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Acrobat: Select multiple comments

Note: The following behavior is what I’ve seen in Acrobat 7 and 8 on Mac OS X. I’m not sure if it works better in the Windows versions of Acrobat. Also, this technique may not apply in Acrobat X and later because the comment list interface is slightly different.

You can select multiple comments in the Comments panel in Acrobat, but not in the way you’d expect. Let’s say you want to set the status of three comments to “Completed.” Your natural inclination would be to Shift-click or Command-click them, but it somehow doesn’t work like it does in other programs: even though you’re holding down a modifier key, the only comment selected is the last one you clicked.

To select multiple comments, you need to click just below the top edge of each comment while holding down a modifier key. For example, to select a range of comments, click the first comment you want to select, and then Shift-click just below the top edge of the last comment you want to select. It might take a little practice, but you’ll get it.

Dr. Brown’s Place-O-Matic: Camera Raw color space not used?

If you use the Dr. Brown’s Place-O-Matic plug-in for Photoshop and the Space in the Adobe Camera Raw dialog box doesn’t seem to be applied to the Photoshop document containing the Smart Objects generated by the plug-in, change your Color Settings in Photoshop (Edit > Color Settings) before using Dr. Brown’s Place-O-Matic. Dr. Brown’s Place-O-Matic sets up the Photoshop document using the current Color Settings.

I came across this when I selected ProPhoto RGB and 16 Bits/Channel in the Camera Raw dialog box, and noticed that the resulting Photoshop document was in sRGB. When I changed my Color Settings to use ProPhoto RGB, the Photoshop document created by Dr. Brown’s Place-O-Matic was created with ProPhoto RGB.

Dr. Brown’s Place-O-Matic is a free Photoshop plug-in available from the Tips and Techniques page on Russell Brown’s web site. It helps you create one image from two different conversions of the same camera raw format image, such as when you want to combine the very light and very dark parts of the same image. Because the plug-in imports two versions of a camera raw image as smart objects, you can alter the conversion settings at any time, which gives you a lot of flexibility.

Acrobat: Set default comment identity

By default, Acrobat versions 7 and 8 label your PDF comments with your login username, which may not have any resemblance to your real name. During a review involving several reviewers, this can make it difficult to figure out who made certain comments in a PDF.

Not only it is not obvious how to set the default identity, the preference that should make it happen doesn’t. But with a few trips to different areas of Acrobat, it can eventually be done.

To set your default comment identity:

1. Open the Preferences dialog box in Acrobat and go to the Identity panel.
2. Make sure the Name represents the name you want to use to label your comments.
3. Go to the Commenting panel in the Preferences dialog box.
4. Under Making Comments, make sure “Always use Log-in name for Author name” is disabled.
5. Click OK to close the Preferences dialog box.
6. Select any commenting tool, such as the Note tool, and add a comment. It doesn’t have to be anything important, because you can delete it after you’ve completed this procedure.
7. Right-click the comment and choose Properties. (This step seems to work only if the comment’s window is closed on the page.)
8. Click General and make sure the Author name is the name you want to use to label all of your comments, and click Close.
9. Right-click the comment and choose Make Current Properties Default.

That should do it. While it would seem that steps 2 and 4 should get the job done, the entire reason this procedure is necessary is that Step 4 never seems to work on its own.

Deep-calibrate your PowerBook lithium-ion battery

Lithium-ion (li-ion) batteries work best when you partially empty them and then top them off. They don’t like to be emptied every time you use them. There is one exception: You should run your battery all the way down to empty about once a month. This ensures that the circuit that measures the battery capacity has an accurate idea of what “full” and “empty” are for your particular battery, since charge capacity decreases over time.

The standard advice for taking care of lithium-ion batteries comes from Apple and batteryuniversity.com.

When doing this kind of maintenance, most Apple laptop users simply use their laptop until Mac OS X automatically puts the computer into sleep mode. I’ve found that this doesn’t always leave the battery meter with an accurate reading of the battery capacity. However, I have found a way to empty and calibrate the battery more effectively.

I’ve noticed that my PowerBooks, when on battery power, run much longer when the iTunes visualizer is running full screen. When iTunes is in that mode, Mac OS X somehow seems to let iTunes bypass the usual automatic battery cutoff level, and forces sleep much later. To try this battery calibration method:

1. When you see a low-battery warning or when the battery level drops to around 5 minutes remaining, start iTunes.
2. Start playing your music library. It should be a long playlist (like the entire library) so that the playing time is definitely longer than the battery’s remaining time.
3. Make sure the Full Screen command is enabled under the Visualizer menu.
4. Choose Visualizer > Turn Visualizer On.
5. Wait.

You’ll probably find that iTunes keeps playing many minutes longer than the remaining time indicated by the battery meter. Eventually, Mac OS X will sleep the laptop. As a result of the longer runtime, the battery meter should indicate a longer life than it would have if you hadn’t extended the runtime with iTunes. Using CoconutBattery, I’ve confirmed that the number of milliAmp hours assumed by the Power Manager is higher after this procedure.

I don’t know why Apple keeps two different cutoff levels for sleep when on battery. It’s a mystery.

AirPort: Can’t connect to password-protected wireless network (Log error “Rx’d mesg P-1”)

If you can’t connect to an AirPort network, and the network requires a password that you’ve tried to enter correctly, try the following:

1. Open the Console utility in your Utilities folder.
2. Choose File > Open System Log.
3. Look for a line that includes the message:
kernel[0]: AirPort: Rx’d mesg P-1
4. If the message is there*, try the steps that follow.
5. Open System Preferences, and click Network.
6. Edit AirPort. (If you see the Network Status list, double-click AirPort.)
7. You might have AirPort set to “By default, join: A Specific Network.” Confirm that the network name is correct.
8. Here’s the important part. Re-enter the network password.
9. Click Apply Now. (Don’t change your Location before clicking Apply Now, or your changes probably won’t be saved.)

*If you aren’t getting that error, I don’t know what the problem is. This tip won’t help you if you’re trying to get into a network where you don’t know the password.