Readers fill mailbox with questions about Acrobat, InDesign, OSX and Cameras

Aug 04, 2009 at 08:30 pm by staff

My inbox has been especially full lately. That makes it harder to answer every question personally, but I try to answer as many questions as I can. Let me share a few I’ve received over the past few weeks: From Mark in Pennsylvania:


We have a PDF, created by InDesign and cropped in Acrobat. When we place the “cropped” file onto an In-Design page, the original cropped area returns and prints over the words and ads around it. Any idea why this happens?


This has perplexed InDesign users from day one. Most applications simply ignore a cropped area as if it’s not there. InDesign knows, however, that it’s there and gives you the option of showing or hiding the cropped area. Simply click on the “Show Options” button in the Place window when placing a PDF file on a page. Next, select “Crop” from the “Crop to” list. That’s it. From LJ in Nebraska:


I need to invest in new equipment, quickly. Over the weekend we lost our G5 RIP. It lasted at least five years. Anyway, would the MAC ($1500) you have in your current review be appropriate? I’m the purchasing person not the designer, but I think we have OSX something and CS3. Any expertise that you’re willing to share is helpful.


It’s a safe assumption that the current iMac would cover all the bases of your five-year-old G5. Be sure to get plenty of RAM. The model you’re considering comes with 4 GB RAM, which should be fun. But it’s always a good idea to load up on memory when possible. The iMac will come with the latest operating system and CS3 will run fine. If your old machine won’t restart, you might need to call Adobe to switch your CS3 serial num-ber over to your new machine. Creative Suite can be installed (but not run) on two machines at once, so you might be able to install it without first calling Adobe.

From Nick in California:

Hi Kevin,

Which would you choose if spending around $700 for an SLR digital camera: a Canon or a Nikon? Frankly, Nick, that would depend on the lenses you already have.

Lenses are often more expensive than the camera itself, so I usually recommend that people stick with the brand they already have lenses for. However, if you’re starting from scratch without lenses, the choice isn’t nearly as clear cut. Nikon and Canon both put out quality products and I don’t think you’ll be disappointed with either brand. As I visit photographers at larger papers, it seems they are more prone to own Nikons than Canons. However, I tend to buy Canons when I’m purchasing cameras for personal use. An additional con-sideration these days is whether you want the ability to shoot high definition video with your SLR. From Brett in Kentucky:

Hi Kevin,

I have an eMac running 10.4.11 operating system. I have been using InDesign 2.0 for several years now and all of a sudden it won’t open. I’ve done everything I know to do, including re-installing the software. When I click to open the program, the dialog box opens up, but when it gets to “loading palettes” it acts like it’s trying to open up but never does. After it tries to boot up for a minute or so, it unexpectedly quits. Do you have a answer to this problem? I appreciate any help you can give me.


This is a common problem on both Macs and Windows-based systems running InDesign. It sounds like it’s time to get rid of the old preference and create new ones. Try this to fix the problem on your Mac: 1) Quit InDesign; 2) Drag the “Version [version]” folder from the “Users>username>Library>Preferences>Adobe InDesign folder to the Desktop; 3) Restart InDesign. In most instances, InDesign will start up after removing this folder. If the problem recurs after this process, it isn’t related to preference files. To restore custom settings, drag the “Version” folder from the Desktop back to its original location, and then click OK when asked if you want to replace the folder. From Karen in Missouri:


I am having problems with fonts on the computer. I am missing fonts from my font list when working in Quark. These fonts are in at least one of my three font folders, but not available for me to use. My computer has Mac OS X Version 10.5.7. We have no idea which fonts are to be in which folders. When I go to adding some font to the Font Book they will not transfer to that folder. Do you have any advice on straightening these fonts out?

Yes, Karen, I do:

There are several places fonts can reside on both Macs and PCs. When I’m having problems with a font on a Mac, I make sure it’s located in the Library>Fonts folder on the main hard drive. This makes it available to every application on the computer. Just between you and me, that’s where I keep all of my fonts. They used to be spread throughout the computer, depending on my applications and font management utilities. Over time, I’ve learned that fonts kept in the main Fonts folder tend to show up when needed.

The most common question I received in June and July was related to newspaper Web sites. It seems like a lot of newspapers are looking for new hosts to make their sites more attractive to potential visitors and easier to use on the creation side of things. There are too many options to consider here, but let me make one suggestion. When considering a host for your newspaper Web site, be sure to compare at least three potential vendors. There are plenty out there and there is probably one who has just what your newspaper is looking for at a fair price.


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