Adobe Certified Expert - InDesign CS2
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An Update on the Podcast

January 9th, 2009 | Michael Murphy

Happy New Year, everyone!

It’s been quite some time since my last podcast, or even my last post on the blog. Many of you have expressed very touching congratulations for our new baby from all over the world. My wife and I are very grateful for all of the warm wishes. We can’t wait to teach Brenna geography by showing her all the places on the map where people took the time to welcome her into the world.

Some people have also asked about when the next podcast episode will be, and expressed concern that everything was OK on my end. I can assure everyone of two things: there will be more podcast episodes, and everything is just fine. There are actually two new “babies” that have consumed all of my time and attention at the moment. The first—little Brenna—you already know about. The second “baby” is still in the works: a book I’m writing for Adobe Press called Adobe InDesign CS4 Styles: How to Create Better, Faster Text and Layouts, which will be available in late April.

I’m thrilled to be writing a book on one of my favorite InDesign subjects, but it is a lot of work, especially when adjusting to life as a new parent. As a result, podcast time has been impossible to come by. However, I am completely committed to the podcast. It’s what got me the book deal and many other opportunities since I started it. It’s also put me in touch with a community of fellow designers who I’m determined to keep helping with information, instruction and insight for the foreseeable future.

But, for now, the podcast is on hold until the book is 100% done. I’m in the home stretch now, so I will not keep you waiting any longer than necessary. I appreciate everyone’s patience in the meantime. There will also be more from me in 2009: presentations at two InDesign Conferences, a special event in Washington, DC, and more classes through EEI Communications, including a new GREP for Adobe InDesign class.I hope you’ll all be coming along with me for the ride like you have all along.

Thanks again for your support.


The Next Generation of InDesigner

September 30th, 2008 | Michael Murphy

If it takes me a while to answer your e-mails, or if you’re wondering why you don’t see me on iChat or AIM…there’s a very good reason why: this beautiful little girl who was born on September 26, 2008 at 11:31 pm. This is my daughter, Brenna Clare Murphy, and she and her mother are doing wonderfully.

I thought I’d “frame” this photo in a manner appropriate for the web site. 🙂

Brenna Clare Murphy

Episode 51: Introducing InDesign CS4

September 22nd, 2008 | Michael Murphy

Today, Adobe announces the Creative Suite 4 in all of its various iterations (Design Premium, Web Premium, Production Premium, and so on). This updated Creative Suite includes another evolutionary and significant new version of InDesign, and in this episode, I take a look at some (but by no means all) of my favorite new features including Smart Guides, Flash export, and GREP Styles.

Watch the episode here (14:14 | 51.7MB), or you can subscribe via iTunes.

Best Wishes for Scott Citron

July 24th, 2008 | Michael Murphy

Early yesterday morning (23-July-2008), my good friend Scott Citron was in a serious car accident while in Los Angeles for a training assignment. Scott has been mentioned in my podcasts, and I’ve recommended his book, Professional Design Techniques with Adobe Creative Suite 3, here on the blog. He is the chapter representative of the New York InDesign User Group (where I first met him), a respected Adobe expert and instructor, and a brilliant designer. More than that, for me, he is a cherished friend, valued confidant and advisor. … (read more)

Report From Miami

February 27th, 2008 | Michael Murphy

I was watching the local news coverage here in Miami, where I’m speaking at the InDesign Conference, and there’s been a lot of talk about the causes of yesterday’s two-hour power outage that hit us (and a lot of south Florida) in the middle of the day. Personally, I think the real explanation for why the lights went out is that a demonstration given by Adobe’s Michael Ninnes and Tim Cole here at the keynote speech was so cool that it sucked all the power from the grid.

In what was referred to as a “technology preview” — meaning it’s technology Adobe has, but will neither confirm nor deny will appear ever in any product — Michael and Tim demonstrated the direct export of InDesign layouts to Flash, including … (read more)

Excerpt from Professional Design Techniques Available Online

February 9th, 2008 | Michael Murphy has posted an excerpt from Scott Citron’s Professional Design Techniques with Adobe Creative Suite 3 on their web site. If you’re looking for a glimpse into the book before you buy it, here’s your chance. The excerpt consists of two PDFs taken from the “Creating Newsletters and Forms” chapter of the book.

Click here to go to download the excerpts from

CS3 Certified

February 4th, 2008 | Michael Murphy

A long last, Adobe has made CS3 certification and re-certification exams available. For anyone looking to get certified in InDesign, I’ll reiterate what I said in May of 2006 when I passed my CS2 ACE exam: study. When you think you’ve studied enough…keep studying.

I consider myself a fairly sharp guy, and I live and breathe InDesign on a daily basis, but even this re-certification exam — which was made up of 47 questions covering only new CS3 features — was, to say the least, challenging. The questions are obscure, very strategically and often cryptically worded, and the multiple-choice answers are structured so well that they’ll have you doubting your own certainty as to which is correct.

Maybe it’s me. Maybe I’m better in practice than theory, or just a lousy test-taker, but I’m just glad I passed and I have another full version cycle before I have to be put through one of these exams again.

A New Home

February 1st, 2008 | Michael Murphy

If you’re used to automatically taking you InDesignSecrets…surprise! The InDesigner podcast/blog has a new home…or, more accurately, it has returned to its old home.

For nearly a year and a half, I’ve had the pleasure and honor of being part of David Blatner and Anne-Marie Concepcion’s fantastic InDesignSecrets web site as their exclusive video provider and occasional blog poster. As colleagues go, it would be hard to fall into better, more expert company, and I thank David and Anne-Marie for making me a part of the team, and for all of the increased exposure to my videocasts that came with that association. I look forward to continuing … (read more)

Live from Washington, D.C.: It’s The InDesigner!

November 9th, 2007 | Michael Murphy

Michael Murphy presenting in Washington, D.C.

Last night, I delivered an expanded, 90-minute version of my “Styles Equal Substance” presentation to a record-setting audience of more than 250 people at the Washington, D.C. InDesign User Group meeting. It was an amazing experience. The crowd was energetic, had great questions and made a first-time visitor to the nation’s capitol feel right at home.

“Styles Equal Substance” has been so well-received in both Boston and D.C., that I’ll be presenting an hour-long version of it at the upcoming InDesign Conference in Miami (February 26 – March 1, 2008). If you can’t make it to Miami, you can get a glimpse at the extent of styles throughout the application by downloading the handout from the D.C. meeting.

Photo by Mitchell Osborne, courtesy of the InDesign User Group web site. See more photos from the meeting.

Live from Boston: It’s The InDesigner

September 21st, 2007 | Michael Murphy

Last night, I delivered two back-to-back presentations at the Boston InDesign User Group meeting. The first was called “Styles Equal Substance,” in which I took a big picture look at what, to me, is the warm, beating heart of the entire application: Styles. Styles are everywhere, and they’re connected to so many features, you can lose track of how it all comes together. Fortunately, I’ve combed through the application to discover all of the connections between styles and the features with which they interact. My handout posted on the InDesign User Group web site has a visual representation of styles everywhere in InDesign.

The topic for the second half of the meeting was “Understanding GREP,” which covered the new, advanced Find/Change capabilities built into InDesign CS3 under the GREP tab. This is an amazing new feature. For my money, it’s the best improvement of the entire upgrade and something I’ll be talking about a lot in upcoming episodes and in one of my sessions at The InDesign Conference in Miami in February. Can’t make it there or wait to learn more? Then take a look at my other handout for the GREP session that’s posted on the meeting notes section of the InDesign User Group web site.