Adobe’s learning search has not been the greatest. We’ve wanted to fix it for a really long time and we’re really excited about our new redesign of tutorial search.
There are almost 1000 Creative Cloud app tutorials on Adobe.com, but they’re often too hard to find. This summer, the Learn team built a totally new tutorial search experience to help you get what you need faster. It just went live yesterday.
Here are some of the improvements:
Search is now available on every tutorial page.
Search results are totally redesigned to help you decide which tutorial works the best for you. On the results page you’ll find a whole new look.
Each search result includes:
tutorial type: video, text, hands-on, game
duration: length of the tutorial or time to complete a hands-on project
Need to design an interactive form that contains check boxes, text fields, radio buttons, lists, etc? This tutorial is for you! Michael Jarrott, a digital media intern here at Adobe, has created a very cool tutorial that teaches how to make interactive pdf forms using InDesign CS6. This clever tutorial is actually an InDesign document that walks you through the process of creating these basic items for your form:
Wouldn’t it be nice to have a list of Adobe tutorials that you could scan through quickly? Wish you didn’t have to wade through search results full of irrelevant content? What you need is a comprehensive tutorial list! Adobe has created just the list for you. They’ve got lists of all the tutorials (both video and text) that live on Adobe.com for 11 different products. The lists contain tutorials for multiple versions of the products, with the most recent tutorials on the top. You can sign up for an RSS feed to find out when new tutorials are added to the list.
Check out these lists for some really great tutorials (including CS5):
Because this is beta Help, some features of Help are not yet active, such as links to video tutorials and other Help documents. When CS4 ships, all features of Help will work properly. The quality of search results will improve as these new pages are crawled by Google – so click lots of links!
Here is more info about the new Adobe Community Help system—one of the best new features of CS4!
Did you know that there are more than 100 keyboard shortcuts in Photoshop? I’m not sure what the exact count is but it is an overwhelming amount. This fact has inspired my friend Deke McClelland to produce a short video called, “101 Photoshop Tips in 5 minutes.” He plays fast and loose with the math—he shows more than 101 shortcuts and the video is actually 8:33 minutes long—but who cares? It’s fun and funny, even if the music is truly awful (sorry Deke). I’ll bet you learn at least one new keyboard shortcut when you watch this.
For more learning fun from some other funny guys, check out, “Stop Stupid PDF Syndrome.” Tim Cole and Rufus Deuchler, both InDesign experts and evangelists at Adobe, have created a “public service announcement” style video to teach people how NOT to create pdfs. It’s an excellent and entertaining way to teach people how to avoid creating pdf files that are device-dependent. These files result in lower quality output and can create serious color management problems. For more InDesign insight and tips, check out Tim’s InDesign blog.
I’m at the CS3 Conference in Chicago right now and I just had to write about the session I attended this morning. It was a basic introduction to using XML and InDesign by James Maivald. It was excellent! I had to force myself to go to this session because there is something about acronyms like XML, HTML, and CSS that makes me go cross-eyed and running for the comfort of my sketchbook and pencils. The nice thing is that James is a designer and he presented the material from a designer’s point of view. He has just written a book about how to use XML and InDesign together. He’s also got a nice little website called Cooking with XML which has some good simple overviews and explanations. It also has a nifty definitions page for those of us who can’t keep our acronyms straight. His book looks to be an invaluable training resource for designers called, “A Designer’s Guide to Adobe InDesign and XML.” It looks like it will be published in just a few weeks by Peachpit Press.
Can’t wait for the book to be published for your XML info? Try watching this video on using XML with Dreamweaver. Or check out the tutorials and other XML information on the Adobe Design Center. Anne-Marie Concepción has an XML tutorial worth trying out even though it was written for InDesign CS2. Be not afraid designers, XML may be just the ticket for your workflow productivity!
Somebody actually had the idea to pit InDesign’s image editing features against those in Photoshop. Go figure. I guess it makes sense because it really is easier to stay in one application—especially if you need to do something fairly simple. That somebody is one Mike McHugh, and the title of his article is InDesign vs. Photoshop Smackdown: Who Will Be the Winner? It’s on the Peachpit website.
If you haven’t explored that site yet, you should. They have loads of free tutorials and videos. A good place to start is the Reference Guides page. There you’ll find a guide for Photoshop, Flash, Web Design, and Macintosh. These guides are loaded with great instructional materials—videos, articles, and text tutorials. Some of them are for older versions of the software, but that isn’t so bad. Some things don’t change from version to version, and not everybody upgrades right away. I wonder why they don’t have one for Design, Illustration, Illustrator, InDesign, and Acrobat—maybe those are in the works?
Okay, so what did I learn from the InDesign vs. Photoshop Smackdown? I learned that InDesign gives you a much better contact sheet than Photoshop. Mike’s instructions on page 6 of his article have you create your contact sheets starting in Bridge. You can do this for both InDesign and Photoshop. Look for yourself at my results above. The InDesign result is neat, orderly, and legible. Photoshop results are fine but not as nice as InDesign. I started with really long file names which got truncated in Photoshop. InDesign did not cut them off. Also, I can change fonts and layouts in InDesign much easier. I’d say that InDesign definitely wins Round 6!
In Ted Padova’s Acrobat Community Blog entry called, “Working with tables”, Ted details an effective workflow for those designers who create forms for their clients. Starting in Excel, he moves you to InDesign CS3 and then into Acrobat 8. He discusses how to use some of the great new features in InDesign CS3 to create and modify forms and tables. One of my favorite InDesign features for designing tables is the ability to modify the Excel file data from within InDesign. Just double-click on the xls file in the Links palette and you can edit the data. Once you save the file, it will update in your InDesign table. Very cool! Anne Marie Concepcion has a couple of really nice videos on how to use the table creation features in CS3. Start with “Creating and formatting tables”, then look at “Adding headers and footers to tables”, and “Placing images in tables” and “Using table styles.”