Word for Mac Loses Hyperlinks in PDF

Have you ever saved a PDF from Microsoft Word for Mac and found that your hyperlinks were no longer linked?

Here’s what happened to me and how I solved the problem.

I was working on a Microsoft Word document on a Mac using Word for Mac version 15.32.

The document contained several hyperlinks. Some were created automatically by the URL being in the text and others I created using the hyperlink command (command-K).

I exported the document as a PDF and checked the links. The automatically created links worked fine. The links I created did not, even though they were created correctly.

I read some blogs to find a solution and several suggested the “Best for electronic distribution…” selection on the PDF export.

That actually worked, but ….

The text was very fine and the images were low-res. (see images for comparison)

 


PDF saved for electronic distribution

PDF saved for print distribution

Open Source to the Rescue!

I saved the document as an .odt file and then opened it in the open source editor, LibreOffice. I exported the PDF from there and…

it all worked!


Save file to open in LibreOffice

However, since it was saved into a different program it did re-flow the text. So, the best solution is to NOT use Microsoft Word on the Mac, but use LibreOffice instead, from the beginning.

All will be well then.

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TV Commercials I Created

I was the associate producer of a 30-minute local feature TV program in Tallahassee, Florida, called 1800 Seconds.

I wrote, edited and even starred in several segments, including playing the part of “The Guy Who Drinks Too Much Coffee.” This was a segment on caffeine addiction.

I also helped create some TV commercials for the Tallahassee market. Here are three of them I have posted on YouTube. (These were converted from old 3/4″ videotape to DVD.)

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How to Create a Simple Animation for YouTube

Video animation is fun! There are many tools that can be used and many different ways to create the final work.

The Tools

I am experimenting with video animation using Adobe PremiereAdobe Photoshop and Blender at the moment. I have used Adobe Edge Animateto create some simple animated web graphics, which worked quite well. I created the clip above (Zeppelins Over Fort Pierce) with Photoshop.

I shot some video with my Samsung Galaxy S3 and imported them into a video timeline in Photoshop. I then added a graphic of the zeppelin I made years ago as a .PNG file.

YouTube and Beyond…

Then, I fiddled around with keyframes, added a title card and exported it to YouTube, where I added some free music.

This took about one hour, not including the part where I walked over the bridge in the blazing Florida sun.

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How To Open and Edit InDesign with Scribus and Open Source Tools

I read a few blogs on this and tried one suggestion: create an .EPS from InDesign and open it as an editable file in Scribus. That did not work.

Another suggestion was to create an .IDML (an InDesign file that can be read by a previous version) document from InDesign and open that in Scribus. That worked much better. Here’s what I did and the result:

Business Card designed in Adobe InDesign CC

InDesign .IDML file opened in Scribus

Business Card File:

This worked fairly well. The only issue I had was that the tracking (space between letters) was a bit off and the upside-down “J” I used to create the lower-case “f” in “Jeff” got flipped over. Otherwise, the styles and colors were all intact.

Book layout in InDesign

InDesign .IDML file of book opened in Scribus

Paginated Book File:

The book conversion didn’t go as well. The main body of the text was OK, but the TOC, some drop caps and footers got messed up. Still, it is an editable document. One thing was, though, is that my blockquotes defaulted to Arial. It seems that in some cases there was a character style on top of the paragraph style that carried over from the original Word file. A simple fix, however.

Command-A in the Scribus file

This was interesting. I placed the cursor in the text and hit Command-A to select the entire text string. It highlighted one page. However, that wasn’t really true.

Deleted text in Scribus

When I deleted the highlighted text, it seems that the entire text string really was highlighted, as the whole thing got deleted. Then something even more interesting happened…

Command-Z in Scribus

I hit Command-Z to undo the delete. The text came back, but the formatting was now messed up.

Edit Scribus File in Text Editor

If you open a Scribus file in a text editor and open an InDesign file in a text editor, you will see that Scribus is very readable whereas, InDesign is not. You can make changes in both and save the file, but the results are quite different. Editing an InDesign file in a text editor (TextEdit on a Mac) renders the file useless.

InDesign error message

Editing a Scribus file produces better results. I edited a Scribus document on a Mac using TextEdit. This rendered the file useless, just like InDesign. But, then I tried it on my Linux Ubuntu machine, using Gedit, which I launched from the Command Line and, voilà, the file opens and the changes I made in Gedit were retained. How can this be useful? Say you are a printer and you receive a Scribus file. The client calls and says there is a small typo. Instead of getting a new file, open the Scribus file in Gedit and you should be good to go.

Scribus edited in Gedit on Linux

Scribus opens after Gedit changes

I converted an InDesign doc to an .IDML so that I could plop in some PDFs. It seems Scribus is not as easy for this function like InDesign. However, after it failed, I simply converted my PDF imports to JPGs and imported them into Scribus. That worked great. I exported my document as a PDF but noticed that the files size was rather large. I’ll have to investigate that later.

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The Future of Printing

Rush-In to New New York’s Information Access Center

It’s 2027, and Quick Printing is celebrating its 50th anniversary. What’s the typical printshop doing?

Note: I was the art director, production manager, editor, writer, coffee-maker for Coast Publishing for more than ten years. We produced several magazines, but Quick Printing was the flagship title. I wrote this article early in my career, in 1987, and predicted what would become of the quick printing industry 50 years hence — in 2027. How much did I get right? Well, not a whole lot really. But, shortly after the publication printed, we received a letter from Kinko’s founder, Ray Orfalea, who requested several copies for his staff. I had the pleasure of interviewing Mr. Orfalea via video-conferencing in 1995. The future was fun back then!

Opening Page of Article in Quick Printing Magazine, October 1987

My father opened Rush In Printing in 1987. At that time it was called “quick printing,” Adam de la Monde says, “I started working in the shop wen I was 10 years old — back in ’97. I’ve been with it for 30 years now. “Rush-In Printing is an Information Access Center success story, a company that has changed with the times since its founding in 1987.

Rush-In opened its first shop in Lakewood, Colorado, a fast-growing Denver suburb. Oscar de la Monde, a 30-year-old pressman from Denver, owned the shop, and his wife just gave birth to their son, Adam. Tired of working in downtown Denver, fighting the traffic, and inhaling the infamous “brown cloud,” Oscar borrowed $25,000 to get through the first year in business and moved west, to Lakewood.

As a typical “yuppie” (in the jargon of those times), Oscar fulfilled his dreams of owning his own business. Lakewood, with a population of 112,000, proved fertile ground for the new enterprise. Rush-In Printing operated out of a storefront in the Villa Italia Center, a popular Lakewood mall. Customers waiting for orders browsed the mall until their job was finished. In short, Rush-In operated as a typical copy center in those days.

Memory management

In the front was a Xerox 9400, a self-sever copier (with an “out-of-order” sign on it), a coffee pot, and smiling receptionist — Oscar’s wife, Cora In the back, were the mainstays of the old-fashioned printshop — an A.B.Dick 360, an Itek platemaker, a VGC Pos One Daylight Camera, an Apple Macintosh, and an assortment of bindery equipment. Always on the front counter was a copy of Quick Printing magazine, then only a monthly.

Adam began working in his father’s shop early. By working in every possible facet of the business, he became a talented craftsman and an astute businessman. Information creation and retrieval became Adam’s specialties. Working with computers all his life, he became quite knowledgeable in the field of word processing and “memory management.” This knowledge was valuable to his father, who didn’t have the luxury of working with computers until he was an adult.

In 2010, Oscar de la Monde retired and Adam took over the business, at 23. “Although I was only 23, working in the shop all my life had given me the experience of a 50-year-old,” Adam says. “and, always, my father owned a copyshop, so I have toner in my blood.”

When relations between the U.S. and the Soviet Union improved, and each country established a reciprocal city in each other’s country, de la Monde saw a potential market. He wasn’t interested in Gorbacheville, because who in their right mind would want to live outside of Trenton, New Jersey? However, New New York, located on the outskirts of Moscow, intrigued him. When President Amy Carter invited business to set up in New New York in 2012, de la Monde opened his Rush-In Information Access Center in a freshly painted dacha on Baryishnikov Prospekt.

Service economy

Isaw this as a way of tapping the foreign market,” says de la Monde, “especially the Russians, who, as you know, are still a ways behind the times in information access.” He adds that Rush-In has “installed a Weidner translation program to convert from English to Cyrillic. I still operate the shop in Colorado, and have to translate a lot of this stuff.”

de la Monde’s New New York shop specializes in service, as you might expect from a United States businessman. “The economy in the U.S. is based on service,” Adam says, “we provide better service than any other nation in the world. The manufacturing giants of the Third World require a lot of printing and information access to drive their economies, and we’re there to meet that need. The best thing is our location, in an environment closely associated with the Third World — New New York.

One problem that has endured since his father’s days in the shop is finding quality workers at an affordable price. “I can’t afford the pay scale back home,” de la Monde says, “I can only afford to pay my Colorado manager about a quarter-million a year.” It’s not that there aren’t enough workers available, but a lot of American workers have moved to the Third World countries. “I have only one human working in the Colorado center now,” de la Monde says, “I fill in with a few robots, and occasionally some temp robots. I’ve got my average sales per employee up to $792,812.”

That’s not bad for an average information access center like Rush-In IAC. The shop pulls in about $8.7 million a year, and de la Monde takes roughly $440,000 of that back to his apartment each year.

To service the Russian and Third World clientele, de la Monde operates an ECRM Autokon color scanning system and several Xerox color laser printers in the New New York center. He owns a satellite on which he relays work between Colorado and New New York. He also rents air time to certain clients.

Door to door

De la Monde uses regular embassy transport service to deliver his work to his Third World accounts. “I jump on a Concorde once a month to visit clients in Africa and Asia. While I’m there I do a little selling. Would you believe I actually go door-to-door? Some things will never change.

Of course, Rush-In’s market in Colorado is a bit different than that in Russia. The quick printshop Adam’s father opened in the late 20th century has evolved into a personalized information creation/retrieval service. Most of Rush-In’s customers use their own word processors and laser printers to produce the kind of jobs quick printers did 50 years ago, although de la Monde says he still has a demand for the the high quality of an A.B.Dick 360.

“People come to use when they want the look and feel of real paper,” de la Monde says. “Otherwise, they have to use synthetics like Kimdura, or pay the high price of real paper.” Rush-In is fortunate to have an EPA license to supply paper and paper-related products.

“Back in the ’90s, when they relaxed the pollution control laws, my dad thought about getting out of the business, “de la Monde says. “He told me he’d read in Quick Printing that the pollution would destroy the ozone layer and ten the forests would be stripped,” Fortunately, for Rush-In, when the EPA started rationing paper and licensing paper-related products retailers, Oscar de la Monde was an early applicant for al license. “I don’t think information access centers can survive without some type of licensing deal — either holding their own or leasing one from a supplier,” says de la Monde.

One of the most profitable niches Rush-In has found is one most IACs enjoy — book publishing. Rush-In has gone from doing shorter-runs of 10,000 or so early in the century to producing a single copy for customers.

“Back in the 1980s, the Libraries of MIT began scanning, encoding, and storing books on disk,” de la Monde remembers, “The Ohio College Library Center catalogued and offered books on disk to 600 subscribers in 1982. IBM’s Vice President and Chief Scientist said then that all the books in the Library of Congress would fit into 20 IBM 3850s.

“Now, almost every book is available through the Library of Congress. Customers come into the Lakewood shop, as though they were coming into a library. Apparently, they prefer books printed on real paper, as opposed to what they’re using in their at-home laser printers. They tell us what book they want, and the Library of Congress communicates the information via my own satellite, and the book gets printed on our Xerox 9700,” de la Monde says. “The royalties are protected by the Adonis Project, the American Association of Publishers established in the 1980s.”

Really rolling

Rush-In offers other products as well. Increasingly popular is toilet paper printing. Advertising specialties have turned the paper shortage into an opportunity, and personalize toilet paper has become a popular item for the Lakewood store. Rush-In has its own TP laser printer. “This is one item that is really rolling, although it did take people a few years to get used to the idea,” says de la Monde. “It’s a way of keeping your message out there, and one on a one-to-one basis, too. I have a few of my own rolls installed at Mile High Stadium during some Broncos games,” de la Monde explains.

No IAC would be complete without offering some kind of hologram printing service. National Geographic really brought holograms to the nation’s attention when it became the first magazine to feature a hologram on its cover in 1985. Others followed, including Quick Printing’s sister publication, Publishing Trade, in 1986.

“It’s sort of like thermography was in the 90s,” Adam says, “Radio stations like to order holographic bumper stickers with UPCs encoded in them, so they can track their listeners and contest winners from either helicopters or satellites. Holographic business cares are very popular, especially the ones that change scenes as look at different angles. We’re going to be offering “Scratch-And-Listen” holograms soon, too.”

de la Monde is a firm believer in associations, and belongs to the International Association of Electronic Quick Printers and Information Access Centers, which is holding its 51st convention and Information Access Expo 2027 at the McCormick Place Space Station in August. “I understand Multigraphics is featuring frictionless offset presses at McCormick,” de la Monde says.

“I read in Quick Printing,” he adds, noting that he is an avid reader, “It arrives every Monday, and I read it cover to cover.” Of course, he prefers the version that’s printed on real paper. QP’s Art Director, Douglas J. Macharyas, son of Art Director Emeritus, Jeff Macharyas, says that the full holographic version of QP will be available in 2028.

Back in the 20th century, Jeff Macharyas was Art Director of Quick Printing magazine.

Kinko’s Article Reprint Request


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The Future of Printing

Rush-In to New New York’s Information Access Center

It’s 2027, and Quick Printing is celebrating its 50th anniversary. What’s the typical printshop doing?

Note: I was the art director, production manager, editor, writer, coffee-maker for Coast Publishing for more than ten years. We produced several magazines, but  Quick Printing was the flagship title. I wrote this article early in my career, in 1987, and predicted what would become of the quick printing industry 50 years hence—in 2027. How much did I get right? Well, not a whole lot really. But, shortly after the publication printed, we received a letter from Kinko’s founder, Ray Orfalea, who requested several copies for his staff. I had the pleasure of interviewing Mr. Orfalea via video-conferencing in 1995. The future was fun back then!

(Quick Printing magazine, August 1987)

My father opened Rush-In Printing in 1987. At that time it was called “quick printing,” Adam de la Monde says, “I started working in the shop wen I was 10 years old—back in ’97. I’ve been with it for 30 years now. “Rush-In Printing is an Information Access Center success story, a company that has changed with the times since its founding in 1987.

Rush-In opened its first shop in Lakewood, Colorado, a fast-growing Denver suburb. Oscar de la Monde, a 30-year-old pressman from Denver, owned the shop, and his wife just gave birth to their son, Adam. Tired of working in downtown Denver, fighting the traffic, and inhaling the infamous “brown cloud,” Oscar borrowed $25,000 to get through the first year in business and moved west, to Lakewood.

Opening Page of Article in Quick Printing Magazine, October 1987

As a typical “yuppie” (in the jargon of those times), Oscar fulfilled his dreams of owning his own business. Lakewood, with a population of 112,000, proved fertile ground for the new enterprise. Rush-In Printing operated out of a storefront in the Villa Italia Center, a popular Lakewood mall. Customers waiting for orders browsed the mall until their job was finished. In short, Rush-In operated as a typical copy center in those days.

Memory management

In the front was a Xerox 9400, a self-sever copier (with an “out-of-order” sign on it), a coffee pot, and smiling receptionist—Oscar’s wife, Cora In the back, were the mainstays of the old-fashioned printshop—an A.B.Dick 360, an Itek platemaker, a VGC Pos One Daylight Camera, an Apple Macintosh, and an assortment of bindery equipment. Always on the front counter was a copy of Quick Printing magazine, then only a monthly.

Adam began working in his father’s shop early. By working in every possible facet of the business, he became a talented craftsman and an astute businessman. Information creation and retrieval became Adam’s specialties. Working with computers all his life, he became quite knowledgeable in the field of word processing and “memory management.” This knowledge was valuable to his father, who didn’t have the luxury of working with computers until he was an adult.

In 2010, Oscar de la Monde retired and Adam took over the business, at 23. “Although I was only 23, working in the shop all my life had given me the experience of a 50-year-old,” Adam says. “and, always, my father owned a copyshop, so I have toner in my blood.”

When relations between the U.S. and the Soviet Union improved, and each country established a reciprocal city in each other’s country, de la Monde saw a potential market. He wasn’t interested in Gorbacheville, because who in their right mind would want to live outside of Trenton, New Jersey? However, New New York, located on the outskirts of Moscow, intrigued him. When President Amy Carter invited business to set up in New New York in 2012, de la Monde opened his Rush-In Information Access Center in a freshly painted dacha on Baryishnikov Prospekt.

Service economy

I saw this as a way of tapping the foreign market,” says de la Monde, “especially the Russians, who, as you know, are still a ways behind the times in information access.” He adds that Rush-In has “installed a Weidner translation program to convert from English to Cyrillic. I still operate the shop in Colorado, and have to translate a lot of this stuff.”

de la Monde’s New New York shop specializes in service, as you might expect from a United States businessman. “The economy in the U.S. is based on service,” Adam says, “we provide better service than any other nation in the world. The manufacturing giants of the Third World require a lot of printing and information access to drive their economies, and we’re there to meet that need. The best thing is our location, in an environment closely associated with the Third World—New New York.

One problem that has endured since his father’s days in the shop is finding quality workers at an affordable price. “I can’t afford the pay scale back home,” de la Monde says, “I can only afford to pay my Colorado manager about a quarter-million a year.” It’s not that there aren’t enough workers available, but a lot of American workers have moved to the Third World countries. “I have only one human working in the Colorado center now,” de la Monde says, “I fill in with a few robots, and occasionally some temp robots. I’ve got my average sales per employee up to $792,812.”

That’s not bad for an average information access center like Rush-In IAC. The shop pulls in about $8.7 million a year, and de la Monde takes roughly $440,000 of that back to his apartment each year.

To service the Russian and Third World clientele, de la Monde operates an ECRM Autokon color scanning system and several Xerox color laser printers in the New New York center. He owns a satellite on which he relays work between Colorado and New New York. He also rents air time to certain clients.

Door to door

De la Monde uses regular embassy transport service to deliver his work to his Third World accounts. “I jump on a Concorde once a month to visit clients in Africa and Asia. While I’m there I do a little selling. Would you believe I actually go door-to-door? Some things will never change.

Of course, Rush-In’s market in Colorado is a bit different than that in Russia. The quick printshop Adam’s father opened in the late 20th century has evolved into a personalized information creation/retrieval service. Most of Rush-In’s customers use their own word processors and laser printers to produce the kind of jobs quick printers did 50 years ago, although de la Monde says he still has a demand for the the high quality of an A.B.Dick 360.

“People come to use when they want the look and feel of real paper,” de la Monde says. “Otherwise, they have to use synthetics like Kimdura, or pay the high price of real paper.” Rush-In is fortunate to have an EPA license to supply paper and paper-related products.

“Back in the ’90s, when they relaxed the pollution control laws, my dad thought about getting out of the business, “de la Monde says. “He told me he’d read in Quick Printing that the pollution would destroy the ozone layer and ten the forests would be stripped,” Fortunately, for Rush-In, when the EPA started rationing paper and licensing paper-related products retailers, Oscar de la Monde was an early applicant for al license. “I don’t think information access centers can survive without some type of licensing deal—either holding their own or leasing one from a supplier,” says de la Monde.

One of the most profitable niches Rush-In has found is one most IACs enjoy—book publishing. Rush-In has gone from doing shorter-runs of 10,000 or so early in the century to producing a single copy for customers.

“Back in the 1980s, the Libraries of MIT began scanning, encoding, and storing books in disk,” de la Monde remembers, “The Ohio College Library Center catalogued and offered books on disk to 600 subscribers in 1982. IBM’s Vice President and Chief Scientist said then that all the books in the Library of Congress would fit into 20 IBM 3850s.

“Now, almost every book is available through the Library of Congress. Customers come into the Lakewood shop, as though they were coming into a library. Apparently, they prefer books printed on real paper, as opposed to what they’re using in their at-home laser printers. They tell us what book they want, and the Library of Congress communicates the information via my own satellite, and the book gets printed on our Xerox 9700,” de la Monde says. “The royalties are protected by the Adonis Project, the American Association of Publishers established in the 1980s.”

Really rolling

Rush-In offers other products as well. Increasingly popular is toilet paper printing. Advertising specialties have turned the paper shortage into an opportunity, and personalize toilet paper has become a popular item for the Lakewood store. Rush-In has its own TP laser printer. “This is one item that is really rolling, although it did take people a few years to get used to the idea,” says de la Monde. “It’s a way of keeping your message out there, and one on a one-to-one basis, too. I have a few of my own rolls installed at Mile High Stadium during some Broncos games,” de la Monde explains.

No IAC would be complete without offering some kind of hologram printing service. National Geographic really brought holograms to the nation’s attention when it became the first magazine to feature a hologram on its cover in 1985. Others followed, including Quick Printing’s sister publication, Publishing Trade, 1986.

“It’s sort of like thermography was in the 90s,” Adam says, “Radio stations like to order holographic bumper stickers with UPCs encoded in them, so they can track their listeners and contest winners from either helicopters or satellites. Holographic business cares are very popular, especially the ones that change scenes as look at different angles. We’re going to be offering “Scratch-And-Listen” holograms soon, too.”

de la Monde is a firm believer in associations, and belongs to the International Association of Electronic Quick Printers and Information Access Centers, which is holding its 51st convention and Information Access Expo 2027 at the McCormick Place Space Station in August. “I understand Multigraphics is featuring frictionless offset presses at McCormick,” de la Monde says.

“I read in Quick Printing,” he adds, noting that he is an avid reader, “It arrives every Monday, and I read it cover to cover.” Of course, he prefers the version that’s printed on real paper. QP’s Art Director, Douglas J. Macharyas, son of Art Director Emeritus, Jeff Macharyas, says that the full holographic version of QP will be available in 2028.

Back in the 20th century, Jeff Macharyas was Art Director of Quick Printing magazine.

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Magazine Design With $0.00 Art Budget

I frequently starred in my own covers to save money
I frequently starred in my own covers to save money

I was the art director/production manager for a publishing company that produced several titles in English and Spanish. Profit was paramount so that meant expenses were to be kept low—or non-existent.

This can be a challenge in publication design, but not an insurmountable one. In fact, having such constraints can stretch the imagination and force the designers and editors to come up with cool ways to illustrate the issue while not spending any money doing so.

This is one example.

One of our titles was “Magazine Issues,” which we renamed from the original name: “Publishing Trade.” I came up with the name, because, well, magazines were issues and issues were magazines. Get it?

The cover story—Employee Wars—was written by the publisher and dealt with intra-office squabbling and back-stabbing. The challenge was how to illustrate “back-stabbing”?

Of course! As a fencer, this was obvious. I gathered my fencing equipment and got up on the conference table and faced off with—my sister! One of the sales reps shot some pix as we sparred on the table as our co-workers looked in staged horror (in between laughing).

The pix came out great and I asked my assistant art director to expand on the idea by creating pencil-sketch illustrations to be used as inside art for the article.

It would seem like my sister got the better of me and I was never to back-stab again.

This was a fun example of how the creative mind can come up with some clever ideas when constraints are in place. Also, keep in mind, this was just before the digital publishing revolution, so we couldn’t simply Photoshop our way out this or illegally grab some image off The Googler.

In addition to Magazine Issues, we published, and I was the art director for: Quick Printing, Southern Graphics, Printing Products International, Artes Gráficas, The Craftsmen Review, several Show Guides, and Direct Response Card decks.

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Open Source Graphic Design

open source graphic designI have been experimenting with Open Source Graphics alternatives to Adobe software. This post will detail my experiences and opinions.

 The Setup

I am using the following Open Source Graphics tools on a Linux laptop:
Asus laptop.
Replaced Windows7 with Ubuntu 16.04 LTS
Intel® Pentium(R) CPU B970 @ 2.30GHz × 2
Scribus Version 1.4.6
GIMP 2.8.16

For comparison, I timed the app launch time on my late 2012 MacBookPro, running El Capitan.
Adobe InDesign CC: 6min 16sec
Adobe Photoshop CC: 1min 10sec
Scribus (Version 1.5.1): 1min 16sec
GIMP: 1min 11sec

Launch time on Ubuntu (Open Source only):
Scribus: 4.3sec
GIMP: 2.7sec

I downloaded Blender. Blender is “a free and open source 3D creation suite.” I am going to try moving from the 2D world of Open Source Graphics Design to the 3D world. They have many tutorials on their site, which I am about to embark on. I installed it on my Mac, but will add it to my collection on Ubuntu as well. OK, here we go!

Opening an InDesign document in Scribus

I read a few blogs on this and tried one suggestion: create an .EPS from InDesign and open it as an editable file in Scribus. That did not work.

Another suggestion was to create an .IDML (an InDesign file that can be read by a previous version) document from InDesign and open that in Scribus. That worked much better. Here’s what I did and the result:

Business Card designed in Adobe InDesign CC

InDesign .IDML file opened in Scribus

Business Card File

This worked fairly well. The only issue I had was that the tracking (space between letters) was a bit off and the upside-down “J” I used to create the lower-case “f” in “Jeff” got flipped over. Otherwise, the styles and colors were all intact.

Book layout in InDesign

InDesign .IDML file of book opened in Scribus

Paginated Book File

The book conversion didn’t go as well. The main body of the text was OK, but the TOC, some drop caps and footers got messed up. Still, it is an editable document. One thing was, though, is that my blockquotes defaulted to Arial. It seems that in some cases there was a character style on top of the paragraph style that carried over from the original Word file. A simple fix, however.

Command-A in the Scribus file

This was interesting. I placed the cursor in the text and hit Command-A to select the entire text string. It highlighted one page. However, that wasn’t really true.

Deleted text in Scribus

When I deleted the highlighted text, it seems that the entire text string really was highlighted, as the whole thing got deleted. Then something even more interesting happened…

Command-Z in Scribus

I hit Command-Z to undo the delete. The text came back, but the formatting was now messed up.

Edit Scribus File in Text Editor

If you open a Scribus file in a text editor and open an InDesign file in a text editor, you will see that Scribus is very readable whereas, InDesign is not. You can make changes in both and save the file, but the results are quite different. Editing an InDesign file in a text editor (TextEdit on a Mac) renders the file useless.

InDesign error message

Editing a Scribus file produces better results. I edited a Scribus document on a Mac using TextEdit. This rendered the file useless, just like InDesign. But, then I tried it on my Linux Ubuntu machine, using Gedit, which I launched from the Command Line and, voilà, the file opens and the changes I made in Gedit were retained. How can this be useful? Say you are a printer and you receive a Scribus file. The client calls and says there is a small typo. Instead of getting a new file, open the Scribus file in Gedit and you should be good to go.

Scribus edited in Gedit on Linux

Scribus opens after Gedit changes

PDF Import in Scribus

I converted an InDesign doc to an .IDML so that I could plop in some PDFs. It seems Scribus is not as easy for this function like InDesign. However, after it failed, I simply converted my PDF imports to JPGs and imported them into Scribus. That worked great. I exported my document as a PDF but noticed that the files size was rather large. I’ll have to investigate that later.

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FF-RHP

An ad in The American Spectator magazine that is not FF-RHP. Oh no!
An ad in The American Spectator magazine that is not FF-RHP. Oh no!

FF-RHP.

Anyone who has worked in publishing will be very familiar with this term. Advertisers will negotiate with the sales rep to ensure that their ad is placed in the publication far forward (usually first 50%) and on the right-hand page (on top if possible). The sales rep will come to the production manager or the art director with an insertion order with big, bold, underlined, italic Arial type with five exclamation points that reads:

MUST BE FAR FORWARD RIGHT-HAND PAGE!!!!!

The production manager will roll his eyes and tell the sales rep (almost convincingly) that he’ll “do his best” to make sure the ad appears where the customer demands. Usually, this request can be granted. The problem arises when the request is really a demand. Advertisers will use the fact that their ad did not appear where they commanded and refuse payment. Even if there is no guarantee and no premium paid, advertisers will often think that they are entitled to special placement.

It has been my experience that the 80/20 rule applies to this. 80% of the “problems” are caused by the bottom 20% of the advertisers. Here’s an example, based on years of production management:

Phil (not his real name), the ad rep has gotten a hot lead on the hook. He has convinced Widgets-R-Us (not a real company) to give the publication a try. They are willing to buy a one-time quarter-page square ad. In order to get Widgets-R-Us into the January issue of Widget World (not a real magazine), Phil has agreed to their demands. Their quarter-page ad must be far-forward, first 50%, right-hand page, opposite full edit, at least six pages from competitors, not across from any negative editorial. And, oh, by the way: we need to create the ad for them.

“We Need to Create the Ad for Them.”

Deadline approaches. Production manager chases after Phil to get the material in. “But I’ve emailed them twice today; they just don’t respond.” Then call them. “I have, but Mr. Big-Ad is away somewhere.” Uh-huh. “Well, if they do not have material in place by 5pm we’ll have to pull the ad and replace the space with a filler and charge them, since they signed a contract.”

“Whuhhh, no, we can’t do that,” Phil laments.

As if on cue, emails start pouring in at 4:59pm. There’s a Microsoft Publisher file with some unproofed text, then comes some low-resolution PNG files that the advertiser “just got off the Google.” Then a giant logo that needs to be converted to CMYK and re-sized (but first it must be unzipped).

As night approaches, an ad is quickly cobbled together. The Google images are replaced with images found right on the advertiser’s website, the text is proofed, and a PDF is sent to Phil so he can send it to Mr. Big-Ad.

Approved! Who knows if anyone really looked at it, but the returned email is all the proof we need!

Due to some shifting of editorial and some ads being moved around, Widgets-R-Us gets placed on a left-hand page, on page 66. Uh-oh.

The Tribunal of Publication Crimes

The magazines arrive and Phil walks in holding a magazine limply in his hand with a downcast look on his face. “What happened?” Welllll. Yes, this a mistake. A promise was made and not kept. Guilty as charged. However, there are a few things to use as a defense during the trial at the Tribunal of Publication Crimes:

There was no premium paid and Phil should never have agreed to any guarantees, especially for a one-time, quarter-page ad. OK, he did, we messed up. But, what does it really matter? Here’s what research has shown:

Leslie Tucker, writing for The Richards Group, cites a study conducted by VISTA:

An ad on a right-hand page is more effective than an ad on a left-hand page.

Answer: false. In terms of right- vs. left-page positioning, there’s virtually no difference in recall.”

And from Principles of Effective Print Advertising, [Word .doc file] a paper by Steve Blom at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville…

“While this seems to be overstating the obvious, there are still myths that placement has a direct effect on ad performance. “Right-hand page, Far forward” is a frequently heard request.

Unfortunately, it has virtually nothing to do with whether or not your ad will succeed. A well-designed ad will perform well wherever its location: front or back, left-hand page or right.”

There’s an Ad Stuck in My Eye!

This assumption comes from old newspaper “rules.” For some interesting reading on layout and how right and left play into it, see this post by by Chris Da Sie, writing for Creative Bloq. Chris describes the “Gutenberg Diagram,” a design guide developed by Edmund C. Arnold, that describes how people’s eyes “travel” across design. Jessie Lacey writes about it in The Dirigo Blog. It’s interesting reading.

So, next time Phil comes in with another FF-RHP ad, show him this research.

Thank you for reading.

—Jeff Macharyas, publication production and design for many years.

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