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Report From Miami

February 27th, 2008 | by 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)

Episode 47: Paste Remembers Layers…Very Well

February 11th, 2008 | by Michael Murphy

A subscriber’s question about moving and copying layers led me to peel away the layers of the Paste Remembers Layers setting and discover a few things about how it behaves that I wasn’t aware of. This episode shares that little discovery with all of you, while providing context for the overall behavior of Paste Remembers Layers, and ending with a tip for combining this feature with Snippets to accomplish something InDesign won’t let you do by default.

Watch the episode here (13:51 | 28.6MB), or you can subscribe via iTunes.

Excerpt from Professional Design Techniques Available Online

February 9th, 2008 | by 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 | by 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.

The Book I Wish I Wrote (But At Least I Helped)

February 3rd, 2008 | by Michael Murphy

Professional Design Techniques book coverA package arrived on my doorstep the other day containing something for which I’ve anxiously been waiting: my copy of “Professional Design Techniques with Adobe Creative Suite 3” by Scott Citron. A lot of things factor into my excitement about this book:

First, Scott is the chapter representative of the New York InDesign User Group, a great designer, and a good friend.

Second, this book fills what — in my opinion — is the biggest gap on the design software bookshelf: project-based instruction, taught from a designer’s perspective, with as much attention given to time-honored design principles (that pre-date computers) as to the software that makes it all so much easier and faster.

Third, I had the honor and good fortune to contribute two chapters to this book when deadlines started looming near for Scott. I can’t claim to have created the beautifully designed projects that go with these chapters, however. That was all Scott.

Peachpit Press has been kind enough to offer a 35% discount to The InDesigner’s audience. Just use promo code PPT-PBM-1151 when you order the book from There’s a full table of contents for the book on that page, too, if you want to know more about what’s between the lemon-yellow covers.

A New Home

February 1st, 2008 | by 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)

Episode 46: Baby, It’s Christmas Time! (VIDEO)

December 29th, 2007 | by Michael Murphy

Baby, It’s Christmas Time! CD CoverOK…Christmas has already come and gone, I know, but it’s still technically the holiday season, and the title of this episode is the title of a Christmas CD project I recently designed. That’s the project I showcase in this episode, in which I demonstrate a holiday grab bag of InDesign goodies including: … (read more)

Episode 45: The Magnificent Six (VIDEO)

November 18th, 2007 | by Michael Murphy

Normally, I pick one InDesign feature and build a whole episode around it. However, this is the second anniversary of the podcast, and I wanted to do something different, and demonstrate that combining InDesign features is far more powerful than using them individually. In this episode, I use six different features … (read more)

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

November 9th, 2007 | by 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.

Episode 44: That’s a Wrap (VIDEO)

October 24th, 2007 | by Michael Murphy

It’s that little feature we all take for granted, but InDesign’s Text Wrap is a vast improvement over that other page layout application’s Runaround feature. This episode takes an in-depth look at all of InDesign’s Text Wrap options, reveals a few peculiarities … (read more)