Auckland InDesign User Group – Be amazed, amused and astounded!

Apr 3, 2014
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The next meeting of the Auckland InDesign User Group is scheduled for April 15th.

Are you ready to be amazed, amused and astounded? Then make sure you save Tuesday April 15 and come on down to the next IDUG meeting at MDS.

Don’t forget to invite your friends, work colleagues, business associates to join our group and come along – everyone is welcome and it’s free, whether your are a beginner or an expert. Just make sure you’re registered to be eligible for the jolly good prizes that we have to giveaway at the meeting.

If you are have problems logging in or registering, just email us with your full name, email address and contact details. Then we can contact the magic elves at Adobe to sort it out and make sure you are registered for the meeting. Alternatively, you can register on the night.

Date, time, and location

Tuesday, April 15 2014
6:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Media Design School
92 Albert Street
Auckland, CBD


6:00pm – Doors Open & Registration
6.30pm – Welcome & Sponsors
6.40pm – Our international superstar, Martinho da Gloria, returns to amaze us with his latest InDesign plugin
7.10pm – Not to be outdone, Marcus Radich will both amaze and aMuse us with Muse 101
7.40pm – To cap it all off there will be more astounding trips and tricks from Heather Rennie
8.00pm – Prizes, Messages and Industry Announcements
8.15pm – Time for pizza, drinks and catchup


The Auckland InDesign User Group would like to thank the generous support of our major sponsors: Adobe, Digital Arena, Font Talent, BYOL (Bring Your Own Laptop) Adobe Training Centre, InDesign Magazine and Media Design School.

Please register to attend


InDesign CC

Password management with 1Password (and others)

Mar 4, 2014
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Passwords are considered a pain in the neck – and they are, but they are supposed to be.
In today’s digital world we keep our very important details online: our banking, email, personal photos, accounting, etc. Every one of these services are protected by a username and password. Usernames are pretty easy to guess, it’ll be your email address or something similar. This is fine, usernames are there to identify you over others in the system. The trouble starts when you start talking passwords. We have discussed passwords before and the latest version of Spark uses new password control which enforces good password controls. We know our passwords need ‘upgrading’ to stronger passwords, but how do we do it and still remember them?

Enter 1Password.

You can remember a single password right? If you can’t stop reading now. This is a prerequisite!
1Password is a password generator/storage app which runs on OSX, Windows, iOS, Chrome, Firefox, Safari and Android. Think of it as a digital wallet for all your usernames and passwords. You have a master password which unlocks the wallet and lets you use a username and password to access a service – and then re-locks. The master password file itself is encrypted with a single password that you MUST remember. But it is only one, so you should manage. The master password file can be synced to all of your devices using DropBox (1Password has this integration built in). It works really well.

Once you have 1Password installed (apps on various devices and browser plugins) and setup, you can go to your critical services (think banking, email, accounting, Twitter, Facebook, AppleID etc), hit the change password button, and then use the 1Password browser plugin to create a new super-sized password. You don’t need to know what this password is as 1Password remembers it for you. This is the browser plugin after clicking Password Generator:

Screen Shot 2014-03-03 at 11.34.42 am

When you click Fill, 1Password will then prompt you for a name and it stores this entry in the master password file. You can store any personal information you like inside 1Password. Of course, you are now questioning how secure 1Password’s master file is. Well, short answer, it depends a lot on how strong the password is that you used to secure it. There is more information about it here.


Using 1Password is simple. Go to the login page of the service you want to use and put the cursor into the login field. Next, choose the ‘key icon’ from inside your browser (or up in your Mac menu bar), and select the name of the service. 1Password will put the login and password into the login page for you. That’s it. Easy.

For mobile use, 1Password has a reader app which allows you to copy the password onto the device’s clipboard and paste it into the password field. Still easier than remembering a secure password and certainly easier than recovering from an account compromise!

1Password isn’t the only player in town. Here’s a good list to consider – but we do recommend 1Password if you are serious about passwords.

Siri. Your wish is its command

Jan 28, 2014
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So what or who is Siri you ask?

Siri is an intelligent personal assistant which started as an app and in October 2011 became integrated with Apple’s iOS (actually if you ask Siri “when’s your birthday”, it will tell you its first day on the job was 4 October 2011).  A little bit of history; Siri has been part of iOS since iOS 5 and was first supported on the iPhone 4S. Siri was added to the iPad (3rd generation) with the release of iOS 6, and is included on the iPhone 5, iPhone 5C, iPhone 5S, iPod Touch (5th generation), iPad (4th generation), iPad Air, and the iPad Mini.

Here are some tips and tricks to start your conversation with Siri (if you’re wondering about the name, it is Norwegian, meaning ‘beautiful woman who leads you to victory’):

Tip 1: Hold the home button down and  talk to Siri as you would to a person. Say something like “Tell my sister I’m running late” or “Remind me to call the doctor” Some commands to start you off:

• Internet search with “Google pictures of grumpy cat”, “show me pictures of a 747″, “What’s the phone number for Moo Chow Chow in Ponsonby”
“Show me a map of Ponsonby, Auckland” – now this works (just make sure privacy settings for Siri is turned on under Settings) however Siri can’t look up places or give directions in NZ at the moment – hopefully that service will be extended to us in the near future!
• Answer those tricky questions: “what’s 35 miles an hour in kilometres per hour”
Query your contact list by asking “what’s Jason Brown’s birthday?”
• Set alarms by saying “wake me up at 6am tomorrow” or “wake me up in 2 hours”
• If you’re recipe reading using your iPad in the kitchen telling Siri to “set the timer for 3 minutes” or “what is 2 pounds in kilograms” is very handy
• Wake up in the morning to ask “what’s on my calendar today“, “what’s the weather like in Wellington?” or “what is today going to be like?”
• Setting reminders is a breeze, simply say “remind me to buy an engagement gift for Sarah
If you aren’t sure, ask Siri what it can do for you – it will tell you.

Tip 2: After all this conversation, if you decide you’d like Siri to have a male voice on your iPhone, go to Settings > General > Siri > Voice Gender (if you’re using iOS7).

Tip 3: Tell Siri what your relationships are. For example, “Elliot Johnson is my husband“, “Benjamin Daley is my brother“. After you’ve done this, you’ll find saying “call my brother“, “what’s mum’s birthday“, “email dad” etc so much faster.

• If you don’t want to tell Siri what the relationships are, manually set relationships in your contact details instead – edit your contact card, tap to add related name, choose the label, tap the blue arrow to choose the contact person.
• If you have more than one brother, differ the relationship e.g tell Siri “Benjamin Daley is my youngest brother“.

Tip 4: The more you teach Siri what you were really meaning, the more it will learn and understand you. If you get a response that wasn’t quite right, hit tap to edit below a response then use the keyboard to edit the term.


Let’s just assume now you’re on iOS7; Siri can now playback voicemails, return your last missed call, search Twitter & Wikipedia, and change app settings (e.g. turn on/off Wi-Fi). All you need to do is ask but for some of these functions it would help if you are in Australia, since they haven’t reached our NZ shores yet.

 Tip 5: Open settings easily by saying “open [app name]’s settings” for example “open Safari settings”. Asking Siri to “turn the Wi-Fi off” and “turn on airplane mode” is useful, just remember that Siri needs the internet to work so you’ll need to change your settings back manually to use Siri again.

 Tip 6: You can ask Siri to post a status on Facebook – “post on Facebook Cocktails are fine in Fiji” or “write on my wall Fiji is a balmy 28 degrees”. If you’re on Twitter, just say “tweet did you just watch Lorde on the Grammys? hashtag grammys”. You can even ask “what’s trending on Twitter” or “what are my friends saying on Twitter”. It’s just a shame this can be used by our Aussie friends but hasn’t extended to us in NZ yet.

Tip 7: Definitely try texting (useful when you’re cooking, driving, exercising…): “Text Heather I’ll be late home for dinner”, “text mum I’m on my way” etc. If you aren’t happy how Siri understood what you said, instead of confirming it, say “change it” or say “cancel” to abandon it (also try “append” to add on to the message). You can also punctuate using Siri – say “dot dot dot”, “comma”, “semicolon”, “open quote” & “end quote” to your dictation.

Tip 8: When you’re driving in the car, it is very handy to ask Siri to “read my mail” – Siri will check your new emails and give you a headline overview. You can also send an email, even send it to more than one person.


Lots of easter eggs to be found too – try these: “tell me a joke”, “what is inception about“, “what’s the best phone”“I’m drunk”, “who made you?”, “do I look nice today”, “do you love me”, “does Siri stand for seriously”…Lastly, if Siri is upsetting you with pronouncing your name wrong, say “you didn’t pronounce my name correctly” to get an apology, say your name again and then choose the option you like the best, or say “from now on call me…[nickname]” or manually add yourself a nickname by editing your contact details in the Contacts app. Go on, give yourself the nickname you’ve always wanted from a BFF….

Adobe DPS Summit Sydney

Nov 26, 2013
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Not only was it Halloween but time for scary statistics and lots of great take outs from Adobe’s line up of guest speakers at the Adobe Digital Publishing summit in Sydney on October 31st. This event was all about how leading corporates and publishers have successfully produced great apps using Adobe DPS, and their insights given through thought provoking presentations and discussion panels.

You can still download the DPS Summit App with access to the presentations.
Speakers included; Chris Skelton (Head of Digital Media Adobe), Nick Bogaty (Director Business Development & Marketing Adobe), Karla Courtney (Director of Digital Strategy Bauer Media Group), Steve Hallam (Deloitte Digital), Paul Zurlini (Director of Marketing Communications Stryker Orthopaedics), Emma Cornwell (NRMA) to name a few…

My top ten takeouts

 1. Scary stat #1: By 2014 it is estimated 54% of Australians will own a smart phone and 24% a tablet. Users already making 30% and 19% of their online purchases using this technology in 2013.

Source: Frost & Sullivan Australian and NZ online shopping market 2013

 2. Scary stat #2: % of time spent in media compared with the % of advertising spend: Print came in at 23% of the advertising spend, however only captured us for 6% of our time, compared with Mobile at 12% but lagging behind with only 3% of our advertising spend.

Reference: Mary Meeker & KPCB

 3. Scary stat #3: Did you know that 97% of all DPS downloads are on iOS devices (10% to iPhones) with 3% going to Android? We’re also seeing similar stats in the general app market. This does tell us something about the willingness of those with an iPad or iPhone to spend a few dollars (little more than a flat-white) on an app for their device. No doubt Apple will see some big spikes in app downloads over the days following Christmas.

4. Brands are the new content publishers, and with online purchase stats changing who can blame them. Check out some of our local retail content publishers – Wallace CottonColliers ANZ, or Oasis Magazine from Plumbing World. Wait till December to check out the new Stevens app.

5. Segmented push notifications are coming very soon to DPS! So now you have your app on your customers’ smartphone or tablet, why not keep them up to speed with what’s going on by sending in-app push notifications. If you knew the interests of your subscribers, you might push interest specific issues i.e if you were an auction house and you knew a subscriber was interested in modern art, you might ‘push’ the upcoming modern art auction catalogue out to those subscribers.

6. Stryker Orthopaedics use Adobe DPS to privately publish to their sales team, resulting in a 68% decrease in print costs – that’s not even including the costs for shipping, storage and destruction of out-of-date print material! Tablets are becoming table stakes for sales reps providing for more engaging presentations, product brochures and real-time data access leading to bigger pipe lines and higher closure rates. With the capability of in-app Custom Store Front, the technology lends itself to provide us with the secure communication portals we’ve been trying to build using the web.

7. Research what your audience use – The University of Queensland found 98% of their students own a tablet – hence the move to producing their campus news, study guides and campus information in an app. In a competitive overseas market place, engaging apps showcasing campus life and what’s on offer has also empowered potential students to make more informed decisions on their university of choice.

8. Reinforce the value of choosing content in digital format – promote iPad exclusive content, not just video but exclusive photos, stores, articles etc. Bauer Media Group promote exclusive iPad-only Weight Watchers recipes for example. For many global publishers this has enabled a print + digital subscription model.

9. Will our customers settle for a static PDF in the future? Not likely. TopGear sees engagement increase 300% – readers were re-reading (4 times as much!) and reading for longer (double the time!) once the TopGear magazine moved up a level to include video and other interactive content under the Adobe DPS app platform. Watch the Stig vs the iPad here.

10. So what are the expectations of our future generations. Check out this 1 year old’s expectations of a magazine in 2013.

So, all in all this summit really reinforced how digital publishing will give you a way to extend the influence of your brand, bring your comms to life and connect deeply and memorably with customers, whilst reducing cost and time to market. These kind of events provide an excellent way to pick other people’s brains in your industry, see how they’ve approached their apps – gather gems of info at these forums and if you want to make sure you’re at the 2014 Auckland summitregister your interest and we’ll keep you in the loop.

Want to talk more about Adobe Digital Publishing Suite? Give me a call on +64 9 477 0396.

Spark v5.10.0

Oct 15, 2013
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We are excited to announce the forthcoming release of our popular job management software.

Spark v5.10.0 is to be released November 2013, this update will feature –

• An important change to login: One of the key updates is a change from username to email to log into Spark.
• Edit your name, email and password under User Preferences
• Quick bulk closing of pending proposals
• Workflow WIP job dates are easily updated in the search results
• Additional search filters for the Jobs Without Invoices report
• A new report: Sales Forecast
And more…Check out further details in the release notes here.

We’ll be in touch over the next few weeks with Spark administrators to book in preview sessions. After the upgrade, if you experience any issue logging in using your email address, please call our MySupport team on 0800 327 362 (press 2 for software) for assistance.


Top tips to become an iPad pro

Sep 5, 2013
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So you want to become a master of your iPad – here are some tips that will get your zipping round your tablet like a pro:

Tip 1: When it comes to typing, speed things up with some quick taps:
• Tapping the space bar with 2 fingers will produce a period and a space
• Tapping the space bar with 3 fingers will produce a period and a 2 spaces. Go on, try it with 4 fingers, 5 fingers too!

Tip 2: Master the alpha keyboard shortcuts:
• For a quick single quote (), touch, hold and select the comma key (,)
• For a quick double quote (), touch, hold and select the period key (.)
• WANT TO WRITE SOMETHING SHOUTY – double tap the shift key to turn on caps lock
• For a quick digit, touch, hold the .?123 key and slide to the digit you want. When you let go you’ll be back on the alpha keyboard.

Tip 3: On the subject of keyboards, if you like to hold your iPad in landscape mode and want to type with your thumbs, the answer is: split your keyboard in two! Un-pinch your keyboard to split it, and pinch it back together again (this is for those of you with iOS 5 or 6)


Tip 4: Every now again again you might accidentally delete some text – no problem, just hold your iPad with both hands, give it a quick shake and the Undo Typing button will slide in! If you want Redo Typing, simply shake it again.


 Tip 5: Sometimes selecting text can be difficult but these tips should assist:
• To select a single word, double tap
• To select a paragraph, tap once with 2 fingers
• Drag the handles either side of the selection to adjust the area

Tip 6: If you need to take a screen shot of your iPad, hold the sleep/wake button down and click the Home button. The screenshot will be found in your Camera Roll album. And speaking of photos, if you want to set up your iPad as a digital photo frame:
• Prop your iPad up in it’s case, tap the Picture Frame icon that appears to the left of the slide-to-unlock bar on the lock screen and walk away – your iPad will now start display a photo slide show!
• If you want specific albums, events etc to be displayed, set all this up under Settings -> Picture Frame


Tip 7: If you have multi-gestures turned on under Settings -> General, you can:
• Use 4 or 5 fingers to swipe up to reveal the multi-tasking bar
• When you’re in an app, use 4 or 5 fingers to swipe left or right to move through apps
• When you’re in an app, use 4 or 5 fingers to pinch to the Home screen

Tip 8: And if you happen to have read this blog entry on your iPad, to scroll quickly back up to the top of a page, just tap once on the status bar (that’s the bar where the battery icon and time are displayed).


Auckland InDesign User Group – InDepth Dive into InDesign

Aug 27, 2013
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The next meeting of the Auckland InDesign User Group is scheduled for September 17th.

Come along with your friends, work colleagues, business associates – everyone is welcome and it’s free. Just make sure you’re registered to be eligible for the jolly good prizes that we have to give away at the meeting.

Date, time, and location

Tuesday, September 17 2013
6:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Media Design School
Ground Floor
92 Albert Street
Auckland, CBD


6:00pm – Doors open – some time to relax, get comfy and chat
6.30pm – Welcome & Sponsors
6.40pm – InDepth Adobe InDesign CS6/CC features with Marcus
7.10pm – Tips and Tricks with Heather
7.40pm – Adobe FormCentral with Earl
8.00pm – Giveaways and Sponsor Messages
8.15pm – Time for pizza, drinks, networking


The Auckland InDesign User Group would like to thank the generous support of our major sponsors: Adobe, Digital Arena, Font Talent, BYOL (Bring Your Own Laptop) Adobe Training Centre, InDesign Magazine and Media Design School.

Please register to attend


InDesign CS6

Password: password

Aug 12, 2013
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Isn’t it frustrating logging into a site you’ve previously used and being told you have to change your password. Yet another password to try and add a digit or two to the end of in the hopes it passes the system checks to determine if it can be used – arrgh!


Attempting to crack passwords by trying as many possibilities as time and money permit is called a brute force attack. Another method, is a dictionary attack – this is where all words in one or more dictionaries are tested. Lists of common passwords are also typically tested. Whereas you can’t influence the likelihood of an attack, you can influence your password strength to determine whether it is likely to be guessed or discovered by an attack, so if that site you’re trying to log into decides that your password isn’t strong enough, it’s in your best interest to change it.

Weak passwords

For most of you who read this article your password will be on the ‘most common’ list.


So what is a weak password? What makes some passwords weaker than others? Here are our top tips for selecting yourself a strong password:

1. First and foremost, avoid any identifier (such as your name) and likewise any sequence with an identifier for example, mike123, msmith01

2. Default passwords are of course a big no-no. If your phone came with 0000 as the pin code, change it. Same with defaults such as password, admin, guest etc

3. Avoid something personally related to you – name of your fluffy cat, your home phone number, license plate, wedding anniversary….

4. Rule of thumb, don’t mix your name ANYWHERE into your password

5. We know it’s nice and quick to type but avoid the obvious keyboard combinations – qwerty, fred, asdfgh etc.

6. If allowed and if you have a terrible memory for long character strings of numbers, letters, uppercase and lowercase, choose 3-5 random words and string them together such as ducklongskaterobot

7. Avoiding using something your friends or workmates know you particularly like or dislike

If you’re having trouble remembering your newly created password, try an after-the-fact mnemonic – it doesn’t have to be sensible, just memorable. For example to remember dlsrw12h perhaps use the mnemonic ‘Dianne loves skiing rabbits wearing 12 hats’

And lastly, if you’ve recently been asked to make one of your passwords more secure – don’t just leave it at that password, think to all of your passwords and apply the same logic of making your password more secure.


Mac Pro Resurrection 2013

Jul 9, 2013
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At the WorldWide Developers Conference (WWDC) this year, Apple gave a us a sneak peek of the next generation Mac Pro to replace the sorely outdated version we currently have. We were treated to a presentation on the new internals of the machine and its stunning redesign. Rather than the huge aluminium cased computer – the new Mac Pro will be a small cylinder not much bigger than your kitchen jug. Inside that small form factor is an absolute powerhouse – an order of magnitude quicker than the most powerful iMacs we use today. The high end production Mac is on its way back.

While iMacs give us a great all-in-one solution today, into the future as software gives us more capabilities we will have many users in a design studio who’ll require more performance and expandability. Whilst the final specifications of the new Mac Pro are not yet set in concrete, what we’ve been told thus far is very impressive.


New operating systems

WWDC also gave us insight into the next generation of operating systems. OSX 10.9 “Mavericks” is an incremental improvement over 10.8 Mountain Lion which really focuses on getting the multi-screen experience right (finally) with a whole host of improvements and technology for software developers to deliver us some great software products.

iOS 7 is a redesign of the iOS operating system for Apple’s iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and AppleTV. This has had the most work done to it and steps up the game in the world of mobile operating systems. iOS 6 was a workable release, but didn’t offer anything too groundbreaking to users of iOS 5. There’s been much talk about iOS 7 in forums and twitter but as always, judging a beta version of an operating system is a bit premature. We expect to see these two out by October this year.

MacBook Air

What was on offer and out now is a revision of the MacBook Air. The MacBook Air will be remembered as one of the great Mac laptops. It changed the expectation of what a highly portable laptop should be, and thankfully, killed the netbook. This revision gives us a new generation processor from intel which is even more energy efficient than before – while still being faster. Battery life for the 13″ MacBook Air is quoted by Apple as lasting up to 12 hours on a single charge. Independent testing has found this to be incorrect – they are getting 13 to 14 hours! An entire day without recharging. Nice. Other items improved include faster networking, faster SSDs and faster graphics.

The MacBook Air is available now and comes in a 11″ or 13″ screen with multiple storage options. Talk to your DA account manager for more information about how this could work in your business.


What’s New in Adobe Creative Cloud for Designers

Jul 4, 2013
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Take a quick look at what is new in Adobe Creative Cloud, featuring Photoshop CC, Illustrator CC, and InDesign CC. There’s a huge library of in-depth video tutorials at Adobe TV.