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 Robin Williams and John Tollett

Illustrator Coolness

By Robin Williams and John TollettMay 21, 2012

Robin and I never get over the feeling of empowerment that comes with using software programs such as Adobe InDesign, Adobe Illustrator, and Adobe Photoshop.

Ben Waldie

Mac Productivity: Quick Scripts and Workflows - Creating Quick Notes

By Ben WaldieMay 7, 2012

It's 9AM and your boss is on the phone.  She's rattling off important info you need for your 9:30AM conference call.  Quick!  You need somewhere to take notes.  Sure, you could use your email client - Mail and Outlbook both include note features.  Or, you could use on of the 50,000 note taking apps you've downloaded.  Better yet, why not use that handy Automator Service workflow you created?  You know, the one that automatically creates RTF notes into a Quick Notes folder, names them with the current date and time, and opens them in TextEdit so you can quickly begin typing?  You recall how easy it was to create.  Here's how you did it...

 Robin Williams and John Tollett

More Sources of Design Inspiration

By Robin Williams and John TollettMay 1, 2012

Robin recently gave a keynote presentation at Santa Fe University of Art & Design. The event, Hire Education, was a day-long event and portfolio review, sponsored by AIGA New Mexico.

Ben Waldie

Mac Productivity: Quick Scripts and Workflows - Print PDF to FTP Server

By Ben WaldieApr 30, 2012

In Mac OS X, it’s a snap to convert almost any document to PDF.  From the print dialog, simply choose Save as PDF... from the PDF popup button.  If you’ve done this before, then you may have noticed there are some other options in this popup, as well, such as Mail PDF.  These are print plugins, and, using Automator, it’s possible to create your own and add them to the list.  Suppose you upload PDFs to your FTP server on a regular basis, so you can share them with your family, coworkers, or whoever.  Every time you do this, you have to save your document somewhere as a PDF, launch the popular FTP client Transmit, connect to the server, and upload the PDF.  This is a perfect time to create a custom print plugin to do this for you.  Here’s how...

Ben Waldie

Mac Productivity: Quick Scripts and Workflows - Convert Rich Text to Image

By Ben WaldieApr 23, 2012

Your wife’s surprise birthday party is tomorrow.  You’ve prepared a top notch slideshow on your Mac using Keynote, and transferred it to your iPad.  Great!  Now you can present directly from the iPad.  There’s only one problem.  The fonts in your presentation are no longer appearing properly because the iPad doesn’t have all the same fonts your Mac does.  It looks like you might have to lug your Mac along too.  No, with Automator’s help, you can just replace the problem text with images.  Here’s how...

 Robin Williams and John Tollett

The Garage Experiments

By Robin Williams and John TollettApr 16, 2012

Cleaning out the garage can provide a nostalgic trip down Graphics Memory Lane, plus stir up lots of ideas for new projects.

Ben Waldie

Mac Productivity: Quick Scripts and Workflows - Scaling Images in the Finder

By Ben WaldieApr 16, 2012

There are tons of apps that allow you to manipulate images on your Mac.  iPhoto and Preview are two from Apple, and there are lots more available from the Mac App Store and third-party software vendors.  What you may not know, however, is that you don’t need a third-party app to do some basic image manipulations with your existing operating system.  Using Automator, you can create your own custom image processing plug-ins, which you can run right within the Finder.

Ben Waldie

Mac Productivity: Quick Scripts and Workflows - Clean Up Your Desktop with Your Voice

By Ben WaldieApr 12, 2012

I tend to keep a pretty uncluttered Desktop.  I typically have only a handful of active files there at any given time, which I promptly remove when I'm done working with them.  I strongly suspect, however, that I'm in the minority.  Often, I see people with hundreds or even thousands of files on their Desktop.  They truly work off of their Desktop, and this simply isn’t efficient.  Locating files on a cluttered Desktop requires scrolling through tons of irrelevant files, moving icons around, searching, and more.  Perhaps if Siri was on the Mac, she could help.  Wouldn’t it be great if you could verbally instruct your Mac to clean things up for you?  Well, with Speakable Items and AppleScript, you can.  Here's how.

Ben Waldie

Mac Productivity: Quick Scripts and Workflows - Add Date to Files and Folders

By Ben WaldieApr 2, 2012

Keeping files and folders organized on my Mac is essential to my productivity.  Folder structures and naming conventions are a big help, but I also need to ways to quickly locate meeting or phone call notes from last Tuesday, or the samples a client sent me for review last October.  One method I use is to add date prefixes to certain file and folder names.  This provides visual clues when I’m browsing for something, and also allows me to sort more easily.  While the methodology works, I don’t like having to keep typing the date over and over again.  Although it only takes a few seconds, it’s repetitive, and sometimes I enter a typo.  Since my time is extremely limited, those few seconds are also valuable to me.  To make life easier, I’ve created an Automator Service that appends a date prefix to files and folders in the Finder.  Here’s how you can do the same...

 Robin Williams and John Tollett

What Can Lucian Freud Teach Us about Design?

By Robin Williams and John TollettApr 2, 2012

Our three-month sojourn to London, Paris, Istanbul, and Ireland  is almost over. One of the highlights of the adventure was a visit to the National Portrait Gallery in London to see a Lucian Freud (1929-2011) exhibit that included 100 paintings spread across his entire career.

Ben Waldie

Mac Productivity: Quick Scripts and Workflows - Revealing File and Folder Paths

By Ben WaldieMar 26, 2012

In my last post, I explained how to create an Automator workflow that can quickly and easily copy file and folder paths to the clipboard.  Then, you can paste them into an email or document to share with others.  What if you’re on the receiving end, though?  How can you quickly and easily navigate to those files or folders?  Automator can help with that too.  Here are steps to build a Service workflow, which will reveal selected file or folder paths in an opened email or document...

Ben Waldie

Mac Productivity: Quick Scripts and Workflows - Sharing File and Folder Paths

By Ben WaldieMar 19, 2012

If you work in an office, the odds are good that you have shared locations for files and folders.  Your office might have a Projects share, for example, where you keep project folders and related files.

Suppose you need to direct your buddy John to a specific file in one of these project folders?  What’s the easiest way to do it?

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