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Panpa Bulletin : Oct-Nov-December 2007
30 PANPA Bulletin October-November-December 2007 Corrupted Preference les can cause trauma in Adobe applications if you don't know how to treat them, writes Kevin Slimp In my business, nothing is more embar- rassing than having a computer glitch in front of an audience. Fortunately, that hadn't happened to me in a long time. Well, not until recently. In October, I was speaking to a group in Little Rock, Arkansas. The morning session was an Introduction to InDesign class. During the afternoon, we covered Photoshop Tips & Tricks. It's always a great feeling to have a session fill to capacity. Not only did this one fill, but the press associa- tion located a larger facility, which allowed us to involve even more students. The InDesign class was going great until something strange happened. Just when we were about to break for lunch, I men- tioned that users could change the number of columns in a text frame by clicking on a box in the Character palette. Imagine my surprise when I went to click on the box and it wasn't there. The group was nice and believed me --- or pretended to believe me --- when I told them the box should be there. However, I was pretty embarrassed. I hadn't had a snafu like that in class in a long time. Then came the afternoon. The Photoshop lesson was going swim- mingly. Then, toward the end of the class, I decided to show the group how to use the Bridge to do all kind of handy things like creating web photo albums and merging photos. Well, I wanted to show them. However, when I selected a few photos and went to click on the Tools menu, the tools were missing in the Bridge. I thought possibly the tools had been moved in the CS3 version and I had forgotten, but I hadn't had this problem in previous classes. Finally, I opened the CS2 version of the Bridge and showed the class how the tools worked from there. But I couldn't help feel- ing like I should have stayed in bed. When someone e-mails me with strange problems like these, it's normal procedure to have them create new preferences for the offending application. In my embarrassment in front of the audience, I didn't take a minute to do this. On the flight home, I decided to take my own advice. I trashed the Photoshop, Bridge and InDesign preferences and viola, my problems were solved. Over the years, it has been my experi- ence that Photoshop preferences, more than others, become corrupt. The Preferences file can become cor- rupted, leading to all sorts of strange behaviour. If you delete the file, it forces Photoshop to create a replacement file the next time it opens. Without a Preferences file, Photoshop uses its original defaults. How do you know that the preferences have become corrupt in an application? A few clues include: - tools that don't work - crashes - missing icons in the toolbox or items in a menu - unusual colours in windows and inter- faces Most Mac users have become acquaint- ed with the process of deleting offending preference files. PC users, on the other hand, had to know enough to locate invisible files. To simplify the process, Adobe has cre- ated a keyboard shortcut that can be used to trash and recreate preferences upon starting Photoshop. To replace the Photoshop Preferences file, close Photoshop and then, holding down Alt+Ctrl+Shift (Windows) or Cmd+Option+Shift (Macintosh), restart Photoshop. You will be asked if you want to replace the preferences. Photoshop will delete the Preferences file and revert to the default settings. So now you know. If you're at a conference or class where my computer starts acting strange, slip up to me during a break and quietly remind me to check my preferences. Colour Problems in Quark PDF Files This month's question comes from Jeri in Indiana: "Since changing our workflow to print to an imagesetter, we've notice that our photos look muddy. "We're sending pages from Quark 6.52. Do you have any suggestions for us? "Could there be settings in the image set- ter that need to be changed, or could it be a Quark or Photoshop issue?" Answer: The most likely cause of your problem lies in Photoshop. While there are settings in Quark (and your imagesetter) that affect photo quality, I'm guessing the root of your problem is in your Photoshop Colour Settings. CONNECT Kevin Slimp, Institute of Newspaper Technology. www.kevinslimp.com Face-saving shortcut is my Preference software matters Who would have thought that preferences could cause so many problems. Fortunately, these problems are usually easy to x.
August September 2007