QlikView–Moving the “Unmovable” Object

QlikView is without a doubt one of my most favorite programs to teach.  The capabilities for modeling and visualizing data are just amazing.  But for all of QlikView’s shine and wonder, it’s not without its shortcomings.  I really shouldn’t say “shortcomings”, but there are a few areas that could use a bit of improvement.  Take, for instance, moving objects around the report space.

Normally, an object possesses a title bar (or “caption”, as QlikView likes to call it) and you can simply click and hold the caption bar and move the object.  The problem arises when a designer hides the caption bar (and to a lesser extent the border), leaving the report viewer with what appears to be no way to grab and move the object.

Instead of temporarily turning the caption and borders back on just to make a simple adjustment and then turning them back off again, you can place the mouse pointer over the object and hold down the ALT key on the keyboard.  This will activate the MOVE feature where you can now relocate the object quickly and effectively.

Gauge
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Microsoft Word – 10 Features that will Improve Your Workflow

With so many features packed inside each Microsoft application, it’s easy to overlook some that can really add value to your daily workflow.  Below is a list of some of the features you may have never noticed but will quickly become part of your daily routine.

Styles

image

Styles are not only a great time-saver, but they form the basis of a variety of other Word features.

Styles allow you to assign in bulk a variety of different formatting attributes, like font size, style, color, alignment, line spacing, borders, shades, indentation, etc…  The list is quite voluminous.  Once styles are applied to text, the text can then be bulk-updated simply by changing the style.  If you modify the style, Word will automatically apply the change to all text whose appearance was created from the style.  Imagine the time saved when making minor alterations like changing the font size of all headings.  Change the style and all of the headings are updated to match.

Once you have your styles in place, you can now also navigate more effectively through your document via the Navigation Pane.  Any text formatted with a heading style will appear as a list entry.  This will become one of the greatest time-savers when navigating large documents.

image (more…)

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Preserving White Space Using CSS

We find it easy working with white space in today’s generation of applications. In word processing pressing the spacebar, tab key, enter, return, or even shift+ enter and what they deliver are all things we have grown to expect.

That isn’t the case when designing for the web. Some visual design programs handle basic white space issues like line breaks and paragraphs but the remainder of presentational formatting is left up to us. There is no HTML tab tag so we insert additional space characters. Without the space character (technically the non-breaking space character;  ) the browser will strip out the additional white space.

An approach that can make this easier is to use the CSS white-space property. It has 6 (six) values; normal, inherit, nowrap, pre, pre-line, and pre-wrap.

white-space-html-code

  • inherit – inherits it’s property from the parent container
  • normal – white space works as usual
  • nowrap – next will never wrap until it encounters a <br> tag, all other white space collapses as usual
  • pre – text acts like the HTML <pre> tag, formatting is as you see it, is as you type it
  • pre-line – text will collapse as usual, will break and wrap as necessary
  • pre-wrap – text is as you type it, will wrap and break as necessary

white-space-browser-full-screen

white-space-browser-full-screen-scrollbars

white-space-browser-half-screen

Browser support is full (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera) as long as you are using IE 8 or later. It is part of the CSS1 specification.

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10 Web Resources for Front End Developers

Things on the web move so fast they make the idea of “time flies” seem slow. The World Wide Web has been available to the public since 1991, 25 years this fall. Most people today couldn’t imagine life without the web.

Developers are faced with a tremendous challenge today. The web is a moving target. So much so that WHATWG (Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group) has chosen to refer to HTML as a “living document”, meaning it is constantly being edited and updated.

This means the tools we use and the items we refer to change constantly as well. This list of 10 web resources includes sites I have used for years, and a couple I’ve just discovered. They range from color references to HTML references to best practices. Are they perfect…no. Are they all inclusive…no. But you gotta start somewhere!

caniuse.com

caniuse

If you’re designing for the web today you’re using HTML5. And if you’re using HTML5 you are still faced with browser compatibility issues. This site is a great location to determine what features are compatible with your users most commonly used browser(s).

paletton.com

paletton

Originally known as ColorSchemeDesigner.com, paletton.com is the one tool in this list I have used and referred people to the longest. It is a great color planning and utilization site. Others have come along but it is still my go-to color scheme planner.

color.adobe.com

color-adobe

This is one of those “others have come along” sites I just mentioned. It began as kuler.adobe.com and has changed the kuler part to color (kuler is a Mauritian Creole word that means color). One of the benefits of this site are the thousands of color themes available.

HTML5 Cheat Sheet

html5-cheat-sheet

The one page, downloadable reference to HTML5 tags. It is available as a PDF file or a .png file. Grab a copy and throw it in a centrally located folder so it’s there when you need it.

typewolf.com

typewolf

If content is king, typographic characters and correct grammar are important! A great reference for those who “get it” and for those who don’t. After all, according to Oliver Reichenstein, web design is 95% typography (please feel free to discuss among yourselves).

javascripting.com

javascripting

There seems to be a never ending array of JavaScript libraries and frameworks to deal with. As this site tells us it is the “definitive source of the best JavaScript libraries, frameworks, and plugins”. Check it out and put that statement to the test.

youmightnotneedjquery.com

might-not-need-jquery

As browser compatibility improves there are times we can accomplish a lot with a little. A little JavaScript more specifically. There are times we don’t need to load an external resource to do something we can do in our own code. This site demonstrates many examples, from effects to events, proving that less can be more.

regxlib.com

reg-ex-lib

Since we were just talking about JavaScript, how ‘bout them regular expressions? Almost since day one, JavaScript has been used for form validation. IMHO it’s hard to beat the RegExp object for verifying the information supplied in a form is correct. This site has thousands of prebuilt expressions ready to use.

regular-expressions.info

regular-expressions-info

In case you didn’t get the concept I think regular expressions are powerful validation tools, here’s another resource. The last site had lots of code to use, this site has more information on the how-to part of things.

github.com/bendc/frontend-guidelines

frontline-guidelines

I mentioned best practices at the beginning of this post and this is one person’s interpretation. A series of recommendations dealing with content, presentation, and behaviors. (more…)

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Change Colors Using Blending Modes in Photoshop

There are times when everything about the picture you’ve just taken seems to be perfect. Then, when it comes time to use it, you discover one key color just doesn’t work. Or you need the same item in more than one color.

Using Photoshop one solution is to apply the color needed to a new layer and change its Blending Mode.

Take our automobile example for instance. The photograph captures the essence of the car but the ad needs to feature a new, hot color.

telsa-base-color

Our first step is to add a new empty layer above the car layer. There are several ways to do this but we are only going to mention one which is the keyboard shortcut; Ctrl+Shift+N on Windows , or Cmd+Shift+N on a Mac.

This adds a new layer above our background layer. We’ll rename this new layer “paint job” by double clicking the name in the Layers Panel and typing the new name in its place.

Next we’ll change the foreground color in the Tools Panel to the new color we want on our car. If you know the RGB color value you can click the foreground color swatch to open up the Color Picker Panel. Then type the RGB values in the appropriate location and click OK.

tesla-color-picker-window

With a new layer in place and the color we what selected the next set would be to use the Bruch Tool to paint over the car on the new layer. It doesn’t have to be perfect, we can clean things up later.

tesla-color-layer

The magic happens in our next step. Once we’ve painted over the existing color and it looks like our next example image we change the Blend Mode of this new “paint job” layer from Normal to Color.

tesla-blend-mode-menu

Voila! A new car with a new paint color. There may be a little clean-up work needed on the “paint job” layer, but that can be handled with the Eraser Tool.

tesla-blend-mode-color (more…)

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QlikView – Suppress Splash Screen

We spend so much time trying to make things run as quickly and efficiently as possible, but sometimes we just can’t help ourselves when it comes to self-promotion.

QlikView loves making things go fast; starting QlikView is another story. As if we were unaware that we had elected to launch QlikView, a several second “commercial” in the form of a splash screen has to tell us that we are one of the lucky ones.

Splash1

As much as I enjoy using QlikView, I find the startup splash screen to be a bit of a nuisance.

The good news is, there is a VERY easy way to prevent the splash screen from being displayed during program launch. (more…)

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Photoshop Interface Easter Egg

Easter eggs in software have been around since 1978. The term was made popular by developers at Atari after game designer Warren Robinett placed his name as a hidden message within the game Adventure. Finding the message was like going on an Easter egg hunt.

Today, Easter eggs are hidden gems within software applications, operating systems, and DVDs. The developers at Adobe are no strangers to this concept.

The new dark interface settings within Photoshop have given the development team a wonderful location to place an Easter egg. To get to these settings we need to open the Preferences panel and we can do so by selecting Edit > Preferences > Interface on a Windows computer, or by clicking the Photoshop menu and going to Preferences > Interface on a Mac.

edit-preferences-interface

Inside the Interface portion of the Preferences panel there are four square buttons at the top of the dialog box. They represent our four different color settings. Clicking on each one allows you to lighten or darken the UI (User Interface). The Easter egg is changing those buttons to either coffee cups or slices of toast.

photoshop-preferences-interface-default

Hold down Ctrl+Alt+Shift on Windows or Cmd+Opt+Shift on a Mac and click on one of the buttons…they change into coffee cups. Do the same thing again…they change back into square buttons. One more time…they change into slices of toast. A fourth click while holding down our key combination and they return to square buttons.

photoshop-preferences-interface-coffeecup

photoshop-preferences-interface-toast (more…)

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Excel – Hide Records with Zeroes in Pivot Table Calculations

One of the most asked questions of beginning, and sometimes seasoned, pivot table users is “How do I hide the entries in a pivot table whose totals equal zero?”  On first blush, this seems like an easy feat, but users quickly discover that it’s not as easy as predicted.  There are ways to sort the source data and then exclude the entries with zero values, but that task of sorting and filtering the source data would have to be performed each time the source data is updated.  This is not an appealing prospect.

There is actually a very easy way to not display pivot table records that equal zero. (more…)

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Photoshop; Finding an Image Center

There are times when it would be helpful to find and mark the exact center point of an image. Let’s discuss a few ways this can be done.

The most manual way of doing it can be done by opening the menu option, Image > Image Size, or using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+ Alt+ I on Windows, or Cmd+ Opt+ I on a Mac. Using the width and height you can determine the halfway mark and drag a couple of guides into place.

image-size-menu

image-size-dialog-box

Another way of doing this would be to open the image. Show the rulers either using View > Rulers in the menu or the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+ R on Windows or Cmd+ R on a Mac. Then using the menu option Select > All or Ctrl+ A on Windows or Cmd+ A on a Mac, select the entire layer. Using the Move Tool check the Show Transform Controls checkbox in the Options bar. You should now see a “target mark’ in the center of the image. Drag a horizontal and vertical guide to this position and you are set.

target-mark

 

How about a third option? Using the same first two steps as the above method, while the background layer is selected, choose Edit > Free Transform in the menu, or Ctrl+ T on Windows, or Cmd+ T on a Mac. This will show the same “target mark” in the center of the image. Place your horizontal and vertical guides and you are good to go.

Here’s one last way of showing and marking the center of an image. Using View > New Guide Layout in the menu, select two rows and two columns with a 0px gutter for each, click ok and you are done.

center-point-guide-layout (more…)

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Photoshop Tips and Tricks; Rotate View Tool

There are times when you discover a tool or technique that has been there for a while. I believe all Photoshop users experience this at some point. The Rotate View Tool is one such tool for me.

It was introduced with Photoshop CS4 and I must admit I was blissfully ignorant of its existence for a long time.

Having come from a fine art background I have spent many hours drawing, and painting. When you cannot rest your hand on a part of the canvas because of wet paint, or need a better angle of attack to finish a sketch the easy approach is to rotate the canvas on the easel or the paper on the desk. Sometimes it is more about the flow of a line because you are left or right handed. The left side of a curve is easier to draw than the right side because of wrist motion. Rotating the paper or canvas makes that easier to accomplish.

When you are using some of the same drawing tools in Photoshop the same issues arise. Whether you are drawing with a mouse or a tablet it would be great to have some of that same flexibility on a computer that exists working on paper.

That is where Photoshop’s Rotate View Tool comes to the rescue. In Photoshop CC 2015 pressing the letter R as a keyboard shortcut, or left clicking and holding the mouse button down on the Hand Tool will reveal the Rotate View Tool.

rotate-view-tool

Now you can move your cursor onto the image, left click and rotate the image while a compass like symbol displays the direction of the rotation as you drag. You also have the option of typing the degrees of rotation in the option bar. Now your natural left or right handed flow is easier to control.

rotating-image

Once you have finished using the brush you can return the image to its normal position by clicking on the Reset view button in the option bar while the Rotate View Tool is active.

It is a simple tool, but like all tools, invaluable when you need it. I am happy to have stumbled upon it and wanted to share it with you. Enjoy!

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Crystal Reports – Add True Bullets to a List in a Text Object with the CHRW Function

Suppose you want to display a list of items in a text object and you want that list to appear as a bulleted list.  If your list is hard coded (i.e. USA, Canada, Mexico), then you could simply type the character that represents a bullet, like an asterisk, and have your list in no time flat.

Our example will have a bit of static text at the beginning followed by the bullet list.  The static text will read as follows:

“Last Year’s Sales and Suppliers for”

We will follow up the text with a carriage return to ensure the bullet list begins on a fresh row in the text object.  This is where you could type something like the following:

* USA

* Canada

* Mexico

The finished product would look like:

Bullet01

Suppose your list if items is the result of selections made within a parameter and you want to display that user-defined list with bullets.  The first thing you have to realize is that you can’t just place the parameter in the text box and get the list. (more…)

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Microsoft Project – Display Estimated Durations with a Different Color in a Gantt Chart

When working with tasks in a project, it is common practice to display a duration as an estimate.  Displaying an estimated duration prepares the viewer for possible changes in scheduling.  An estimated duration takes the form of a question mark placed after the declared duration.

Estimated1

The issue is that some project viewers fail to notice the question mark; then when durations are updated, project viewers wonder why things have changed.  One way to ensure that people’s attention is drawn to the estimated durations is to change the color of the Gantt bars to reflect an estimated status.  There is no built-in state for displaying estimated durations in a separate color, but with a few short clicks this behavior can be achieved. (more…)

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QlikView – Formatting Expressions in List Boxes

When adding an expression to a list box, one of the common complaints is that the numbers displayed are devoid of any number formatting.  This is especially frustrating when displaying large numbers without commas to ease readability.

QVExpress1

What most beginning report developers try is to format the values with the Number tools in the list box’s properties. (more…)

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Excel Hidden Camera Tool – Great for Dashboards

If you are an Excel user who likes to create charts, design dashboards, or just likes to play with neat toys in Excel, this tutorial is going to be right up your alley.

Excel contains (in a super-secret place) a hidden camera.  “But why would I need a hidden camera in a spreadsheet program?”  I’m glad you asked.  If you have ever created a chart on one sheet, but you need the chard displayed simultaneously on a different sheet, and you don’t want to make two of the same thing, the camera tool will solve this problem.

First thing’s first; we have to find the camera before we can put it to creative use.

(more…)

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12 Excel Keyboard Shortcuts for Every User

Keyboard shortcuts are a great way to improve the speed at which documents are built, regardless of the application.  It seems like there is a keyboard shortcut for just about every feature Excel contains; and there may be that one guru in the office that knows them all.  But most of us fall somewhere between Guru and Labrador retriever (hopefully, closer to the former.)

The good news is that it’s not an “all or nothing” proposition when it comes to keyboard shortcuts.  Knowing just a few of the most productive keyboard shortcuts will serve you far better than knowing none at all.

So let’s get this show on the road!

  1. CTRL+SHIFT+L – Turn On/Off Filter Controls

Filters are of tremendous use when analyzing large numbers of records in a table, but you are only interested in a select set of records that met a specific criteria.  Activating your filters is just a CTRL-SHIFT-L away.  This keyboard can also be used to turn off all of the filters and display the entire list.  (Filters are on by default when you convert a straight table to a Data Table, and not always desired.)  Finally, if you hit the “L” key twice (CTRL-SHIFT-L & L) you can effectively clear the current filters to start fresh with a new filter query. (more…)

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QlikView – Limiting Record Loads with the FIRST Prefix

While developing a report, you may be loading thousands if not millions of records during the execution of your script.  If you are making edits to your script, and require a reload of the data to test your script changes, you may find yourself spending more time waiting than actually developing.

If a sample of the data is sufficient for testing purposes, you can limit the number of records returned by using the FIRST prefix.

The FIRST prefix is placed directly before the LOAD statement in the script followed by the number of records you wish to load.  For example:

[Main Table]:
FIRST 10000
LOAD * FROM
[1000000 Records.xlsx]
ooxml, embedded labels, table is Sheet1);

In the above example, reloading the script will only load at most 10,000 records from any given table.  If a table is encountered that has less than 10,000 records, then the full table will be loaded.

When your development period is complete, you can either comment out the FIRST prefix or remove it entirely from the script.

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QlikView – Export All Tables as QVD Files

Because QVD files load SO MUCH FASTER than the original data sources (i.e. Excel, Access, TXT, etc…), you may wish to save all of your tables to QVD files.  There are a couple compelling reasons to do this:

  • You wish to develop your report in an offline state while retaining access to a relatively recent copy of the data.
  • You wish to save all of your dimensional tables for reuse by other reports, and you want those tables to be optimized for fast reloads.

To accomplish this task, perform the follow steps:

1. Add a sheet to your script and give it a name of your choosing (ex. Save to QVD Format)

2. Add the following code to the newly created sheet

SaveQVDs1

(Here is a version you can Copy/Paste)

FOR vCount = 0 to NoOfTables()-1
LET vTableName = TableName($(vCount));
STORE '$(vTableName)' INTO '$(vTableName).qvd' (qvd);
NEXT vCount

3. Reload your script, and marvel at all of the newly created QVD files.  NOTE:  These files will be stored in the same folder as the source report.

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Adobe Animate CC, Coming Soon to the Creative Cloud

an_appicon_192From its creation at FutureWave to Macromedia to Adobe, Flash Professional has given us 20 years of animation and video for the web. The development of HTML5 and the proliferation of mobile devices has lead Adobe to retool the application to better serve our needs. No longer a tool to output just SWF files, but also HTML5, and JavaScript based animations using Canvas, Adobe has decided a new name will better represent its purpose and position. Beginning with the early 2016 release Flash Professional will be renamed Adobe Animate CC.

It will continue to support SWF and AIR applications, and also will include the ability to output animations in any web based format including SVG (via extensions).

 

Adobe Animate CC will offer:

  • New vector art brushes
  • Improved pencils
  • 360 degree rotation of the canvas
  • Controlling audio syncing without coding
  • Color tagging for quick updating throughout a project
  • Access to Adobe Stock images, illustrations, and vector graphics
  • CreativeSync integration with CC Libraries
  • Support for 4K+ video export
  • Support for .OAM files

When it becomes available through the Creative Cloud application it will be listed as Adobe Animate CC. After you download it you will find it among you applications as Adobe Animate CC 2015.

The future of web animation looks bright and with this new release Adobe Animate CC is poised to continue the legacy that was Flash Professional.

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Paragraph Shading in Adobe InDesign CC 2015

Select only the paragraphs you want shaded.

Having a background color for a paragraph in InDesign has always been possible. Just use the selection tool and set the fill color to the background color of your choice. If there were several paragraphs in the text frame, use the rectangle tool to draw a rectangle the size of the paragraph you wanted shaded. Set the fill color to the appropriate shade and then place it behind the paragraph.

Just remember to group the rectangle with the text frame, otherwise moving one will not necessarily move the other. Do this a dozen or more times within a document and it just creates more pieces to keep up with.

Along comes the June release of InDesign CC 2015 and all this changes…for the better.

There is a new added feature to the Paragraph Panel that makes this so much easier. Simply use Type > Paragraph, Window > Type & Tables > Paragraph in the menu or the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Alt+T on Windows or Cmd+Opt+T on a Mac. Any one of these methods will open the Paragraph Panel.

indesign-cc-2015-text-frame-text-menu

indesign-cc-2015-text-frame-window-menu

You will now notice a new section at the bottom of the panel with a Shading checkbox and a color drop-down menu. All you need to do is select the paragraph you want shaded, check the box and select a color.

indesign-cc-2015-text-frame-paragraph-panel

If you need to do any fine tuning there is a separate Paragraph Shading Panel that can be found in the Paragraph Panels menu. Adjustments such as tint, offset in all four directions, and shading alignment with each line, as well as a few others are available in this panel.

indesign-cc-2015-text-frame-paragraph-panel-menu

indesign-cc-2015-text-frame-paragraph-shading-panel

Now the shading is part of the paragraph, not a separate piece that we need to keep track of.

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Auto-Size Text Frames in Adobe InDesign CC 2015

Eliminate overset text when editing content in InDesign.

Your document is finished, your layout is perfect, and you get that last minute email or phone call telling you there are six copy changes that need to be made. We have all been in this position before. Shortening content will not cause as many problems as adding content, usually.

Adding a sentence or two in our perfect layout will generally result in pushing content beyond the bounds of our text frame, and that is called overset text. The information is there it is just truncated. Also preflight is informing us we have errors in our file (thank goodness for preflight).

indesign-cc-2015-styled-textframe-overset-text

Fixing overset text problems is not difficult, it is just time consuming. It would be nice if there was a way to eliminate this problem, especially when there is available space for content to grow.

Such a fix exists, and it can be found in the InDesign Text Frame Options panel.

indesign-cc-2015-object-textframe-options-menu

This panel can be found by selecting Object > Text Frame Options in the menu or using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+B on Windows or Cmd+B on a Mac. The panel contains three different tabs and we are referring to the third tab labeled Auto-Size.

textframe-options-autosize-default

At the top of the panel you will find a drop-down menu that offers the auto-size options: Off, Height Only, Width Only, Height and Width, and Height and Width (Keep Proportions). After making a choice from this menu your next option is to control the direction of text flow. Let us say we have chosen height only. By default text will be allowed to expand vertically in either direction. You can modify your setting to direct text to remain anchored to the top flowing downward or anchored to the bottom flowing upward. Similar options are available if you choose width only as well as height and width.

textframe-options-autosize-height-only

 

textframe-options-autosize-anchored-top-preview

In addition to these setting you have three optional constraints: Minimum Height, Minimum Width, and No Line Breaks.

These settings can make life so much easier, especially when text added to page 3 pushes content on page 27. Auto-size text to the rescue.

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Creating Fractions, Adobe Photoshop CC 2015.1

Photoshop’s Glyphs Panel can create custom fractions.

In a previous post we talked about the newly added Glyphs Panel to Adobe Photoshop CC 2015.1. Now let us take a look at using fractions from this panel.

Most fonts will supply a few fraction glyphs like our example using Arial, but you and I both know that those 7 fractions will not cover all of our potential needs. That means we will need to create a custom fraction for our text.

photoshop-glyph-fractions

We will begin by opening the Glyphs Panel either from the Type menu, Type > Panels > Glyphs Panel or the Window menu, Window > Glyphs.

photoshop-glyph-fractions-1

For our example I have chosen to undock the Glyphs Panel and place it to the left of our text. Undocking a panel is as simple as left clicking on the tab with the panel name and dragging it where you would like to use it.

photoshop-glyph-fractions-2

Our next step is to narrow down the glyph choices. You will find a drop-down menu in the center of the panel. We are looking for Numerators.

photoshop-glyph-fractions-3

The only thing we will find within the Numerators category will be numbers 0-9 all classified as numerators or the upper value of a fraction. Double clicking the number you need is all it takes to insert it into your text, as long as your cursor is in the correct location.

photoshop-glyph-fractions-4

Now we need a slash to separate the top number of our fraction from the bottom number. That can be found in the Glyphs Panel drop-down menu under Math Symbols.

photoshop-glyph-fractions-5

Double clicking the fraction slash will insert it wherever your cursor is.

photoshop-glyph-fractions-6

That leaves the denominator, which can be found in the Glyphs Panel drop-down menu under Denominators.

photoshop-glyph-fractions-7

Double click the value you need and as simple as these few steps have been you now have the exact fraction your text requires.

photoshop-glyph-fractions-8

photoshop-glyph-fractions-9

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Glyphs Panel, Adobe Photoshop CC 2015

A Glyphs Panel has been added to Photoshop

Those of you that use Illustrator or InDesign have had access to this panel for some time now. But, Photoshop for some reason has taken it’s time in making it available.

Well, it’s finally here! The June 2015 release of Photoshop has seen fit to include a Glyphs panel. We defined glyph in another article so we will just direct your attention there.

We have two different ways we can open the Glyphs Panel. We can select Type > Panels > Glyphs Panel in the menu or select Window > Glyphs in the menu as well.

photoshop-type-panels-glyphs

photoshop-windows-glyphs

Once the Glyphs Panel is open it gives you access to all the alternative characters the selected font makes available. Adding an accented character, fraction, or decorative character is as simple as finding it in the panel and then double clicking it to insert it into your text.

photoshop-glyphs-panel

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Change the Open File Workspace, Adobe Photoshop CC 2015.1

Show Recent Files Workspace When Opening a File.

Some of the most recent changes we have seen in Photoshop CC 2015 began with the code name Spectrum. This name describes changes to the applications involving the darkened user interface. We introduced the new Start Workspace in a previous post, and today will continue by discussing a change you can make to the File > Open settings.

Normally when you have a file open and wish to open an additional image you either select File > Open from the menu or use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+O on Windows, or Cmd+O on the Mac. This brings up you operating system standard dialog box to open a file.

photoshop-file-open

photoshop-file-open-dialog

Now you have an option to change that by selecting Edit > Preferences > General on Windows, or Photoshop > Preferences> General on the Mac. The preferences window has a new selection “Show ‘Recent Files’ Workspace When Opening a File. In this same preferences window you will notice an informational message telling you that workspace changes will take effect the next time Photoshop is started. That’s application speak for close and reopen the application to see it work.

photoshop-preferences-recent-files-selected

Once you have restarted Photoshop, when you choose to open a second file instead of the standard open dialog box the Recent Files workspace opens on the right side of the window. It offers the same settings as the new Start workspace. If you decide not to open a second image there is a close control in the upper left corner of the workspace or you can press the Esc key.

photoshop-recents-from-open

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Quick Export, Adobe Photoshop CC 2015.1

Export artboards, or layers using Quick Export

Photoshop has offered numerous file options for saving an image over the years. Selecting File > Save As from the menu currently offers over 20 different file formats.

photoshop-save-as

Frequently there is the need to save images for publishing online. The menu choice of File > Save for Web (now File > Export > Save for Web) was something I used on a regular basis. So often as a matter of fact it is one of the few 4 key keyboard shortcuts I use (Ctrl+Alt+Shift+S).

photoshop-save-for-web

Either of the methods described will save the entire image depending on layer visibility. But wouldn’t it be nice if we could save layers, groups, or artboards separately; not as PSD files, but as jpgs, gifs, pngs, or svg files.

With only the layer, group, or artboard selected we can use the Layers panel menu option and select Export As. The new Export As dialog box opens allowing us to choose file type, size, resampling, meta data, color space conversion, as well as image scaling. The image scaling option even allows the same image to be exported in multiple sizes.

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Want to save it as a png? The same menu has a simple Quick Save as PNG.

The standard File menu offers an Export Preferences window that will let you establish your settings choices when you use File > Export > Quick Export as…

photoshop-export-preferencesCreating online content just gets easier and easier with each new release of Photoshop CC.

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Adobe InDesign CC 2015.2; Start Workspace

Start and Recent files workspace

After installing the November update to InDesign CC 2015 the first thing (actually the second, because the first is the new splash screen) you will notice is a new default workspace.

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The new Start workspace provides access to recent files, libraries, presets, open, new tutorials, Adobe stock photos and syncing to CC libraries. It can be set up in list view, which is its default, or thumbnail view. It displays by default when you launch InDesign or when no files are open.

There are two ways to dismiss the Start workspace. You can change the workspace to something other than Start using Window > Workspace in the menu or using the workspace drop-down in the Application bar. You can also select Edit > Preferences > General in the menu and deselect “Show ‘Start’ Workspace When No Documents Are Open” to turn it off.

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This new workspace also offers our first glimpse into the further usage of flat controls. The New and Open buttons appear to be nothing more than rounded rectangles surrounding the label in the center. There is a subtle mouse-over effect to indicate it is a clickable control. This theme is carried out throughout many of the interface windows.

InDesign-CC-2015-2-flat-buttons-mouseout    InDesign-CC-2015-2-flat-buttons-mouseover

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QlikView – Dynamic Chart Titles

It’s every chart maker’s dream to have dynamically changing titles (well, that and a coffee table that looks like a giant floppy disk.  Seriously; Google that one if you haven’t seen it.  It’s pretty cool.)  Any-hoo…  To have a chart’s title change based on data you are, or are not, filtering by is a real boon to understanding the story that the chart is trying to tell.  Take the following example:QVDCT1

The reader of the chart can look at survey data for four categories all at once as a combined assessment, or they can filter by a specific category and evaluate the ratings individually.  If the chart were to be printed, the reader would not have much of an indication as to whether the chart was displaying all categories or focusing in on a single category.

Enter the DYNAMIC CHART TITLE!!!!!

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