Category Archives: Utilities

Free 2015 calendar InDesign

Here is the new and absolutely free 2015 calendar template for InDesign

The main file in the ZIP package is an Adobe InDesign CS3 interchangeable file format – inx. The file could be opened with all InDesign versions after CS2. Includes also the original InDesign CS4 file, a PDF and a JPG preview image.

The template is fully customizable – months are created with tables and you can easily modify the look of the months. Using the paragraph styles, you can change fonts, colors, spaces and so on in couple of clicks. You cal also remove (make white) the strokes within the table.

The template is 100% free for personal and/or commercial use.

If you like it, please share this page on Facebook or Twitter, or add a link to this page on your blog or website. Thank you!

DOWNLOAD (Zip archive, 1.83Mb)

LICENSE: Free for personal and commercial use
FILE FORMATS: CS3 interchange (.inx), Adobe InDesign CS4 and PDF
WEEK STARTS: Monday

Preview:

Free 2015 InDesign template

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HR Test Chart for Printers and Displays AdobeRGB

About this test chart

Three years after the release of my first AdobeRGB test chart it was downloaded thousands of times and I hope it was helpful for people that care about the quality of their prints and the calibration of their computer displays. But, being only 1500×1000 pixels, it is very often too small for today’s large monitors and printers with A4 or Letter size. It is absolutely useless with larger printers. So, this have to be corrected.

The new chart I offer you now is significantly bigger: it is 4252×2835 pixels and is calculated to cover a 60×40 cm print at 180 dpi. With this size it covers also all the displays on today’s market.

The chart has an AdobeRGB color profile embedded!!! You should understand color management and use of color profiles, otherwise you may get some unexpected results.

hr_test_chart_ndimitrov_600_srgb
 Click this preview to open the full-size chart in a new tab or window!

How to use the test chart

If you use the chart to judge the quality or calibration of your display, simply look at it. Please be aware: most of the browsers (especially on PC) do not understand color profiles, so the only reliable way to see the correct colors is to open the test chart in Photoshop or other image editor or viewer with proper color management. If you are using a browser/software that has not color management capabilities, you’ll most probably see some soft and desaturated colors.

If you are using the chart to test your printer, you must be aware of the proper use of color profiles and color management. Read carefully your printer’s user guide and especially that color management part.

What should you look at?

1. The background of the chart is neutral grey and it should render/print neutral – this shows if there is a problem with the color balance.

2. The color gradient should render/print smoothly, without banding or artifacts – this shows how accurately your printer/display handle the wide gammut of the AdobeRGB space.

3. The grey gradient should render/print without banding and/or corrupted sections and in neutral grey from black to white – this shows the capabilities of your display or printer to render/print accurately the greyscale gammut.

4. There are 4 photos in this chart – two stills and two portraits. The stills contain colors outside the sRGB gammut, and this is useful for displays and printers with gammut wider than sRGB. The portraits shows how your display or printer renders/prints grey gamma portraits and color portraits. Human skin color accuracy is essential if you do photograph people.

5. At the bottom there are five black rectangles on the black background and five white rectangles on the white background. You should discern them all, especially the right ones – this shows how your display or printer handles the darkest and the lightest tones.

Some things to consider

While this test chart has a wide AdobeRGB color space, it can be seen/printed properly only on wide gammut monitors and printers.

Legal notes

You can freely distribute the chart.

You are not allowed to resize, re-save or modify in any way the original file!

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How to prepare photos to upload on Facebook

Do you upload your own photography samples on Facebook? If you do so, and you are not pleased with the quality, you should read this article.
Facebook applies a very strong compression on all photos you upload. A great looking photo on your desktop could be completely destroyed in therms of quality when you upload it on FB.

Optimize photos for Facebook

But here are the good news! If you prepare the photos carefully and with the right size, they could look on FB almost as good as in your Photoshop workspace.
There are three key specs for the photos you prepare for FB:
1. Size
2. Sharpening
3. Compression

 

Size

Lets start with the size. This is the most important spec of your photograph. Some time ago, FB used to resize large pics to a small common size. Now it’s different. FB stores the original uploaded photo and shows it non-altered in its picture viewer.. Well not completely non-altered, but with some stronger compression. So, the larger photo you upload, the better the quality? Not exactly, but close. I don’t know why, but computers usually show better pics with size to a multiple of 1024 pixels. So, if you make and upload on FB your photo 1024 pixels the longest side, it should look better like the same photo at 1000 or 1100 pixels. Strange, but true. But is 1024 pixels enough? I would say: no! With common large monitors, 2048 is a better choice. It renders even better and usually fits the screen very well.

 

Sharpening

Sharpening is the second important factor when you prepare photos for Facebook. If you make your photos 2048 pixels wide, I suggest that you over-sharpen a little bit. It will make the photo look better when resized to fit smaller monitors and this is the most common case with this size at the time I write this. A smart sharpen filter with Amount 180 and Radius 0.3 will be enough, but sharpening is a personal choice and depends on your taste and of course – of the type and the content of the photograph.

 

Compression

Using small compression amount is not a solution, while FB applies its own, I would say very strong, compression on all the photos you upload. If you use Photoshop, saving a JPEG with the Quality set to 9 will be quite enough.

 

How do I do it

I resize with a simple Photoshop action, you can record it and use it with a single click in the future.
Choose |File-> Automate-> Fit image| and input 2048 for Width and 1536 for Height. Click OK.
Notice: If you resize a smaller image, it will be interpolated to fit the above size and the quality will be lowered.
After I have the resized image, I do the sharpening. If needed, I do local sharpening to pop-up some areas of the image, while keeping the rest or the photo artifact-free. I usually use Smart Sharpening, but depending on the photo, I sometimes do a Low Pass sharpening, which is better for larger images, but is slower to apply and sometimes returns strange results.
After the sharpening, I save the image, using the File->Save For Web and Devices plug-in in Photoshop.

 

Some other little things to consider

Always upload your images with embedded sRGB color profile.
Always put your watermark somewhere on the image. It is not a good protection against image piracy, but sometimes helps, especially if you go in court.
Don’t be afraid of image piracy. It will always be out there, but it’s far more important that visitors of your FB page or profile see the real beauty of your photography work.
Have in mind that the bigger size, the better all these lens and editing flaws are seen. So, upload only perfect images.

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Free year 2014 calendar template

Well, as usual, I post here a free InDesign calendar template of the next 2014 year.

The main file in the ZIP package is an Adobe InDesign CS3 interchangeable file format – inx. The file could be opened with all InDesign version after CS2 – CS3, CS4, CS5, CS6. I included also the original InDesign CS4 file, as well as a PDF and a JPG preview image.

The template is fully customizable – months are created with tables and you can easily modify the look of the months. Using the paragraph styles, you can change fonts, colors, spaces and so on in couple of clicks.

The best part of the story: this template is free for personal and/or commercial use.

If you like it, please share this page on Facebook or Twitter, or add a link to this page on your blog or website. Thank you!
 

DOWNLOAD: Free 2014 calendar template (ZIP, 1.69Mb)

LICENSE: Free for personal and commercial use
FILE FORMATS: CS3 interchange (.inx), Adobe InDesign CS4 and PDF
WEEK STARTS: Monday

Preview:

2014 calendar teplate InDesign free

Click for larger preview!

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Free 2013 calendar template

And here comes the new year 2013 free calendar template.

The file is an Adobe InDesign CS4 interchangeable file format – inx, compressed in a ZIP archive. The file could be opened in all InDesign version after CS2.

As with the previous year template, this template is fully customizable – months are created with tables and you can quickly and easily modify the look of the calendar. Using the paragraph styles, you can change fonts, colors, spaces and so on in seconds. And finally, the template is absolutely free for personal and commercial use. If you like it, please share it on Facebook or Twitter, or add a link to this page on your blog or website. Thank you!

DOWNLOAD: Free 2013 calendar template (ZIP, 172Kb)

LICENSE: Free for personal and commercial use
FILE FORMAT: Adobe InDesign CS4 interchange (.inx)
WEEK STARTS: Monday

Preview:

Free calendar template 2013 preview

click for larger size preview

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Free web Christmas card templates

Here are three templates for e-mail/web Christmas and New Year greeting cards. There is now year on the card, so you can use the cards as many years as you want. The width of the card is 960 pixels to fit all contemporary monitors.

All three cards have a white gradient where you have to place your company logo, to brand the card. Then just send the card to your clients, relatives or friends.

How to use the templates:
Click the thumbnail – the card template will pop-up in a new browser window, then open the template in a graphic editing software and add your logo. Save the card and send it to your relatives, clients, business partners…

RESTRICTIONS:
You are allowed: to use the templates for personal or corporative cards; to distribute the templates thru your website.
You are NOT allowed: to sell or rent the templates; to remove the copyright statement.

Christmas card template free

Christmas card template free frozen window

Christmas card template with white frozen tree

Enjoy!!!

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Free 2012 calendar template

Well, I’ve made a calendar for 2012 and I just want to share it with my site visitors who work their own designs and need a ready-to-use calendar for year 2012.

The calendar is a downloadable ZIP archive of an Adobe InDesign CS4 file. The months are actually tables with editable text, so everything is fully editable – you can customize the fonts, colors, cell size and spaces, lines between cells and so on. In addition, all text elements have Paragraph Styles applied, so complete customization can be done in seconds.

I’m in Europe, so this calendar is European standard – week starts Monday.

DOWNLOAD LINK: 2012 calendar, Adobe InDesign CS4 file

File format: Adobe InDesign CS4
License: Free for personal and/or commercial use

preview:

Free InDesign calendar 2012

Preview: Free calendar 2012

 

EDIT: Since many of you requested, here is an universal file in inx format that can be opened with all latest versions of InDesign.

DOWNLOAD INX FILE: Call_2012_en.inx

 


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Free Capture One Styles

Capture One PRO is my favorite RAW processing software. It allows complete control of a RAW file, works with RAW files from many common cameras and works fast.

With styles, you can work even faster and achieve custom results as fast as you can click on the Styles tab. This is absolutely great and time-saving, and that’s why professionals love Capture One PRO.

Working with C1 PRO, I’ve made some custom styles that I often use in my photography workflow. And I want to share with you 5 of my style presets – the ones I use most often. These are 2 Landscape and 3 Portrait styles. Of coarse, you can experiment using these on all kind of photos, and you will find that landscape styles work fine on portrait photos and vice versa. There are no any limitations and fortunately, with C1 you can preview the effect of a style very fast – simply with positioning the cursor on the style name.

Here are some samples I made for you to see how these styles work on two different type of photographs – a landscape and a portrait.

free styles for capture one pro - landscape

click for full-size

free styles for capture one pro - portrait

click for full-size

As you can see, the results are interesting, and most important – achieved only with a mouse click.

I recommend to start with adjusting the exposure, white balance and levels, then apply the desired style. You can make further adjustments of the photo, if necessary.

Download all styles in single ZIP archive

The ZIP archive contains the Capture One styles and a text file with simple instructions on how to install.

Enjoy!

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Free monitor and printer test chart

The new test chart is 1500×1000 pixels JPG file with embedded AdobeRGB color space profile.

Some browsers do not understand color profiles, so the only reliable way to see the correct colors is to open the chart in Photoshop or some other software with proper color management.

If you are using a browser that has not color management capabilities, you’ll most probably see some soft and desaturated colors.

Click to open the test chart in a new window at full resolution!

Monitor and printer test chart AdobeRGB

This is a small-size low-quality preview! Click to open in new window at full size!

You can freely distribute the chart.

You are not allowed to resize, re-save or modify in any way the original file!

EDIT (March 2014): There is a new higher resolution chart available here.

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