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So, you’ve discovered WebINK and have been migrating your site to get rid of the ho-hum “safe” fonts in favor of some webalicious goodies. But when you test your site, do you get the sinking feeling that your bolds are more brash than they should be, or your italics just don’t have the right slant? You could be the victim of faux styling.

Faux styling is what a browser does when the style you asked for (usually bold, italic, or both) doesn’t exist. It widens and overlaps text to make it look bold, and it slants text to make it look italic. While this might approximate the look you want, it can be distracting.

Many font families available through WebINK have multiple weights and styles available. If your WebINK-enhanced site still comes up short when it comes to bold and italic, you can remedy the situation by using the styles that the type designer created for that purpose!

What you need to do to fix your face:

  1. Add new styles to your Type Drawer.
    If you use Suitcase Fusion 3 to manage your WebINK sites: Open the WebINK Library, find the font family you’re using, and drag the additional fonts to your Type Drawer.
    If you use WebINK.com: Open your Type Drawer, click Add Fonts, find the individual fonts you want, and click the Add button next to each. When you’ve added all the fonts you want, click the Save Fonts button.
  2. Generate the CSS code for the Type Drawer.
    Suitcase: Choose File > Export Type Drawer CSS and save the file.
    WebINK.com: Click Get CSS Code and copy the code in the dialog. (You may want to paste this into a text file to use it later.)
  3. Add the WebINK CSS to your website’s CSS.
    Copy and paste the @font-face definitions from the CSS from step 2 into your website’s CSS file.
  4. Update your style definitions to use the new font styles.
    This is where the fun begins.

Let’s say you’ve added bold and oblique versions of the URW font Eurostile T to your Type Drawer. You now need to change style, class, and ID definitions in your CSS to incorporate the new fonts.

If your old CSS looks like this:

@font-face { font-family: EurostileT-Reg; src: url("http://fnt.webink.com/?drawer=xxx&font=xxx"); font-weight:normal; font-style:normal; font-variant:normal; }

body { font-family: EurostileT-Reg, Arial, sans-serif; }

h1 { font-family: EurostileT-Reg, Arial, sans-serif; font-weight: bold; font-size: 150%; }

and you add these new fonts

@font-face { font-family: EurostileT-RegObl; src: url("http://fnt.webink.com/?drawer=xxx&font=xxx"); font-weight:normal; font-style:normal; font-variant:normal; }

@font-face { font-family: EurostileT-Bol; src: url("http://fnt.webink.com/?drawer=xxx&font=xxx"); font-weight:normal; font-style:normal; font-variant:normal; }

then you need to change h1 as follows:

h1 { font-family: EurostileT-Bol, "Arial Bold", Arial-BoldMT, sans-serif; font-weight: normal; font-size: 150%; }

Notice the changes? We are using the true bold version of the font, so we change the font-weight to normal. (If we don’t, some browsers will apply double-bold.)

We also use the true bold versions of our fallback font. In this case we call out specifically the font name “Arial Bold” and the PostScript name Arial-BoldMT to accommodate browsers and platforms that rely on the PostScript name instead of the font’s “menu” name. (Stay tuned for a future post on PostScript names.)

You probably use <b> and <i> tags, or maybe <strong> and <em> somewhere on your page. If not now, you likely will someday. Create new definitions for them in your CSS:

b, strong { font-family: EurostileT-Bol, "Arial Bold", Arial-BoldMT, sans-serif; font-weight: normal; }

i, em { font-family: EurostileT-RegObl, "Arial Italic", Arial-ItalicMT, sans-serif; font-style: normal; }

Up to this point I’ve ignored the bold-italic combination. There are two concerns with bold-italic: when the font in question has a bold-italic variant (or bold-oblique), and when it doesn’t.

When you want to use your font’s native bold-italic variant, you will need to add definitions to your website’s CSS. Add the WebINK CSS:

@font-face { font-family: EurostileT-BolObl; src: url("http://fnt.webink.com/?drawer=xxx&font=xxx"); font-weight:normal; font-style:normal; font-variant:normal; }

Then add this definition:

b i { font-family: EurostileT-BolObl, "Arial Bold Italic", Arial-BoldItalicMT, sans-serif; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal }

You can include other combinations of these tags that you use in your HTML, either as part of one big definition or as multiple definitions:

b i, i b, strong em, em strong, strong i, i strong, b em, em b { … }

If your chosen font does not include a bold-italic variation, and you feel you do need to use bold-italic text on your site, then you should be aware that most browsers will apply a faux style on top of a real style. You can control which faux style is applied by the order of tags in your HTML. Tags are applied from the inside out, so that if your HTML is

<strong><em>some text</em></strong>

the em tag is applied first, yielding a real italic with faux bold applied. This is generally more appealing than the reverse

<em><strong>more text</strong></em>

where the true bold text will be slanted.


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Today’s tip is on simple navigation around the mac’s hard disk. Most problems in life can be reduced down to “a simple matter of semantics”; a synonym falls from the heavens and eureka, surprise, voila, hallelujah! We understand each other!

In Tech Support, we often help mac customers consolidate their fonts into a central location or delete a bad preference file. But a semantic gap can block even the simplest task if I’m talkin apples and you’re talkin oranges:

Tech Support: Double click on your hard disk to open up the “Finder” and go to your “Home” folder.
Customer: Uh, what’s the “Finder”?
Tech Support: The application that launches when you double click on your hard disk to help you “find” things.
Customer: Eureka !
Tech Support: So then go to your “Home” folder.
Customer: Uh, what’s my “Home” folder?
Tech Support: The folder with the little house icon that probably has your name on it, where you keep all your personal files.
Customer: You mean in applications?
Tech Support: No.
Customer: Is that in the System folder?
Tech Support: No. It’s in the Users folder.
Customer: I don’t think I have a “Users” folder. I’m the only user on my mac.
Tech Support: You still have a “Users” folder. Double click on your hard drive and the Users folder is right there : Applications, Library, System, Users
Customer: [several minutes later] Voila! I found it!
Tech Support: Hallelujah!

mac-10.6.3-home folder

As you can see, your “Home” folder is your “User” folder. Its located at:

[hard disk]/Users/[your name]

Nine times out of ten when you are workin on your mac, you are within your “Home” folder. See the cute little house icon? That’s why its called the “Home” folder and “Home” sounds more user friendly than “User Account”.

mac-10.6.3-home-get info

If you share your mac with a co worker or a family member then they have their own “Home” folder too. This is how your mac keeps your files separate and secure from prying eyes. Example: Boris and Natasha share a mac. When Boris logs into the mac, he has access to the files in his “Home” folder named “Boris”. When he saves a file named “Top Secret File.txt” to his desktop, it is saved to :

[hard disk]/Users/Boris/Desktop/Top Secret File.txt

When Natasha logs into the mac later that day, she has access to all the files in her “Home” folder named “Natasha”. Even though she is a spy and would love to see what devious plans Boris is up to, she cannot see his files because she cannot get into his “Home” folder without his password. Foiled! Foiled again!

So what’s the “Finder”?

mac-10.6.3-finder on the dock

The “Finder” is such a fundamental part of Mac OS X that we forget it’s there, but it’s an application just like Mail or Safari with its own preferences and commands. It’s the equivalent of “Windows Explorer” on Microsoft Windows, and simply helps you navigate around and “find” your files and folders.

mac-10.6.3-finder

The Finder is always running even if you’re not aware of its presence. It doesn’t live in your Applications or Utilities folder as you might think. Its tucked away safely in:

/System/Library/CoreServices/Finder.app

. . . so you don’t accidentally delete it. Lots of essential programs live here as well like Dock (provides quick access to things you use often), Installer (used when you install new applications), Archive Utility (used to “compress” i.e. zip and unzip files) and Software Update (used to update your mac applications automatically). Together all these little programs form the “core” experience of the operating system that we know and love as OS X.

Now, you know where to find the “Finder” and that you are almost always at “Home” on your mac.

Some additional semantic equivalents (Mac OS X to Windows):

  • Finder = Windows Explorer
  • Mac HD = “C” drive
  • Control click = Right click
  • Dock = Task bar
  • Get Info = Properties
  • Apple Menu = Start Menu
  • System/Library/Fonts = C:\WINDOWS\Fonts
  • System Preferences = Control Panel
  • Applications = Programs
  • Terminal = cmd
  • Alias = Shortcut
  • Sleep = Standby
  • Log Out = Log Off
  • Quit = Exit

Keyboard Differences (Mac OS X to Windows)

  • Control = Control
  • Option = Alt
  • Command or “Apple” = Option or “Windows”
  • Return = Enter

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An elegant but overlooked feature of Suitcase Fusion 2 and Universal Type Client is the ability to create smart sets. Just like a smart playlist in iTunes, you set up some search criteria, save it and then kick back and let artificial intelligence do the work for you. The key difference here between (normal) sets and smart sets is that smart sets are dynamic; they update themselves automatically as things change in your environment with absolutely no work required from you. They are effortless, majestic, luxurious, sublime.

TOPIO_3.0

Anytime you find yourself searching or sorting for the same type of thing repeatedly, save yourself some time and create a smart set.

Choose File > New Smart Set and set the drop down boxes as you wish.

Some examples:

Active Fonts (activation = activated)

SF2-smart set-active fonts

Show me all fonts that are activated right now i.e. turned on at this moment in time. This is a handy safety net to see the total number of fonts you have turned on across various sets throughout the day. A ha! so that’s why my machine is getting slow !

Duplicate Fonts (duplicates = postscript name)

SF2-smart set-duplicate fonts

Show me all fonts that have the same postscript name. This is handy for trouble shooting font conflicts or cleaning up a huge collection of fonts.

Recent Fonts (date added = on = today’s date)

SF2-smart set-recent fonts
Show me all fonts added today.

The possibilities for creating smart sets are quite infinite especially when you start keywording your fonts. Start tagging your fonts with client names or invoice numbers and you could create a smart set that shows you all fonts you haven’t used yet for a specific client to push yourself into some robot assisted creativity. Thanks Mr. Robot!

[Photo Credit : TOPIO 3.0 Robot image courtesy of Humanrobo from Wikipedia]


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MediaPro09

Later this week, we will be exhibiting and presenting at Media Pro, the unique event for those involved in the creation, production, procurement and distribution of media and marketing communications.

We’ll be presenting a digital asset management case study and best practices session. You’ll see how BB Printing, a UK-based commercial printer uses Portfolio Server, to create an easily accessible and searchable catalog with thousands of digital files.

Presentation Agenda:
• 4th November: 10:45 – 11:15, Apple Solution Expert Theatre
• 5th November: 11:00 – 11:45, Apple Solution Expert Theatre

Also, be sure to drop by the Extensis stand (24), where we will be demonstrating both Portfolio Server and Universal Type Server. We’ll also be on hand to answer any font or digital asset management questions.

Media Pro:

  • 4-5th November
  • Old Billingsgate, London
  • Further details

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    Portfolio Server 9 digital asset manager

    If you live in Germany and have an interest in digital asset management, we are hosting two seminars, which may be of interest to you.

    Extensis’ country manager for Germany, Torsten Köbel, will be presenting Portfolio Server 9 in Hamburg and Munich in the next few weeks. Torsten will be demonstrating how Portfolio Server 9 allows you to manage, distribute and archive all your images and rich media files, saving you and your organization time and money. You’ll also get some insider tips and best practices on digital asset management.

    If you are interested in additional details or would like to register, please click on the links below:

    9th September, Hamburg
    16th September, Munich

    We hope you will join us.


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    daily-routines

    I recently discovered a blog called Daily Routines and it is a really interesting read. When people come across someone describing their daily routine (say in a magazine or in a book), they send it in and those are posted on the blog.

    This is no list of executives you don’t recognize or people from fields that you aren’t interested in. These are people most all of us recognize: Charles Darwin, Mister Rogers, and Winston Churchill to name a few. Worth noting to me was this list of people all felt the need to have a daily routine. Maybe that’s what helped them get where they are today? I’m not certain of that but I am guessing it was a big help! I also liked reading how people with similar professions had some similarities (Stephen King AND CS Lewis both enjoy their tea) but how also they could be wildly different (some people have NO social engagements at all while in the midst of a project, some actively try to go out each evening).

    I looked around to see if there were any other interesting takes on daily routines and found an article at Yahoo! Finance where a survey was sent out to 20 CEOs and he got 17 replies back about daily routines and wrote up some general trends and patterns in how these people operated. Also interesting was who he talked to: Motorola, Pepsi, and Xerox just to name a few.

    Currently I have no daily routine, what I do during the day depends on a lot of other things so I don’t have anything more than I come to Extensis each morning. What’s your daily routine? Do you have a power tip that you are willing to share? Here’s one of mine from David Allen of GTD fame: The Two Minute Rule. If something comes your way and it will take two minutes or less, then do it and move on. I have been trying to stick to that and it really seems to help keep little things from hanging around.


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    * This image is from the My Favourite Letters Pool on Flickr. Most of the images are deskstop sized, and this one was my favorite.

    Portland is full of graphic designers, web designers, freelance designers, and all kinds of other super creative types. One of them happens to be Bram Pitoyo, geek about town and general fan of type and and good design. He recently did a couple of articles for Designer Daily about typefaces, and alternatives to (sometimes tired) old standards that get trotted out from time to time.

    Bram wrote two of these: One for serif type, and one for sans serif type. Both of them were very interesting because I realized there were a lot of alternatives that sometimes people don’t always consider when it comes to using type in design. It’s one of those things like getting a haircut or wearing slimmer clothes-people may notice A change, but they aren’t sure what it is exactly. I found a lot of use in the sans serif article because I prefer sans serif fonts in virtually everything, so seeing Helsinki and that adorable little Bryant were very appealing. But even Neohellenic was a lot nicer to look at than I figured it would be, what with the serifs and all.

    I know I spend a lot of time with fonts, and know more about fonts than a lot of people (those would be the people to whom I have to explain my Battlestar Helvetica shirt is NOT a typo). But Bram is, and I say this in the nicest possible way, a power type nerd of a VERY high magnitude. Picking his brain on font knowledge is a VERY fun experience (if you enjoy type discussion, that is), and if you do ask him font questions you can tell he’s enjoying every minute. It is like asking me about Star Wars!

    So dig a little bit into these articles and find some new perspectives on the same old words. It can be fun to shake things up with a different font, and people will wonder what your secret is!


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    I subscribe to some different things via email, and one of those things is the Circuits newsletter from David Pogue at the New York Times. I read last week’s article titled “Tech Tips for the Basic Computer User” and got to thinking about all the things I know about that I picked up because someone saw me do it the long way and went “You know you can just _____ and it’s a LOT faster that way.” So I decided to give you two lists,
    one for our products and one for general computer use. I will note which tricks are platform specific.

    Suitcase Fusion:
    * Hit that ‘Attributes’ button in the menu bar. When that drawer slides out you see either keywords, styles, classifications, or foundries. Double-clicking on anything in the list will show you fonts with that property. This is a nice way to quickly look at all your sans serif fonts, or everything from House Industries or what have you.
    * Create Application sets: In the ‘File’ menu there’s an option for “New Application Set”. When you create an application set, all those fonts get activated automatically when you launch that program. So if you have a set of fonts you always use in Photoshop, create a set for them and then you don’t have to worry about activating them ahead of time.

    Extensis Portfolio:
    * Find vs QuickFind: Find gives you a full-on search window with criteria and all kinds of layers. QuickFind, by default, searches Description, Filename, and Keywords only. If you have a custom field you’ve created or there’s some other field you spend a lot of time searching through, go to ‘Edit’ and then ‘Preferences’, and click the QuickFind tab. There you can customize what fields are being searched. NOTE: If you go check every box, keep in mind QuickFind will be significantly less quick. But if you need to find by Photographer or Client Name a lot, this can save you a lot of time.
    * Customize View: If you don’t care as much about thumbnails, maybe you should look at list view so you can see a lot more items at once time. If you care a lot about thumbnails you might want to make sure you are using the larger size. Under ‘View’, click ‘Customize’ and you can tweak the view of that catalog to your heart’s content.
    * Customize Toolbar: If there are items in menus that you use often, you might want to promote them to the Toolbar. Under ‘View’, click ‘Customize Toolbar’, and just like the catalog view you can customize this all the livelong day. If you spend a lot of time in Portfolio on a laptop, maybe you want to maximize your view by removing the text under the buttons and using small icons. If you are constantly burning discs to get things to people, put that in the toolbar and save all the clicks.
    * Batch Edit Keywords: If you spend a lot of time pasting the same info over and over, don’t! Select all the items that need updating, and under ‘Item’ choose ‘Edit Keywords’. In the window that pops up, edit away!

    Font Managers: (both Suitcase Fusion and Suitcase for Windows)
    * Don’t like the text in the preview window? Change it! Go to the preferences and click on Preview Text. You can modify it all right there, in case Mark Twain isn’t your thing. (Currently my paragraph is from the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.)

    General Computer Tips:
    * Double Click vs Single Click: Make sure you know which one to use. Links on webpages are one click, not two. In general things on your computer take two clicks-launching programs, opening files and folders.
    * Highlighting: Double click a word in most word processors and it highlights the whole word. If you need a little more or less, hold down shift and use left/right arrow keys to adjust your selection.
    * Death to WWW. Most websites don’t need the WWW. in the front anymore, so stop typing them and see what happens.
    * Bookmarks. If you go to the same few sites every day, add them to the bookmark bar in your browser. If you use Firefox, you can put the entire folder there and there is an option to ‘open all in tabs’ so you can get to it with one click instead of all that typing.

    Pogue brought up a good point: Everybody knows 40 or 80 percent of what there is to know–but everybody knows a *different* 40 or 80 percent. So don’t presume just because you know that cool key command for opening the Utilities folder in Leopard (hold down the Apple key, shift key, and U key), that everybody knows it. They might not. So go share some knowledge! As someone who helps people all the time, I can tell you that “Hey, this is really cool. Thanks!” response is one of the best parts. Show somebody the cool thing you learned today and see if they have something to share in return.


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    Last time I talked about how you can set up Portfolio’s QuickFind to help you quickly search out what you need. This time we’ll look at saving full Search criteria that you need to use again and again, and use that to automatically populate galleries for you.

    Portfolio gives you the ability to make Saved Finds and Smart Galleries are very helpful for keeping track of projects, clients or special subject matter.

    Saved Finds can help you keep your most requently needed assets handy.

    The first step is to create the search criteria that you need to use. For my example, I used a search that finds on the client name, and approval status.  More efficient searches are ones that search for criteria that ‘matches’ rather than ‘contains’ or ‘does not contain’. Then I added the status of Approved to get just the assets that are Approved For Use. Once you have the search that works for you, then save that search; pull down the Saved Finds menu item, and save your search as a Smart Gallery.

    You can go back and adjust the criteria that populates the Smart Gallery, or even create saved searches that do not populate galleries, but are ready for use.

    By using a saved search, you can populate a Smart Gallery

    These saved searches and Smart Galleries are saved in the catalog so anybody using the catalog can benefit from this

    Portfolio 8.5 can save your search criterias

    Smart Galleries can even be used to drive content in a NetPublish site. Once you have assets that meet your desires, you can have that Smart Gallery be the gallery that drives your published content.

    Just one more tip on how you can make Portfolio do the searching and finding automatically for you, rather than you having to do lots of extra clicks.

    That’s today’s lesson, I hope you found it useful.

    Motorcycle update – Today was fairly nippy on the ride in, I should have worn my flanel jeans, or at least my wind pants. This afternoon is looking good, think I’ll have to nip out for a little ride. In two weeks we’re looking at getting a group of fellow Extensis 2-wheel enthusiasts and heading down to the local Ural / Royal Enfield motorcycle dealer.  Maybe I’ll have to start saving my pennies for something new next spring.


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    Paul\'s stick figure icon of a personPortfolio allows you to track and keep all sorts of information about your assets. Much of this information you don’t need to access on a daily basis, but it’s nice to have around, just in case. The downside of having lots of information is that it presents challenges on how to find that information or assets you need, quickly.

    To search and find things with Portfolio you have a few different ways to get what you need, some faster than others. The first way to find things is to open the Portfolio client and scroll through the main screen, looking at the thumbnails until you find what you want. This is great if you have a limited number of items, and items that are unique that don’t look a lot like the others, but how realistic is that… probably not very realistic.

    The better way to find things is to use QuickFind. You can QuickFind in the full Portfolio client application as well in Portfolio Express. By default QuickFind searches for items based on Description, Filename and Keywords. If you have large description fields this will slow down the speed of returning your results. Often you may have a different field that you need to search on every time, like a client name, a job number or maybe a subject. If you’ve set up other fields to be your ‘main’ data fields, you can change QuickFind to search on those fields, rather than having to pound through other fields that are less critical.

    To change what QuickFind searches, you have to open your catalog and edit the Preferences. On Windows, go into the Edit menu, select Preferences. On Macintosh, select Portfolio menu, select Preferences. Next, select the QuickFind tab. You will see 3 boxes checked for what QuickFind will search. You can select the fields that you want QuickFind to search. You can set unique QuickFind criteria for each catalog you use, so if one catalog relies upon job numbers, and the other is specific all your archive client information, you can set different QuickFind criteria for each catalog.

    Portfolio QuickFind Windows options

    Portfolio Express will utilize these preferences, so you will get the same results regardless if you’re using Portfolio Express, or the full client.

    So, really focus on how you search for things, and start fine tuning your Finds.

    Next time, we’ll look at how to build more efficient searches and saved searches. Once you’ve got a saved search that works, you can build Smart Galleries. But more on that next time.

    Paul K out.

    And the 2 wheeled world update, today was pretty wet for an August, I actually had to don the rain pants and rainproof gloves. I actually debated about wimping out and driving my truck, but I suited up, put on the softside luggage to carry my laptop and went for it. I’m really enjoying my ’82 Honda Hawk. I’m trying to carve out some time to try doing a longer trip on it. I almost drove it to Bend, Oregon last weekend, but I think I’ll try and do a shorter trip before I jump right into a drive half way across Oregon and the Cascade Mountains.


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