Free For All: Just What You're Looking For
Automatic Drag-N-Drop Image Libraries
For image-intensive page layout in InDesign, selecting images visually is better than doing it by filename, and dragging and dropping is easier than File > Place. Programs like Adobe Bridge, Cerious ThumbsPlus, and even Mac Finder and Windows Explorer can show you thumbnails of all the images in a folder. Also, you can drag images directly from one of those apps and drop them into InDesign. But there are three drawbacks: You must step out of InDesign, launch the application or Finder or Explorer Window, and then navigate to the correct folder. Secondly, you can typically view the thumbnails in one folder at a time only.
Rorohiko's ImageLibraryLoader bridges the gap left by Adobe Bridge, handles image placement more seriously than ThumbsPlus, and finds and explores a folder of images better than OS X or Windows.
ImageLibraryLoader is a free script-based plug-in for Mac and Windows versions of InDesign CS, CS2, CS3, and CS4. It automatically builds a thumbnail library of images in a folder inside InDesign. That library is a floating panel from which you can drag entries and drop them into the layout without stepping out of InDesign. Just point ImageLibraryLoader to a folder full of images, and it will automatically display thumbnails of those images in the floating library. It can even display the contents of more than one folder all at the same time!
Although I'd like to see ImageLibraryLoader automatically update to reflect file additions or subtractions from the monitored folder or folders, I won't complain too loudly because it's free. A menu command will quickly refresh the ImageLibraryLoader library panel, removing the thumbnails of files that have been deleted, updating for changed images, and, of course, adding thumbnails for new files.
Hot press releases are typically best sent at midnight (midnight Eastern Time in the United States). If you want to make the biggest splash, be prepared to stay up late the evening of your big announcement and to get up early the next morning to answer writers' and editors' follow-up questions. Or, you can use an e-mail scheduling service like Deferred Sender .
Simply create an account on Deferred Sender, then write the e-mail you want sent at a later time in your normal e-mail client. Add the recipient list and time to send above the main e-mail content, and send it to your Deferred Sender account; the service will then hold the main message until the correct date and time arrive, and then distribute it to your recipients.
In addition to press releases, Deferred Sender is great for scheduling announcements and reminders, never forgetting to send a "Happy Birthday" e-mail to Aunt Matilda, and reminders to clients about outstanding invoices. Deferred Sender makes it easy to send every message on time, at the right time, regardless of what you're doing.
Web 2.0 Layer Styles for Photoshop
Whether for Web design, interface design, or any other type of design, this collection of more 130 Photoshop layer styles will have you giddily producing glow, gradient, glass, gel, and other effects.
Your Web Site In (Almost) Every Browser
Web design is every bit as complicated as rocket science. A site must look the same, or at least be just as usable, to visitors in the most popular Mac, Windows, and Linux browsers: Mozilla Firefox 2 and 3; Safari 3 and 4; Opera 9 and 10; Google Chrome; Internet Explorer 6, 7, and 8; and Konqueror 3 and 4. Ideally, you should have all these browsers installed for proofing purposes. However, even if you have Mac, Windows, and Linux computers ready for testing your new site designs, it's impossible to have all of those browsers installed simultaneously. You can, for instance, have Internet Explorer 8 on your Windows computer, but unless you have a multi-boot system hosting a second copy of Windows, you can't test your site in IE 6, which is still a major browser in corporate environments.
A useful workaround to help you see what a site looks like across browsers is to use BrowserShots. Although it doesn't give you live views, BrowserShots does at least provide you with screenshots of how your page renders in as many as 90 different browsers.
Fire and Flame Textures
Humans have a primal fascination with fire. Let me kindle (or stoke) your ardor for flames, blazes, and dancing salamander design elements with this hot collection of free fire textures from Design Shard. Download them here, but see them all here.
What can I find free for you? Want more free fonts? More Photoshop brushes? How about more online applications that do this or that for free? Tell me in the comments what you'd like to see in future installments of Free for All, and I'll do my best bloodhound impression to track it down for you.
Please note: Free for All will often link to resources hosted on external Web sites outside of the control of CreativePro.com. At any time those Web sites may close down, change their site or permalink structures, remove content, or take other actions that may render one or more of the above links invalid. As such neither Pariah S. Burke nor CreativePro.com can guarantee the availability of the third-party resources linked to in Free for All.
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