Ian Hoar – Passion for Technology – Geeking Out - Technology, Web, Toys, Games, Design, Entertainment, Gadgets, & Geeking Out

CSS tip, declare your font family once

Here’s a CSS tip that I wish more people would follow. When setting up a font on your site, say Verdana, there is no reason to declare it on every H tag, P tag and class you are using. Throw it up in the body and be done with it. The same goes for font sizes, colours and anything else that will be uniform across the site. Once you have done this you can override it for specific tags and classes when you need too.

body {
	font-family:Verdana, Arial, sans-serif;

This will make your life easier and everyone else who has to work with your files will thank you. I think we should always be looking for ways to make our CSS smaller, cleaner and easier to read.

Photoshop Smart Objects: How and when to use them

Photoshop IconSmart Objects aren’t perfect, and until Photoshop CS4 a mask could not be linked unless you used layer groups. They don’t always resized perfectly when using vector logos either, but one thing they are perfect for is embedding photos into your Photoshop documents. I still can’t believe how many times I end up working on PSD files full of photos without any Smart Objects. It takes seconds to create one, and saves a lot of time down the road.

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Space below images in Firefox and email newsletters

FirefoxOne thing that is consistently presented to me by other web designers and users is space below images and usually in Firefox, but it can also happen in email newsletters. You will usually notice it when you need images to vertically butt up against each other. This results in a white line or whatever the background colour is set too appearing between two vertically stacked images. Fear not, the fix is extremely easy and you have two good options.

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Adobe Photoshop CS4: Disabling document tabs

Photoshop IconTabbed applications work great in many instances. They revolutionized the way many of us browse the web, and for the most part I like them in my editors. One place I don’t have time for them is in Photoshop, and in Adobe Photosohp CS4 tabbed viewing of documents is the default setting. Usually when I’m working in Photoshop I have several documents open at once. I may be comparing designs, sampling colours or any other number of tasks that require multiple documents displaying at the same time. It’s one of the reasons designers usually have large displays and sometimes multiple screens. If you are like me, you don’t like the default setting, but it’s a snap to return Photoshop to it’s old self.

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Adium spam comments

Adium DuckAdium is a fantastic instant messaging program for the Mac that allows you to connect to many different chat clients like Yahoo, MSN and Google Talk just to name a few. Unfortunately if you have an MSN / Windows Live Messenger account on Adium you may be bombarded by the parasitic individuals of the web also known as spammers. I’m not sure why this only seems to happen to my MSN account, but there is a simple fix.

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Adobe Photoshop CS4: Blurry edges with the Rectangle Tool

Photoshop IconI was playing around with Photoshop CS4 and came across an odd setting. I’m not even sure what the default setting usually is, but for me it was my first time dealing with non-pixel perfect blurry rectangles in Photosohp and it really threw me for a loop. Below you can see two 60 pixel boxes created with the rectangle tool. Both boxes look the same, but upon further inspection you will see that the right box has blurry edges and the left box is pixel perfect and sharp.

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Google iPhone reader refomats my web pages

GoogleGoogle reader is a fantastic RSS reader and I use both the full web version and the iPhone mobile version daily. It’s simple to use, fast, and it’s a web app, and I’m a big supporter of web based applications. The only real thing it needs now is some fancy HTML 5 database storage, then we could use it offline and there would be no need for standalone apps while on the subway.

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12 bad website practices to avoid

12 bad website practices to avoidThere are many things that web designers do (or are forced to do) that are just plain wrong or annoying and should be avoided if possible. Some items listed here are subjective and will of course depend on your demographic, but over all if these practices are avoided it will make your website better. If you disagree feel free to post in the comments section. Top sites like Facebook, Google, Yahoo, Twitter etc, tend to avoid most of these practices.
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Outlook 2007, inline styles, and links

I recently discovered yet another weird Outlook 2007 bug with email newsletters. Every web designer has probably gone through the nightmare of Internet Explorer and then tried to explain to non-web people why it just plain sucks. Outlook 2007 raises the bar to a whole new level of awfulness, but enough with the ranting.

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Internet Explorer 6 and redirected anchor links

Why are my are my anchor links not working in IE6?

As a web designer I constantly run into browser bugs and 90% of these bugs belong to either IE6 or IE7. Remarkably these two browsers don’t even consistently break the same way. What is messed up in IE6 may be completely messed up in a different way in IE7. The standards compliant WebKit and Gecko engines used by popular browsers like FireFox, Safari and Chrome rarely see many of these annoying bugs, but the masses use IE, so we as designers and developers must make them work.

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