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An Undocumented Bit of GREP Gold

February 2nd, 2009 | by Michael Murphy

I was recently posed with a GREP challenge from a colleague that I thought would be relatively easy to solve in a dedicated GREP-savvy text editor like BBEdit, but it required something I wasn’t quite sure InDesign’s GREP Find/Change would handle.

The problem was this: removing duplicate lines in document of company listings. In this particular case, it was 10,000 companies, so doing it manually was not an option. In each listing, there was a company name and address. In some, the first line of the listing was duplicated on the second line, but not all listings had this problem. The challenge was to use GREP to determine which were the problem listings, fix them, but leave the other listings as they were. … (read more)

An Update on the Podcast

January 9th, 2009 | by 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 | by 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 | by 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.

Update on Scott Citron and a Chance to Help

September 9th, 2008 | by Michael Murphy

This is a “guest post” from my good friend Noha Edell from Adobe who has been keeping in regular contact with Scott during his amazingly fast recovery from his auto accident in late July. In it, she mentions a way in which those inclined to help can do so. A recent InDesign User Group in New York boasted its biggest raffle ever and an auction where people very generously bid on items to help send some financial support Scott’s way. Here’s Noha’s update: … (read more)

Best Wishes for Scott Citron

July 24th, 2008 | by 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)

Episode 50: Tab-Topped Text Frames

June 29th, 2008 | by Michael Murphy

Inspired by a question from a podcast subscriber about creating a text frame that looks like a folder tab, and with the help of a technique suggested by another subscriber, this episode builds on the potential of Paragraph Rules revealed in Episode 49. By combining Paragraph Rules with First Baseline Offset options, a fully-editable, single-object tab-topped text frame is easy. But it gets easier and more interesting when Object Styles and Effects are added to the mix.

Watch the episode here (14:29 | 38.1 MB), or you can subscribe via iTunes.

A Simpler Rounded Rule Technique

May 29th, 2008 | by Michael Murphy

Hot on the heels of Episode 49, I received an e-mail from Adi Ravid, an Adobe Certified Expert in Israel, who pointed out a much better method for creating rounded Paragraph Rules. Shortly thereafter, my friend Birgit Stolte in Germany popped up on iChat to remind me that she had already mentioned the same tip to me some time ago. I’m embarrassed to admit that not only didn’t I think of this technique myself, but I completely forgot that I’d been told about it before.

Adi was nice enough to let me share his description of the technique here on the blog, so here goes: … (read more)

Episode 49: Paragraph Rules Rule!

May 28th, 2008 | by Michael Murphy

Most of us are familiar with the two types of Paragraph Rules, but despite their names, a Rule Above can easily appear below your text, and a Rule Below can just as easily appear above it. This ability to bend the rules, so to speak, can produce some very interesting and flexible type effects that don’t require drawing extra frames, grouping anything or relying on anchored objects. This episode covers the rules of paragraph rules (and a bit about underlining) to showcase how flexible and versatile they can be.

Watch the episode here (15:52 | 37.2 MB), or you can subscribe via iTunes.

Download the sample files (68K .zip file) for this episode

Episode 48: OpenType Features

March 30th, 2008 | by Michael Murphy

At last month’s InDesign Conference in Miami, an unexpected blackout cut my typography session short, so my demonstration of OpenType features never saw the light of day (no pun intended). In this episode, I bring that missing part of the presentation to all of you and take a look at several useful OpenType features including Ligatures, Discretionary Ligatures, Contextual Alternates, Small Caps, and Titling Alternates.

Watch the episode here (14:55 | 30 MB), or you can subscribe via iTunes.