Published Date
01 - Mar - 2005
| Last Updated
01 - Mar - 2005
When opening graphics in Photoshop, Web designers will notice drastic colour shifts. The new colour management system in Photoshop reinterprets files by default. If you work with Web graphics, you need to turn this feature off. Go to File > Color Settings > Profile Setup. Under 'Embed Profiles', un-check 'RGB', and under assumed profiles, select 'None' from the RGB dropdown. Under 'Profile Mismatch Handling', select 'Ignore'.

Photoshop 7 Easter Egg
Hold down [Ctrl] and [Alt] and click on Help > About Photoshop. When the 'Strange Cargo' splash screen appears, type in 'burp' and the crate will open slightly with a big electric cat peeking out. Type the cat's name, "Udo", to hear him meow. Press [Alt] to speed up the scrolling credits. Scroll to the end of the credits to see a name you will recognise. 'Strange Cargo' and 'Big Electric Cat' were the codenames for Photoshop 5 and 4 respectively while they were being developed.

A Full Scratch
If you get a warning that says, "Your scratch disk is full," you can free up some space by saving the file. However, sometimes Photoshop will not let you save the file. To remedy this, create a small file, say 3x3 pixels, and save it in the Photoshop format. Photoshop will now flush the scratch, and you will be able to save the previous file that you were working on.

Logo Stamp
If you have an image that you use over and over again, such as a logo or signature, you should make it into a brush. When creating custom brushes from image files, Photoshop saves the image on your 'Brushes' palette. Select the image, click on the Menu arrow on the 'Brushes' palette and select 'Define Brush'. The image now appears on the palette. You can use it just as you do with other brushes.

Save Photos As GIFs
Photoshop has improved its index colour conversions, which allows for higher quality 8-bit, 256-colour conversions from 24-bit images. Although photographs are normally saved as JPG images, the improved colour conversion will let you convert them to GIFs for Web use. This reduced file size will still retain image quality. To save an image as GIF, go to File > Export > GIF89a Export.

3D Transform
The new 3D Transform plugin lets you work with 2D images as if they were solid 3D objects, so you can adjust the perspective on an image from straight-on to various angles. Click on Filter > Render > 3D Transform. Draw a wire-frame over your image and use the Pan Camera and Trackball tools to manipulate the image perspective, and click OK.

Make It An Action Item
Actions automate routine tasks and save a lot of time. To create an 'Action', click on the 'Menu' arrow on the 'Action' palette and click on 'New Action'. Click 'Record' to start recording and carry out all the steps for the action you perform regularly. Once you're done, click on the 'Stop' button on the Action palette. To repeat the action, select it and click on the Play button on the palette.

Make Your Images Fit
The 'Fit Image' command resizes an image to fit within a given area without altering its aspect ratio. Click on File > Automate > Fit Image. Enter a new width or height and click 'OK' to resize the image.

Memory Errors
Sometimes, Photoshop reports an 'Out of Memory Error'. Just acknowledge the dialog box and select Edit > Purge > All (or Undo, Pattern, Clipboard, and/or Histories).

Open your 'System Properties' (Virtual Memory Settings) by going to Start > Settings > Control Panel > System, and under the Performance tab, clicking the button labelled 'Virtual Memory'. Change your minimum and maximum virtual memory settings to two-and-a-half times your RAM-for example, if you have 256 MB of RAM, enter 640 in both fields. Ignore the Windows warning that pops up!

Now, in Photoshop's preferences ([Ctrl] [K]), under 'Memory & Image Cache' ([Ctrl] [8], or File > Preferences > Memory & Image Cache), enter 75 per cent for 'Used by Photoshop'.

Slow Display

ImageReady can become very slow when working with large images. The program works best with only 72-dpi images. All other editing should be done with PhotoShop; resize to this resolution and then work in ImageReady.

Saving a Proper PNG (for the Web)
The Portable Network Graphics (PNG) is a remarkable image format with a ton of features-true colour 48-bit (or 16-bit greyscale), alpha channels, interlacing (progressive display), gamma correction, and lossless compression! Of course, if you have ever saved a PNG from Photoshop without correcting all the above parameters, you will not like the result.

The PNG format allows applications to write a chunk that determines what gamma correction to use to display the image properly. Photoshop 5 has a bug that incorrectly saves images with a gamma chunk that is off by a factor of exactly 2.0. Photoshop 5.5, 6 and 7 are better, but the gamma information is still incorrect. Though Photoshop doesn't make errors when actually writing the pixel data, applications that use the embedded information are misled, and will display an overly dark image.

As far as Web images go, it's better to use the gamma = 2.2 colourspace,so that applications that ignore gamma information will display the image as their creator intended-this works because typical PC monitors have an inbuilt gamma of 2.2.

Save Transparent GIFs And PNGs
A common misconception is that enabling the 'Transparent' option and choosing a Matte colour, from the 'Optimize' palette, will save your image with a transparency. In fact, the image should already contain a transparency, which ImageReady will display with a checkerboard pattern, in order to utilise the 'Transparent' and 'Matte' options.

In order to save a transparent image, you must first create or save a transparent image using one of the following techniques, and then reload it into ImageReady:

Either use the 'Magic Eraser' tool ([Shift] [E]) to erase the region(s) you wish to make transparent, or use the 'Magic Wand' tool, [W], to select the colours you wish to make transparent and then delete them.

Now, if the 'Optimize' palette is not already visible, press [F10], or choose Window > Show > Optimize from the menus. Select your preferred visualisation tab, choose a default optimisation setting from the Settings combo box, and save your settings by selecting 'Save Settings' from the 'Optimize' palette menu.

Finally, save the optimised (transparent) image by pressing [Ctrl] [Alt] [Shift] [S] (or File > Save Optimized As). You are done!

Control Dithering
The dither Algorithm dropdown on the 'Optimize' palette lets you choose a dithering method for the image. The 'Dither' percentage slider lets you control the range of colours simulated by dithering. A higher dithering per cent creates the appearance of more colours and more detail in an image, but can also increase the file size. For optimal compression, use the lowest percentage of  application dither that provides the colour detail you require.

Lights, Camera, Action
Use actions to automate repetitive tasks and save time. To create an Action, click on the 'Menu' arrow on the Actions palette and click on 'New Action'. Provide a name for the 'Action' and click 'Record' to start recording. Carry out the steps for the action, in the sequence that they should occur. Click on 'Stop' once you are done. To apply an Action, select it and click on the Play button on the Action palette.

Favouring Colours
Indexing an image is tough-you play with all the settings to achieve satisfactory results, and sometimes you still can't achieve it. For example, when indexing an image with many colours, or forcing an image to use less than 256 colours, you may end up with bad dithering patterns and colours. You can use the selection tools to select or isolate problematic colours, and Photoshop will favour these colours when choosing the palette.

Remove All Formatting From A Document

In Word 2002, to remove all the formatting from a Word document or from a selected portion of the document, select the whole document by pressing [Ctrl] [A], or just select the portion of the document you want to remove the formatting from. Now just press [Ctrl] [Shift] [N].

Status Bar Shortcuts
The status bar-the area at the bottom of Word documents-provides shortcuts to a number of very useful features. Here are a few. (If the status bar is not visible, go to Tools > Options, and in the 'View' tab, check 'Status Bar'.)

To open the 'Find and Replace' dialog box,double-click any location indicator on the status bar, such as the page number or section number.

  • To turn the macro recorder on or off, double-click 'REC'.
  • To turn the 'Track Changes' feature on or off, double-click 'TRK'.
  • To turn extend selection mode on or off, double-click on 'EXT'.
  • To turn overtype mode on or off, double-click 'OVR'.
  • To change the language format of selected text, double-click Language.
  • To resolve errors in grammar or spelling, double-click the Spelling and Grammar Status icon.
Formatting Using The Task Pane
You can use the 'Reveal Formatting' task pane in Word 2002 to view a detailed description of any text in your document. You can also use it to modify or clear the formatting, compare the formatting of different selections, or to find blocks of text with similar formatting.

Here's how to use it: select the text you want to examine or reformat. From the 'Format' menu, select 'Reveal Formatting'. (Note that you can open the 'Reveal Formatting' task pane by choosing 'What's This?' on the 'Help' menu, or by selecting text within your document and pressing [Shift] [F1]) Now do any of the following:
  • To change any formatting properties, click one of the underlined commands from within the task pane, and then change any options you want in the dialog box that appears.
  • To determine the formatting source, such as whether the formatting comes from a style, select the 'Distinguish style source' check box.
  • To show formatting marks, such as paragraph marks and tabs, check the 'Show all formatting marks' checkbox.
  • To format a text selection like the text that surrounds it, select the text. In the 'Selected Text' box, click the arrow, and then click 'Apply Formatting of Surrounding Text'.
  • To view a feature-by-feature comparison of your text selection with another block of text, check the 'Compare to another section' checkbox and then select another block of text.
Place Tables In Adjacent Columns
Use this in Word to put two tables adjacent to each other on a two-column page: first insert two tables, one above the other. Adjust the column widths to ensure the total width of each table is less than half the width of the page. Select both tables. Now on the 'Standard' toolbar, click the 'Columns' button, and then drag the pointer to select two columns.

Creating A Picture Of A Toolbar Icon In Word
To create a picture of a toolbar icon, you can use a screen capture program. But you can also try the following: in any Office program, right-click the button you want an image of, and then click 'Customize' on the shortcut menu. With the 'Customize' dialog box open, right-click the button again, and then click 'Copy Button Image' on the shortcut menu. Click 'Close'. Now you can paste the button image into your document.

Make Graphics Line Up Precisely With Text
You might sometimes need to include a picture of a toolbar icon. If you just copy and paste the icon into a line of text, the graphic usually appears higher than the text adjacent to it. To resolve this, do the following: first, select the graphic. Then on the 'Format' menu, click 'Font', and click the 'Character Spacing' tab. Click 'Lowered' in the 'Position' box, and then specify how much space you want in the 'By' box. Three points is usually enough for most toolbar icons.

Customise Comment Text
If you find that the default settings for comments in Word 2002 are a little too small, changing the size and font is easy. You can use standard formatting commands to modify the text in comment balloons as you type. Here's how: on the 'Format' menu, click 'Styles and Formatting', which will open the Styles and Formatting task pane in the right margin. In the task pane, under 'Pick Formatting to Apply', make sure the 'Comment Text' entry is visible.

If it is not visible, then on the 'Show' drop-down menu, click 'Custom'; and in the 'Format Settings' dialog box, under 'Styles to be visible', click 'Comment Text', and then click 'OK'.

Now that the 'Comment Text' entry is visible, you can go ahead: under 'Pick Formatting to Apply', right-click the 'Comment Text' entry, and then click 'Modify'. Select any of the options you want. To see more options, click 'Format', and then click the attribute that you want to change. Click 'OK' after changing each attribute. Repeat the last two steps for any additional attributes you want to change.

A Shortcut To Modify Bullets and Numbering
Do you get tired of searching through menu commands to make changes to the numbering schemes in your Word documents? Skip the menus, and use this shortcut instead: to open the 'Bullets and Numbering' dialog box and adjust the numbering scheme, just double-click one of the numbers in the numbered list!

Create A Custom Word Template
If you don't like the default font and other settings in Word, you can create a template of your favourite font styles and sizes and use it whenever you want. To create a custom template, first, on the 'View' menu, select 'Task Pane'. If the 'New Document' task pane is not visible, select it from the drop-down menu in the upper right corner of the task pane. Now, in the 'New Document' task pane, click 'General Templates'. In the 'Templates' dialog box that appears, select the 'General' tab, and click 'Blank Document' once to select it. This will be the base for your new template. Under the 'Create New' section, click 'Template', and click OK. In the new template, add any text and graphics that you want should appear in all new documents that you base on the template, and delete any items you don't want to appear. Make the changes you want to the margin settings, page size and orientation, styles, and other formats. Finally, on the 'File' menu, click 'Save', give your template a name, and then click 'Close' on the 'File' menu. Your new, customised template will then be available as a choice under 'General Templates' in the 'New Document' task pane.

Navigate Long Documents Easily with Hidden Bookmarks
When you work with long documents in Word, it can be difficult to remember where certain text appears. You can use hidden bookmarks to quickly navigate to that text. To add a bookmark, first, in your document, click where you want to place a bookmark. On the 'Insert' menu, click 'Bookmark'. When the 'Bookmark' dialog box opens, name your bookmark. Then click 'Add'. To find your bookmark, press [F5] to open the 'Find and Replace' dialog box. Click the 'Go To' tab, and type the bookmark name in the 'Enter Page Number' field. Click the 'Go To' button to get to the text you bookmarked. In Word 2002, click 'Bookmark' in the left of the 'Go To' tab, and select from the list of bookmarks that appears.

Keep Links Up-To-Date

In Excel, you can create formulas in one workbook that link to data stored in another source workbook. But if your source workbook changes regularly - for example, if you update the source and save it under a new name each month-it can be very time-consuming to find and update links to the old source workbook. But there's an easy way to do this. First, open the workbook that contains the link(s). On the 'Edit' menu, click 'Links'. In the 'Source' box, click the name of the link with the source you would like to change. Click 'Change Source'. Finally, in the 'Change Source' dialog box, click the source workbook you want to refer to.

Of course, to successfully change source workbooks, the linked data must reside in the same cells in the new source workbook as they did in the old one.

Removing All Smart Tags
In Excel 2003, Smart Tags can be irritating if you never use them. To hide Smart Tags in a sheet, go to Tools > AutoCorrect Options. Select the 'Smart Tags' tab, and from the 'Show Smart Tags As' dropdown list, select None.

Generate Random Numbers In Excel
Sometimes you may need to populate a sheet with random numbers.

There's an easy function you can use to do this automatically. Type =RAND() in a cell to generate a number between 0 and 1. You can type =RAND()*100 to generate a number between 1 and 100. After entering a function, you can use the fill handle to quickly populate as many cells as you'd like with random numbers. To use the fill handle, click the cell, move your pointer over the lower-right corner of the cell until it turns into a black plus sign, and drag it horizontally or vertically across the cells you wish to populate.

Results Without Formulas
In Excel 2002 and above, using the Smart Tags, it's very easy to copy and paste a result without the formula. First select the cell that contains the data you want to copy. Press [Ctrl] [C] to copy the cell data, and then press [Ctrl] [V] to paste the data in a new location. Click the arrow next to the 'Paste Options' smart tag, and then click 'Values Only'.

Use Your Spreadsheet Like A Database
You can use AutoFilter to analyse the data in your Excel spreadsheet based on specific criteria. For example, if you are a salesman with a spreadsheet listing all the clients you have in each region you cover, you can use AutoFilter to sort by a specific region and get a snapshot of just the clients in that region. Here's how you to use the feature: first click a cell in the list you want to filter. You should choose a cell that appears in a row that contains a heading and related data, such as a set of client names or phone numbers. Now on the 'Data' menu, point to 'Filter', and then click 'AutoFilter'. Arrows will appear at the heading of each column. Click an arrow, and choose your filter criteria from the drop-down menu. For example, you could filter for a number that's greater or less than a target figure. Now only rows containing data that meet the criteria will be displayed.

Switch Between Absolute And Relative Cell References
When you create a formula in Excel, the formula can use relative cell references, which refer to cells relative to the position of the formula, or absolute references, which refer to cells in a specific location. Formulas can also contain a mix of relative and absolute references. An absolute reference is indicated by the '$' symbol. For example, $A$1 is an absolute reference to column A, row 1. When working with formulas, you can easily change column and row references from relative to absolute, and back again, using this handy shortcut: first select the cell that contains the formula. In the formula bar, select the reference you want to change. Press [F4] to toggle through the combinations.

Quickly Calculate A Person's Age
This tip is a demonstration of the DATEDIF() function in Excel, which calculates the number of days, months, or years between two dates. So, this function makes it easy to calculate a person's age. To try this tip, in a blank worksheet, type the birth date in cell A1, using slashes to separate day, month, and year. In cell A2, type "=DATEDIF(A1,TODAY(),"y")" (without the beginning and ending quotes) and press [Enter]. The age in years will be displayed in cell A2.

Clear All Spreadsheet Formatting
Here's an easy way to quickly clear all formatting in your Excel 2002 spreadsheet. Click any cell in the spreadsheet and then press [Ctrl] [A] to select all cells in the worksheet. Then on the 'Edit' menu, point to 'Clear', and then click 'Formats'.

Combining Text From Different Cells
The '&' symbol consolidates text information in the same way as the ' ' symbol adds numbers. The space between quotation marks adds a blank character between the separated texts. To combine text using '&': in cell A1, enter the text "Digit" (without quotes). In cell A2, enter the text "is a great". In cell A3, enter "magazine". Now in cell A5, type the formula: =A1&" "&A2&" "&A3

Create Bitmap Images of Slides
If you want a quick way to send a single PowerPoint slide to someone, you can try converting the slide into a bitmap image. You can then resize, crop, and paste it into an e-mail message or an Office document. Here's how: open the slide you want use as an image. On the 'View' menu, click 'Notes Page'. The slide will appear on the notes page as an image. Right-click the slide image, and then click 'Copy' on the shortcut menu. The image is now stored on your clipboard, and you can paste it as a resizable object into any Office document.

Create A Photo Album Presentation
Did you know you could use PowerPoint version 2002 to create a photo album? Here's how. On the 'Insert' menu, point to 'Picture', and then click 'New Photo Album'. In the 'Photo Album' dialog box, you can choose to add pictures from your hard disk or a peripheral device such as a scanner or digital camera. To add a picture from a file or disk, do the following: under 'Insert picture from', click 'File/Disk'. Locate the folder or disk that contains the picture you want to add to your photo album, click the picture file, and then click 'Insert'. Repeat for as many pictures as you want to add to your photo album. Or to capture them all at once, hold down [Ctrl], click each picture file you need, and then click 'Insert'. Next, specify the look of the album under 'Album Layout'. Finally, click 'Create'.
Cut Graphics Down To Size
Adding a few images can make the size of your PowerPoint presentation huge. You could compress images manually, but there's a simpler way. PowerPoint 2002 can do it for you. On the 'Picture' toolbar, click the 'Compress Pictures' button. (If you don't see the Picture toolbar, point to 'Toolbars' on the 'View' menu, and then click 'Picture'.) To compress all pictures in the presentation, click 'All Pictures in Document'. Under 'Change Resolution', select how you intend to use your presentation by clicking either 'Web/Screen' or 'Print'. To further reduce file size, check the 'Delete Cropped Areas of Pictures' check box. Click OK.

PowerPoint Animations
In PowerPoint 2002, adding animation for professional-looking presentations is not only easy, it's fun. To apply a custom animation, in normal view, display the slide that has the text or objects you want to animate. Select the object you want to animate.

On the 'Slide Show' menu, click 'Custom Animation'. In the 'Custom Animation' task pane, click 'Add Effect', and do one or more of the following:
  • If you want to make the text or object enter the slide show presentation with an effect, point to 'Entrance' and then click an effect.
  • If you want to add an effect to text or an object that is on the slide, point to 'Emphasis' and then click an effect.
  • If you want to add an effect to text or an object that makes it leave the slide, point to 'Exit' and then click an effect.
Nudging Objects
You can use the arrow keys to move objects very small distances. Select the object, then use your arrow keys. Each press of the key will move the object one 'Grid Unit', which is 1/12th of an inch. If you hold down [Alt] while nudging, or if you have the grid turned off, you can move the objects one pixel at a time.

Darken The Display
PowerPoint has a feature that lets you darken your display until you are ready to begin your presentation. With PowerPoint in Show mode, press [B] on your keyboard. PowerPoint now displays a black screen. When you are ready to begin your presentation, press the [B] key again, and your display will return. Remember to only press [B] to return your display - pressing any other key may advance your slides.

Proportionate Resizing
Hold down the [Shift] key while resizing images. Doing so will allow you to resize an image without changing its proportional dimensions.

Change The Calendar View
Did you know you can use a keyboard shortcut to modify the number of days visible in your Outlook calendar? Just press [Alt] and any number between 1 and 10. The number determines how many days will be displayed. So, for instance, to see an eight-day span, just press [Alt] [8]. (For this to work, you must use the number keys on the keyboard, not the numeric keypad.)

Schedules At A Glance
The Calendar group schedule in Outlook makes it easy to see the combined schedules of a number of people or resources at a glance. You can create and save multiple group schedules, each showing a group of people or resources. To create a group, first click 'Calendar' on the 'Folder List' (or in the Outlook Shortcuts bar). Click Schedules in the 'Advanced' toolbar. In the 'Group Schedules' dialog box, click 'New'. Type a name for the new group schedule, and then click OK. In the dialog box that appears, click the 'Add Others' button, and then click either 'Add from Address Book' or 'Add Public Folder'. Select the names or the public folder, and then click 'Save and Close'.

To view the group calendar, select the group schedule you want to view, and then click 'Open'.

Unknown Sources
Want to keep e-mail messages from people that you don't know out of your Inbox? You can set rules to move messages from unknown sources to a separate folder where you can sort through them at your leisure.

First, create a new folder in your Inbox to hold any mail sent by an unknown source: in the Folder list, right-click Inbox and click 'New Folder'.  Now, type a name for the folder, such as 'Unknown Senders', and click 'OK'.

Next, create a new rule with the 'Rules Wizard': on the Tools menu, click 'Rules Wizard'. Click 'New', and then click 'Start from a blank rule'. Click 'Check messages when they arrive', and click Next. In the 'Which condition(s) do you want to check?' box, select the 'On This Machine Only' check box. Click 'Next'. In the 'What do you want to do with the Message' box, click 'Move it to the Specified Folder'. In the 'Rule Description' box, click 'specified', click the folder you created (such as 'Unknown Senders'), and then click 'OK'. Click 'Next'. In the 'Add any Exceptions' box, check the 'Except if sender is in specified Address Book' checkbox. In the 'Rule description' box, click 'Specified'. In the 'Add Address List' dialog box, choose 'Outlook Address Book', click 'Add', and then click 'Next'. Type the name of your rule, click 'Finish', and then 'OK'.

Team DigitTeam Digit

All of us are better than one of us.