Contact Sheet for CS5

Greetings fellow thrill-seekers!

Today I can finally announce a Contact Sheet for InDesign script for CS5!

There are a couple of new features you’re going to love (I hope). First is the addition of Bridge ratings to the caption feature. You can now show your Bridge ratings (0-4 stars and in color) in your Contact Sheet captions.

The second one is really cool. The biggest limitation of the CS2, 3, and 4 scripts was that the script always laid out all pages in the same grid of images. Always. Nothing you could do about it.

Now you can create a “custom” template, placing your own image rectangles and caption frames on master pages/spreads. You select one master spread to be the “first page” spread. You can select a second master spread to be applied to all pages after the first.

This allows you to put logos, splashes, whatever on your first page, as well as including a few images. Then, pages 2 through whatever will use a second page design, presumably one that’s more image dense.

Better yet, I’ve created an InDesign extension that helps you make custom templates, and that’s included in the script distribution.

Here’s a video of the new features and how to use them:

The script hasn’t been added to store yet, but they’ll be up there as soon as I remember how to do it!

Enjoy the CS5 version and the new features


Add comment July 8th, 2010

Back in the saddle again!

Just wrapping up at Adobe’s Developer Summit in Seattle. Twas a great event, and I very much enjoyed meeting so many of the people I’ve been corresponding with over the years.

Now that CS5 is out I can finally post about what I’ve been working on since joining Adobe last year.

I’ve been with Developer Technologies working on the latest Creative Suite extensibility tools, specifically Creative Suite Extension Builder and the Creative Suite ActionScript SDK.

With these tools Adobe has raised the bar in terms of what you can do, and at the same time lowered the barriers to entry for suite extension development.

Over time I’ll be making regular posts, showing off some code and extensions, and trying to expound on what makes this move so incredibly powerful.

In a nutshell, by enabling Flash extensions to the Creative Suite, the capabilities of the Flash platform have been added to the tool bag in one fell swoop.

Do you need to connect to a web service? No problem. Well, not just no problem – point Flash Builder at the WSDL and in 30 seconds you have a complete code library including strongly typed AS classes to contain your server side data in 30 seconds or less. What used to take a long, long, looooonnnnnggg time, now takes a minute.

Check out the new tools at, the SDK is free, you’ll need Flash Builder (trial is fine). We also have a tool for developers that automates much of the process, Creative Suite Extension Builder. That product is free to developer program members. The developer program is well worth it! Both programs include Flash Builder, which pays for the cheaper program by itself.

You need to check this technology out. What it can do for you will blow you away.

Add comment May 7th, 2010

eCommerce thing is working again

I decided to just go with simple. Searching through the hosting environment details for a Yahoo hosted site is a little like trying to find a needle in a haystack.

When I managed to track the installed versions of things down, it turned out that there really isn’t a slick WordPress shopping cart that will work with the stuff I’ve got.

I took the easy way out. PayPal. You don’t need a PayPal account (but it’s not a bad idea regardless), and the site now uses PayPal’s shopping cart directly.

Simple. Easy. But (one t) ugly.

Add comment November 1st, 2009

eCommerce part of the site is down hard

Yahoo Hosting did me a favor and “upgraded” the Wordpress installation. Everything broke. The eCommerce module? Dead… Free stuff page? Gone. About Page? Missing in Action.

Now that’s what I call service.

Anyway, I’ve gotten some of it all back up (by building the pages by hand). The eCommerce module is just plain broken. WIth the demands on my time this week, I won’t be able to fix it until next weekend (like Haloween). Until then, email me, we can set up a PayPal payment or something. I should have things back by next week at the latest.

Thank you for understanding, and thank you, Yahoo for “helping”.

Add comment October 25th, 2009

Yet Another Geek Alert

If you are an InDesign scripter, you may find this interesting.

When I create scripted extensions, I always break things up into files that make things manageable. A large project for me might contain 200 script files. Rather than try to stuff it all into a single script for delivery, I came up with a template that I use for just about all my InDesign scripting projects that makes this about as easy as it can be. This concept really only applies when a script will reside in a persistent (named) scripting engine and adds menus to the InDesign menu bar and/or context menu.

I have made the template available in the Free Stuff page of this site, so go ahead and download it.

When you unzip it, it creates a folder. Inside that folder is “startup scripts” that contains one jsx, “loader.jsx”. That file loads the entire extension. It recursively looks through all the folders and loads the entire project into the named scripting engine for you.

There’s a “resources” folder. It contains things, like images, that are not jsx files. The loader script does not load anything in the resources folder. As another freebie, I put some ESTK extensions in this folder. There’s a PDF that describes how to install and use them. One of those extensions does a batch conversion to jsxbin. It places all of the scripts into a “bin” folder except those in the “startup scripts” and “jsx” folder. The loader script that creates the names engine can not be a jsxbin. Files in the jsx folder are those script files which should not be converted to jsxbin (basically any class definition that might be serialized and deserialized using toSource()).

When you convert a project to binary for delivery, the loader script contains a flag, “loadBinary”. If you set that flag to “true”, it will load the binary files. You then remove the jsx’s to hide your source code, and yer’ done.

Just to be clear – use the tempate (it has examples of menu creation, context menu creation, and some handy libraries), complete and test the project, convert it to binary (one step), remove the jsx files (other than those in the jsx folder), set the loader’s loadBinary to “true”, and you are ready to ship projects that are arbitrarily huge.


Add comment August 3rd, 2009

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