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Pros: Some nice editing tools, good local filtering and rating, cool journal facility.

Cons: Metadata is not standard IPTC; edits have limited latitude; iOS sandboxing makes for complex multi-app workflow.


Score: 7.5/10


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Now that the CS5.5 version of InDesign is available for sale, applications that interact with InDesign are updating, as well. One of those is Recosoft's PDF2ID, which converts PDF files to documents that InDesign can open and edit.
In addition to supporting InDesign CS5.5, the updated PDF2ID also improves font mapping and app stability. PDF2ID Standard/Professional v3.0.1 is a free update for licensed owners of PDF2ID v3.0.
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63
AIGA members can look forward to six free webinars as part of a series called "Breakthroughs: Where Inspiration and Technology Meet." The series is offered in conjunction with Adobe, so not surprisingly, there's a heavy focus on how technology is used in today's design studios.
The webinars begin in May and run through November 2011:
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62

Welcome to the first installment of my new monthly column, “Around the World in ePublishing with Pariah Burke.” Each month we’ll look at a different digital publication—sometimes an ebook, sometimes an e-textbook, sometimes a digital magazine or catalog. With each publication we’ll examine the techniques and technologies used, the good and bad choices the designer and publisher made, and sometimes even how to incorporate the same features and effects into your own publications.


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To celebrate the first UK retrospective of work by Dutch typographer and graphic designer Wim Crouwel, the Design Museum has commissioned an app for the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Called crouwelclock, it features Wim-worthy numbers and spoken messages from Crouwel himself as the alarm sounds.
Crouwelclock costs $.99 (£0.59) and is available on Apple's App Store. You'll need iOS 4.0 or later to run the app.

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52
UI Sketcher from Box UK isn't just another sketching app for the iPad. It's based on principles followed by user interface experts and includes tools to help you quickly capture your initial thoughts in sketches, then develop those ideas into UI mock-ups you can share with colleagues and clients.
UI Sketcher's pen palette, which you summon with a three-finger tap on the iPad, holds five drawing tools:

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Article Slider image: Rating: 

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Body: 

Pros: Offers users the ability to find, buy, and embed missing fonts; much easier editing of page items


Cons: Pricey for an average designer


Rating: 9/10


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PitStop Pro 12 is a significant upgrade to this all-purpose (and all-powerful!) tool for preflighting and editing PDF files. It operates as a plug-in to Adobe Acrobat Standard or Pro, version 8 and higher. This review focuses on the new features in version 12, so for in-depth information on everything PitStop Pro can do, please see my previous review of PitStop Pro 11.


Enfocus, the developers of PitStop Pro, identified several areas that challenged users of previous versions and solved them, including:


• Missing fonts


• Flattening of transparency


• Editing images and gradients


• Identifying varnish separations


• Aligning objects


• Editing multiple similar objects at once


• Ink usage


• White objects that overprint


The biggest “wow” feature in PitStop 12 is that Enfocus has teamed with Monotype to automatically supply fonts that PitStop identifies as missing. For just $1.49 per font, per document, PitStop can instantly supply and embed the missing font into the PDF. (Currently, 30,000+ fonts are available in Monotype’s “Baseline” system, a subset of the 150,000 fonts in Monotype’s collection that includes Linotype, ITC, Bitstream and Ascender fonts.)


While this is a great first step toward making all fonts available to PitStop and your PDFs, the reality is that many (most?) creative layouts use fonts that are not available from those collections. If you’re lucky and all the missing fonts are available, one click will buy them and embed them into the PDF. Thankfully, PitStop shows you a preview of your PDF with the new fonts in use, so you can check for line endings and other possible text issues before continuing. If you don’t like what you see, or one or more fonts aren’t available from Monotype, then you can cancel and go get the missing font from another source. (As in previous versions, if the fonts are already active on your computer, PitStop can embed them for you without requiring a purchase.)


 


PitStop Pro 12 tells you which missing fonts it can supply, and which ones it can’t. When you click on a font, it highlights it in pink in the preview.


Still, this is a tremendously valuable step forward for PDF processing, especially for files from “average” business users who don’t use fonts from a wide variety of sources. You can try out the feature for yourself by installing the Test Drive version of PitStop — it requires a free account at Monotype, so you’ll also need to set that up from within PitStop. When I tested it on my documents it couldn’t supply fonts from Adobe, which could be a dealbreaker for some users.


PitStop’s other new features are smaller, but just as important for specific cases. For example, PitStop 12 can now report on ink usage, and the more advanced PitStop Server can even export that data. This can be helpful for large organizations who need to track how much ink is being used, and for planning their ink purchases. It can also identify fonts by lowercase x-height, which is necessary for European Union Regulation No. 1169/2011 requiring a minimum x-height for nutrition declaration on food packaging.


You can now adjust images using Photoshop-like curves, which lets you change contrast or remove a color cast (per channel or overall). You can also adjust brightness and contrast, or apply unsharp mask to enhance the edges of objects in the image — and you can apply these adjustments to multiple images at the same time.





PitStop’s Action Lists now include choices to add brightness or contrast, and to blur or sharpen the image. If an object has a troublesome gradient fill, you can edit the gradient’s colors, color mode, start/end points and rotation, or even replace it with a new one.


 


There’s also a new tool to align objects to each other or to the page, or to distribute the space between them. 


 


If the PDF includes spot varnishes, you can move them to a new PDF layer so that anyone with the free Adobe Reader can see where they are. 


 


White overprinting objects are now identified and can be changed to knock out items beneath them. You can flatten layers to the current view, and flatten Form Fields to become printable content. And the Server version of PitStop 12 now uses Adobe’s flattening engine, which makes the processing of transparency effects more predictable.


Editing page items is a bit easier and a lot more powerful. You can now right-click multiple page items to group them, which is handy when moving objects — especially in flattened PDFs, which can have a surprisingly large number of objects. You can now create separate layers (called Optional Content Groups or OCGs) for specific types of elements (text, images, graphics, and shading). This can help when editing items because you can quickly hide the ones that aren’t relevant.



Buying Advice

If you deal with a high volume of PDF files, PitStop Pro 12 can quickly repay its cost. Tracking down missing fonts is a time-consuming (and often thankless) job, so the new Purchase Missing Fonts feature may be enough to justify the upgrade. In fact, any one of the new timesaving features could fully justify the expense — to determine that for yourself, revisit the bulleted list at the beginning of this review.


System Requirements


Adobe Acrobat 8–XI Standard or Pro 


Windows


Microsoft Windows XP SP2 Professional or Home Edition 


Microsoft Windows 7, Home Premium, Business or Ultimate Edition 


(32-bit and 64-bit, running in 32-bit mode) Microsoft Windows 8, (32-bit and 64-bit running in 32-bit mode) 


Macintosh


Mac OS X 10.6, 10.7 and 10.8


Hardware requirements

Mac: Intel processor, 2 GB RAM, 2 GB hard disk space


Windows: 2GB Ram, 1GB hard disk space


Price

$799 (upgrades: $219 from version 11; $339 from version 10)



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Enfocus Enhances Functionality Provided for PitStop Server, PitStop Professional and Neo

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Enfocus PitStop Connect Guarantees Perfect PDFs

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Enfocus is pleased to announce the commercial release of PitStop Connect, a brand new tool that enables printers and publishers to create Connectors (small desktop tools, or "... Read More




Enfocus PitStop Professional 7.2 Released; Supports Windows Vista

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Review: Enfocus PitStop Professional 7

PitStop is one of my bread-and-butter programs -- I use it every day and couldn't handle my workload without it. This program not only preflights Acrobat PDFs, but it lets you adjust a wide range of... Read More










46
Pantone has taken the wraps off of a nylon brights collection for Pantone Fashion + Home. The $99.95 collection includes 21 fluorescent shades in a nylon material:

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41

Pros: Puts iPad publishing into the hands of average publishers, with access to dramatic new effects and features.


Cons: Thanks to Apple, submitting an app is a convoluted affair and requires an iOS developer account. There are also two Flash-related bugs that, while they won't apply to every user, will require some people to employ workarounds to fix the bugs' effects.


Rating: 8/10


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37

Pros: Improved develop engine extracts surprising dynamic range out of single images. White balance and noise reduction added to local adjustments. Soft proofing brings more predictable output. Book module much easier than learning a layout program. Map module takes advantage of geotagging. Huge price drop.



Cons: No face recognition. Much larger install than Lightroom 3. Awkward video adjustment process, and slide shows can’t include video. Modular design is sometimes limiting.



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