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Q&A: End-to-end automation with eXtyles Arc and Typefi

Typefi recently joined forces with Inera to present a free webinar showcasing a fully automated end-to-end article publishing workflow.

Since we ran out of time to answer all questions from the audience, we’ve teamed up to answer them here!

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7 simple ways to make your Word documents more accessible

Guy van der Kolk
Senior Solutions Consultant, Typefi

There is nothing like a global pandemic to highlight the fact that not all information is available equally.

While we are being bombarded with more information than we can process, a lot of that information cannot be consumed at all by people with disabilities, because it has not been produced with accessibility in mind!

I know that a lot of us who advocate for accessibility can be quite vocal and active and possibly even a bit… obsessive… about what we do. Sometimes, I think that is actually detrimental to our message.

So, in this post I want to focus on the human experience, and look at some simple things that anyone can do when creating written content to make a difference for visually-impaired people who use assistive technology to read.

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The silence of the image

Huw Alexander
Managing Director, textBOX

“The drawing shows me at one glance what might be spread over ten pages of a book.”

The words of Anna Sergeyevna, from Turgenev’s 1862 novel Father and Sons, echo across the ages and apply more than ever in our own time.

With an estimated 1.4 trillion photographs forecast to be taken globally in 2020, the digital world is becoming an ever more visual place.

A picture can indeed tell a thousand words, but how can images be conveyed to those who cannot see them?

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Book excerpt: JavaScript for InDesign

There are many repetitive and labour-intensive Adobe InDesign tasks that can be solved with scripting.

If you want to learn how to access Adobe InDesign’s hidden scripting riches, Peter Kahrel’s book JavaScript for InDesign is a great place to start!

Thanks to the team at InDesign Secrets, you can now download an excerpt which first appeared in the April 2020 edition of InDesign Magazine.

Title page of of the JavaScript for InDesign Book Excerpt in the April 2020 issue of InDesign Magazine. There is a short block of text, a photo of Peter Kahrel, and a shot of the book cover.

The excerpt also includes an exclusive set of simple one-liner scripts that Peter came up with to give you a quick taste of success!

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One team, many locations: Successfully managing a remote crew

Jason Mitchell
VP Customer Experience, Typefi

Whether your team has recently been asked to work from home due to the coronavirus outbreak, or you’re simply new to managing a remote team, leading a group of geographically-dispersed professionals can be a challenge.

Typefi's EMEA team stand smiling around a classic European car.
Amsterdam, 2018: Jason (centre) with Typefi team members from the Netherlands (Guy & Gabriel), England (Peter, Kevin & Stephen), France (Marie), Romania (Vlad), South Africa (Damian), and Australia (Chandi).

I’ve been remotely managing Typefi’s globally-distributed Professional Services team since 2015, and have a few tips on how you can turn this into a successful experience for you and your team.

Who knows? You may find that working remotely becomes a blessing in disguise that greatly improves your team’s productivity and makes them all much happier human beings.

It definitely works for us!

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COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Update: 31 March 2020

The Typefi team is adapting well to the changes necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic, and most of our day-to-day operations are business as usual.

The Sri Lankan office is closed while our team members observe curfew, but the Australian office remains open with a skeleton staff. The majority of Typefi team members are now working from home with full access to workplace systems.

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A typesetting treasure trove

At first glance, it may not look like much—but Peter Kahrel’s extensive online repository of free scripts is an essential resource for anyone who works on long documents in InDesign.

Lines of JavaScript code overlaid on a photo of a laptop with a glowing gold light coming from the screen.
An online goldmine.

After hosting the script repository on his own website for many years, its future was in doubt late last year when Peter made the decision to relocate from the UK to Spain. His UK ISP refused to let him keep the site, or even set up redirection links.

Fortunately, David Blatner at CreativePro Network came to the rescue, and the repository now has a new home at CreativePro.com.

In this interview, Peter shares insights into the repository’s history, and some of the ways that InDesign typesetters can use his free scripts to make their lives easier.

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Automation is great, but it won’t work for my books

Damian Gibbs
Solutions Consultant, Typefi

The most common feedback from publishers when chatting about automation is the belief that their publications are beyond what automation can do.

As a book designer and typesetter with over 20 years’ experience in producing almost every kind of book possible, I get it.

A cute vintage robot stacks wooden blocks with letters and numbers on them.
“How could any software replace what I had taken decades to accomplish?”

The hours dedicated to ensuring each line is hyphenated correctly; taking care of widows, orphans, grunts, and rivers; deciding where to place images (with the perfect crop); appropriately placing artwork in relation to its reference in the content; adjusting leading and layouts to ensure the content fits a publication correctly; and so it goes, page after page.

As a book designer, I was so much more than a machine, and it brought in the bread and butter⁠—and some jam every now and then.

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The Australian bushfire crisis

As news of Australia’s bushfire crisis makes headlines around the world, many colleagues, customers and friends have contacted us to share their concern and offer support and well wishes.

The Sunshine Coast (where our head office is located) experienced several severe bushfires late last year—thankfully no one on our team was directly impacted, except by smoke.

Photo of a small tree with green leaves on a ridge. There is a swathe of burnt forest in the background, where the tree trunks are blackened and the leaves of the canopy are red and orange. A row of houses is visible just beyond the edge of the burnt area.
The landscape is slowly recovering at Peregian Springs on the Sunshine Coast after a severe bushfire in late 2019.

We are a long way north of the current bushfire crisis in NSW, Victoria and South Australia, but it’s a distressing and challenging time for many Australians, whether we’re in the path of the fires or not.

Typefi is supporting the bushfire relief effort with financial donations to several organisations and causes.

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Feeding growing minds in Maa Oya

Chathini Uduwana
Regional Manager Sri Lanka, Typefi

At Typefi, we believe in the importance of doing our bit for others. Every year, our Colombo team works on a Corporate Responsibility Project to give back to the Sri Lankan community—last year we organised and donated school supplies to 55 school children at Weragala Primary School, and this year we decided to support families in another disadvantaged community.

We have the most beautiful and untouched beaches on the East Coast of Sri Lanka. My husband and I visit the East Coast every year as a ritual, taking the opportunity to breathe in the smell of salt, feel fresh sand under our feet, and experience the local food and culture.

It was during these yearly trips we began to notice small children selling things on the roadside, clearly suffering from hunger. There were many primary school age kids in school uniforms, selling fish or vegetables. Sri Lanka has almost a 92% literacy rate, one of the highest in Asia, and it’s even higher in younger demographics.

Two children stand in bare dirt outside a hut in the Sri Lankan village of Maa Oya. The hut has clay walls and a corrugated iron roof that is patched with pieces of fabric and shadecloth.
Children in Maa Oya.

But while education is free, it can be difficult for many to put food on the table to support their children’s physical growth and development.

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