A little New Year’s treat to all the designers out there…

First off – a Happy (Belated) New Year to everyone! I was so absorbed into my project last week I completely forgot it was the New Year… for shame!

Week 6 is moving along quite nicely – but I suspect Saturday night will be a very, very late night indeed… I keep under-estimating how it will actually take to bring my visions to life. *sigh*

I’ve been so busy lately with projects that I haven’t posted any tutorials for a while, but I don’t want all of you to think I don’t love you anymore, so I am giving all the designers, art directors and typographers a little gift this week. A little something-something the minions dredged up when they were scraping out the muck from the Cbagatombs downstairs. A little something I actually created years ago to make my life easier.

As many of you know, I actually got my start in the industry as a typesetter/production artist (actually, I got my start as a paste-up artist… but I won’t be going into those days, other to say there was alot of beerlate nights, beer and late nights. Oh and Chris Sheppard’s Friday Night Dance Party on CFNY. I don’t care what you call it, *I* still call it CFNY. And I always will. So suck it.). I was also a bit of a font nerd, and more than a bit lazy efficient. (If you want something done right, the first time, and fast, give it to the laziest person you know… really, *truly* lazy people abhor unnecessary effort, of any kind. Us Those lazy people never want to take longer to do something than they have to and never, ever want to redo something.) I would constantly find myself in situations where I forgot what special character or dingbat belonged to which font. Other times, if I did know the font, I would forget which obscure keyboard sequence created the symbol.

After faaaaar too many years, I decided that I had wasted enough time typing out a range of characters and applying different fonts until I found the correct one, then copy-pasting the character to where I needed it.

Yes, there was the  Key Finder/Key Caps, but they are kind of small – same applies to the Keyboard Viewer in OSX – and as great as the Character Palette is, it doesn’t actually tell you the key sequence to create the character. And, honestly, there’s a bit much clicking around/fussing with menu’s for my tastes. There had to be a better way.

So, behold, my Character Finder.

Yes, this is really that awesome.

The above is just a JPEG of what the file looks like. Here is the actual PDF you use: character_template_cs1

You’d be surprised how few people actually *read* blog posts – I would bet good money that I will get at least a couple emails next week saying something like ‘I downloaded the JPG, but I couldn’t change the font.’

The instructions are very simple:

To view an entire character set, unlock the layer ‘characters’;

Clickity, click.

select everything on the layer by going to Select > Select All, and then simply change the font. Voila!

Barbara trick!

If you wish to make a permanent character finder to save for future use or to print, unlock the layer ‘font_name’; select the text and type in the name of the font you are using.  Then simply Print and/or Save As normally.

A font, by any other name,
would smell so sweet?

You’re welcome.

Feel free to share this with anyone you know that might find it useful, all I ask is to leave the instructions, my URL and my logo on it. Honour system, I’m trusting you. 😉

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~ by Chris on January 7, 2011.

One Response to “A little New Year’s treat to all the designers out there…”

  1. […] It has come to my attention that there were a couple oversights on my Character Finder tool from last week – first off, I neglected to mention that the PDF should be opened in […]

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