Browsing articles from "August, 2011"

Evernote – you need it

Aug 31, 2011
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When you first get an iPad, you look around for note taking applications to replace your notebook and pen. There are apps like Penultimate and Paperdesk – but the ultimate app for getting notes/ideas stored is Evernote.

You can capture your ideas, photos, voice notes etc into categorised “notebooks” with automatic GPS co-ordinates for where the meeting was held (iPad/iPhone/Android) – it is cool. But the best thing about it is that everything is sync’ed into the “cloud” and can be accessed from any of the devices you choose to use. There is Evernote for Mac, Windows, iPhone, iPad and Android.

So you take your iPad to a meeting. You open a new note, key in some ideas, take a couple of photos and record your discussion. When you get back to your Mac at the office – the whole meeting is already sync’ed to your Mac version of Evernote for you to use out of there.

There is also a Google Chrome Extension which allows you to store a bookmark or page from inside the browser directly into your Evernote repository. Cool.

You can download a demo and try it out. We recommend you get the premium edition because it lets you use the iPad/iPhone versions without a network connection and sync the notes later. That alone is worth the small fee.

Try it at





Auckland InDesign User Group – Interactivity from InDesign to Acrobat

Aug 16, 2011
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The next meeting of the Auckland InDesign User Group — “Interactivity from InDesign to Acrobat” —  is scheduled for Tuesday August 23rd.

Date, time, and location
Tuesday, August 23 2011
6:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Media Design School
Level 16 (reception & sign in)
92 Albert Street
Auckland CBD

6:00pm – Doors open and a bit of time to network
6:30pm – Welcome
6:35pm – Special Guest: Paul Cracknell (our local ACE) presents Interactivity from InDesign to Acrobat
7:35pm – Surprise Presenter with surprising but awesome topic (tbc – email if you want it to be you)
8:05pm – Tips and Tricks plus industry roundup with Heather (email if you have announcement)
8:15pm – Time for pizza and networking and prizes (software / gift cards / subscriptions – pick me)

Please register to attend


Digital Arena – Finalists in the 2011 Ernst &Young Entrepreneur Of The Year

Aug 5, 2011
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Digital Arena are finalists in the 2011 Ernst &Young Entrepreneur Of The Year award. Below is the article from the Ernst & Young 2011 finalists page.



Neil McGowan and Marcus Radich, Digital Arena (Auckland)
‘Stadium built for innovative growth’

The saying goes that if you build the arena, the people will come.  In Digital Arena’s case the “people”, now satisfied clients, have come and greatly benefited from their innovative range of IT and software solutions, geared for businesses within the creative, production and publishing sectors.

When Neil McGowan and partners launched the business in 1996, economic conditions were such that the rationale behind this leading-edge venture was just what the market needed.  In 1998 Marcus Radich came on board.  His expertise in technology development and software creation raised the bar in the level of service Digital Arena could now offer.

In 2008 a decline in revenue prompted by the GEC meant that the Digital Arena game plan needed some drastic changes.  As Neil will tell you – “when faced with increasing competition and unpredictable market forces – innovate, grow and expand your services to fit the new arena.”

“We were operating in a vertical market where our customer’s revenues were falling, so inevitably we’d be affected.  It was a phase that would eventually end with recovery but how far off was the unknown.”  Understanding the value of maintaining existing customer relationships, a ‘payment for service’ holiday policy was put into place along with other key scenarios, to maintain loyalty and quality of services along with sustainable levels of business.

At this time one of the founding partners decided to move out of the business.  While this put extra strain and risk on both Neil and Marcus, the two decided to negotiate a buy-out and through taking on additional funding and restructuring, a revamped Digital Arena emerged.

Digital Arena prides itself on time invested in extensive research, development, innovation and fresh thinking; – characteristics which attributed to their powering through the worst of the GEC, and which continue to drive the company forward into the future.

Post-recession, and to the company’s advantage, more and more businesses have either opted to create in-house design facilities, or implement cost and time saving processes through the implementation of automated print pagination systems.  This is the technology space that Digital Arena has led for more than ten years.  These emerging opportunities have given Neil and Marcus the chance to assist a diverse range of new customers to work smarter (and more profitably).

Having both been so close to the operation for many years, they decided that a fresh take—created by fresh eyes—of their brand and offering should be done.  Engaging the services of a previous creative sector customer, they totally revamped key connection points, such as their website, to help people see Digital Arena as an innovative and efficient team focussed on exceptional IT support and software solutions, providing business growth opportunites to all their customers.

With a passion for sailing, and having created his own ‘dream’ 7 metre aluminium boat, Neil views the filling of the company’s sails, and new direction, with considerable satisfaction.


Using OCR with Adobe Acrobat

Aug 5, 2011
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Optical Character Recognition (OCR) is used to identify text in scanned images containing printed text. It’s a handy thing to use to enable text can be searched, copied and edited. Adobe Acrobat has an OCR feature built into it. To use you will need a scanned image saved as or converted to a PDF.

In Acrobat X Pro
Open your PDF document then click on ‘Tools’ to show the Tools pane.
From the ‘Recognize Text’ panel select ‘In This File’
The ‘Recognize Text’ window will pop up, click ‘OK’.
Acrobat will go and analyse the document, deskewing and rotating the document as needed.
When completed Acrobat will present the document to you with selectable and searchable text.
You can copy and paste the text as needed or you can use the ‘File’ menu to “Save As…’ a new PDF document or even a Microsoft Word document.

In Acrobat 9 Pro
Open your PDF document then from the ‘Document’ menu go down to ‘OCR Text Recognition’ and select ‘Recognize Text Using OCR’.
The ‘Recognize Text’ window will pop up, click ‘OK’.
Acrobat will go and analyse the document, deskewing and rotating the document as needed.
When completed Acrobat will present the document to you with selectable and searchable text.
You can copy and paste the text as needed or you can use the ‘File’ menu to “Save As…’ a new PDF document or even a Microsoft Word document.

You can use the Multiple files option in both version of Acrobat to select multiple files to batch process. You can even select non-PDF files such as JPG, PNG, TIF, etc.

Recognising text in the original PDF

Rotated document with selectable and searchable text after OCR recognition

Mac OSX Lion – Quit and Discard Windows

Aug 1, 2011
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Mac OSX Lion’s Resume feature automatically opens all of the documents that you had open in an Application before you quit that Application. This can be very handy when you are working on a document over time and can really save time with Safari. But sometimes you just want open a few photos in Preview and not have them all re-open next time you launch Preview.

Luckily there is an easy way to control this, just hold down the option key when you select Quit from the Application’s menu and ‘Quit’ will change to ‘Quit and Discard Windows’. This will quit the Application and close all open documents. If you normally use the keyboard shortcut command + Q to quit, then just add the option key in the shortcut so you use command + option + Q.

If you have an unsaved Document it will still reopen it when you relaunch, just so you don’t make a mistake and lose work.