Author Archives: amandamhyer

InDesign CS6 Liquid Layout – Scale and Re-center

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In my last post I talked about some of the useful new features in InDesign CS6. Today I am going to talk about two of the Liquid Layout rules: Scale and Re-center.  The first thing you have to remember when using the Liquid Layout rules is that you have to have the have the page tool selected.  Once you select the page with the page tool you can either use the Liquid Layout panel or the toolbar at the top to select which rule you want to use.

Top Toolbar when the Page Tool is selected

 

The Scale Rule

The Scale Rule keeps all of the elements on the page the same relative size no matter how you resize the page.  If you make the page larger or smaller in scale you will not have to resize your elements at all.  Resizing your page to portrait instead of landscape will result in having a landscape layout on a portrait page. This rule is great, but it does have some limitations.

Using the Scale Rule

 

The Re-Center Rule

The Re-center rule does exactly that; it will keep your content in the center of the page no matter how you resize it. It will keep the centers of your objects and the center of your page in alignment, no matter how you rezise your page.  However, the size of your elements will remain the same, no matter how you resize.  This could be useful, but I can’t see this rule being all that useful.

Using the Re-Center Rule

 

These are two of the four Liquid Layout rules. I think they are the less useful ones.  The Scale rule could be extremely useful, but only when resizing the page in scale.  In my experience this is not usually the case; usually you need to resize a page to specific dimensions and those dimensions are not usually in perfect relation to the current page size.  As for the Re-Center Rule, I can’t conceive a situation where that would be more useful than another rule.   In my next post I will talk about the other two rules, Object-Based and Guide-Based.

InDesign CS6 Liquid Layout and Alternate Layout

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Since I am going to be posting about the new things  that I learn, I thought I’d start out with what has been captivating my interest for the last little while.

Interactive Documents.

I have been using InDesign for years, but I have really only used it to create and layout print documents until now. CS5 and  CS6 make creating interactive documents, or just digital documents (like ebooks) much easier through the use of several new features.  You will probably read a lot about the newest tool in CS6, the Content Conveyor.  While this is a great new tool for moving content or duplicating pages far more easily, I don’t think it’s the most exciting new tool.  My favorites, by far, are the liquid layout and alternate layout tools.  By using these two tools together, InDesign lets you quickly and easily create layouts for both a horizontal screen and a vertical screen within the same document.  With more and more people getting tablets, the ability to create these two different layouts with minimal hassle is invaluable.  Over the next few weeks I am going to be posting tutorials and examples about the best ways to utilize these tools to quickly create alternate layouts.  After covering liquid and alternate layout I am going to talk about incorporating interactivity into your documents (pdf and otherwise).

 

Blogging Best Practices

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Best practices for blogging tend to be advice about how to write a successful blog.  There are some tips about safety, but they are rather more difficult to find.  For the most part a lot of the same advice about social networking applies to blogging.  If you wouldn’t say it aloud to a bunch of people you don’t know, don’t put it on your blog.  Here is my list of which best practices I found the most useful.

Engage your reader and give them a reason, along with a lot of posts, to return to you.
http://www.echoditto.com/blogging

Don’t be afraid to be personal.  This is one I wouldn’t have necessarily thought of, as anonymity seems to be more safe, but the most engaging blogs I read are the ones that are honestly personal.
http://www.religionnews.com/blogs/jana-riess/10-best-practices-for-bloggers-social-media-series-1

Know the purpose of your blog so you know how closely you should maintain it.
http://digitalethics.org/resources/best-practices-for-bloggers-dimensions-for-consideration/

 

Blogging and Technical Writing

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A lot of technical writers tell about their general duties and how their job functions.  However, more likely they like to write about their opinions and experience in their specific field. The blogs that I found the most interesting were about UI and UX (user interface and user experience.)

http://asinthecity.com/

http://www.90percentofeverything.com/2012/04/20/from-print-to-ipad-designing-a-reading-experience/
 (the entire blog is good, but this particular article was really interesting)

http://www.thinkoutsidein.com/blog/

http://flow-interactive.com/thinking

These blogs discussed how user experience research and implementation are conducted.  The bloggers were using their blogs not only to educate and inform, but to keep up with current trends.  I really enjoyed reading and learning from the projects that these developers and designers were working on (interactive magazines for tablets was one of my favorites).  I find myself being drawn more and more into this field of UI and UX.  The focus of these careers on the user and how to create and implement a better user experience is something that I am going to enjoy exploring more.