2011 Lunar Calendar Design

An elegant and creative lunar calendar solution from dmtr.org

Resetting the Work Area Background in Photoshop

Somehow when speeding around and keyboard shortcutting and clicking in Photoshop, I accidentally changed my Photoshop work area background color. Not what I wanted! Here's how to set it back to its original color. This tip works for full-screen mode too.

  1. The default gray background that Photoshop ships with is R: 204 G: 204 B: 204. Enter this color in the Color Picker as your foreground color.
  2. Select the paint bucket. Expand the image window if necessary and shift-click on the background area you wish to change.

Free Photoshop Action: White Photo Border

I've been looking for a simple clean white photo border/photo edge action and couldn't easily find what I wanted online. I wanted something a little more sophisticated than a solid white 50 pixel stroke but still very simple. I created this free Photoshop action with a hint of gradient on the white stroke and hint of inner shadow on the photo to add a little bit more dimension.

Click here to download the free Photoshop action. (In the next window select "Click here to start download")

Note: This works best on images 4 x 6 at 300 dpi or about 1800 px wide. The action doesn't come with a drop shadow - that's just so you can see the border in this example.

Thanks to sxc.hu user mterraza for the photo.

Free Photoshop Brushes from Brush Lovers

Brush Lovers has a huge library of Photoshop brushes, many of which are free! Here are a few free brushes that caught my eye: Nature Spatter, Scrubbed Prime, Flurry of Snowflakes, Magical Lights.

Text Art Showcase from Vandelay Design

Some neat text art - see the full selection at Vandelay Design

PDF Export and Background Tasks in InDesign CS5

For those of you using InDesign CS5, you may have noticed something happened to the pdf export. There's no longer a status bar/dialog box. Exporting a pdf now happens invisibly as a background task, allowing you to continue to work on your document (which seems completely illogical to me).

People either seem to really like it or really dislike it. I'm in the dislike camp on this one. So if you also find it frustrating to not know when your pdf is done and you can close the file, there is a solution! Here are two places to watch the status of background tasks:

The first place is the minuscule vertical Background Tasks indicator bar that appears in the Application bar. It's below and to the right of the word "Type" in the following screenshot. It appears and moves only when a background task is active — it disappears when that background task is complete.

The second place is the Background Tasks panel. Turn it on by choosing Window > Utilities > Background Tasks. Now you will be able to see what percentage of the pdf export is complete.

Note: The one upside I've noticed about background task pdf export is that you can have multiple pdf exports happening at once. Sometimes I need to provide a spreads layout pdf and single page layout pdf, which I can now do one right after the other, with the pdf processing happening simultaneously.