Quick Fix: Blues turning purple in Photoshop after monitor calibration

Tested with: Windows Vista Home Premium, Photoshop CS3

I loaned a Spyder 2 express from the school, with the intention of making my monitor color more accurate because I’ll be doing a lot of digital art this year. It was pretty good to begin with, in my opinion, but I just wanted to be sure…

I’m not complaining about the Spyder itself – very easy to use, and most of my screen did look better after calibration. Except the blues in color-managed applications like Photoshop. Behold:

So how did I get my (0, 0, 255) blues to look like their normal selves again?

The Somewhat Lacking Fix

Go to View > Proof Setup then check Monitor RGB. Mine was at Working CMYK before I changed it. Basically what this does is let you quickly change the color space you are working in. I think.

Now when you press Ctrl-Y to toggle the proofing, your colors should revert to their normal sRGB selves. The problem with this is that the color picker still displays the whole stretch of pure blues as purple, which is not so much a problem for photo editing but a huge issue for digital art. Which brings me to the…

The “Dirty Hack” (as described by a friend)

This is essentially breaking the path to the calibrated color profile created by the Spyder. This probably makes color-managed apps unable to find it, and so they revert to sRGB or whatever other default Windows is set to use.

Navigate to C:\windows\system32\spool\drivers\color and look for the profile that the calibration software created. In my case it’s called Spyder2express.icm. Either a) delete, b) rename or c) move to another folder (I renamed mine). The effect was instantaneous for me. I Alt-Tabbed back into Photoshop and my blues were back.

The Ideal Solution

Haven’t found this yet. Feel free to share.

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Quick Fix: Large space before footnotes in MS Word

It’s frustrating having programs screw up on you when there’s a pressing deadline to meet. Today while editing my 40-page behemothof a PW report (before adding all figures, tables and double-spacing and enlarging the fonts) I was unlucky enough to encounter this issue:

After the footnote divider line, but before the footnotes themselves, there would be a huge expanse of blank space. It was wreaking havoc on my formatting and turning all my tables into multiple-paged impossible-to-read clusters of cells.

Turns out this is caused by something called a footnote separator which you have to go to Draft mode (under the View tab in MS Word 07 and up) to edit it.

  1. Go to the View tab, then choose Draft.
  2. Go to the References tab and click Show Footnotes. (On Macs, go to ViewFootnotes – thanks to commenter Gerard for spotting this)
  3. In the drop-down list that appears in the Footnotes area, choose Footnote Separator.
  4. Delete any extra spaces, carriage returns etc. It’s handy to have “show non-printing characters” switched on.
  5. Repeat for the other one – I think it was Continuous Footnote Separator.
  6. Go back to View and switch back to Print Layout.

It’s gone!

If this was helpful, let me know in a comment! P.S. Shameless plug for my new blog, where I continue to write posts about life, design, usability, the tech industry, language, cooking and other little geeky things.

Update: Commenter GE suggests that copying and pasting your entire document into a new file may also get rid of the problem.

Google Wave (and Brizzly, and other stuff) in Thunderbird

Wave on Thunderbird (3). Made possible by a new feature named Content Tabs – basically you can load webpages without leaving Thunderbird. From the Mozilla Dev Center page:

Content Tabs enable Thunderbird to display remote content in a tab, which users can browse in (mostly) the same way as with a browser. For example, invoking Thunderbird’s Help | What’s New menu option opens a tab that displays web content. The Thunderbird team can update this content via the website at any time.

Content Tabs can take advantage of form fill, autocomplete, password manager, cookies, “find as you type” and a range of other browsing features.

It’s not really straightforward though: You have to go to Tools, then Error Console, then type in

Components.classes['@mozilla.org/appshell/window-mediator;1'].getService(Components.interfaces.nsIWindowMediator).getMostRecentWindow("mail:3pane").document.getElementById("tabmail").openTab("contentTab", {contentPage: "https://wave.google.com/wave/?nouacheck"});

(or you can just hover over the code to get a menu in the top-right and click the Copy icon) before pressing Evaluate.

After you login and let Thunderbird remember your password, that’s about it. Wave now runs in a tab inside Thunderbird.

It works with other sites too – for Brizzly, just replace

https://wave.google.com/wave/?nouacheck

with

http://brizzly.com/login

Like the Dev Center article states, it doesn’t completely emulate a web browser: standard links will still open in your system’s default browser. I tried browsing some forums with it but it didn’t work. Though links from others’ tweets in Brizzly are opening in new tabs in Thunderbird – but any attempts at clicking on a link on that page launched Firefox again.

Also, I think WP.com’s image insertion thingimajig is broken. “Full size” is what you see above, while “Large” is a 1024-px-wide file.

Thanks to Lifehacker via Quetzalcoatal via Kabatology for pointing this out.

Have I Ever Mentioned How Gorgeous Zune 4.0 Is?

Words of wisdom from met2art (granted, not about this software, but anyway):

This looks very, very good. And I really don’t care who it’s from. I prefer to attribute excellence to a single product based on its merits, rather than the manufacturer or branding. Microsoft and Apple have had many failures, but also many successes in different areas. Are the tallies balanced? I do not know, nor do I care. But, I do know that to simply assign "win" or "fail" to any product, especially when just a rumor, based solely upon the imprimatur is arrogant and ignorant. For that reason, I find it difficult to accept the supposed awesomeness of the alleged Apple tablet, simply because it’s from Apple.

zune 

zuneplayer

zune

zune (2)

zune (3) zune (4) 

The fonts are only screwy in the screenshots because my system is in Chinese. I assure all English-edition Windows users that Zune will turn out to be the most beautiful media player you have used in a long time.

In other news, Microsoft should be releasing download links for Office 2010 Beta on Nov 30 (and ending the Technical Preview program) so Xeo and Sugi can go get it soon.

Because I’m Bored: My Firefox Add-ons

Can’ Live Without

  • Adblock Plus, together with the ABP Element Hiding Helper
  • Greasemonkey – for the userscripts, naturally. You can find the below at userscripts.org
    • Flickr Multi-group Sender – because Flickrites are lazy
    • Yousable Tubefix – adds YouTube options
    • Gawker Enhanced Comments (07-2009) – fixes a lot of things that wrong with the new comments system.
  • LiveClick – Slide-up notifications! (I think they used to be called Growl-style, but I’m not all too sure what Growl notifications look like relative to the rest of the screen)
  • QuickDrag
  • PDF Download – the one I currently use is by Nitro Software, but there are many alternatives out there.
  • Delicious Bookmarks
  • StumbleUpon
  • TwitterBar
  • YouTube Comment Snob – Ah, YouTube bliss…
  • Web Developer – Every time I want to uninstall it, something comes up which justifies having it around. It’s kinda spooky.

I Don’t Know

  • Yahoo! Mail Notifier – It’s kind of useless because I keep Mail open in background tab, but I can set it to check more often. Of course I could use Postbox for that as well, but it’s still very much in beta and it’s got a lot of kinks that must be worked out.
  • CustomizeGoogle – I keep it for the random options not related to ads.
  • Web of Trust – it does come in handy sometimes…sometimes.
  • LeechBlock – does it work? I don’t know yet. I keep tricking myself out of setting a combination.

Can Totally Live Without (i.e. uninstalled today)

  • Sxipper
  • Aviary (other than one-click screenshot capture and upload, it’s pretty useless, since Aviary went to a pay model eons ago)

Now, on to Low Earth Orbit satellites…