Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Lunchtime Learning by Andy Scheer

Two minor aspects of the nearly 500-page typesetting project left me stumped. Asking Google and the program's “help” feature had brought me no closer to a solution.

For several weeks I avoided the problem, typesetting all the text sections, which gave me no problems. But this weekend I finished that aspect. Now I had to gain access to the page headers and borders, which remained stubbornly locked.

I had excuses: I was using someone else's layout from a previous edition. Plus, I'd done most of my typesetting with another program. I'd never had training in Adobe InDesign.

But those excuses wouldn't wash. I'd agreed to undertake the project, and now I was on deadline.

So I took the step I should have taken weeks ago: I invited a friend to lunch.

Not just any friend, but a guy I knew from a local ministry who for years had earned his living using InDesign.

Yes, he was willing to meet me for lunch at a first-rate barbecue place near his office. Based on my email description of the problem, he thought he already knew the answer.

Mike did indeed. He quickly pointed me to an aspect of the program I hadn't discovered on my own. He pointed out how the feature worked, then gave me multiple opportunities to practice it.

Then for good measure, he pointed to two more big time-savers.

For years we've both been part of a professional training and support organization. This far into my career, I'm usually the one offering instruction to rookies.

But sometimes I'm the one who needs to learn. How much better when instruction comes with a plate of pulled pork and fried okra.

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