Adobe Magazine Jan/Feb 1995 PageMaker Q&A

Adobe Magazine Jan/Feb 1995 cover

For a few years I wrote PageMaker and Acrobat Q&A sections for Adobe Magazine. This is the January/February 1995 column.

The article is scanned into Acrobat and its OCR functionality was used to recognize the text. While OCR is a wonderful invention, the cleanup process (I pasted the content into Word and did it there) is more time consuming than expected. Note that Adobe Magazine didn’t provide bylines for Q&A articles, though the authors are listed as contributors in small print in the credits, as can be seen on the last page of the scanned PDF at the bottom of this post.

Q: There are bunch of files with .PMG extensions In my publication folder . What are they? (PC/Mac)

A: Those PMG files are what the “PS Group it” Addition creates when you group elements in PageMaker. To group objects, “PS Group it” creates an EPS graphic of the selected elements, and saves it with the file extension .PMG in the same directory or folder as the publication. Then it imports the graphic exactly where the objects were originally.

As long as the grouped object or any copies of it are present in your publication, it’s a good idea not to delete or move the PMG file, since PageMaker needs it both to ungroup the object(s) and to print at high resolution to a PostScript device. Here’s why.

A PMG file is an EPS graphic that contains both a low resolution, bitmap version of the image for display on screen (the screen image is also used for printing to non-PostScript devices) and the PostScript information needed to print at high resolution to a PostScript printer. When “PS Group it” creates the PMG file, PageMaker always imports the PMG file with the “Store inside publication” link option turned off, so only the low-resolution screen image is stored inside the publication.

Therefore, when you print “PS Group it” objects, PageMaker must have access to the external, linked PMG file to be able to download the high-resolution graphic data to a PostScript printer. If you delete, move, or rename the PMG file, PageMaker won’t be able to do this and will print only the low-resolution, bitmap screen image. You can change this on a file-by-file basis through the “Links” dialog box (choose “Links…” from the File menu, select the file, click “Options…,” and check “Store copy in publication”).

Another reason you shouldn’t delete PMG files is that they contain information “PS Ungroup it” needs to ungroup your object. This means that if you delete a PMG file for a grouped object, you won’t be able to ungroup the object or any copies of it. When you do ungroup a grouped object, you can choose to have “PS Ungroup it” automatically delete the PMG file. Remember—if you decide to do this, you won’t be able to ungroup any copies of the grouped object that you may have made.

The “PS Ungroup it” dialog box also asks if you want to always delete PMG files when ungrouping, and includes the option of never displaying the “PS Ungroup it” dialog box again. If you select this option and later decide you want to view the dialog box while ungrouping, quit PageMaker and then delete the preference file that contains this setting. On the PC, delete the UNGROUP.PRF file in the ALDUS\USENGLSH\ADDITIONS directory; on the Mac, delete the “PS Group it preferences” file, located in the System:Aldus:Additions folder.

Q: Sometimes when I change the font in a publication, it reverts to a different font when I begin a new text block. How do you make sure the font is permanently changed for the publication? (PC/Mac)

A: If you want all new text blocks in your publication to use a particular font, what you’re after is a new default font: make sure you have no text selected (a good way is to click on a tool in the toolbox) and select the font you want.In fact, to change any default—text or other settings—make sure you have nothing selected and then change your settings. The new default will affect any new stories you create, new objects you draw, or new graphics you import.

The only exception to this rule is with color. You can have three default color settings—a default color for text, a default color for lines, and a default color for fills (which also functions as the default color for 1-bit and grayscale bitmap graphics). To set a default text color, click on the text tool and select a color from the Colors palette.

To set a default color for both lines and fills, make sure no objects are selected, click on any tool other than the text tool, make sure “Both” is selected in the Colors palette dropdown menu, and select a color from the palette. If you want to have different default colors for fills and lines, the easiest way to set them is to make sure no objects are· selected, choose “Fill and line…” from the Element menu, and select your new default colors in the “Fill and line” dialog box.

You can also set application-wide defaults, which will affect all new publications you create thereafter. To do so, close all your publications and then change any settings that aren’t grayed out. PageMaker stores these application-wide defaults in a configuration file (PMS.CNF, located in the ALDUS\USENGLSH directory in Windows, or the “PM5.0 Defaults” file located in the Preferences folder within the System Folder on the Macintosh). If you ever want to restore PageMaker’s original application-wide defaults. quit PageMaker and delete or rename its configuration file—it will automatically generate a new one the next time you relaunch PageMaker and create or open a publication.

Q: Sometimes I check my “Links” dialog box and see unusual characters in front of my linked document or letters for page numbers. What does this stuff mean? (PC/Mac)

A: The symbols that appear to the left- of your linked objects convey special information about the status of your links—they appear any time PageMaker detects that one of your linked objects may not be up to date. The characters that appear in the “Page” column to the right of your linked objects describe the objects’ page numbers or other positions.

If you’re ever unsure what one of the link-status symbols means, just click on the linked object displayed with the symbol and PageMaker will list an explanation of that object’s link status in the “links” dialog box under “status.”

Link-status symbols

NA — Indicates the object is not linked to an external document because the object was pasted without links or is an OLE-embedded object.

? — Indicates that PageMaker can no longer find the linked object’s external file—usually because that file was renamed, deleted, or moved. Unless your external file has been deleted, you can re-establish the link by clicking on the “Info…” button, locating the external file, and clicking “Link.”

+ (PC) or (Mac) — Indicates that the object is linked to an external file that has been modified since the link was first established or last updated. Also indicates that you have set that object to update automatically. Therefore, PageMaker will update the object the next time you print or reopen your publication. If you want to update your object sooner, select it and click the “Update” or “Update all” button in the “Links” dialog box. Note: In Windows, the “+” also indicates that the object is stored inside the publication.

X (PC only) — This is identical to the “+” symbol, except it indicates the object is not stored inside the publication.

(PC) or ◊ (Mac) — Similar to the “♦” or “+” symbol—indicates that the object is linked to an external file that has been modified since the object was imported or last updated. However, unlike the “♦” or “+” symbols, the “◊” or “-“ symbols indicate that you have not set the object to update automatically. To update the object, select it and click on “Update” or “Update all.”

! (PC) or △ (Mac) — Indicates that the object is linked to an external file and that both the internal and external copies of the object have been modified. If you click on “Update,” PageMaker will replace the internal copy of the object with the external copy.

>— Indicates the link was established on another platform (Macintosh or Windows), and the object’s format isn’t completely supported on your current platform (for example, if you chose not to convert metfiles to PICTs, or vice versa, when you opened the publication).

¿—(Unlike the other link-status symbols, this symbol appears in the far-right column of the “Links” dialog box.) Indicates the object will not print in high resolution or may not print as expected—for example, because a linked file is missing, a required filter is not available, or the linked file has been modified since it was placed or last updated.

Page/location symbols

UN—Object is an inline graphic or text in a story that has not been placed in layout view yet (is part of an unflowed, uncomposed story in the Story Editor).

LM—Object is located on the left master page.

RM—Object is on the right master page.

PB—Object is located on the pasteboard.

OV—Object is an inline graphic located in overset text—text that is not displayed in layout view because it has not been completely flowed.

Q: I’ve noticed that my bitmap graphics tend to appear very choppy in PageMaker, even with a high-resolution video card installed. Is there anything I can do to make them appear crisper? (PC/Mac)

A: Yes. In fact, PageMaker has several features that let you control how smooth your bitmap graphics look on screen—you should just be aware that the smoother your bitmap graphics appear, the longer they’ll take to redraw.

Before we list all your options, here’s a brief overview of how PageMaker handles bitmap graphic display. PageMaker gives you three display choices for your bitmap graphics. These options, which are located in the “Preferences” dialog box, are “Gray out,” “Normal” (the default), and “High resolution.”

If you choose “Gray out,” your screen will redraw at the greatest speed possible, but all your graphics (including vector-based ones) will display as gray boxes. In addition, some grayed-out graphics may not print to non-PostScript devices. If you select “High resolution,” PageMaker displays your graphics at the highest resolution possible, using all the data in the graphic files. The trade-off you make is performance—when you use the “High resolution” option, your screen redraw will be slower.

The “Normal” option offers a middle ground between the other two options. When the “Normal” option is selected, PageMaker displays your bitmap graphics using their low-resolution screen images. With the “Normal” setting, your bitmap graphics will redraw pretty quickly but won ‘t look very crisp. Just how chunky they look will depend on the resolution of the screen image PageMaker created when you imported the graphic, and that depends on the “Maximum size of internal graphic” setting in the “Other preferences” dialog box. By default, this option is set at 64K, and you can change it to anything between 8K and 1024K. The smaller you make this setting, the chunkier your screen images will look in “Normal” graphics mode, and the faster they’ll redraw. If you alter this setting, the change will only affect graphics you import or update thereafter.

If you have one or a few bitmap graphics that are displaying very poorly in “High resolution” or “Normal” mode (or printing that way), the first thing you should do is check to make sure their links haven’t been broken , especially if those graphics aren’t stored within your publication. Select “Links…” from the File menu, and in the “Links” dialog box find the name of your graphic . If the link is not up to date or PageMaker cannot locate the graphic’s external file, it will display a special symbol next to that item in the list (see the previous question for an explanation of those symbols) and you’ll need to reestablish or update that link.

If your links are up to date and your bitmap graphics still look chunky on screen (but print fine), you have several options:

  • If you want all your graphics to display at high resolution, use the “High resolution” graphic-display option.
micro tip

By holding down the Control + Shift keys (Windows) or the Control key (Macintosh) while redrawing your page, you can view graphics in high resolution when “Normal” is selected in the “Preferences” dialog box.

  • If the “Normal” setting works for you most of the time, but you want your graphics to display in high resolution occasionally, you can force them to do so using a special keyboard shortcut—just hold down the Control+ Shift keys (Windows) or the Control key (Macintosh) while redrawing your page. You can redraw your page by selecting an option from the View submenu of the Layout menu, by double-clicking on your publication window’s title bar (Windows), or by clicking on the resize box in the upper-right corner of your publication window (Macintosh).
  • If you like using the “Normal” setting but want your graphics to display at slightly higher resolution, you can increase the “Maximum size of internal graphic” setting and reimport your graphics.

Q: Sometimes when I place a graphic, I get the message: “The document named ‘[filename]’ was not created with the application program ‘PageMaker.’ To open the document, select an alternate program with or without translation.” What’s going on? (Mac)

A: You probably have the “Macintosh Easy Open” System Extension installed, and it’s interfering with PageMaker’s import process. Macintosh Easy Open comes with System 7.5. In addition, some applications such as DataVis MacLink Plus and Aldus Fetch 1.2 automatically put the Extension in your System when they are installed.

Macintosh Easy Open is a software Extension that allows a document to be opened when the application that created it is not available. Macintosh Easy Open also allows documents to be converted into another application’s format without actually opening the document.

Unfortunately, Macintosh Easy Open sometimes interferes with PageMaker’s import process. If you see this error message while importing, open the Macintosh Easy Open Setup Control Panel (called just Macintosh Easy Open in System 7.5) and either turn off the utility or deselect the “Always show choices” and “Include choices from servers” options (these options are called “Always show dialog box” and “Include applications on servers” in System 7.5).

Q: I’ve noticed that you can use either SuperATM, PANOSE, or both to work with missing fonts. ls there a way to determine which is best for me? (Mac)

A: Yes. Anytime you’re missing a font, the best thing to do is install the font—that’s the only way to ensure that your fonts look the same, retain the same line endings and page breaks, and print the way you intended them to. Sometimes, however, reinstalling a missing font isn’t possible or practical. In these cases, use SuperATM to generate a substitute if your font is just missing temporarily. If you need to find a permanent substitution for a missing font, use PANOSE. Here’s why.

SuperATM is a special version of Adobe Type Manager that can automatically create a simulated version of a missing font. When it detects a font is missing, it generates a substitute by taking a multiple-master typeface and shaping it according to the missing font’s metrics (the exact character-spacing values), which must be available in the “ATM Font Database” file in your System Folder.

Using SuperATM-generated substitute fonts works extremely well when you need to use a different Macintosh temporarily to work on your publication or when you’re temporarily missing a font or fonts. That’s because SuperATM’s substitute fonts reproduce the exact character-spacing values of your missing fonts, allowing you to retain line endings and page breaks. If you frequently move your publication around the office or proof-print from more than one Macintosh, then SuperATM is probably the best font-matching system for you. Just remember that Super ATM-generated fonts are supposed to be temporary substitutes-they won’t look exactly like your original fonts, so you shouldn’t use them for final output

If you would like PageMaker to use SuperATM, you must make sure it has been installed successfully and that the “Substitute for missing Fonts” option is selected in its Control Panel.

Unlike SuperATM, PANOSE does not generate substitutes for your missing fonts. Instead, it finds or lets you specify the next-best match among your installed fonts. Because PANOSE substitutions are other fonts that may not have the same (or even similar) character-spacing values as your missing fonts, PANOSE substitutions will often cause line endings and page breaks to change.

PANOSE is most useful when you are missing a font that you will not be able to install before you produce final output. It’s also valuable when you want to be notified whenever you have a missing font—just make sure the “Show mapping results” option in the “Font matching” dialog box is selected so the “PANOSE font matching results” dialog box appears whenever PageMaker detects a missing font.

For more information on using SuperATM and PANOSE in PageMaker 5.0, see FaxYI document number 215405, “TechNote: Using font mapping in Aldus PageMaker.” FaxYI is at (206) 628-5737.

PageMaker Tip – Different colors for margins, columns, and ruler guides (PC)

By default, PageMaker’s ruler guides are cyan, column guides are light blue, margin guides are pink. and the “floor” (the area that surrounds the pasteboard) is light yellow. Sometimes these colors aren’t very practical—for instance, if you’re working with a lot of blue objects, you might not be able to see your column and ruler guides easily. By editing the ALDUS.INI file, you can customize the colors of these elements.

To do so, make a backup copy of your ALDUS.INI file, which is located in the ALDUS\USENGLSH directory, then open it in a text editor such as the Windows Notepad. The colors of these elements are specified as combinations of red, green, and blue components, each of which is defined numerically as a value from 0 to 255. When you open your ALDUS.INI file, you can enter the following lines in the [PageMaker 5] section:

ColumnGuideRGB=128 128 255

RulerGuideRGB=0 255 255

MarginGuideRGB=255 128 255

FloorRGB=255 255 128

The numbers above are the default settings. The first number in each line is the red setting, the second is the green setting. and the third is for blue. You can experiment with different number combinations to turn your guides and the floor different colors. For example, a setting of 192 0 192 equals purple, a setting of 192 192 192 is light gray, and a setting of 255 128 128 is pinkish orange. Restart PageMaker for your changes to take effect

Please note that some light colors may not display on a black-and-white screen. Also, changing these settings in your ALDUS.INI file may not affect display color with certain highresolution video cards, some of which display the guides as black regardless of what the ALDUS.INI settings are.

PageMaker Tip – Creating nonprinting notes (PC/Mac)

Ever wish you could create a nonprinting note or comment in PageMaker? While there isn’t a specific feature for this, you can create this effect in other ways. Here are two methods.

First, if your publication will be printed in a single color or your final output will be to color separations, create a special spot color for your notes. (Call it something like “nonprint notes.”) Then, when you’re ready to print your publication, select “Separations” in the “Color” print dialog box and select only the colors you do want to print. If a service bureau will be creating final output for you, make sure you let them know you’ve done this—otherwise, they might print separations for your notes, or worse, convert your notes color to a process color and print them that way.

If that method isn’t practical—for instance, if you’ll be printing final output or critical proofs to a composite color device—try this instead. Create a special style for your notes and assign it to any text you don’t want to print during final output or certain proofs. Then, when you want to print everything in your document except the notes, edit your style so that the color of the text becomes “Paper.” Just make sure none of the text is placed over colored backgrounds Also, be sure to use a font that will be resident in your final output and proofing device, or that you’re using elsewhere on the same page—that will ensure PageMaker doesn’t end up downloading a font for your paper-colored text.

The scanned article complete with images and fun outdated advertising:

Adobe Magazine PageMaker Q&A - Jan/Feb 1995


This post is brought to you by:
* Jessamine - The Long Arm of Coincidence
* Thurston Moore - Rock N Roll Consciousness

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