CDPUG BlogSphere

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

Level up with “Take Control of the Mac Command Line with Terminal, Second Edition”

It’s easy to forget that OS X is based on Unix, but those in the know often drop to the Unix command line for tasks that are difficult or impossible to accomplish in the Mac’s graphical interface. Six years ago, Joe Kissell penned “Take Control of the Mac Command Line with Terminal,” a book designed to help readers become comfortable and capable on the command line. Today we’re pleased to bring you the second edition of this essential reference. The book normally costs $15, but the 30% MUG discount drops that to $10.50. Learn more about the book and buy it via the coupon-loaded link below.

Written from a Mac user’s point of view, the book starts with the command-line fundamentals, helps you set up an environment that will work for you, and walks you through more advanced topics as your knowledge increases. To help you put your new-found skills to use, you’ll find 52 easy-to-follow, real-life “recipes” for simple tasks that are best done from the command line, as well as discussions of more complex tasks such as ssh-ing to a remote computer, transferring files via sftp and scp, handling permissions, logging in as root, installing Unix software, grappling with grep, and writing shell scripts that contain logic.

Thank you for your support of the Take Control series!

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 Numbers (includes a hands-on example spreadsheet)
* Photos for Mac: A Take Control Crash Course (30-page early-bird version)
* Apple Watch: A Take Control Crash Course (23-page early-bird version)
* Take Control of PDFpen 7 (for major PDF manipulation)

When your numbers get serious, read “Take Control of Numbers”

Good day!

Paul Simon sang, “When numbers get serious, you see their shape everywhere.” Apple’s Numbers has gotten serious about providing legitimate competition for Microsoft Excel, and Mac users now see it everywhere, since it ships for free with every Mac. But tapping the power of Numbers isn’t always easy, even for those who have used spreadsheets for years, so we’re tremendously pleased to bring you one of our most significant books ever: Sharon Zardetto’s “Take Control of Numbers,” which shows you how to input, calculate, sort, filter, format, and chart your data on the Mac with ease. The book normally costs $20, but the 30% MUG discount drops that to $14. Learn more about the book and buy it via the coupon-loaded link below.

At 330 pages, “Take Control of Numbers” is a big book, and we had to restrain Sharon from writing even more — Numbers is that deep. But the book is still a tour de force, with hundreds of carefully annotated screenshots, a hands-on example spreadsheet that provides interactive demonstrations of 27 concepts in the book, and a tutorial chapter that helps you put it all together. Of course, you can also treat the book as a reference, using the Quick Start to dip in and focus on a topic of interest.

We’d be remiss if we didn’t also mention Michael Cohen’s similarly exhaustive 266-page “Take Control of Pages,” which teaches you the best ways to create documents in Apple’s word processor, master the layout tools, and handle compatibility and iCloud Drive, whether you work in Pages 5 for Mac, Pages 2 for iOS, Pages for iCloud, or a combination of those apps. It’s also only $14 after the MUG discount.

(Although it’s too soon to promise anything specific, we are talking about completing the trilogy with “Take Control of Keynote.”)

Tonya here. As CFO for TidBITS Publishing, I spend a lot of time in Excel, and although I’d tried Numbers a few times, I always retreated quickly to Excel, flummoxed by how Numbers differed. It wasn’t until I read Sharon’s manuscript that I learned key fundamentals, such as the four possible states for a table. It was also eye-opening to discover just how powerful Numbers is, with features like conditional highlighting, lookup functions that grab data in other tables, nested IF statements, rule-based filters to display only specific rows, and paragraph and character styles to maintain a consistent look-and-feel.

Thanks to the many readers who suggested that we create this title! And remember, as Paul Simon sang, “When times are mysterious, serious numbers are eager to please.”

cheers… -Adam & Tonya Engst, Take Control publishers

PS. As you can guess, Paul Simon’s “When Numbers Get Serious” inspired more than one editing session. If you haven’t heard it before, or at least recently, give it a listen and read its lyrics at:

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

* Photos for Mac: A Take Control Crash Course (30-page early-bird version)
* Apple Watch: A Take Control Crash Course (23-page early-bird version)
* Take Control of Automating Your Mac (just updated!)
* Take Control of PDFpen 7
* Take Control of Pages

cheers… -Adam & Tonya Engst, Take Control publishers

Get ready for Photos for Mac with our new Take Control Crash Course

Good day!

The ten-month limbo Apple left us in after announcing that the forthcoming Photos for Mac would replace both iPhoto and Aperture is nearly over. Photos has at long last showed its face in OS X 10.10.3 Yosemite, now in public beta, and we expect it to be released within weeks. But should you trust your irreplaceable photo library to Photos right away? And what capabilities might you lose if you do? We have some early answers in our new “Photos for Mac: A Take Control Crash Course,” penned by Jason Snell, formerly of Macworld and now at Six Colors. The book normally costs $10, but the 30% MUG discount drops that to $7. Learn more about the book and buy it via the coupon-loaded link below.

Based on the public beta, this early-bird version of “Photos for Mac: A Take Control Crash Course” helps you start thinking about making the transition and offers advice to anyone who is already running the beta or who plans to switch once Photos 1.0 ships. Right now, the tightly packed 30-page book assists you with:

* Deciding whether to transition to Photos right away
* Importing iPhoto and Aperture photo libraries
* Getting around in the Photos interface
* Keywording, favoriting, organizing, and finding photos
* Dealing with Photos quirks

Once Photos 1.0 ships and we’ve had time to test it thoroughly and extract its secrets, we’ll release a free update — probably in May — that will more than double the size of the book. Topics it will add include:

* Using iCloud Photo Library
* Editing photos
* Sharing photos with other people
* Viewing photos on an Apple TV
* Having prints made
* Creating projects, such as calendars and cards
* …and much more!

Like our other Crash Courses, this book has concise chunks of content so you can read quickly, all wrapped up in a modern, magazine-like layout in PDF that morphs to a reflowable design for EPUB and Mobipocket. Each chapter ends with discussion and sharing buttons, making it easy to ask a question (and please do ask questions that you want to see answered in the 1.1 update!) or share a chapter with Facebook friends, Twitter followers, and others.

Thank you for supporting the Take Control series!

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 Automating Your Mac (just updated!)
* Apple Watch: A Take Control Crash Course (for pre-release advice)
* Take Control of PDFpen 7 (for all your PDF manipulation needs)
* Take Control of Dropbox (because it’s more subtle than it seems)

Missed or attended our March Meeting on Fonts?

Attached is a pdf of the Keynote “Font Management – 2015″ presentation at the Thursday, March 26th, 2015 regular meeting. From their historical context to their current state, fonts form the backbone of every PC and design project. Learn how to use, manage and fix issues with fonts.

Also included are links used in the presentation.

Fonts Presentation 03-15.001

Font Presentation PDF. Fonts Presentation 03-15


Links from Spike’s portion of the program

Suitcase Fusion 6 Quick Demo

OpenType Overview in Adobe Illustrator from Vimeo


Links from Henry’s portion of the program

Converting Text to Outlines The Right Way

14 Typography Tools for Web

20 Typography Tools for Designers

47 Typography Tools & Resources

What TheFont! at












“Take Control of PDFpen 7” explains PDFpen for Mac and iOS

Have you ever wanted to change the date on a PDF-based flyer? Needed to give feedback on a PDF, but had trouble inserting useful proofreading marks? Wished you could perform optical character recognition (OCR) on a scanned document so you could revise the text in the PDF? For such tasks, we rely on Smile’s PDFpen. (If you don’t already have a copy, you can learn more at and read on to find out how to save 20% on its purchase.)

As useful as PDFpen is, working with PDFs — regardless of the app — can be complex, which is why we’re happy to throw light on the topic with Michael E. Cohen’s “Take Control of PDFpen 7.” The 171-page ebook documents everything you can do with Smile’s recently released PDFpen 7 and PDFpenPro 7, plus PDFpen for iPad & iPhone. So if you’re looking for help with PDFpen’s many features, check out “Take Control of PDFpen 7,” available now in PDF (natch), EPUB, and Mobipocket (Kindle) formats. It’s normally $15, but the 30% MUG discount drops that to $10.50.

After a quick overview of the PDF format to set the stage, Michael walks you through PDFpen’s tools and navigation, along with the many ways you can create a PDF from within the program. You’ll learn how to take notes on a PDF, copyedit and comment on a PDF, fill out PDF forms (complete with your signature!), add and remove pages, and edit text and graphics in a PDF. You’ll even find out how to export a PDF to a formatted Microsoft Word document.

For PDFpenPro users, Michael explains how to create an interactive PDF form and get user-submitted data back via email or the Web, plus how to control whether a PDF can be printed, modified, and annotated. PDFpenPro users will also learn how to export to Excel and PowerPoint formats, and how to edit the OCR layer in scanned documents. Finally, an appendix describes the many useful AppleScripts that ship with PDFpen.

We created this ebook in collaboration with Smile and worked with PDFpen’s developers during the tech edit process to ensure that the book is accurate.

Note that members of Take Control’s sister publication, TidBITS, can save 20% on all Smile products purchased through the Smile cart, so you could save $25 on PDFpenPro. To learn about joining the TidBITS membership program, visit To access the necessary coupon code, make sure you’ve logged in and visit

As always, thank you for your support of the Take Control series!

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 Dropbox (PDFpen for iOS includes Dropbox support)
* Take Control of FileVault (protect your local PDFs!!)
* Take Control of iCloud, Third Edition (fully updated for iOS 8 and Yosemite)
* Take Control of Apple Mail, Second Edition (covers Yosemite Mail)

Lake Erie Ink’s 3rd Annual Kids Comic ConComic Con is next week.  This event is unique in Northeast Ohio.  Usually we draw about 80 participants and we offer 16 workshops between 10 and 3 pm.
One of those workshops this year is for adults, especially teachers, about using comics in the classroom.  I’ve attached both the regular Kids’ Comic Con flyer which you have already seen, and the new flyer for the adult workshop.  Please help me get the word out in the CHUH district.
Here’s a little language about the kids’ workshops:

For ages 8-18, adults welcome accompanied by a child. Make your own comics and meet local comic celebrities! Featuring Mark Sumerak, best known for Marvel Comics’ POWER PACK and the Eisner & Harvey Award nominated FRANKLIN RICHARDS: SON OF A GENIUS; and Brad Ricca, author of Super Boys: The Amazing Adventures of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster – the Creators of Superman. Workshops on creating a comic from start to finish, Superheroes and villains, drawing faces and expressions, character design, inking, and collaborative comics. Costumes encouraged! Meet other young comics enthusiasts. Check out the artists alley, comics sale. Buy lunch on site or bring your own.

And here’s some language about the Adult Workshop:

This Looks Like a Job for Superman!

Using Comics to Help Kids Learn 

A Special Workshop for Teachers, Parents, and Youth Advocates

at Lake Erie Ink’s Third Annual Kids’ Comic Con on Saturday, March 7th at 2 pm.  Free.

Find out how reading and writing comics supports Common Core reading and writing standards.

A panel with Lee Smith, former teacher and creator of Ohio Chronicles a kids’ comic series about Ohio history, Cynthia Larsen, Director of Programs at Lake Erie Ink, and others TBA.  

Cynthia Larsen
Lake Erie Ink: a writing space for youth
 Comic Con 2015 Flyer.pdfLearning with Comics flyer.pdf