Sharing Adobe InDesign 2.0 files between Mac and Windows

Adobe InDesign 2.0 files are compatible between Macintosh and Windows. Often Windows users receive InDesign 2.0 files that originated on the Mac, and complain that they cannot open the files.

To open a Mac InDesign 2.0 file on Windows, simply be sure to add the “.indd” suffix to the file name.

Mac users should get in the habit of adding “.indd” to their InDesign 2.0 file names. I’m amazed that Adobe didn’t build this in to the Save dialog box, as they did with Illustrator and Photoshop.

Now, adding .indd to the end of the file won’t solve your problems when the design firm you’re sending the files to has an old, outdated copy of InDesign, you’re on 2.0, and they don’t tell you that they haven’t upgraded yet…

How to set file behavior in Dreamweaver MX for custom file types

Dreamweaver MX can support just about any file type if you tell it to. Dreamweaver looks at a filename’s suffix to know how it should be treated, and this behavior can be customized rather easily. Natively, it supports all the standard server types such as .jsp, .php, .xml, .html, .cfm, and – god forbid – .asp, as well as a host of others.

But lets say your site use some lesser known application server, or you’ve edited your httpd.conf file to trick Apache into using your company’s ticker symbol as the default file extension. Or for whatever reason, you have pages that don’t have any of the common and traditional file name extensions and when you try to open the file in Dreamweaver MX, the thing appears as code, or worse, opens up in another application.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

To add your custom extensions, and to have Dreamweaver treat it the way you want, you need to edit a configuration file.

The file in question is “MMDocumentTypes.xml”. This file can be found in your Macromedia Dreamweaver MX application directory, under the sub-directories Configuration and DocumentTypes. On Mac OS X, the root path is /Applications/Macromedia Dreamweaver MX/Configuration/DocumentTypes/MMDocumentTypes.xml

Open this file in a text editor such as BBEdit, or Dreamweaver MX’s code view. In there you simply need to type in the file extension you wish in the appropriate section. So for instance, I wanted to use “.inc” for all my server side include files, and have them render in Dreamweaver MX as standard HTML. So I added the “inc” value to the first line to the winfileextension and macfileextension properties, where it reads ‘documenttype id=”HTML”‘. However, if you want your custom extension to act like JSP or PHP, you could change the file appropriately. Save the file and restart Dreamweaver, and you should be ready to go.

If your custom file extension now opens in Dreamweaver MX, but only in code view, then there is one more step. Open Dreamweaver MX’s Preferences panel and click on File Types / Editors. In the top field where it is labeled “Open in Code View”, locate and delete your custom file extension.

That should do it.

Restoring Chinese Input on Mac OS X v10.1.4 From Another Working System

Recently I upgraded my primary machine, a PowerBook G4, to Mac OS X v10.1.4. There is an issue with this upgrade if you use one or more of the lesser input methods, such as Korean, Chinese, or one of the other newer ones. If you need this functionality, you must install your language input method after upgrading to 10.1.3, but before 10.1.4. (No, there is no freekin’ documentation anywhere on Apple’s website or Software Update on this…)

In my case, I need Traditional Chinese input capability. I also had a hosed system and needed to bring it back by means of backing up my data (god bless my LaCie FireWire drive), wiping the hard drive, and reinstalling from scratch. I of course flew through the installation and, despite a warning from my Chinese Language Mac-Using Bretheren, I blew past 10.1.3 without installing my precious language input method support for the Traditional Chinese character set.

Thankfully, I had Yingwen’s iMac, which was purring like a Chinese kitten. (The iMac, not Yingwen…)

To restore or add Chinese input method capability to a 10.1.4 system from another of the same version number, you need to do the following:

1. Go to the working system and copy all the files that start with “TCIM” or “SCIM” from /System/Library/Components/ to a temporary location on the system that needs to be restored. Specifically, these files (for Traditional Chinese) are called TCIM.component, TCIMTool, and TCIMUIServer.

2. Now that these files are on the system to be restored, copy them to that system’s /System/Library/Components/ directory. To do this, you will need to use the “sudo” command in Terminal. Entering a command like “sudo cp TCIM* /System/Library/Components/” should do it.

3. Optionally, you can copy the Asia Text Extras folder from the good system’s /Applications/Utilities/ directory to it’s mirror on the other system.

4. If you don’t have any Chinese fonts, you will need to get some. These can again be copied from the good system. You will at least need the Taipei font, and you can find out how to get more fonts here.

5. When you’re ready, reboot your computer. You should now be able to add a keyboard for Chinese from System Preferences > International > Keyboard Menu.

That’s it! You may now enjoy a well-deserved beer in your new Chinese Input-Enabled Mac OS X v.10.1.4 environment.

Now the question is, how many people out there will find this information helpful? The answer is: the same number of people that have stumbled across this page that have upgraded to Mac OS X 10.1.4 without installing Chinese input method support but would like to do so. Or in other words, probably noone. BUT… if this does prove helpful to you, please let me know. For no other reason than satisfying my morbid curiosity on how truly futile this information post really is…

Adobe problems

I was working on what I thought to be a fairly standard document creation process this week, and have encountered a really annoying bug in Adobe’s products that is driving me nuts. Here’s what happened:

The goal was to create a technical document that would be distributed in PDF format. This document had several data tables, three illustrations in the form of bar graphs, and was about 6 pages long.

First I created the illustrations in Adobe Illustrator 10. I turned the bars of the graphs into cylinders because they looked nicer than plain old rectangular bars. To add to the depth of the cylinder, I applied a gradient fill to each one. The three illustrations were not complex by any means, created very easily and saved as EPS.

I then placed the text into Adobe InDesign 2. After getting the basic layout set in a way I liked, I then placed the illustrations into InDesign. Finally, I exported the document as a PDF from InDesign, using the default settings for screen optimized PDF output and making sure that the output would be compatible with Adobe Acrobat Reader 4.

Testing printing from Acrobat Reader 5 for Mac OS X and Acrobat Reader 5 for Windows worked just fine. I sent the file out, but nobody was able to print the file using Acrobat Reader 4 for Windows.

Now, one would think that this would be a simple process, right? Using all core Adobe products, even the client reader, and the document was intentionally non-complex. This should just work, right??? I haven’t even deviated from the Adobe line of products in this process. You’d think that a single vendor would have found such a problem and addressed it before shipping these things! I mean, how freakin’ hard should it be just to get a simple PDF to work with all the Acrobat 4 users out there???

No, I’m not bitter…

Life is good…

So, more bike upgrades today. I slapped on some new lightweight toe-clip style pedals because I decided that after a year trying them, clipless pedals just don’t work for the kind of extreme mountain biking I like to do. It’s not so much the clip vs. the pedal, it’s the shoe issue. I like to have very lightweight running shoes or cross country shoes when mountain biking, and the soles on biking shoes are just way too stiff. When you dismount, you feel like you have a couple of planks strapped to your feet. When you are hitting extreme terrain, with boulders, logs, fences, and rivers, you spend a significant time jumping on and off the bike.

I also put on a new seat – nice one from Specialized that has a tad more padding than the racing saddle I had on there before, but is still quite lightweight.

Did an hour-long ride along the local greenbelt trail and man does this bike ride sweet now! Had to re-clamp the back tire once because the wheel moved, but it’s not going anywhere now… This weekend is looking like one big mountain fest. Life is good…