Archive for January, 2010

Photoshop Top 40 Countdown with Deke McClelland: #13 – File Info

Published by | Tuesday, January 19th, 2010


p>Want to let the world know who made your photo? Then use File Info. Here you can assign a title, an author, a copyright, and a Web site. No image should go out without a visit to File Info.

Learn FX send-return in Pro Tools 8

Published by | Monday, January 18th, 2010

A common way for audio engineers to route effects is via the track’s send output into a common FX return channel. This send-return relationship allows the mixer to share a single effect with multiple tracks, especially ideal for time-based effects like reverb and delay. Plus, it saves on DSP by using fewer plug-ins and sharing effects. Historically, when people wanted to add reverb or echo effects to their mix, they would generally do so by having some sort of echo chamber or a room where they would play a track out of a speaker and then record it at the other end with a microphone.

Using Pro Tools 8 in the studio.

From the course Pro Tools 8: Mixing and Mastering, Brian White shows us how to use this send-return relationship in conjunction with FX in chapter 2, Working with the Pro Tools Mixer > Using sends and creating FX returns. This is a critical skill for Pro Tools users and Brian clearly explains how to master it, including how to best configure the effect plug-in, and how to listen to a preview to make sure the mix is what you want. author Susan Cline discusses Facebook etiquette

Published by | Friday, January 15th, 2010 author Susan Cline

Susan Cline, author of our Google Docs training, Gmail training, and Google Calendar training, released something new this week.

Facebook is one of the most popular social networking site on the web right now. Friends and students use it to connect socially and start or rekindle relationships, and businesses use it as a low-cost way to grow their marketing base and research potential hires. Family members use it to share stories and photos. Susan’s Facebook Essential training makes it simple.

I asked Susan if there were any surprises or things that came up during the development of this course.

“I found that many people were very concerned with the etiquette and unspoken rules around Facebook,” said Susan. “When is it appropriate to un-friend someone? Is it OK to block my boss from seeing my photos? Because social networking is so new, the etiquette rules around its use are still being determined.”

“There has also been so much in the news about privacy issues with Facebook that people who are new to social networking are nervous about getting started,” she continued. “I wrote this course with social networking newcomers in mind. This course is also good for current Facebook users who have specific question or who want to know more about the new privacy settings that were instituted in December 2009.”

Susan will be attending the Interactive portion of SXSW March 12th - 16th. You can become a fan of hers on Facebook to get more Google Apps and Facebook training, and find out about her upcoming speaking events and webinars.

Screen shot from Chapter 7, Managing Photos in Facebook Essential Training.

George Maestri covers new features in Google SketchUp 7 course

Published by | Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

In Google SketchUp 7 New Features, George Maestri reviews the major enhancements to Google’s free and user-friendly 3D modeling software. One of the most exciting changes is the addition of Dynamic Components, and George takes an in-depth tour of their features, including built-in animation and the ability to scale without distortion. He also reviews the new point-and-click Interact tool, which allows users to customize Dynamic Components without the use of a keyboard or menus, and the improved Line tool, which transforms intersecting lines into separate segments. Other improvements include updates to the 3D warehouse and the ability to download models directly from Google Earth.

Photoshop Top 40 Countdown with Deke McClelland: #14 – Gaussian Blur

Published by | Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

Gaussian Blur is a filter that blurs an image. But it’s also the math behind the Feather command, drop shadows, and everything that is soft in Photoshop. In this week’s video, Deke explains just why Gaussian Blur is so important.

Many thanks to the talented teams at

Published by | Monday, January 11th, 2010 staff & teams

Here are all the teams (and nearly all the staff!) at Production, Education and Content, Operations, Human Resources, Sales, Customer Service and Technical Support, Finance and Legal, IT, Marketing, and the Executive Team.

Many thanks to the teams at for their tireless efforts. We had a great holiday celebration this past December, and got most people in the company to be photographed with their teams before we held our annual party.

Here’s a great video that the staff assembled to thank me and Bruce for the employee benefits at It’s testament to the passion and enthusiasm we all share for creating an excellent product and having fun in the process. Kudos to all; you make me so proud!



Author spotlight: James Williamson and Simon Allardice

Published by | Friday, January 8th, 2010

We recently had two new staff authors join and would like to introduce them to you. In addition to the talented Garrick Chow, Dave Rivers, and Jan Kabili, who we count on regularly for their expert content, we have just added James Williamson and Simon Allardice to the team. Welcome!


Left: James Williamson; Right: Simon Allardice.

You might recognize James from any one of his EIGHT Dreamweaver courses already in the library. I caught up with James to see what he was most looking forward to.

“I’m really excited to be on board as a full-time author,” James told me. “To be honest, I’m probably most excited about the opportunity to take my titles further and go into projects in more detail.  I’m always very interested in teaching WHY we do things, in addition to HOW. I think understanding the ‘why we do this’ can make people better designers.”

I asked veteran language coder Simon Allardice the same question.

“The feedback from my recent iPhone SDK course has been fantastic—and everyone wants more!” he replied. “So it wouldn’t surprise me if more advanced SDK titles appeared on the horizon. But you won’t see me being just ‘the iPhone SDK guy’; expect a lot of different subjects. Sure, they’ll all skew to the technical side, but I love jumping between technologies. Apple to Microsoft to Linux, iPhone to SharePoint to .NET, it’s all good. I’m a sucker for a new device, piece of software, or system, and always interested in finding the quickest way to learn and teach it. If I’m feeling generous, I’ll say I’m a renaissance geek; it’s entirely possible I just have a really short attention span.”

We look forward to lots of great training from these two valued additions to our team, and hope you all enjoy!

Create your own ringtones with iTunes 9

Published by | Thursday, January 7th, 2010

Judging by the sales numbers I’ve read about all over the web, quite a few of you got iPhones this Christmas. There are a ton of ‘fun’ things you can do with your iPhone; there are apps galore and more coming every day.

Here’s the part I have to remind myself not to forget: It’s a PHONE.

One of the first things I did when I got mine last year was to create some custom ringtones. By creating different ringtones for individuals and groups of people, I can easily identify who is calling without having to look at the display screen. This is especially helpful when driving or when I am just too lazy to get off the couch to get the phone.

You can purchase ringtones via iTunes, but creating them is not all that difficult. In the iTunes 9 Essential Training tutorial above, Garrick Chow shows us how to create our own custom ringtones. After you watch this video, go back and watch the entire course and get to know the power within iTunes 9. Let us know what you think.