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Converting PDFs to JPGs E-mail
Thursday, 29 October 2009 10:32

I needed to batch-process PDFs to convert them into JPGs, and as usual, several solutions were found:

(I found several other solutions but I couldn't be sure they would work under Windows 7.) 

I'm sure Adobe Acrobat can do the job, but I don't have that hefty piece of software, and wherever possible I like to use open-source solutions.

I downloaded the binary for ImageMagick and installed it without issues (on Windows 7).  I was excited to use ImageMagick, but unfortunately I couldn't get it to find GhostScript when I went to use the convert -density 300 *.pdf *.jpg command.

Then when I installed PDFCreator, for some reason it didn't install GhostScript the first time around.  So I uninstalled and reinstalled, and this time it worked like a charm.  I enabled Auto-save and selected JPG under File Type in Options > Auto-save.  Now all I had to do was select all the PDFs I wanted to convert, and they would get auto-saved where I specified in the Auto-save options.

 
Optimizing images in bulk E-mail
Saturday, 17 October 2009 18:38

Update

It has come to my attention, courtesy of Web Resources Depot, that there are several Adobe AIR applications for modifying images in bulk.  (And they won't add the watermark like Image Optimizer does.)

 

Caldera

Caldera

 

ImageSizer

ImageSizer

 

JustResizeIt!

JustResizeIt!


I came across a freeware solution for optimizing (read: shrinking) image files for web deployment.  It's called, originally enough, Image Optimizer, and it can optimize images individually or in bulk, like all images in a folder.  As shown below (image from their website), the software integrates into the Windows shell so you can just right-click the file or folder and optimize away.

Image Optimizer

 
247 web usability guidelines E-mail
Tuesday, 07 July 2009 00:44

Found on WebResourcesDepot:

247 web usability guidelines to keep in mind while designing user interfaces.

The categories are:

  • Home page usability
  • Task orientation
  • Navigation and information architecture
  • Forms and data entry
  • Trust and credibility
  • Writing and content quality
  • Page layout and visual design
  • Search usability
  • Help, feedback and error tolerance

Most of these guidelines are obvious, but there is a benefit to working off a defined list because it's next to impossible to keep in mind all 247 guidelines as you brainstorm designs and features and functions for your project.

 
Cufon E-mail
Monday, 25 May 2009 09:51

I decided to try Cufon to prettify the title in my blog header.  It went from:

Before

to:

After

The font I chose is called Ginga.  I used a WordPress plugin to incorporate Cufon into my blog.  By default the modified title didn't display in the same position as before, so I had to restyle it using CSS (and as usual IE required its own values different than other browsers, which I implemented via ).

Another modification was required, which was to set visibility: hidden in the theme's CSS file, and add the following into the header.php file of my theme (jQuery is already being used elsewhere, so it's loaded anyway):

<script type="text/javascript">
jQuery(document).ready(function() {
jQuery('h1#blog-title').css('visibility', 'visible');
});
</script>

What this does is hide the title before Cufon is done applying its effects to it, because otherwise the original title (in the original font) is displayed in large letters in the middle of the blog because of the placement modifications (via CSS) the Cufon replacement title required.

 
On logo design E-mail
Saturday, 02 May 2009 22:16

On this site I came across this site of 45 rules for creating a great logo.  I decided to evaluate the p()thesis logo using the criteria given.

pthesis
 
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