Archive for April, 2011

Access 2007/2010 shortcut: customize the navigation pane

Published by | Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

Want to make Access 2007 or Access 2010 truly your own? This productivity shortcut from Alicia Katz Pollock shows how you can reorganize the Navigation Pane to streamline your workflow—or to create a customized navigation system for Access users who are not experts. You’ll find this tip along with lots more in Alicia’s courses on, Access 2007 Power Shortcuts and Access 2010 Power Shortcuts.

Deke’s Techniques #15: Correcting red-eye like a pro

Published by | Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

Wait, fixing red-eye like a pro? True, professional photographers, with their fancy equipment, probably don’t end up with glowing-eyed subjects very often. But the fact is if you’re using the camera at hand, and it happens to be a compact device with the flash and sensor in close angles to one another, anyone might end up with red-eye in their portraits. And what Deke demonstrates in this week’s technique is how to fix red-eye like a pro. That is, a professional Photoshop retoucher.

And yes, this involves avoiding Photoshop’s red-eye tool altogether. Deke starts by showing you how to create a nuanced mask using the Calculations command and painting with an overlay brush to select the subtle outlines of a blown-out pupil. Then he employs the Channel Mixer to rid the eyes of their redness. The result, as you can see below, allows for nice dark pupils with nothing but the spark of a natural spectral highlight. (And along the way, you get a cool zombie-like effect during the mask creation process.)

Each week, Deke offers up a new technique that’s free to everyone. And members can view the entire collection of Deke’s Techniques (including some exclusive members-only episodes) inside the Online Training Library®. If you’d like to see more about masking, members can also check out Chapter 26 of Deke’s Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Mastery course. And we’ll see you all back next week for another free Deke’s Technique.

Outlook 2007/2010 shortcut: keeping track of schedules

Published by | Monday, April 11th, 2011

Finding it hard to keep track of your coworkers’ or employees’ schedules? This tutorial from David Diskin shows how to view the schedule of a group of contacts that you define, so that you can have immediate access to that group’s schedule in one place. You’ll find this time-saving tip along with hundreds more in David’s new courses Outlook 2007 Power Shortcuts and Outlook 2010 Power Shortcuts.

Young Love: a tribute to Doyald Young this Sunday

Published by | Friday, April 8th, 2011

A celebration of the life and work of Doyald Young will be held this Sunday, April 10th, from 1:00 until 8:00 p.m. at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California.

It starts from 1:00 to 4:30 p.m. with an afternoon of workshops. Prominent designers and Art Center instructors will show how to draw beautiful curves and letterforms. Join Jill Bell, Stefan G. Bucher, Nils Lindstrom, Ramone Muñoz, Chesley Nassaney, and Bumsuk Lim for a series of hands-on workshops creating luscious curves as an homage to Doyald.

From 5:00 to 6:00 p.m., Doyald’s friends, colleagues, and students will gather in the student cafeteria for an exhibition and reception.

From 6:15 to 8:00 p.m. in the Ahmanson Auditorium, there will be a screening of the documentary, Doyald Young, Logotype Designer. After the lights come up, Doyald’s friends and colleagues will share a few of their favorite memories.

RSVP to the event by emailing Please indicate whether you’ll be attending the workshops, reception, or both. Check for updates to the workshop schedule, descriptions and preparation here.

In honor of this wonderful man, we’d like to share a tribute we created that showcases the work that he loved so much, set to a clarinet duet:

Outlook 2007/2010 shortcut: open multiple windows

Published by | Thursday, April 7th, 2011

Want to be able to view your email and calendar (or contacts) at the same time in Outlook 2007 or Outlook 2010? This tutorial from David Diskin shows how you can easily open multiple windows to have all the information you need at your fingertips. You’ll find this time-saving tip along with hundreds more in David’s courses Outlook 2007 Power Shortcuts and Outlook 2010 Power Shortcuts.

Marking the 1,000-course milestone and revisiting the first 24 courses

Published by | Tuesday, April 5th, 2011
No Pixels Harmed!

No Pixels Harmed! is among the first 24 courses in the Online Training Library®. Of the first 24 courses, seven were with co-founder Bruce Heavin, and four were with co-founder Lynda Weinman. They taught one of them together; Learning Photoshop 6 and ImageReady 3 for the Web.

Late last week, we quietly marked a milestone in the Online Training Library®. For the first time ever, our library surpassed the 1,000-course mark.

Time Management Fundamentals is the course that took us into four figures, and perhaps fittingly so. It represents the second of a very new kind of course for While we’ve been known for our software training since 2002, soft skills represent a new direction that we’re exploring to support personal and professional development in and out of the workplace. Both Time Management Fundamentals and Pitching Projects and Products to Executives have been met with high acclaim from our members, and more soft-skills courses are on the way.

By the way, we’d already passed the 1,000 mark for courses published, but have retired a few courses from the library over the years. This is the first time 1,000 courses have been available to members at the same time. Amazingly, our first 24 courses are still in the Online Training Library®. Even though most of the software versions in our first 24 courses have long been superseded by newer versions (or the software shown doesn’t exist any more), it’s astonishing how basic web and graphic design principles never die, no matter what the software or medium. Animation Principles is still a hearty primer for those interested in getting started in animation, and No Pixels Harmed! still has valid lessons on maintaining image integrity. Typographic Principles is just as effective today as a basic introduction to the art of type and letterforms.

Curious about the first courses in our library in 2002? Do you remember watching them way back then? Here’s the list:

Learning Amorphium Pro
Learning After Effects 5
Animation Principles
Learning Mac OS X
Advanced Photoshop 6
Learning Illustrator 9
Learning Photoshop 6
Typographic Principles
Learning Illustrator 10
No Pixels Harmed!
Learning UltraDev 4
Learning Photoshop Elements
Learning QuickTime 5 Pro
Learning Flash 5
Learning Dreamweaver 4
Intermediate Dreamweaver 4
Intermediate Flash 5
Optimizing Flash 5 Content
Learning Fireworks 4
Advanced Flash 5
Learning Photoshop 6 and ImageReady 3 for the Web
Learning Fireworks 3
Learning Dreamweaver 3
Learning Director 8.5
Animation Principles

Animation Principles still maintains basic principles for those interested in animation or motion graphics.

Deke’s Techniques #14: Fixing chromatic aberrations in Photoshop

Published by | Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

This week’s technique from Deke is about using Photoshop to fix a common problem that occurs in photographs: transverse chromatic aberration, otherwise known by its far less daunting name, color fringing. This phenomenon— caused by light breaking up into its primary components— leaves outlines of aberrant color around the edges in your photograph. Have no fear, however, because despite its daunting name, transverse CA is easily fixed in Photoshop. In this week’s free movie from Deke’s Techniques, Deke not only illustrates how the phenomenon occurs, but also shows you how to fix it, armed with the Lens Correction filter and a modicum of analytical ability (or simple trial-and-error).

Check out the before and after results on this photo of Venice’s Rialto Bridge, and notice how the stripes of color around the statue and windows have disappeared in the image on the right.

For members of the library, this week’s exclusive members-only movie will show you a second approach for removing transverse chromatic aberration with Adobe Camera Raw. Either way, it’s a quick technique that will help you make quick work of this common problem.

Join us each week for another free technique from Deke!

Related links:
Deke’s Techniques
courses on Photoshop in the Online Training Library®
courses by Deke McClelland in the Online Training Library®


What we learned from the new Time Management Fundamentals course

Published by | Friday, April 1st, 2011
Taymar Pixley, live action director

Taymar Pixley, live action director, shares her team's experiences after working on our new time management course.

Time management is something that I have always struggled with personally, so I was a little nervous about directing the course Time Management Fundamentals, which released to the Online Training Library® this week. I imagined that the author, productivity expert Dave Crenshaw, would be a highly organized, type-A personality who might look down on my less-organized self.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that Dave is a very down-to-earth, approachable person. He has had his own struggles with staying organized, and these led to his success in creating such an effective system and teaching it to others who struggle with the same problems.

What a relief it was for me to realize that Dave wasn’t a naturally organized perfectionist teaching principles that would never work for someone like me. Because Dave is a renowned author, presenter, and consultant on the topic, I took every opportunity to glean as much information as I could from him while we worked together to create this course. And since I figured everyone on the crew would probably also benefit from Dave’s expertise, I asked Dave to assign us a bit of homework each day of the two-week shoot based on the movies we had shot that day. We learned a lot, and I asked the crew to share some of their favorite tips they picked up while working on this course.

The team’s tips

Loren Hillebrand, production lead Loren Hillebrand, production lead
“Organizing always seemed overwhelming to me because I wouldn’t know where to start.  While working on this I was able to see what steps I could take, and it feels doable now.  My wife and I are planning on watching this together to tackle some of our clutter.”

Josh Figatner, production lead Josh Figatner, production lead
“What I learned from working on this course helped me to organize my email inbox, which was no small feat. I had over 4,000 unsorted emails. Now my inbox is one of my main gathering points. When things come in I’m able to get to them quickly, instead of it just functioning as a big generic bin for all of my messages, it’s all sorted. Stuff comes in and I’m able to see it and take care of it in a timely fashion.”

Jeff Layton, training producer
“One action item I took while working on this course was to consolidate my voicemail accounts. As a producer, I often returned to my desk after a stretch of days in the recording booth and found that I had new messages awaiting my response. After working on this course, I programmed my desk phone to automatically forward all calls to my cell phone. Not only do I not miss any calls, but I now have only one voicemail account to check.”

Kirk Werner, senior training producer
“After working with Dave and the rest of the team during our course prep, I set up a consolidated email inbox where my desk phone calls are forwarded as an audio file to my work email. I also built more than a dozen email rules where non-essential emails are shuffled to a folder to be dealt with during my daily email processing. Now I can focus on the important messages and deal with them appropriately.”

My favorite tip from Dave is something that is not in the course, but that he mentioned to me in conversation. Since Dave works at home, he schedules a half an hour at the end of his work day to play video games. This allows him to switch gears so that he can be really present for his wife and children. I think that this is a great tip for anyone who works at home or who has trouble turning their brain off after a long work day.

Swtiching gears and making time

Working on this course was really life-changing for me. The weekend after we finished I bought supplies and set out to apply some of the principles that I learned. I have a seven year old whose room was out of control.  Together we gathered everything that was out of place, and created a home for it just as I had learned from the course. It was an amazing transformation, and since then my son has been able to keep his room organized because everything has a place. (Content manager Bonnie Bills recently blogged about how she too was able to apply the techniques in the course to her home life as well as her work life.)

Now that the course has been released I am excited to watch it again, and apply more of these techniques to my life. I hope you will take the time to watch it. I can’t think of anything better that you could do for yourself than to give the gift of more time.

photos by Lucas Deming, photographer and colorist