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Tips and Tricks from the SMPS Seattle Adobe Workshop

- Leslie Riibe, Graphic Designer, Weber Thompson

On October 15th, I was fortunate to attend the SMPS Seattle Adobe Workshop led by Luminous Works trainer Steve Laskevitch. As a longtime user of several Adobe products, I wasn't entirely sure what I would learn. I'm always trying to keep up with the latest and greatest, so, I figured I'd give it a shot. 

Here are some of the key takeaways and tools that I learned about during the workshop:


  • Width Tool (in the tool box - looks like a rooster) is a great way to taper a stroke for custom lettering, logo designs, etc.
  • Pathfinder tip: hold option when grouping shapes so the individual elements are editable independent of the other parts (except the stroke).


  • Create a Curves adjustment layer. In the Properties panel hold "alt" and select the auto button. This reveals the Auto Color Correction Options panel. There are a handful of auto settings, one of which might be just right for your image.
  • Spot Healing Brush quickly removes imperfections from a photo by painting with sampled pixels from an image or pattern and matches the texture, lighting, transparency and shading to the pixels being "healed."


  • Paragraph Shading (new in CC 2015) could be a useful way to add highlighting to text.
  • Span Columns feature in Paragraph Style that allows a header to go across columns to text.

If you're an Adobe CC user you probably already know about the many tutorials available to you through Adobe. But having an Adobe Certified Expert share their favorite tools and techniques is a fast-track way to get to the good stuff - and being there in person to follow along and ask questions made it infinitely more useful than an online tutorial or webinar.

Thanks, Steve, for all the useful information; maybe next you'll convince SMPS Seattle to let you teach an advanced course in InDesign? (Hint, hint.)

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