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InDesign Newsletter - September 2022

Adobe Employee ,
Oct 10, 2022 Oct 10, 2022

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Hi Everyone,

 

The festival of creativity "Adobe MAX 2022" is coming soon. We’re so excited to be back together in person for MAX 2022. Join us to spark your inspiration, learn how to bring your best ideas to life, and connect with other passionate creatives. And while nothing compares to being face-to-face, you can still join us online. If you have not registered yet then hurry up to book your in-person or online slot. For registration, please click here

 

This edition of our newsletter consists of an interesting tutorial by Andrea, showcasing "How to place an Image in Text" which will help you to add more beauty to your design.

 

If you want to stay tuned to similar updates, please follow our Adobe InDesign Newsletter Home page to receive notifications for our newsletter on monthly basis.

Adobe Community Expert Highlight

 

I'm honored to feature "Peter Kahrelas our community superstar for this month. Peter has been a part of our community for more than 16 years now. Peter's journey so far in the design industry has been very dynamic -from a linguistic department to an automation firm. He has never attended any formal training in design. However, with his experience, dedication & unstinted determination, he now ranks among the top in his profession. As an expert in  various design apps, scrpting, printing among other things, Peter has contributed to over 4500 posts 👍🏻

 

We are thankful for his contribution to our community. Let's know more about him in his own words:-

 

 

Peter.jpg

I was born in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and went to school and university there. I have a degree in English language and literature and graduated in linguistics at the University of Amsterdam. I have no formal training in publishing or printing at all.

 

My first brush with the publishing world occurred in the early 1980s, when I was a student in the linguistics department. After a seminar someone in the audience got up and asked if anyone was interested in doing an index for a linguistics book to be published by John Benjamins – not a generally known publisher but in linguistics they’re big. I was interested and did the job. This was in the early 1980s, so no computers, it was a manual job. Index cards and a typewriter were my tools.

 

While I was working on my degrees I did a few more indexes. I also translated two books from English to Dutch (the books were on Reflex, a data-base program), which were commissioned via "The legend, Teus de Jong". Veterans of the Adobe forums will remember Teus, he was quite active in the InDesign and the InDesign scripting forums until his death in 2010. And it was through Teus that I got a few typesetting jobs.

 

In the meantime I also wrote some books, PCTools en PCTools de Luxe (1988; PCTools was a popular suite of computer maintenance programs),Werken met vreemde talen en tekens in WordPerfect 5 & 5.1 (1991), and its English translation, Working with foreign languages and characters in WordPerfect (1992). Graduation programs were pretty relaxed back then – you could afford to take breaks and do other things.

 

After my graduation I didn’t pursue a career in academia for various reasons, though I did a few spells on contracts and teaching jobs in the UK at Lancaster University after I moved there in the mid-1990s. In the UK I took up typesetting in earnest, and worked as a copy-editor, typesetter, and indexer. Virtually all my work was linguistics titles, and most of my customers were university presses and linguists who used grants to pay me. For individuals I combined editing, setting, and indexing, while for the university presses I usually did either of the three.

 

I mentioned that I have no formal training in publishing or printing, and the same goes for programming and script writing. The only thing that could count as formal training was a series of seminars in about 1982 in the linguistics department where I was a student. The course was on the then popular programming language Pascal. It was taught by two teachers who spent most of the time bickering and interrupting each other, which wasn’t very helpful at all. The practical part was designing a program and running it.

 

Now, this was still the early 1980s, there weren’t any personal computers. We used the mini-computers in the phonetics department (phoneticians and phonologists were streets ahead of the syntacticians and morphologists when it came to computers and their use). What happened was this: you went to the computer room in the phonetics department (a few blocks away) and booked time on the terminal. Usually you could book some slots of an hour or half an hour within the next few days. On the appointed day you sat behind the terminal and keyed in your program. You then pressed a button to execute the program and went home: programs were queued and you never knew when yours would be executed. When you returned for your next slot, the program output was waiting for you. If you had made an error, you had to correct the program, run it again, and return for your next slot. Writing and debugging even simple programs could take days!

 

Anyway, this rudimentary introduction combined with my interest in formal languages was enough so that I could learn other computer languages. The first language I started using after I got my first PC (an Amstrad CP/M computer) was Basic – it was included in the package. Then I used Turbo Pascal. I also learned Prolog to implement various linguistics things. In the meantime I had started to use WordPerfect, which had its own propriety script language, and later its script language was Turbo Pascal. And, finally, when JavaScript was added as a script language to InDesign, I learned that. When you know e.g. Pascal and/or Basic, it’s not too hard to learn JavaScript as they are the same type of (procedural) language.

 

I started using JavaScript to script InDesign both because I think that script-writing is good fun and because scripts make a typesetter’s life a lot easier. Much of typesetting work on computers is repetitive and boring. The more scripts you use, the more interesting your work becomes because you have more time for those interesting things. And not only more interesting: your work becomes more consistent and will contain fewer mistakes. And because you spend less time on most of your work, you can take on more work (or spend more time with your family). Because I could script virtually everything, I was able to take on typesetting jobs that I wouldn’t have been able to do without scripts: jobs with more than 2,000 margin notes, to be created from coded strings in the main text; a 1,500-page job with three levels of footnote; and so on.

 

Scripting is not only about doing things quicker than you could do them manually – that is, it’s not only about automating things. Scripting also enables you to do things you wouldn’t be able to do manually – not realistically, anyway. To come back to what first took me into publishing and printing, InDesign’s index feature is a good example. InDesign’s index is pretty rudimentary, allowing you to do only fairly simple indexes. And editing InDesign’s index is a nightmare. But because InDesign is so well scriptable, you can in fact do very interesting things with indexes.
A quick glance at https://creativepro.com/files/kahrel/indesign/lists_indexes.html shows some of the things you can do.

 

The last ten years I’ve not done much typesetting. I’m employed by Typefi Systems, a company that produces software to automate the publication of various kinds of publications, especially those of which the layout doesn’t change (or hardly changes) and which is output regularly with new or amended content, such as journals and travel guides. My role is to write JavaScript customisations, my specialty is customising indexes." 

 

To know more about our Adobe Community Experts, click here.

New tutorial:- How to place an Image in Text by using InDesign

 

 

Behance stream flashback

 

 

Let’s InDesign: Elevate Your Brand with Anika Aggarwal

 

 

Pro Tips for InDesign with Tony Harmer and Liz Mosley

 

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Community Expert ,
Oct 10, 2022 Oct 10, 2022

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That's inspirational @Peter Kahrel. I am astounded that you practically had no formal training in programming/scripting and are mostly self taught. Many folks like me have learnt a lot from your presence on the forum. Thanks for being so generous in sharing your profound knowledge.

-Manan 

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Community Expert ,
Oct 11, 2022 Oct 11, 2022

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Dear Peter! 

Just want to say thank you. Your scripts helps all of us by many years. 

Remember, never say you can't do something in InDesign, it's always just a question of finding the right workaround to get the job done. © David Blatner

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Community Expert ,
Oct 16, 2022 Oct 16, 2022

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The man, the legend, Peter Kahrel - what a wonderful story and a great read!

One of the kindest people I have never met. Such a wonderful person and very giving with his time and expertise.

Thank you for everything you do and are doing and are going to do, Peter.

All my respect and admiration
Eugene

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Community Expert ,
Oct 16, 2022 Oct 16, 2022

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I loved reading your story, @Peter Kahrel! I also learned Basic (and Fortran) in the early 80's, but that was because I was (am) math-averse and needed the math credits to graduate. I do think those classes accidently guided me into my career working with computers and I know I thought about them as I worked my way through your GREP in InDesign CS3 PDF. I still refer to that PDF all the time by the way, mostly because I'm always in too much of a hurry to get up and pick up your newer one off my bookshelf and turn actual pages to find whatever it is I'm looking for. 😝

 

Thank you so much for all you've done to help so many of us solve perplexing InDesign issues.

 

~Barb

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Community Expert ,
Oct 17, 2022 Oct 17, 2022

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Funny, I learned Pascal at University (Leiden, Netherlands) in the early 80's, needed for Statistical results in my Sociology studies - and was 'math averse' as well 😉

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