Fix Text Formatting Mistakes with Clean Text and Text Cleaner

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Every designer receives text that needs cleaning up, whether it’s from a client or from an email or website. Here are two handy, time-tested solutions:

Apimac’s Clean Text ($20) does three handy things:

• It strips formatting from text you copy to your Mac’s Clipboard, so that the copied text takes on the formatting of the text you’re pasting it into.

• It cleans up the extra gunk (extra spaces, tabs, returns, >s, indents, etc.) from email and Web pages.

• It can optionally convert “dumb” text to “smart” text and vice-versa — straight quotes to curly quotes, ALL CAPS to lowercase or Word Case, three dots to an ellipsis, multiple spaces to a Tab, Windows to Mac encoding, ligature conversion, etc.

MacLab’s Text Cleaner ($79), is similar, but it has a unique feature: it fixes text directly inside a QuarkXPress or InDesign document — without losing the text’s formatting.

Jay Nelson is the editorial director of PlanetQuark.com, and the editor and publisher of Design Tools Monthly. He’s also the author of the QuarkXPress 8 and QuarkXPress 7 training titles at Lynda.com, as well as the training videos Quark includes in the box with QuarkXPress 7 . In addition, Jay writes regularly for Macworld and Photoshop User magazines and speaks at industry events.

AutoPrice: Link a Database to QuarkXPress or InDesign

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AutoPrice, from Meadows Information Systems, is available as either an XTension for QuarkXPress or a plug-in for InDesign.

AutoPrice links text and graphics in a database to placeholders in a QuarkXPress or InDesign document. You can use it to automatically update prices or descriptions in catalogs, create phone directories, time tables, and menus, including product shots, bar codes, and other graphics.

Their optional AutoPrice Exporter Pro can also export data from a QuarkXPress or InDesign document into a database file.

AutoPrice costs $3,495 for the first QuarkXPress user, $2,995 for the first InDesign user, then pricing varies. It supports the latest versions of both applications, as well as earlier versions.

Jay Nelson is the editorial director of PlanetQuark.com, and the editor and publisher of Design Tools Monthly. He’s also the author of the QuarkXPress 8 and QuarkXPress 7 training titles at Lynda.com, as well as the training videos Quark includes in the box with QuarkXPress 7 . In addition, Jay writes regularly for Macworld and Photoshop User magazines and speaks at industry events.

How To Combine Book Chapters To Export One PDF or E-book

This question came up today:

“I created a book in QuarkXPress, using separate documents for each chapter and connecting them with the Book feature. I created a Table of Contents for the whole book and built that TOC in the Master Chapter. How can I export a whole book as one PDF and have a TOC that is hyperlinked to the different chapters?

Currently, when I export as PDF it only includes the current Layout. When I print from the Book feature, and save as PDF, it exports only the Master document as a PDF.”

The solution is simple, if annoying:

You have to combine your documents into one Layout in QuarkXPress, then export to PDF. That’s the only way you’ll keep your hyperlinks.

The good news it’s a simple thing to do: just open your main document and all the chapter documents. Change your view to Thumbnails (View> Thumbnails). Select all the pages in each chapter and drag them onto the end of your main document. It shouldn’t take but a few minutes.

This technique also works for combining chapters before generating an EPUB book or iPad app.

Jay Nelson is the editorial director of PlanetQuark.com, and the editor and publisher of Design Tools Monthly. He’s also the author of the QuarkXPress 8 and QuarkXPress 7 training titles at Lynda.com, as well as the training videos Quark includes in the box with QuarkXPress 7 . In addition, Jay writes regularly for Macworld and Photoshop User magazines and speaks at industry events.

BigPicture: the Best Picture Manager

Badia Software’s BigPicture ($99) is an XTension for QuarkXPress 9/8/7/6/5/4 or a plug-in for InDesign CS5/4/3 that lists all the pictures in a project, and shows all the vital information about them (color model, format, file size, effective resolution, compression, scaling, angle, date modified, fonts, colors, etc.).

In addition, BigPicture can select all the pictures in a document that match specific criteria (for example, all RGB images). Its interface shows image thumbnails and the location of each picture in the document as well as its location on your hard drive (you can click to reveal it in the Finder). You can save a report of all this info as well.

You can directly edit a picture using any appropriate application, and BigPicture will update the picture in the layout as soon as you save the image. You can rename a picture file from within BigPicture, and BigPicture updates the link. (You can even batch-rename pictures using logical operators.)

You can search for missing pictures and have BigPicture automatically link to files it finds, update all modified pictures in one step, unlink all pictures, relink pictures in a different folder (great for swapping high-res and low-res pictures), and replace any picture while maintaining original transformations such as scaling and cropping.

Jay Nelson is the editorial director of PlanetQuark.com, and the editor and publisher of Design Tools Monthly. He’s also the author of the QuarkXPress 8 and QuarkXPress 7 training titles at Lynda.com, as well as the training videos Quark includes in the box with QuarkXPress 7 . In addition, Jay writes regularly for Macworld and Photoshop User magazines and speaks at industry events.

Page Director Ad Layout System Updated for QuarkXPress 8.5

Managing Editor Inc. develops high-powered software for the publishing industry, including Page Director, Ad Layout System, AdForce, Classified Layout System and ClassForce.

They also make XTensions that integrate with these products, and have updated them to work with QuarkXPress 8.5 as well as 8, 7 and 6.5.

FiFi XT quickly restores file path information for graphic and ad files after the ad map has been opened in QuarkXPress, eliminating the need to manually link any remaining empty ad boxes to their appropriate digital files.

Split & Folio XT divides a QuarkXPress dummy into smaller units to distribute to multiple users. The new files retain the properties of the original, including attributes inherited from the ad layout software such as sections, page numbers, page folio characteristics and file links. Users can then easily distribute pagination assignments without losing any vital layout information.

For further information and pricing, visit Managing Editor’s website at http://www.maned.com.

Jay Nelson is the editorial director of PlanetQuark.com, and the editor and publisher of Design Tools Monthly. He’s also the author of the QuarkXPress 8 and QuarkXPress 7 training titles at Lynda.com, as well as the training videos Quark includes in the box with QuarkXPress 7 . In addition, Jay writes regularly for Macworld and Photoshop User magazines and speaks at industry events.