The art of photography has changed dramatically with the advent of the smart phone. Today everyone is a photographer, and pretty much all of those photographs need some adjustment. Enter Photoshop with the ability to adjust your pictures in a non-destructive way.
The Adjustments Panel in Photoshop includes 16 different types of adjustments that can be applied to your image as a separate layer. By doing this as a separate layer none of the pixels in the original image are altered. The benefit to you of course means you always have your original.
Let’s take a look at two of the most common adjustments: levels, and hue/saturation.
Here is a beautiful image of the Bay Bridge in San Francisco taken from a passing plane. At first glance everything looks great but truth be told it could use a little help.
This image shows the histogram, or tonal range of or picture. Notice the two orange triangles on either end. They indicate where black should start on the left side (0) and where white should start on the right side (255). By moving the sliders, the circled options, we have re-established those tonal beginning points. The mid-tone slider has also been adjusted to drop the mid-tone just a touch. The resulting changes have a dramatic impact on the image.
One additional adjustment to our image will be beneficial. We’ll bump the saturation (color intensity) just slightly to improve the coloring in the lower left-hand corner.
The difference is subtle but just enough to help the image pop.
After designing a report Crystal Reports provides a built-in utility that will allow you to test performance and shine a light on areas where optimization would be beneficial. It is called the Performance Information tool and can be found by selecting Report > Performance Information in the menu.
Once opened, the Performance Information dialog box has a tree structure on the left side that provides five sets of information captured by the tool.
Report Definition – Information about the reports content: number of fields, number of summaries, Chart objects, Special Fields, etc.
Saved Data – Data captured in the report: number of data sources, total number of records, size of the saved data.
Processing – Processing of the selected report: grouping and sorting on the server, required page count, number of summary values.
Latest Report Changes – Recent changes to the report.
Performance Timing – These values provide the specific benchmark to determine if any modifications have impacted performance: timing to open the document, formatting the first page, number of pages formatted, and the average time to format a page.
To keep track of these pieces of performance data the Performance Information dialog box offers the option to save the information in a separate text file.
These saved files can then be used for comparison purposes. What has improved and what had the greatest impact.
One of the frustrations designers have been feeling for some time now stems from web design by committee, or design via theme. Many web sites today are WordPress sites with a theme and some content. Just add words and you have an instant site. Then comes the task of modifying the site and trying to make heads or tails of the built-in CSS. Have fun! And we won’t talk about accidently removing content that hoses the database that breaks the site…Arg! But I digress. Sometimes that frustration can come from the browser itself. Did you know that your browser, user-agent, has its own stylesheet and it is first in line to style everything until you step in?
CSS reset to the rescue.
At least that is the way many people feel. Let me, the designer, decide what things should look like and you, the browser, step aside so I can do my job.
To demonstrate we will be using the first chapter of Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein and three different interpretations of a CSS reset. Here is what the page looks like as rendered by Google Chrome and its stylesheet.
The HTML is simple and straightforward. A couple of headings and a series of paragraphs. Everything about the page, font, text color, background color, line height, heading size and weight are all set by the browser stylesheet.
The first reset we will use was designed by Vladimir Carrer back in 2010 and is a minimal approach to resetting the user-agent styles. It contains 5 declarations and modifies 18 elements, barely. Two of the declarations deal with tables and we aren’t using any tables.
The end result looks like this:
The primary things you will notice include the weight of the two headings has been returned to normal and the document margins and padding are set to zero. So little change it’s almost not noticeable. “I wanted to make Mini CSS Reset who will focus on the main CSS features like Divs , Tables and Forms who are also the most used CSS(HTML) elements.” – Vladimir Carrer
The next reset was created by Russ Weakly back in 2010. It is a little more involved but still changes little within our document.
The end result looks like this:
The largest benefit to our document using this stylesheet is the elimination of margins from the top of headings and paragraphs. In essence what is left is “space-below” which makes it easier to control these elements.
The last reset we will investigate today is the shortest but involves the largest changes. It is mentioned in Jason Cranford Teague’s book CSS3. The premise is to reset the most important styles using the universal selector. It changes 10 properties on everything.
The end result looks like this:
It almost resembles a document with no tags, therefore, no styles. The thing to keep in mind here are the 10 properties that have been altered and what we want those new settings to be. A reset returns design control to our hands and that is generally what a designer wants.
This reset works well for small to mid-sized sites but can create a lot of work for large sites.
There are a lot of different setting we talk about during our Crystal Reports classes. Much of the information we end up displaying within these reports consists of text, and in our quest to make it fit we end up making constant adjustments to width and height. That is, until we are introduced to the string format option can grow.
With one simple format setting we eliminate the need to make those height adjustments.
Here is what we are talking about. Our example will use a simple group heading to identify the country of origin.
It looks like this in print preview.
We decide to increase the group heading font size from 10 points to 12 points and discover upon previewing that some of the text has been truncated.
When using Crystal Reports, formulas play a large role in preforming such basic tasks as conditional formatting, selecting records, and general calculations. The code window for all of these tasks is called the Formula Workshop. It is a centralized window divided into five sections; Workshop tree, Field Tree, Function Tree, Operator Tree, and Definition area.
Normally when you want to create a basic calculation formula such as taking one database field and multiplying it by another database field you will expand your connection object within the Field Tree so you can see all of your available tables. Clicking the plus sign next to each table will reveal all of the fields in that table. You next step is either double-click the field to insert it into the Definition area or left-click and drag it into the Definition area.
The same can be said for inserting functions or operators. The only difference being you would need to expand the categories each function or operator is listed under.
The Definition area offers an interesting code hinting feature I find very useful. If I want to use a particular field from a database table all I need to do is type an opening curly brace in the Definition area and a pop-up tip gives me a list of all my available database tables. Typing the first letter of the table will select it and I can now press the tab key to insert it. As soon as it is inserted another pop-up tip shows a dot and all the fields within that table. Typing its first letter or first few letters will select it and I can now press tab to insert it.
A wonderfully fast way to get to any function or operator in the Definition area is to use a simple keyboard shortcut. Just press Ctrl + Spacebar and the same pop-up tip will start an alphabetical list of functions and operators. As you type the pop-up tip eliminates anything that does not contain the letters you are typing.
As soon as you can see the function or operator you are looking for you can use your up and down arrow keys to select the item you want. Pressing the tab or enter key will insert it.
This can be a real time saver because you do not need to expand the function or operator categories. Just start typing and your code can be inserted.
When it comes to the topic of web browsers one phrase comes to mind, oh how the mighty have fallen. In the 23 years since the release of Mosaic, “the world’s first popular browser”, we have seen several major contenders rise to the top.
In 1994 the same people that developed Mosaic started a company named Netscape and released Netscape Navigator. Its growth was phenomenal as the popularity of the web was just taking off. Microsoft jumped on the band wagon in 1995 with Internet Explorer. During these early years Netscape dominated with as much as 90% of the market. Then and before you knew it the first browser war was being waged.
Microsoft bundled Internet Explorer with their Windows 98 operating system and said it was free which forced Netscape to stop charging for their browser. Within a matter of a couple of years the numbers were completely reversed and Internet Explorer had a 90+% market share.
Meanwhile in Norway a small browser named Opera was released in 1996. You’ve heard of it…right?
The two major players continued to battle it out when Apple decided it was time to introduce their own browser for their operating system. Safari made its debut in 2003 and was available for both Apple and Windows computers from 2007 until support for Windows was dropped in 2012.
Unfortunately neither Opera nor Safari seemed to be offering much competition to the now reigning browser, Internet Explorer. Quietly behind the scenes, Netscape had launched the Mozilla Foundation in order to introduce the open-source model to the world of browsers. It resulted in the release of Firefox in 2004. From the time of its release until its peak at about 28% in 2011 Firefox chipped away at Internet Explorer’s dominance.
Google, I assume you’ve heard of it, released Chrome in September of 2008. With chinks in its armor already showing from battling Firefox, Chrome piled on Internet Explorer as well. It probably didn’t help that Internet Explorer had been sitting on its browser duff and most web developers considered it to be a pain to work with. Oh yeah, and there were at least 4 different versions still being used.
Somewhere along in May of 2012 Chrome passed Internet Explorer as the top dog browser and as it continues to rise…Internet Explorer continues to fall.
So, the title of this article said something about a new browser. Truth be told we have several new choices.
If you have moved over to Windows 10 Internet Explorer is no longer installed by default. Microsoft’s new browser is called Edge and is a light-weight standards compliant application built on a new engine that has removed support for legacy technologies like ActiveX.
Pale Moon is an open source browser for usage on a Windows or Linux operating system.
“Pale Moon offers you a browsing experience in a browser completely built from its own, independently developed source that has been forked off from Firefox/Mozilla code, with carefully selected features and optimizations to improve the browser’s speed*, resource use, stability and user experience, while offering full customization and a growing collection of extensions and themes to make the browser truly your own.”
The newest of the new would be Vivaldi, released on April 6, 2016. Started by former Opera CEO Jon Stephenson von Tetzchner, it exists due to dissatisfaction with the direction Opera has chosen to move.
“Fast forward to 2015. The browser we once loved has changed its direction. Sadly, it is no longer serving its community of users and contributors — who helped build the browser in the first place.
So we came to a natural conclusion: we must make a new browser. A browser for ourselves and for our friends. A browser that is fast, but also a browser that is rich in functionality, highly flexible and puts the user first. A browser that is made for you.” – Jon Stephenson von Tetzchner
In this CSS3 tutorial, you’ll learn how to create multiple columns using CSS3. You’ll see how to use the column-width, column-gap and column-count properties to make long blocks of text readable and responsive to your user’s preferred resolution. Visit our CSS3 Training page for more information on our CSS Training Classes.
Doing a basic web page text layout using more than one column has been much more of a chore than it ever should have been. In the early days of web design almost everything was built using tables. Actually tables inside tables inside tables. Along comes HTML 4.0 with its companion CSS but we still continued using tables. Why, because our browsers weren’t compliant.
It should have been easy because CSS introduced the float property. Take two div tags and float them side by side and we have the basic design concept of two columns. Eventually browsers did embrace CSS and what it offered but it still could have been easier.
Finally CSS3 has addressed the problem with a breakthrough simple solution. We now have a series of column properties that will allow us to divide our content into as many columns as we need.
Columns have been used in printing for a variety of reasons one of which is keeping text lines short enough to make reading easier. No long lines so you need your finger to trace down to the beginning of the next line. Lines of a length that we can read as a thought and not just a group of words.
That line length is generally considered to be between 65 and 90 characters. Taking that into consideration we can look at the first chapter of Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein laid out in full screen.
The html is simple and straight forward.
By adding just a few lines of code to our CSS file (still using the necessary browser prefixes) we can ask the browser to flow the text into as many columns as we need.
I have chosen to set the column width property but we could also have used column-count and set its value to 2, 3, 4 or however many columns necessary.
In a commented area about our section settings you can see the list of CSS3 column properties. Count, gap, rule, and width are the primary choices. Column-span would allow us to span the title across multiple columns. Time will tell how much longer we need to use the browser prefixes but as long as they are included multiple columns are finally easy to implement.
There are times when you want to focus on a specific area of a photograph but don’t need a separate, cropped version of the picture. CSS offers an approach that will maintain the complete, original image but allow you to crop, mask, or clip your picture.
Let’s begin with a simple example. This page includes a full-size image of a young lady sipping a cold beverage on a beautiful spring day.
CSS3 has been in development since 1998, that’s right, 1998. Both CSS1 and CSS2 became standards in quick succession, December of 1996 for CSS1, and May of 1998 for CSS2. One of the main differences between CSS3 and its predecessors is the use of documents or “modules” to contain different components of the specification. Some examples would include media queries, level 3 selectors, level 3 color, and multi-column layout. These modules progress at different rates and are largely dependent on browser support.
There are two specific modules we are going to take a look at today: transforms and transitions.
Transforms can be 2D or 3D and allow you to scale, rotate, move, or skew an object.
Transitions allow you to change properties smoothly from one value to another, over a measured duration.
If you are concerned about browser support we have included screen captures from caniuse.com. All is well as long as your users/clients have progressed beyond IE9.
Our demonstration will begin with a simple list that will be styled to look like a couple of sticky notes.
To make our sticky notes appear to be hand written we would like to use a font that looks that way, hand written. CSS3 makes that easier now because of the addition of web-fonts. For years we were stuck using the same fonts over and over again. Now it’s as easy as going to Google Fonts, selecting something from their list of over 700 fonts, clicking the quick use button, copying a link and pasting it into the head of your web page. Just use the name of the font supplied by Google in your stylesheet and you are good to go.
We’ll also add a drop shadow to give a sense of dimension to our notes. You’ll notice a prefix being used for this code. With 5 browsers vying for your attention and each of them progressing at a different pace they have taken to using slightly different syntax. This prefix is necessary for a given browser in order for your style to work. Eventually all browsers will use a standardized syntax, but for the time being we will include the prefix to guarantee success.
With some basic styles in place our page should look like this.
Now we want our sticky notes to appear randomly placed which means they shouldn’t look straight or level. That’s where transform comes into play. We’ll take each note and rotate it and use relative positioning from CSS2 to move them up or down. We are also using the CSS3 pseudo class nth-child to select which list item we are styling.
Our page now looks like this.
The over-all effect we are looking for is a zoomed in, straightened view of our sticky note. To accomplish this we will use the CSS2 pseudo-class hover. It will allow us to scale our note using transform and then time and smooth that transformation using transition.
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.
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 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.
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.
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
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.
If you’re used to changing the way currency values are displayed in Excel, you might want to exercise the same choices when viewing costs in Microsoft Project. Although changing the look of costs can be done in Project, it’s not as immediately obvious as to how.
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!
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).
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…)
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.
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.
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.
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…)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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:
The finished product would look like:
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…)
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.
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…)
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.
What most beginning report developers try is to format the values with the Number tools in the list box’s properties. (more…)
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.
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!
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…)
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:
LOAD * FROM
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.
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
(Here is a version you can Copy/Paste)
FOR vCount = 0 to NoOfTables()-1
LET vTableName = TableName($(vCount));
STORE '$(vTableName)' INTO '$(vTableName).qvd' (qvd);
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.
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
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.