Stories by David Blatner

Photoshop Turns 10

Few products are as important to the Mac as Adobe Systems Inc.'s Photoshop. It helped drive the desktop publishing revolution, and it's been a valuable tool in the emergence of Web design. As Photoshop 6.0 hits the streets -- the US$609 package should be available when you read this -- it's time to look at how Photoshop has evolved in the decade since its debut, and what the program has meant to Mac users.

Casting Out Unwanted Color

Although the human eye is capable of detecting thousands of different hues and tones in a single glance, we often end up seeing exactly what we expect to see. For example, take three pieces of white paper collected from different sources (a white napkin, a sheet of copier paper, and a catalog page, for example). Individually, each sample looks as though it's neutral white. It's not until you place them side by side that you see a color cast -- subtle tints of yellow, blue, or magenta.

Keep Quark in Style

Long before Microsoft Corp. Word dominated the word processing field, a program called MacWrite was bundled with every Mac sold. The original version of MacWrite was based on word processing technology licensed from Quark Inc.-surprising, given that importing text into QuarkXPress is far from trouble free. If Quark was processing words back in the 1980s, why doesn't XPress do a better job of importing word processing files today?

Extend Your Efficiency in QuarkXPress

Every user of Quark Inc.'s QuarkXPress should own and put to work at least one XTension beyond those that come with the program. I haven't got a particular one in mind-it's up to you to choose from the more than 350 commercial, freeware, and shareware XTensions available. But if you aren't using any, I know for sure you're not as efficient as you could be.

Sharper Images in Photoshop

No matter how good your scanner or how crisp your original, you're certain to lose some sharpness when you digitize an image. Images from low-end flatbed scanners always need a considerable amount of sharpening. Even scans from high-end scanners need sharpening (though scanning software sometimes takes care of it on the fly). Images from digital cameras can also benefit from sharpening.

Getting Into InDesign

What's shocking to me is how many people seem content never to learn another language, never to travel to foreign countries, never to explore new cultures. How else can we get perspective on our own lives? For similar reasons, I believe it's important for even die-hard QuarkXPress users to take a look at Adobe InDesign.