Welcome to our tips and techniques page

ID tips #1: a very comprehensive InDesign CC key-command Guide

We created this keyboard command “cheat sheet” for use in Adobe InDesign.

Click the appropriate blue button below, download the pdf and “construct” the triangular prism to take full advantage of its structure. It has been intentionally designed to be viewed one panel at a time, so as not to overwhelm you. 

This guide is available separately for the Mac & Windows versions of InDesign.

Cheat Sheet for InDesign for tips page
WordsFlow screenshot for tips page

ID tips #2: Consider installing WordsFlow, a very powerful InDesign extension by Em Software

If you work with suppliers of text who have a tendency to send you revised versions of their documents throughout the design and layout then the WordsFlow extension for InDesign is for you.

Basically, it lets you establish a virtual link between a Microsoft Word document and the text on an InDesign page.

As some of you may know, there is a button in the InDesign Preferences dialogue screen that infers a similar ability, but that solution results in resets for all style changes made to the text within InDesign.

With WordsFlow, all such changes are still retained when the document link is updated.

Click on this link or on the screenshot on the left to visit their site.

As of the 9th of August, the price per installation is A$506.65.

If you would like to see WordsFlow in action before purchase, there is a 30 trial period or just contact Colin to arrange a session in which he can show you exactly how it works, it’s strengths and its weaknesses.


Quick tip #62: More keys = bigger steps

In all of the main Adobe Print/illustration applications, the adding of a key increases the size of the step.

A good example is in kerning (or tracking) of type. 

The smallest increment is achieved by using option (alt on Windows) and the left or right cursor arrows. The increment size can be changed in the Preferences dialog, but the default increment in InDesign is 20.

If, however, you add the Command Key (ctrl on Windows), this step size increases by a factor of five. So the increment increases to a significantly larger 100!

This is a great reason why the default increment needs to be changed to something more practical such as 5 or my preffered value of 1.


Other example include:

Type size, and leading adjustments in Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign.

DD tips #1: Install the free Adobe Lightroom App for your digital devices

As many of my clients know, I am an active SmartPhone photographer. What surprises some, is that all the adjustments are also performed on my phone and then sent straight to Instagram.

The Apps I use are: Adobe Lightroom, Snapseed and the built-in iOS Photos App.

All of these have their strengths and weaknesses but can be combined to bring out the best results when needed. All three apps also support RAW images, and Lightroom sports a built-in camera that creates DNG images.

To see some of my SmartPhone photography check out my Instagram account: @very_well_adjusted

Adobe Lightroom interface

DD tips #2: Capture colours, patterns and generating “on-the-go” vector art

One of the very first Apps for devices Adobe released was the incredibly powerful Adobe Capture App available for both iOS and Android.

It started as a clever way of capturing colour palettes for use in Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator.

Adobe then introduced the ability to Vectorise images taken using the device’s camera. It now lets you build pixel-based patterns, brushes, “looks” and even 3D textures for use in Adobe Dimension.

If you would like to learn all about these features or about other creative Adobe products book a session with hypermouse on 0410669098 or send us an email.

PS tips #1: Finding out what’s on a specific layer in Adobe Photoshop

If you’ve ever found yourself wishing that you could hide all the layers except the one that you are on, simply hold down the option (on a Mac) or alt (on a PC) key and click on that layer’s eye icon on the layers panel. 

Repeat the process to show all those layers just hidden. 

Note: that any layers that were already hidden before you used this technique will retain and remember their hidden state.

Photoshop tips

PS tips #2: Merge visible layers replacing the current layer

There any many useful key command in Adobe Photoshop, but one of my favourites is:

Merge Visible Layers replacing the currently selected layer.

On a Mac: shift+option+command+E

On a PC: shift+alt+control+E

Please note: this command doesn’t exist in the menus, it is only accessible through this shortcut.