Hints and Tips

by Chuck Farnham

Illustrator 3.0

Quick and easy TIFF-to-EPS conversion. To easily convert a TIFF image to EPS format, simply launch Illustrator 3.0 and open a new document. Drag your TIFF document from the Workspace over to your new document. Hide the Illustrator layer, and look in the Workspace for the folder where your copy of Illustrator resides. Your EPS document should be waiting for you, already intelligently named. Remember, however, that this is still an EPS-recorded bit-mapped image and has not become more precise or printable. This format, however, is usable by programs that require an EPS file format. If you need more than this limited solution, Pixel Magician, a nearly universal format converter, will handle this and most other conversions as well.


Alternative way to select items. As an alternative to clicking items to select them, or Shift-clicking to select multiple items in a row, you can select items by holding down an Alternate key and dragging a box around an item or items. This then selects whatever items are surrounded by the box.

Appsoft Draw

Hidden slide-making capability. Start by choosing a horizontal page layout. Create a master page and drop in your company logo and a gradient field as a background. Choose custom bullets and enter placeholder text at a size appropriate for the bullet. Using the Align tool, group the bullets and type and then choose the Matrix command to produce 5 to 6 bulleted items with equal spacing. The text is still editable within grouped items. Adjust your kerning and spacing as needed.


Sending NeXTmail from within DataPhile.. Hold down an Alternate key and Shift-click a field containing an e-mail address to send NeXTmail to that person.

Label settings for printing Avery disk labels. Users can create their own laser-printed disk labels using Avery's Laser Printer Labels (#5196) for 3.5-inch diskettes. Bring up DataPhile's Label window by selecting the Reports menu option, then New Labels. Select Set from the Labels/Page pop-up button and enter 3 by 3 in the Custom Labels window. Enter the following settings in the Margin fields of the main Label window and then press OK. (This assumes you are using inches as your standard ruler measurement. You can change this by selecting Preferences under the Info menu option.)

Top: 0.5

Bottom: 1.75

Left: 0.125

Right: 0.125

Now you can add your custom art to the Background graphic window, and it will be replicated over all nine labels. Choose Save from the label window to save this setup as a reloadable template.

Create 1.1

Digital signatures. Zoom to 200 percent and use the pencil tool:

Rotating objects that don't inherently rotate. To rotate splines, lines, polylines, and paragraph text, simply group the object, then rotate and scale it.


Wrapping text around graphics. Once you have written your letter or document, most people assume that you need to paste your graphic into the document just before the appropriate paragraph. However, since WriteNow positions graphics from the bottom of the image, you need to insert your graphic up and into the last paragraph to assure that you really get text around a graphic. In the illustration below, we used the Show Space command (Command–space bar) in WriteNow's View menu to indicate where the graphic image was actually placed into the document.

Chuck Farnham is a hardware-support engineer and consultant specializing in teaching computer skills to individuals with developmental disabilities.