InDesign Plug-Ins From Rorohiko, Ltd. Reviewed at CDPUG

August 29, 2009

By Janet Dodrill

At the August general meeting at Cleveland Digital Publishing Users Group (CDPUG), I reviewed four plug-ins by manufacturer Rorohiko, Ltd., each compatible with Mac or Windows, for InDesign versions CS, CS2, CS3, and CS4, and all downloadable and FREE.

Image Library Loader creates an image library within an InDesign document from images residing within the same folder as your file, or imported from a designated folder. The library stays open even after the document is closed, and automatically opens after InDesign is closed and relaunched. It works with all standard image file formats that I tested including .eps, .ai, .psd, .pdf, .jpg, and .tif. You can drag any image out of the floating library palette onto your document again and again.

Image Horn makes resizing images easy. Even though most of its functions are now built-in to InDesign, my favorite function is ‘Dynamic Fit Proportionately’ which allows the user to rescale an image in proportion by clicking on any one corner of the image and dragging. There is no need to hold down the shift key while dragging to keep the image in proportion.

Text Exporter seamlessly pulls all text from any InDesign document with multiple text boxes, and combines the text into one file, either .txt, .rtf, or a tagged InDesign file. The horizontal and vertical export settings can be experimented with for results to best replicate the flow of your original document, either letter or newspaper column styles. The exporter follows all linked text to a box, presiding over other separate text boxes that come after it on a page. There are many export settings for flexibility.

Place and Scale allows for images of different resolutions to all conform to a predetermined resolution in an InDesign document. I imported the same image at three resolutions (72 ppi, 150 ppi, and 300 ppi) and they all complied to the resolution I entered for page, which will apparently be retained during output.

All the above plug-ins must run in conjunction with APID (Active Page Item Development) Tool Assistant engine which is built and runs using JavaScript technology. Also a free download, after installed it runs in demo mode for 20 days, and is available for purchase for $25. After it expires, it still runs in unlicensed mode without payment but payment is encouraged.

These plug-ins were fun and useful. They were easily installed by dragging them into my InDesign Plug-Ins folder. It is a good idea to create a new folder to put them in and others, and name it ‘Third Party Plug-Ins’.

There are also many plug-ins available online. When you launch InDesign a dialog box comes up and there is section called ‘Community’, and then ‘InDesign Plug-Ins’ which will take you to an Adobe site with multiple manufacturers and links with plug-ins descriptions. Others can be found at indesignsecrets.com/free, or many other places online.

PatternMaker by Teacup software is another InDesign plug-in that I strongly like but wasn’t able to review.

A couple of these plug-ins are on Lynda.com’s Ten Free Must-Have InDesign Plug-Ins.

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Pre-High School and Already at 100 Percent College Bound Enrollment

August 13, 2009

By Janet Dodrill

What is the value of a college education? At Entrepreneurship Preparatory School (E Prep), a recently-opened (2006) public charter school in urban Cleveland, Ohio, it is their mission to have each of its students one day graduate from college. Teachers strategically instill a sense of duty while nurturing high expectations among pupils in its structured program. Respect, Responsibility, Self-Discipline, Courage, Perseverance are the school’s keys to success.

The middle school accommodates grades 6 through 8, and graduating 8th graders are considered graduates by the year they will potentially graduate from college. Classroom doors display themes decorated by teachers of their own college alma maters. Entrepreneurship is also emphasized in the curriculum, as students write business plans which they share with peers in structured settings. Additionally test scores rate high at state levels in multiple categories.

Students choose E Prep School as a free option through the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, which includes children from surrounding Northeast Ohio suburbs. Admissions are determined by a lottery system. Preparatory School (Village Prep) has just been developed and is available for Kindergartners, soon offering programming through the 5th grade. These schools are in the network of the Zealous Schools.

For additional information contact the school’s Admissions office at 216-456-2082 or visit the web site at www.eprepschool.org.


Have You Been Googled or Googled It?

August 1, 2009

By Janet Dodrill

When I first heard of the search engine Google in 2000 I thought it had a funny name, and was reluctant to use anything other than reliable Yahoo!. Now it is a daily tool I use as a real-time help desk for any inquiry I have.

I have met people at professional events and then the next time we connected they have said, “I Googled you!”, which really meant they searched for information about me. What may have sounded a bit like stalking years ago, is now a practical and almost necessary means of research about any individual, business, event, activity, article, or topic of today. Most of the time I find valuable information that increases or enhances my knowledge.

When confronted with a question which I may not have the best answer, or any answer to, the first thing I do or say is to “Google it”.