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Tricks of the Trade

(September 2008) posted on Mon Sep 15, 2008

Mandel offers some tips designed to help Mac users save time and avoid potential problems when preparing art files.

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By Rick Mandel

One of the best things that Bridge can do is show extraordinary detail in an image that has not yet been opened in Photoshop. How many times do you want to see the resolution effect of a multi-gigabyte file while the client is waiting on the phone? I can still hear the Jeopardy! clock ticking. Well, if you want to check the sharpness of an image or see detail in a high-resolution image, you can click on its preview in Bridge. The program (after a few seconds of disk-grinding) will display the full-resolution image under an on-screen magnifying glass. Move the magnifier around, and you’ll see a different part of the image. I find it really extraordinary, and I use it often now that I know how powerful it is. And I never actually opened the image!

Another use I recently found for Bridge was to read a logo in a very small area of a huge photo. The graphic was photocomposed, and apparently one component was flopped for effect (and unbeknownst to the client, so was the logo). There was no way I’d have seen the logo without printing the display. The magnifying tool allowed me to read these elements with-out difficulty—and without opening the file. Neat stuff.


Trick two

This trick involves a bit of housekeeping: Optimizing the Mac system should be kept in the back of your mind, as the graphics world utilizes huge files and requires processing power to be efficient.

The Mac operating system, called OS X, doesn’t include a registry, which is a feature of Windows that holds information that programs need to operate properly. So there’s no need to clean or maintain any registry on a Mac. But Mac hard disks, like those on Windows computers, can become fragmented—a condition in which parts of files are so scattered on the disk that the disk runs slowly. Apple uses the term optimizing to say defragmentation. Tools for optimizing reside in Disk Utilities, and the path is Applications/Utilities/Disk Utilities. Our maintenance schedule calls for performing this housekeeping once a week, and it takes minutes to perform. You can even set the utility to run in the background.


Trick three


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