Author Archives: Charlie Woller

About Charlie Woller

Charlie Woller works as a technical trainer at LPi’s MidEast Region Service Center. He enjoys the opportunities to travel and to meet and work with customers which his job affords him. His greatest satisfaction comes from coaching customers on how best to take advantage of the publishing tools and resources available to them. During his spare time, Charlie likes to read (mysteries, thrillers, horror, quantum physics) and listen to classical music.

Hardbound deadline is fast approaching

Included in your agreement with LPi is a hardbound volume of each year’s bulletins or newsletters. The deadline for submitting your bulletins or newsletters for binding is fast approaching. Please refer to your hardbound flyer or call your local LPi service center for the exact deadline and detailed instructions on how to prepare your bulletins or newsletters for binding and the address to send them to.

Boxoft Free PDF to JPG Converter

Customers occasionally call to ask “Can I insert a PDF into my Microsoft Publisher document?”

Yes, you can insert a PDF into your Publisher document as an object. You won’t be very happy with the results, however. Publisher inserts the object at low resolution.

What’s the workaround? The best workaround that we’ve discovered is to install a free, third-party utility called Boxoft PDF to JPG. With the Boxoft utility you can convert a PDF into a high-resolution JPG. That done, you insert the JPG into your Publisher document as you would any other image. Voila!

If you’re interested in trying out the Boxoft PDF to JPG software, click here to download the installer. The first time you launch Boxoft PDF to JPG you will be prompted to download and install Ghostscript. After installing the software, configure Boxoft PDF to JPG to output a 300 dpi JPG by clicking the “Next >” button at the bottom of the main window and, using the up arrow, increase the dpi to 300.

PDFtoJPGscreenshot

PS: After you run the Boxoft PDF to JPG installer, the desktop shortcut may read “Flip PDF to JPG” or something similar rather than “Boxoft PDF to JPG.”

To download a cheat sheet containing step-by-step, numbered instructions for converting a PDF to a JPG using Boxoft PDF to JPG click here.

NOTE: If the person who created the PDF applied any security settings to the PDF, you will not be able to convert the PDF to a JPG.

Disclaimer: Boxoft PDF to JPG is distributed “as is.” No warranty of any kind is expressed or implied. You use at your own risk. LPi will not be liable for data loss, damages, monetary loss  or any other kind of loss while using or misusing this software.

Do you use a style sheet?

Do you use a style sheet? Style sheet? What’s a style sheet?

A style sheet is a set of criteria defining the layout and appearance of a publication. Style sheets impose margins, fonts, point sizes, alignments, and other criteria to give text a uniform appearance. It includes rules for using artwork and conventions for specifying names, titles, places, numbers, dates, times, etc. Who should receive a copy of a style sheet? Whoever is responsible for your organization’s internal and external communications and anyone who contributes to your publication(s).

What follows is a sample style sheet for a fictitious organization:

The Community of Like-minded People

Please follow these guidelines when creating your publication. We are trying to create a uniform, professional look with all our printed materials.

Approved fonts:

  • Main headings, Times New Roman, 22 point
  • Sub headings, Arial Bold, 14 point
  • Body copy, Times New Roman, 10 point
  • The alternative font for styled headings or body copy is Verdana. Use it for text with our approved logo. Verdana should be used very sparingly. It can be any point size

Clip art:

  • Our approved logo
  • Please contact the main office for a camera-ready or a digitized copy of the logo
  • Please obtain reprint rights for any copyrighted materials
  • Please obtain release…

Usage:

  • Main headings, left aligned, ragged right
  • Sub headings, left aligned, ragged right
  • Body copy, left aligned, ragged right
  • Times should be specified in the following format: 9:00 am, 10:00 pm, 1:30-2:00 pm
  • No abbreviations may be used anywhere in the publication
  • Acronyms are permitted

Other issues:

  • The formal name of the organization is “The Community of Like-minded People.” In the first reference the full name is preferred. In subsequent references the name may be shortened to “The Community” or alternatively “Our Community”
  • Do NOT underline or use ALL CAPS
  • Always use the area code when specifying telephone numbers. Telephone numbers should be specified in the following format: 999-999-9999
  • Spell-check and proofread all copy before submission

These guidelines are subject to periodic review and change. Please contact the main office for the most current style sheet.

Date published or revised

By using a style sheet you can ensure that all your publications conform to your organization’s custom identity.

Don’t Save Files on Your Desktop

Your computer Desktop is the easiest place to save files: images, text documents, recent downloads, etc. It’s so convenient to just save that file there where you know you can find it again.

Resist the temptation to do it! Why?

  1. Files stored on the Desktop slow down the computer’s overall performance. Not drastically, but some.
  2. Your Desktop will eventually run out of visible space. What will you do then? (Some of you reading this post may already have run out of Desktop space!)
  3. Most importantly, the files on your desktop at this very minute have probably not been backed up and are vulnerable—they may be easily deleted. If they are important enough to be quickly accessible, they should be backed up and stored in a folder nested within your “My Documents” folder.

The solution? Shortcuts.

You can fill up your Desktop if you want to (although #1 and #2 above still apply). But instead of saving the actual file there, just create a shortcut to that file.

Here’s an example of how to do that. Let’s say you have a folder on your Desktop that contains several Microsoft Publisher documents pertaining to your publication. That folder is called “Publication Resources.” You want to store this folder in a location that is safe, but you still want to be able to access it easily. Follow the instructions below to do that:

  1. Right-click on the folder and choose “Cut”
  2. Open your “My Documents” folder (in Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8.x, it is just called “Documents”)
  3. In an empty area of the “My Documents” folder, right click and choose “Paste.” Now your “Publication Resources” folder has been moved from the Desktop to the “My Documents” folder.
  4. In the “My Documents” folder, find the “Publication Resource” folder that you just moved. Right click it and choose “Send to > Desktop (create shortcut)”
  5. Close the My Documents folder and go back to your Desktop. You should see a new icon there called “Shortcut to Publication Resources” or “Publication Resources – Shortcut.”

So whenever you need to open that folder, you can just double click the shortcut on the Desktop and it will open just like it always did. The difference is that the shortcut on your Desktop is only a shortcut—the actual file is stored safely in your “My Documents” folder.

Shortcuts are a nifty feature. They work for both files and folders. Use them to declutter your Desktop and safeguard your valuable information.

[Adapted from The Computer Tutor]

Hardbound deadline is fast approaching

Included in your agreement with LPi is a hardbound volume of each year’s bulletins or newsletters. The deadline for submitting your bulletins or newsletters for binding is fast approaching. Please consult your 2014 LPi Resource Calendar for the exact deadline and detailed instructions on how to prepare your bulletins or newsletters for binding and the address to send them to.

Print Preview Using LPi Express

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. — Benjamin Franklin

Franklin’s adage is just as true today in the cyberworld as it was in colonial times. Before you submit your publication to LPi to be printed, always preview your PDF file by clicking the Preview your .pdf file link on the Ready to Submit screen. Clicking the Preview your .pdf file link gives you one last opportunity to review your publication. When you click the Preview your .pdf file link, what you will see is what we will print. If everything looks good to you, close the preview window and click the Submit button. If, however, you spot something which you wish to change, close the preview window and click the Reset button to return to your publication. Make whatever changes you wish to make and then print your publication to the LPi Express printer again. And don’t forget… preview your PDF file again before clicking the Submit button. Doing so will obviate the need to submit your publication a second time. If you do need to submit your publication a second time, please call us as soon as possible so that we can intercept the job which you submitted previously.

A Graphic Arts Glossary #7

This is the seventh post in a series. Watch this blog during the months to come for further installments in this ongoing series.

The purpose of the series is to define key terms used in the graphic arts industry.

The seventh term in the series is grain.

Grain: A paper’s grain is the direction in which most of the fibers line up during the manufacturing process.

crossgraindirGrain is determined during the paper making process, when plant fibers, typically wood pulp, tend to line up in one direction or the other. Paper is identified as either grain short (grain is parallel to the paper’s short side) or grain long (grain is parallel to the paper’s long side), depending on how the paper is cut. It is easier to fold, bend, or tear the paper along the same direction of the fibers. Printing is usually done so that if folding is required, the fold is done parallel to the grain.

The eighth term in the series will be halftone.

A Graphic Arts Glossary #6

This is the sixth post in a series. Watch this blog during the months to come for further installments in this ongoing series.

The purpose of the series is to define key terms used in the graphic arts industry.

The sixth term in the series is font.

Font: a complete set of upper and lower case letters, numerals, punctuation marks, and symbols of one specific typeface, size and style. Arial Bold 12-point is an example of a font.

A typeface is a set of characters which share common design features. Garamond is an example of a typeface. With the advent of digital typesetting, the two words “font” and “typeface” have come to be used interchangeably.

A font family is a set of fonts related to a basic typeface. A font family includes bold, italic, and bold-italic styles plus a range of sizes, weights and widths.

The seventh term in the series will be grain.

Customizing Microsoft Publisher 2010

Have you upgraded to Microsoft Publisher 2010 recently? Have you been tearing your hair out searching for those features which you used over and over again in the past? We’ve got just the thing for you.

As those of you who’ve upgraded to Publisher 2010 already know, Microsoft Corp. did away with the standard pull-down menu bar and toolbars and introduced the ribbon. All the old menu bar and toolbar options were redistributed among groups on a set of tabs going across the top of the ribbon.

Did you know that you can customize the ribbon? We’ve created a custom tab named “EBS” for “Express Bulletin Service,” set up some groups (e.g., “Character,” “Paragraph,” etc.) and added those functions which we thought you would use most frequently to the appropriate groups.

A screen shot of the ribbon with the custom EBS tab installed appears below:

NOTE: Various buttons on the ribbon may appear slightly different depending on your monitor size and screen resolution.

Want to install the custom EBS tab? Click here to download a copy of the EBS customization file. Save the file to your Desktop or a folder of your choice.

To install the custom EBS tab, do the following:

  1. Launch Microsoft Publisher 2010
  2. Create a new blank publication or open an existing publication
  3. Right-click anywhere on the ribbon
  4. Click on Customize the Ribbon…
  5. Pull down on Import/Export
  6. Click on Import customization file
  7. Use the dialog box to navigate to your Desktop or the folder where you saved the customization file
  8. Click on the customization file
  9. Click the Open button
  10. Click Yes in response to the prompt “Replace all existing Ribbon and Quick Access Toolbar customizations for this program?” (NOTE: Clicking “Yes” will delete any previously-applied customizations.)
  11. Click the OK button

The custom EBS tab should now appear as the first tab on the ribbon. Most of your work can be done from the EBS tab. The other tabs are still available and may be used for functions not appearing on the EBS tab.

After installing the custom EBS tab, the customization file may be deleted or saved for use another time.

Coloring Objects in Microsoft Publisher 2010

If you’ve upgraded to Microsoft Publisher 2010, you may have encountered a problem with Publisher not retaining specific color values. The problem occurs when you right click an object and use the “Format <object type>” dialog box to specify particular CMYK values.

The workaround is to use the appropriate feature on the ribbon, e.g. the “Recolor” button in the “Adjust” group on the “Picture Tools / Format” tab.

Use the simple techniques listed below to avoid this problem:

  • To apply color to text, highlight the text and go Home > Font Color > More Colors… > Custom > CMYK and input the CMYK values or use the color picker.

  • To apply a colored shape outline (border), select the object and go Drawing Tools / Format > Shape Outline > More Outline Colors > Custom > CMYK and input the CMYK values or use the color picker.
  • To apply a colored shape fill, select the object and go Drawing Tools / Format > Shape Fill > More Fill Colors > Custom > CMYK and input the CMYK values or use the color picker.
  • To recolor an image, select the image and go Picture Tools / Format > Recolor > More Variations… > Color > More Colors… > Custom > CMYK and input the CMYK values or use the color picker.

Another workaround is to create a custom color scheme and use the swatches in the custom color scheme to apply the desired color. Follow the steps below to create a custom color scheme:

  1. On the Page Design tab, in the Schemes group, click the More arrow in the lower right-hand corner of the color schemes gallery.
  2. Click Create new color scheme.
  3. In the Create New Color Scheme dialog box, under New, click the arrow next to each color that you want to change and then select a new color.
  4. Type a name for your custom color scheme and then click Save.

Your custom color scheme is now the default color scheme. All objects in your publication that were filled with scheme colors are now filled with the colors in your custom color scheme. The colors that you selected can now be used as the scheme colors when selecting colors throughout your publication.

One word of caution: before creating a custom color scheme, check with you LPi technical support specialist to ensure that your color scheme is compatible with LPi printing standards.

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