CDPUG BlogSphere

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

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Holiday photo projects are incredibly fun to make and folks love getting them. In this book you’ll learn how to create unique projects such as:

  • Pillows
  • Tote bags
  • Purses
  • Magnets & stickers
  • Canvas prints
  • Skins for laptops and portable devices
  • Postage stamps
  • Mugs
  • Keychains
  • Playing cards
  • Tree ornaments
  • Dry-erase calendars
  • Notepads
  • Wine and beer bottle labels

You’ll also learn how to create spectacular cards and personalized calendars in Apple’s Photos for Mac and iPhoto.

Then, you’ll learn step-by-step instructions for creating unique, do-it-yourself projects such as photo napkin rings, photo gift tags and wooden photo cubes.

Along the way, you’ll also learn many valuable tips for improving the overall look of your projects, including:

  • Adjusting the color of your photos so they harmonize together
  • How to save your files for successful printing
  • The best ways to add text to photos
  • How to remove color from parts of your photo
  • Unusual (and impressive!) card designs

Please see the Table of Contents below for a complete list of topics.

This is an eBook available in formats compatible with various book readers from Kindle to iBooks that you can read on a computer, tablet or even a smart phone. After you make your payment you will receive an email with a link to download the eBook in the format of your choice.

Its price is $5.99, it has 81 pages, and is available in PDF or EPUB format.

Table of Contents: 

First things first: where to print your project


Fix up your images


The biggest tip in the book: color harmony


Use maximum quality JPEGs

  • How to export to JPEG format

How to order unique photo gifts online

  • Using photos from your Instagram account
  • Ordering from services linked to Instagram or Facebook
  • Apple’s Calendars and Cards

How to create calendars and cards in Photos for Mac and in iPhoto

  • How to create a calendar in Photos for Mac
  • How to create a calendar in iPhoto
  • How to create a greeting card in Photos for Mac
  • How to create a greeting card in iPhoto

How to create unique holiday cards in Photoshop Elements

  • Pop Art holiday card
  • Partial color holiday card

Design tips for creating holiday cards in Photoshop and Photoshop Elements

Document setup

iCloud users

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Given how deeply Apple has wired iCloud into OS X and iOS, we’re particularly happy to bring you the fourth edition of Joe Kissell’s best-selling Take Control of iCloud, which has helped nearly 15,000 Apple users since iCloud’s debut in 2011. In it, Joe offers insight into what iCloud is trying to do, while providing steps for key procedures and advising you on the best real-world techniques for integrating iCloud’s many services into your digital life, covering iOS X 10.11 El Capitan, iOS 9, Apple TV, Windows 7 and later, and the iCloud Web site. It’s the comprehensive documentation of iCloud you won’t find anywhere else, at 30% off for MUG members, dropping the price to $10.50.

This new edition is overflowing with up-to-date iCloud advice for you, whether you are flat-out confused by iCloud, need help understanding what iCloud Photo Library can do for you, want to make sense of how iCloud Drive handles your files, or are trying to figure out whether iTunes Match or Apple Music is best for your needs.

“I just read Take Control of iCloud cover to cover, and it helped me sort out several problems and clear up my confusion on how iCloud works with my iMac, MacBook, iPad, and iPhone. Your book has helped me get more out of my devices and I can see it’ll make my life easier. Thanks for a job very well done!” —Andy S.

Joe walks you through getting started with iCloud (whether you have one or more iCloud accounts), and then explains the key aspects — and hidden gotchas — of iCloud’s capabilities. Among the many features Joe covers are iCloud Photo Library, My Photo Stream, iCloud Photo Sharing, Family Sharing, Tunes Match and iCloud Music Library, iCloud Drive, Mail and Mail Drop, Contacts, Calendars, Reminders, Notes, iCloud Keychain, the iCloud Web site, Find My iPhone, Find My Mac, Find My Friends, two-factor authentication, activation lock, Back to My Mac, and backing up and restoring iOS data.

(It’s a lot, we know. Hence a 167-page book!)

“As someone who hadn’t invested a lot of time in setting up iCloud before, I found this book very informative—particularly the information about managing multiple iCloud accounts and the Photos section.” —Kelly G.

Your continued support means a lot to us and our hard-working authors!

-Adam and Tonya Engst, Take Control publishers

Take Control Books

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Good day, fellow El Capitan mountaineers!

Apple has just released OS X 10.11 El Capitan, and it’s time to get serious about upgrading, learning what’s new, and taking advantage of the latest features! To aid you, we have the full release of Joe Kissell’s Take Control of Upgrading to El Capitan, Scholle McFarland’s El Capitan: A Take Control Crash Course, and the third edition of Joe’s Take Control of Apple Mail.

Take Control of Upgrading to El Capitan

Do you want to upgrade to El Capitan with confidence? You can’t go wrong with Take Control of Upgrading to El Capitan, now in its 9th major installment. This title has helped tens of thousands of Mac users since 2003, and gives you the benefit of Joe Kissell’s superlative background. You’ll ensure that your hardware and software are ready for El Capitan, protect against problems with a bootable duplicate, eliminate digital clutter, prepare your Mac, and decide on your best installation method, no matter what version of Mac OS X you’re upgrading from, all the way back to 10.4 Tiger. You’ll find full installation directions plus advice on over a dozen things to do immediately after installation, as well as troubleshooting techniques. Joe also explains upgrading from the El Capitan public beta and “upgrades” that involve moving your data to a new Mac from an old Mac or Windows PC. (151 pages, only $10.50 for MUG members)

El Capitan: A Take Control Crash Course

Read El Capitan: A Take Control Crash Course to jump-start your El Capitan experience. Former Macworld editor Scholle McFarland helps you Take Control of changes in the Finder and new features in apps including Safari and Notes. The book’s browsable layout makes it easy to set up notifications sensibly, do more (or less) with your Dock, invoke Mission Control and set up a Split View, take phone calls on your Mac, locate all manner of things with Spotlight searches, work fluidly between Apple devices with Handoff and AirDrop, dictate to your Mac—and even tell it what to do—and quite a bit more. Scholle closes the book with two under-the-hood topics, setting up a user account (for a child, guest, or troubleshooting) and essential troubleshooting techniques.

As with all our Crash Course books, El Capitan: A Take Control Crash Course provides tightly written, focused content coupled with carefully curated screenshots so you can get the help you need quickly. Don’t miss the sharing buttons that make it easy to share a chapter with Facebook friends, Twitter followers, and others who need the info. (108 pages, only $7 for MUG members)

Take Control of Apple Mail, Third Edition

No one knows more about Mail than Joe Kissell, and he has distilled his most important advice into the third edition of Take Control of Apple Mail, which covers Mail in 10.11 El Capitan and iOS 9. You’ll  find essential setup, usage, and troubleshooting instructions, whether you use Gmail, iCloud, Exchange, IMAP, or POP—or more than one. Joe reveals Mail’s hidden interface elements and gestures, and helps with common tasks like addressing and adding attachments. He also offers tips on customizing Mail, including a nifty chapter on how simple plug-ins and special automation can dramatically improve your Mail experience. Joe also covers finding that message in the haystack with El Capitan’s new natural language search, improving the messages you send, and even a strategy for avoiding email overload. (208 pages, only $14 for MUG members)

Thank you for your support of the Take Control series, and we hope you like our new email look! It’s nice to bring it up to the level of our books and our Web site.

-Adam and Tonya Engst, Take Control publishers





Book Review by Grant Coyle

While perusing the aisles of a Barnes & Noble one weekend morning, I came across the book Burn Your Portfolio. What? I nearly spilled my coffee.

As the author, Michael Janda, explains in the introduction, when he was in art school 90% of the time was spent developing technical skills to showcase in his portfolio. But once he got a job, his portfolio became much less significant when compared to the business skills and people skills he needed to survive in a corporate environment. Those skills, like project budgeting, scheduling and team building, weren’t taught in art school. He used what he learned in a corporate position to later become a freelancer and start his own graphic design agency.

Although this book is geared toward graphic designers, any professional who uses a portfolio to secure a job or client will benefit from reading and heeding Janda’s advice. It’s filled with tips that might seem common sense to those of us with years of experience but it reinforces those things we have learned and should apply every day.

There are several passages in the book where you’ll find yourself nodding in agreement, such as:

  • “You’re a designer, a writer, a programmer, a photographer, and sometimes an illustrator.”

In other words, nobody wants to hear, “That’s not my job.” Not bosses, not clients, not vendors. Along this same line, Janda repeatedly emphasizes the need to exceed the client’s expectations to get return business.

Another memorable passage for me was:

  • “Documented processes, created by someone who knows what they are doing, are the safest way to operate a successful production environment.”

Janda then goes on to detail a To-Do list for each project, with 13 steps of bulleted items for the agency and client to consider for inclusion. Note that “design concept” doesn’t occur until the fifth step. His agency uses QuickBooks, Basecamp and spreadsheet software to track a project through its life cycle.

At over 300 pages this book seems imposing but that’s a trick of the design with glossy paper stock and having most chapters of only 2-3 pages, along with many illustrations. Janda has a relaxed writing style. This makes it easy to read a few chapters at a time as a break from staring at your computer’s screen. Just watch you don’t spill your coffee while nodding at Janda’s advice.

Janda, Michael. Burn Your Portfolio. San Francisco: New Riders | Peachpit, 2013.




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Apple has just released iOS 9, and we’re here on the first day with the 121-page “iOS 9: A Take Control Crash Course,” by Josh Centers, to help you start using it effectively! A What’s New chapter gives you an overview of iOS 9’s many changes — including those in Siri, Spotlight, and Safari. The rest of the book describes the details, such as how those with recent iPads can use the new Slide Over, Split Screen, and Picture in Picture multitasking views, plus how to use Mail’s new features, how iOS 9 helps you save battery power, the trick to finding the hidden iCloud Drive app, the iPad’s new Trackpad mode, and much more. Special topics cover Family Sharing, accessibility, privacy, and managing data usage.

Josh helps you use iOS more effectively than ever with advice on:

• What settings to check after installing iOS 9

• Enjoying the new multitasking views: Slide Over, Split Screen, and Picture in Picture

• Which iPads support the new multitasking views

• Selecting text in the iPad’s new Trackpad mode

• What to expect from the iPhone’s new Low Power mode

• What the new Batteries widget does, and how to display it

• Which cities have transit directions in Maps

• Setting up albums in the Photos app — and sharing them

• Making the Mail app show an Archive (or Trash) icon

• Adding another person to a Messages chat

• Storing credit card details in Safari

• Setting up Apple Pay in the new Wallet app

• Entering emergency medical information — and finding it on the Lock screen

• Letting important people through an iPhone’s Do Not Disturb cone of silence

• Telling Siri who you mean when you say “Call Mom”

• Putting an outline around text “buttons” so they look like buttons

As with all our Crash Course books, “iOS 9: A Take Control Crash Course” provides tightly written, focused content coupled with carefully curated screenshots so you can get the help you need quickly. Don’t miss the sharing buttons that make it easy to share a chapter with Facebook friends, Twitter followers, and others who need the information.

Learn more and buy it for $15 >

-Adam & Tonya Engst, Take Control publishers


Adobe UserGroup is gearing up for their first meeting in the new CIA building.

11161 Euclid Blvd, Cleveland

Tuesday, September 29
6:30 — 8:30 pm
The Cleveland Institute of Art
11161 Euclid Blvd.
The Design Studio, 2nd Floor

New Features and app updates:
The 2015 release of Creative Cloud includes major updates to Adobe’s industry-defining desktop tools. They will highlight these updates and new features, primarily in Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator.

Register at:

They will give you pizza just like us!