Monthly Archives: October 2014

Paris Sketchbook – Ronald Searle and Kaye Webb

Paris Sketchbook – Ronald Searle and Kaye Webb

Ooh La La!

Found today in an Oxfam Bookshop. Isn’t it gorgeous! I’ve never been any closer to Paris than Disneyland and flying past the airport on a train, but this has made me want to go. Although I’m sure this Paris is very hard to find now…

The jacket flap begins: Here is a book of complete enchantment. A book that evokes the spirit of Paris as individually as a whiff of a Gauloise.

Originally published in 1950, this is the revised and expanded version published in 1957 by Perpetua Books. (Ooh and set in Perpetua twelve point, on paper by the Inveresk Paper Co, at Musselburgh, Scotland, and bound by James Burn at Esher. I love it when typefaces get a credit!)

Kaye Webb writes in her introduction: We think Paris is novel and remarkable. We also think it is beautiful and stimulating. We believe the best way of proving this is to offer you drawings to look at. The text which accompanies them may be regarded as a faint prompting from the wings, a gentle murmur of conversation intended to keep you long enough before each picture to allow interest to awaken, memories to stir, and the charm of Paris in the springtime to sweep over you.

The book begins and ends with this image of the Eiffel Tower – something they view with ‘reluctant tenderness’.

Paris Sketchbook – Ronald Searle and Kaye Webb

Eiffel Tower from the Rue St Dominique

The Musée Rodin where the ‘nursemaids come and sit while their charges play round the plinths of Adam and Eve’.

Musée Rodin

Musée Rodin

There’s lots about the nightlife.

Paris Sketchbook – Ronald Searle and Kaye Webb

The Lido

Paris Sketchbook – Ronald Searle and Kaye Webb

La Rose Rouge

And of course the more morbid and macabre.

Paris Sketchbook – Ronald Searle and Kaye Webb


Paris Sketchbook – Ronald Searle and Kaye Webb

Grand Guignol

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Vintage books: Wonderful Worlds of Walt Disney

Disney story books

Another version of Alice

Disney story books


I picked these up in Hoddesdon a few weeks ago and just got around to having a look at them.

Here we have two 1965 Wonderful Worlds of Walt Disney books – Stories from Other Lands and Fantasyland. There are apparently four in the series. They were produced by Artist and Writers Press Inc and published by the House of Grolier.

Disney story books

Fantasyland contents

Disney story books

Other Lands contents

You’ll see from the contents pages that they are story collections. Some are adapted from Disney films – both animation and live action.

Disney story books

Snow White

Disney story books

A Swiss village

Some stories use film stills (again both animated and live action) and some are re-drawn using the animation style as in the Alice in Wonderland and Snow White stories (by Al Dempster and Campbell Grant respectively).

All in all they make lovely, varied and interesting storybooks. I didn’t have these when I was a child as far as I remember, but now I’m glad I’ve got them!

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Good gracious – it’s GREP!

Grep definition
The other day I was asked if I could convert some short ebooks into PDFs using an existing print template set up in InDesign. Only thing was that the contents of the ebooks were edited sections of existing print books, and had never existed as Word files or InDesign files. So how to do it reasonably efficiently? To be absolutely sure that you have the right version of the text ideally you should work with the ebook files.

That’s fine – crack them open and you have HTML. That’s text, right? Well – yes, and in an ideal world InDesign could import HTML and use the HTML code to style your text. But this isn’t an ideal world – InDesign can’t import HTML yet. (I’m sure it’s only a matter of time, right, Adobe?)

But – back to the drawing board for the time being. So I copy and paste the text from my browser… That works, but – hey, hang on! – where’s my formatting? All those italics – gone. Oh lordy, am I going to have to go back over everything and replace the italics? Bolds? Headings!?

Back to the drawing board again. What if I copy-and-paste the HTML into InDesign? Yes but you still haven’t got any formatting? Ah, but you have got the codes for formatting.

HTML code

You can see here, each paragraph is surrounded by a little bit of code and italics, bolds and headings, etc are surrounded by codes too. These codes work with the css files to style the text in your ebook or browser, and the great thing about this is that they won’t ever be wrong or typed incorrectly (so long as the original text is styled correctly of course). So you can do some find/change work using the code tags as a guide and you’ll soon have styled text without having to go through comparing both versions. Hurrah!

The find/change panel in InDesign is really powerful and I spend a lot of time using it when I’m typesetting. But to sort out this little problem more efficiently, it’s really useful to know a bit of grep. I knew some grep and sometimes use InDesign’s built-in grep queries, but I went back to the trusty Lynda video-training site and brushed up on it. And, wowzers, it really is like magic. (I’m nothing to do with, but I cannot recommend them highly enough – their courses are superb.)

What you need to know here is pretty simple stuff, actually, and is only scratching the surface of the capabilities of grep (and don’t even get me started on the possibilities of grep styles). If you’re ever setting long documents, or have to change from one format to another, a little bit of grep is the way to go.

Here I’m clearing out the paragraph tags and styling the body text at the same time – one click (do check your code is working first though!) and the body text is styled and the paragraph tags are gone. You’ll see that the paragraph tags are in the search field and inside them is (.*). This pretty much means find anything inside this text. Then in the replace field the $1 means put in anything you’ve found but only what you’ve found – not the paragraph tags (actually anything inside those parentheses you see around .*). And at the bottom of the find/change panel I’ve asked it to change the style to ‘text’.


Clearing out paragraph tags

You can use the same method to style headings, opening paragraphs, etc, too. Just substitute your paragraph tags for whatever else you have (H1, div, etc).

Here I’m styling italics with a italic character style and getting rid of the tags at the same time. Again, you can do this with your bold, underline etc – just change the search criteria.
grep codes

You can also use ‘wild cards’ to clear out things like image tags that are slightly different throughout, so that you don’t have to search and delete manually through all the text.


Using wildcard codes to clear out unwanted text

You could also use grep to convert the image tags to placeholder boxes for the images if you needed too. Finally go through and clear out random div tags, etc. Then I’d do a final check for > and < which means you should pick up any remaining lurking code. Then you’re done. Ta dah! Styled text in just a few clicks.

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Adobe InDesign fixed format export

Now you see it

Adobe InDesign fixed format export

Now you don’t

Yesterday Adobe announced their latest round of updates to Creative Cloud apps. And they’ve fixed lots of the issues around their new fixed-format export feature that I wrote about here and added a whole lot of interactivity possibilities too.

The biggest issue I suppose is links. You can now have internal and external text hyperlinks. So you can add your website (or any website), index and cross-references. Whay-hay!

Adobe InDesign fixed format export

Cross references and multistage objects (That’s set up with a simple slideshow feature.).

But you can also add most of the interactive features that previously only applied to interactive PDF (and most of them wouldn’t work on iPad). I spent an hour quickly (and roughly!) animating page elements on my Sleeping Beauty sample book. Here some ‘blood’ fades in when you tap the page (draw shape, fill red and set to fade in on page click/tap). And in the pictures above the cat appears inside the cupboard (create closed-door cupboard by copying and flipping left side of cupboard, place on top of original image and set that to appear on page click/tap). When I exported the book everything worked as it should in iBooks (desktop and iPad).

Adobe InDesign fixed format export

And some ‘blood’ fading in on a page tap.

You can also add html animations too, but I haven’t tried that yet.

Another really useful feature is that there is now an ePub preview panel so that you can preview how things will look without having to export and load onto an iPad if you haven’t got a desktop ereader. This is brilliant, seems to work really well and is such a time-saver.

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