11 June 2006

[design] Fabulous Freebies for InDesign and Blogging

If you design and blog, there are two sources you need to know about.

Rorohiko Ltd for spiffy Indy plugins

The first, and tattoo this on a body part if you have to, is a NZ concern called Rorohiko, Ltd. These people make the niftiest InDesign plugins this side of Slendro, and no kidding there.

Rorohiko, which means "computer" in Maori, means "lightning brain" (hiko=brain, roro=lightning), and they have lightning skills too. They originated the Sudoku InDesign plugin (which is free) and now they amaze with the Lightning Brain Story Parker, which allows you to shuffle text and picture frames off to the side and then snap them, precisely, right back to where you had them before. Saving this one step can only but lubricate the ol' workflow.

Another amazing thing they're doing is a beta test version of something you'll love if you don't like Bridge or don't have the Creative Suite; Image Library Loader. This installs a new item on your menu bar; with a document open you pull this down and get the dialog that allows you to specify a directory to load images from. Do so, and you get a small display that looks like an Indy palette that has all the images displayed–with hardly the overhead of the Bridge (which not even I need open all the time).

Image Library Loader is in beta; go to this link to get it.

One important thing to know about these is that Rorohiko calles them scripted plugins. They're scripts that act like plugins, but before you can use them you have to install the Active Page Item Runtime plugin; this allows Indy to interpret the others.

Rorohiko is mad brilliant, and I am in awe of thier considerable skillz. Bookmark'em, get the free goodies (not just free plugins but they have free PDF Sudoku puzzle books and other cool stuff) and then go back for the pay stuff.

Magical Sheep, the Magic Bookmarklet

I must say, I'm impressed by the innovation of the bookmarklet.

I'm sure that many of you already know what those are; I just found out about them. Apparently what you do, is in your bookmark, instead of having the URL where the URL is supposed to go, you put javascript. It lives in your bookmarks bar just like a hyperlink, except when you click it, the script runs and works its mojo.

At the end of this link is a bookmarklet/favelet archive by Improbulus, the British author of a blog called "A Consuming Experience". The archive at current has four freebies, and if you like tagging but are at the moment married to Blogger you'll want the Technorati Tag Magic Sheep Bookmarklet. It's the first item on the list.

Being identical in appearance to a hyperlink (as far as the browser is concerned), installing it couldn't be simpler: look for the link that reads "Technorati Magical Sheep Bookmarklet -- Baaaaaaaa!!" and drag it to your bookmark bar. That's all there is to it! After that, just click the link, type your tag terms in the input box separated by commas, and in a split second it coughs back another sheet with the whole HTML sequence autoselected for copying and pasting.

Since I've decided to tag my posts, this has made it a breeze. And, as an added bonus, it's auto-rapped in a class ("technoratitags") so that you can style it with CSS. And multiple term tags? It puts in the plus-sign for you!

So what are you waiting for? Grok these!

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1 comment:

Fabio has something to say said...

I stumbled across your blog on a search for "fabulous blogs"...now I know why you are considered fabulous! It looks like we have more in common than blogging!