them in my hands. My smartphone is seldom out of reach, thus enters Omni Focus 2 for iPhone.

My essential ingredients for getting things done include:

1. Maintaining an accurate list of both single action items and multi-part projects

2. Organizing projects into an accurate and sequential list of individual action items

3. Keep Action Items sufficiently singular in nature (truly single actions)

4. Concentrate on the start date of the first action in a project (obviously that dates needs to reflect the required completion date)

5. As items come up as reminders, if original chosen time is not doable, I move the start by the hour, day, or week as needed.

6. I need to populate email to my HIGTD inbox to avoid losing emails that require action on my part

I hear a lot of people say that they check email at rigidly established times each day. I can’t do that and still operate efficiently. I can’t justify not being current with emails if a must do now email hits my email client and my practices will prevent me from seeing it for a number of hours. My greatest fear is that I’ll check email, discover an important To Do item that can in fact be done later and make a mental note to take care of it later, only to have it slip my mind. That is solved by Omni Focus Mail Drop. Now I can check email and have a vehicle to avoid BOTH having to act on it right away, and also not have to worry about forgetting about it.

Gain the ability to add items to an inbox anytime (iPhone) never have an excuse for not populating the inbox.

The Omni Focus 2 Forecast Mode shows me the demands on my time on a daily basis while the weekly review mode (Mac and iPad versions) in Omni Focus keeps all life’s tasks on the radar and eliminates the “cracks that can slip into which life’s To Do list.”

While all my tasks don’t always get completed as planned, I never forget about the need to prepare a quote, to pickup bread or milk, to check for delivery of a customer order, to stop at Home Depot, etc.

Omni Focus 2 for iPhone is for the person who is truly serious about getting and keeping a handle on virtually everything they need to do in every facet of their lives. I’ve only skimmed the surface of the myriad of features. Suffice it to say that OMNI Focus 2 for iPhone helps you get the job(s) done.

Omni Focus 2 for iPhone $19.99 from Omnigroup.

Marvin E. Sable
Network Laser Art

“Take Control of Your Apple Wi-Fi Network” helps keep your wireless network fast, reliable, and secure

Some things improve with age, and while old Wi-Fi networks don’t fall into that category, Glenn Fleishman’s documentation of everything related to Apple’s AirPort base stations and Wi-Fi networking continues to get better.

We’ve just released “Take Control of Your Apple Wi-Fi Network,” a new title that focuses on the latest tools and technologies for wireless networking, such as AirPort Utility 6 for Mac and AirPort Utility for iOS, plus Apple’s 802.11ac base stations. In this 196-page book, Glenn helps you swap in new gear for better performance, extend your network’s range with multiple base stations, add USB drives and shared printers, enable security options and guest networking, maximize throughput, and solve pesky problems. It’s an essential resource for the latest technical details and troubleshooting help. The book normally costs $20, but the 30% MUG discount drops that to $14. Learn more about and buy the book via the coupon-loaded link below.

“Take Control of Your Apple Wi-Fi Network” will show you how to do the following, among much else:

* Efficiently swap in a new base station in place of an old one.
* Extend your network’s range by connecting base stations with Ethernet and/or Wi-Fi.
* Easily put visitors on the Internet with a guest network.
* Print wirelessly to a Wi-Fi- or USB-connected printer.
* Attach a USB drive to a Time Capsule or AirPort Extreme, and set up user access.
* Back up to a Time Capsule, and work with the Time Capsule’s internal drive.
* Pipe music through an AirPort Express-connected stereo.
* Discover what the icon on your Wi-Fi menu means.
* Find out what the colored light on your base station is trying to tell you.
* Avoid annoying interference problems.
* Deal with a base station that can’t be found on the network.

Thank you for your support of the Take Control series and our authors!

cheers… -Adam & Tonya Engst, Take Control publishers

P.S. Check out some of our other recently released ebooks, all at 30% off:

* Take Control of Podcasting on the Mac
* Take Control of Your Paperless Office
* Take Control of Dropbox
* Take Control of iCloud
* Take Control of 1Password