Save Time Finding Information with a Firefox Quick Search

Like many folks, I rely on the Internet for my primary information gathering on a whole variety of topics. If I want to read a quick general biography of Dolly Parton, I’ll head over to Wikipedia. If I want to see whether to bring an umbrella with me to work in the morning, I’ll pull up And if I want to see what the movie critics are saying about the new movie The Watchmen, I’ll hit up Rotten Tomatoes. These are tasks I do often – if not daily, then almost daily.

Do I Look Like I Have All Day?

The problem with these everyday tasks are how long they take.  I’m a busy person! Using the Wikipedia Dolly Parton search as an example, here’s the steps involved:

  1. Click bookmark for Wikipedia
  2. Wait for Wikipedia page to load
  3. Scan the page to find the search box
  4. Type in the search term I’m looking for (”Dolly Parton”)
  5. Wait for the Dolly Parton page to load

Boo!  Using the Mozilla Firefox Quick Search feature, I can cut this down into:

  1. In the Firefox address bar, type: wiki dolly parton
    Firefox Address Bar - Quick Search
  2. Wait for the Dolly Parton page to load


Read the rest of this article to learn how to create Firefox Quick Searches.


Repairing Heavy Damage by Duplicating Pixel Information

Many times in our images, we find damage that is too intense to replace with the basic healing tools.  When this happens we can sometimes replace these damaged pixels with information from a different image, and occasionally with information from the same image.  In the previous exercise with this image, we repaired the background.  This time, we will see how to repair the damage over the right arm, using the left arm as a basis for our correction.

Use this exercise file to follow along:

Portrait Mid Point

View this video tutorial to see how we can use information in the image to repair it.

Repairing Heavy Damage by Duplicating Pixel Information

Extra Content for Adobe CS4 applications from IU Ware

When installing the CS4 applications available from IUWare, you might have missed some important additional content that is also available.  In this post, we’ll explore what is available in these Extra Content installers, and which items should be considered essential. If you have purchased the disc version of Design Premium, this extra content will be available on the Content disc.

First of all, let’s find out where to get this Extra Content.  It is available from IU Ware at the following address:

NOTE: You should have any CS4 applications you wish you use installed before downloading and installing these files.  Fonts in these packages can be installed without installing CS4 applications.

Here you can download all of the Extra Content that is available. It is separated by program, but we will see shortly, that some of the files inside are duplicated.  First, let’s list what programs have Extra Content available, and what can be downloaded.


Retract an Email in Microsoft Outlook 2007

We’ve all heard email horror stories that make us cringe: the job applicant who hastily sends an email to confirm an important interview but forgets to spell check first; an angry worker who informs his employer that he is quitting his job before he stops to think about the consequences; the employee who inadvertently sends a personal email out to everyone in the office. The list goes on and on.

If you find yourself having nightmares involving email and disaster, there are two things you should know. First of all, Microsoft Outlook 2007 does contain a recall feature that allows you to retract a message after it has been sent. Unfortunately, this feature is far from perfect. It only works if the recipient is on the same Exchange Server as you, and even if you are able to rescind the message before the recipient opens it, there is still a slight chance that they will see part or all of the message before the recall is complete (especially if they have AutoPreview or the Reading Pane enabled).


Create footnotes in InDesign

The request to learn how to do InDesign book and manuscript tasks is on the increase in our workshops. The reason is, more and more scientific publications ask their authors to have copy-ready papers, and InDesign is so much more cooperative than Word when designing columns with graphics.

InDesign DOES have a footnote feature, and it’s easy to use. Here are the pros and cons:

The good: Footnotes and endnotes from your Microsoft Word documents can be imported into your InDesign documents.

The bad: InDesign completely disregards your own Footnote And Endnote numbering options. Instead, it reformats footnote and endnote reference numbering to regular text.

The ugly? Decide for yourself on this one: InDesign can’t convert your text to approved publication styles the way EndNote, a Word and WordPerfect plug-in does, so you’ll have to style them yourself.

As I said, it’s very easy to do. See this excellent tutorial by David Blatner of

Use the Mid and Search Functions to Extract Characters from a String

In Microsoft Excel, it is very simple to break data into separate columns when a delimiter, such as a comma or space, can be used. This can be done from the Ribbon by using the Text to Columns command found on the Data tab.

However, what if the data is inconsistent, and there is no comma or space delimiter that can be used? This can make separating the text in a string a little more difficult. One way to handle this is to use the Mid and Search functions.

For example, you can use the Mid and Search functions to separate some data into separate columns like this:

String Data Separated into 3 Columns

Text String    Extract Data


InDesign: Use clipping paths to wrap text around irregular graphics

Trying to import a Photoshop file containing a subject with a transparent background into InDesign or Illustrator can be frustrating. You need to extract the subject from an image and place it into an InDesign or Quark XPress document, like this:

original cat image      cat with clipping path in layout

In your page layout program, it might appear that you have done all you need to do by copying and pasting selections or by using a layer mask and importing it. Sometimes, even if the transparent part of the image displays correctly on your monitor, it may still come out all wrong in the printout. That’s because you need to create a clipping path in Photoshop before you import it into InDesign or Illustrator.


Format Your MS 2007 Word Document in a Snap with Styles

Did you know you can apply formatting to text in MS Word without highlighting and manually selecting type attributes? You may be accustomed to highlighting text and clicking buttons to to re-format every paragraph, heading, subheading and so on. In a long document, this process is repetitive, time-consuming, and subject to errors. Using the Microsoft Office Word 2007 Quick Styles, applying type specifications is as easy as clicking a button in the Quick Styles Gallery.

Let’s see how…


Power of Pivot Tables

Pivot tables can quickly organize, summarize, and compare large amounts of data in a worksheet. With just a few mouse clicks, you can view data in many different ways until you get just the data summary you want. To learn more about the power of pivot tables, see the video.