Category Archives: Uncategorized

Master & Photoshop Commander

The long-standing Photoshop actions system (which debuted in PS4) makes it pretty easy to record a series of commands, then play them back.  Photoshop scripting (intro’d in PS7) lets developers do much more sophisticated automation, but it needs to be written by hand and is consequently much harder to create.  Thus there’s been a demand for a system that would let users use conditional logic in Photoshop (e.g. processing an image one way if it’s taller than it is wide, and another if it’s wider than it is tall), but without having to learn/write scripting.

To fill this gap, scripter Andrew Hall has created Photoshop Commander, a free add-on designed to put fairly sophisticated automation tools into the hands of non-programmers.  He explains,

Photoshop Commander is a Photoshop Script for CS2 and CS3 that creates powerful programming capability in Photoshop, using simple dialogs that anyone can work with and understand. Photoshop Commander provides a comprehensive easy-to-use menu system that allows non-programmers to create sophisticated workflow automations all without the need to understand a single line of programming code.

The script (which is free and is being released under the Creative Commons license), and a heap of accompanying Flash tutorials can be downloaded at

If you check out the first 10 minutes of the tutorials you will get some idea of what it can do and how it works.

Check it out, and let Andrew know what you think (via the comments section of the download page).

Mainly in the Plane

Farewell and adieu to you fair Spanish ladies*.
Farewell and adieu, you ladies of Spain…

You know what’s wonderful about Spain?  This is the kind of thing you see out your bedroom window.  Know what’s less great?  One look is all you get–the rest of the time being booked solid. (If you think I talk a lot here, try 7 hours’ worth yesterday.) You can take the Hyatt out of the boy, but you can’t take the boy out of the Hyatt–literally.

Still & all, it was great to spend a day chatting with & teaching a boatload of authors & trainers from around Europe.  A bit selfishly, I love the fact that Spanish seems to be less widely studied here than English, German, or French.  For once, my poquito of high school Spanish let me avoid feeling like the monolingual ugly American in the room.  In fact, in a jewelry store in Barcelona I observed a German guy awkwardly telling the shopkeeper that he, uh, didn’t speak Spanish.  "Hah hah, my Teutonic amigo," I thought, "We’re in the same barco now, eh?  Más o menos?" And now I’m flying home at last, so you can be done with my little travel anecdotes (well, almost; a few photos are yet to come).

[Apropos of nothing: the flight attendants on Spanair are decked out in rather deviant-looking black leather gloves.  (Spanish gloves of Spanish leather?)   You could be forgiven for thinking you’d wandered into a Eurythmics video.]

*Note: Management reserves the right to substitute a gaggle of pasty software-folk in lieu of said fair ladies.  No warranties expressed or implied.  Vaya con Dios.

Help improve Dreamweaver, Flash -> Win fame, glory

Okay, maybe not fame, but how about $1000 or a copy of Creative Suite 3?  Those are the prizes (5 of ’em) being raffled to folks who help Adobe improve our Web tools by the Adobe user research team.  They’re using a technology called ClickStream (more about them & their privacy policy) that records how often menu items, tools, etc. are used in each application, from which we can gain insights into what’s important & should be improved.  If you’re interested, please see the note below from researcher Sharma Hendel.  Cash and software aside, I think it’s a great (and pretty painless) way to help improve the tools that thousands of people use every day. [UPDATE: Sorry, I didn’t notice that participation is limited to US residents. Lame, but I guess doing business across borders is harder than it should be. –J.]

I’m a user experience researcher with the Flash & Dreamweaver teams and I’m looking for Flash and Dreamweaver users to help us out with a massive project.  If you’re a regular Flash or Dreamweaver user and would like to help out, please check out the information below. 

This is a product improvement study with folks who use Flash or Dreamweaver several times per week. The project entails downloading and installing a small program that anonymously collects information about the features you use in Adobe products and other applications. All eligible participants will be entered in a prize drawing either $1000 or one of 5 copies of Creative Suite 3 (to be released later this year).
If you are interested, please take this survey to determine eligibility.  Then download the ClickSight™ software – a program developed for Adobe by Clickstream Technologies. (Mac Users: Currently, ClickSight runs only on Windows PCs.  We will be conducting a Mac-based study later this year.  If you are a Mac user and would like to be involved, please email

Thanks!  You are helping make our Web applications even better!

Sharma Hendel (shendel at adobe dot com)
User Experience Team

Printing on water & more

  • The Jeep Waterfall is a totally fantastic, “3,000 valve, 20-pump contraption” that essentially prints images onto falling water–much as an inkjet would onto moving paper. The eye-popping video is well worth a watch.
  • Taking a similar concept in a horizontal direction, the AMOEBA device uses wave generators to print letter & pictures on water. Each one is visible for just a moment, and a new one can be shown every 3 seconds. There’s a brief video of the device in action, but I find the still image is more impressive. [Aside: I think my life would be greatly enriched by a background audio track of breathless Japanese narration.]
  • If that $10k/gallon inkjet business has gotten you down, you might like hearing about the ZINK inkless printing system. It promises a zero-ink printing process by embedding dye crystals in the paper itself. [Via the Elements team]
  • ToughPrint promises waterproof inkjet paper, suitable for making, say, a map, then taking it hiking in the rainforest (as one does). [Via]

For more printing goodness, see previous entries.

The Dutch curse Dreamweaver (?!)

No no, they don’t, really! Actually, the folks I’ve met seem quite fond of it, especially when given a taste of what’s planned for the upcoming release. That said, my heart skipped a beat when I opened a design mag in Amsterdam yesterday and read the headline, “Cursus: Adobe Dreamweaver.” “Oh man, these guys must think the Adobe-MM integration is going sour,” I thought–then quickly pulled it together. “Cursus,” I learned, are “courses.” So, may the Netherlands be full of cursus for Dreamweaver for years to come!
Here in Milan (yet another place I’ll see exclusively from the window of a cab; 20 hours from wheels down to wheels up), I’m talking up multimedialità (such a nice sound); learning that Nack, Germany really does exist (nestled in Rheinland-Pfalz, says Thorsten Wulff); and finding out that my surname is a common first name in Cambodia (hello, Nack Ath). Sorry; so much for not making this As the Nack Turns…

Killer titles, man-headed monkeys, & more

Some good bits from the world of motion graphics: