Plug-Ins and XTensions: Photoshop Frames, Illustrator Mockups, QuarkXPress Audits, Acrobat Images
Written by Jay J. Nelson on May 5, 2004
- PDF Image Tool
Acronnect Software's ImageEngine Export 1.0 ($80) is a plug-in for Acrobat 5 and 6 that exports images from a PDF document in Photoshop format, without forcing color spaces to RGB. Another product, ImageEngine ($295) does even more: create a new PDF document with descriptions of all images in another PDF document; extract all images from a PDF into a new PDF; render images, pages, or selections to a new image file; and build a PDF from any folder or volume of images.
- Package Mockups in Illustrator
Comnet's FoldUP-3D ($379) is a plug-in for Illustrator 8, 9, 10 and CS that lets you preview package designs. You create die-lines or import them from a CAD system, apply your artwork, and then let FoldUP-3D create your carton. You can rotate the carton in 3D space, change background colors and lighting properties, reposition your artwork, show and hide layers, and export snapshots. A free viewer also allows clients to see your carton in 3D space.
- ClassicFrames 1.6
Human Software's ClassicFrames 1.6 ($40 per volume) is a plug-in for Photoshop that lets you create highly detailed, museum and art gallery picture frame borders and mattes. Frame parts can also be combined to make new borders, without leaving Step and Repeat artifacts.
- Easier Object Color Changes
Asiva Correct+Apply Color 2.0 ($49) is a plug-in for Photoshop 5.5 and above that simplifies the process of changing the color of an object, without losing its natural tonal variations. Use it to change eye color, object color, foliage color, etc. It works on 8-bit and 16-bit images, in Mac OS 9 or X.
- Import RTF into QuarkXPress
Techno Design's RTF Import XT ($239) lets you import Rich Text Format (RTF) files into QuarkXPress 4.1 or 5. This is extremely helpful when importing text from recent versions of Microsoft Word because RTF reliably maintains formatting, footnotes, text styles and tables -- something that the Word filter in QuarkXPress can't do. (Note that QuarkXPress 6 includes a less-capable RTF filter.)
- Redefine Style Sheets -- Easily
Xpedient's Redefine Style Sheet 2 ($49) is an XTension for QuarkXPress 4, 5 or 6 that lets you instantly create a style sheet or change an existing style sheet to match any selected text. So, instead of redefining the existing Character or Paragraph style sheet manually (by tediously defining new properties in the Edit> Style Sheets dialog box), you can simply select some text that looks the way you like, and then press a key combination or a button on its tiny palette to create a new style sheet or revise an existing style sheet.
- BlackLining Xtension
EMS's BlackLining 3.1.5 ($450) is an XTension for QuarkXPress 4 or 5 that retains a complete audit trail of all changes made to the text of a QuarkXPress document. Insertions and Deletions are marked in different colors. Sidebars appear along the side of the text box where amendments have been made, tracking up to 95 levels of changes, with different colors for each change. It's very useful for legal and financial documents.
- Mail Merge in QuarkXPress
Em Software's Xdata 4.2 & 6.2 ($320) are XTensions for QuarkXPress 4.1 or 6 that brings incredible power to database-publishing tasks. You create a QuarkXPress "template" that defines how you want the information to look, then Xdata imports and automatically formats data you've exported from a database or spreadsheet. In addition, Xdata can import specific pictures that are cited in the template and the data file. It can manipulate text from inside individual data fields and create "directory-style" headers and footers on each page or spread. Xdata comes with a 60-day money-back guarantee.
- Easy Grids in QuarkXPress
Gluon's ProGrids 7 ($99) is an XTension for QuarkXPress 4, 5 or 6 that not only creates user-defined grids, but can automatically adjust them for you later. You specify how many rows and/or columns, how far apart, how wide, and what color. They can extend from margin to margin, page edge to page edge, or any starting and ending position. They can lock to the baseline grid, and you can save grids as presets for future use. The grids can be applied to a range of pages or a whole document. They can also be printed.
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