Where did my Generate menu go in Photoshop CC?

In just the past week, I’ve seen at least two situations where customers suddenly had their Generate -> Image Assets and Generate -> Edge Reflow Project disappear (or become disabled).

The first thing to troubleshoot in this case is to look at your preferences. Go to the menu item Photoshop -> Preferences -> Plug-Ins

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In the dialog menu, ensure that “Enable Generator” is checked. I’m sure there is a bug somewhere, but, this preference gets turned off sometimes!

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Hopefully, this helps. 

In the case of exporting Edge Reflow projects, if you are not able to see a menu option for File -> Generate -> Edge Reflow Project, please check that you have the folder: <install directory> / Adobe Photoshop CC/ Plug-ins/Generator/reflow.generate.  If you do not have this directory, uninstall and reinstall Edge Reflow. The Edge Reflow installer should automatically install the plug-in for you.

Using Min Media Queries in Reflow

Some things are not obvious in Edge Reflow. I’ve always found that modifying breakpoints that you have created is one of those things. By default, Reflow using max media queries. If you want to change your project to use min media queries, do the following:

1. At the very top right of the application long press on the down arrow (to the right of the plus symbol).

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This will bring up the orientation dialog.

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Here, you can change your project to use min media queries, update breakpoint labels or change the value of each breakpoint.

Simple… but, honestly, hard to find.

Using Edge Reflow to play with CSS regions

Kids spend most of their awake hours just playing. This helps them to understand the world and figure out how things work. In fact, here is a picture of my son playing with paint and learning about colors.

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With Edge Reflow’s latest public release, we are giving you the opportunity to play, learn, and use an emerging css feature,  CSS Regions. CSS Regions will allow your content to flow through different containers on your web site. This enables you to build more magazine style layouts. As of this month, CSS regions are supported in Safari in iOS7. You can also view CSS Regions in Chrome by enabling the experimental WebKit features flag.

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Edge Reflow is the first tool that will allow you to see CSS regions in action without writing any code. Then, after drawing a few regions, you can view the HTML/CSS output to see how the magic happened.

Let’s get started. The first thing you will need is Edge Reflow CC which you can download from here.

I will take you through a simple CSS region example and I hope you will continue to play with the feature and use it in the future.

Step #1: Turn on CSS Regions support in Reflow by going to the menu item View -> Shiny Web Features

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This will bring up a dialog box describing some new CSS features including CSS filters and regions which are not supported in all browsers. You will need to ensure that CSS Regions is on. Press OK and dismiss the dialog.

Step #2: Draw a text element on the canvas. Copy and Paste a lot of text in it. I’ve copied my text from “The Atlantic” which always promises a good, but, long read. 

Step #3: Right-click on the text element and choose the menu item “Create Region Container”.

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Step #4 In the flow container, look for the + icon on the bottom right. Click on this and then draw out other flow containers.

Play with resizing the various containers and notice that all of your text content will flow from one of these containers to another. Also play with the size of your canvas by dragging the canvas handle right and left.

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Note, when the + icon is red, this means that there is more content overflowing the current container.

Step #5: Edit your content.

If you want to edit the original content that you are having flow through the various flow containers, double click on any of the containers. From this “content editing mode”, you can add images, more text, add boxes, and change styles as you sit fit. All of the content will flow through the containers that your drew previous.

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Step #6: Exit content editing mode by clicking on the left arrow in the status bar. (or press ESC, or double click on the checkered portion of the editing area)

Step #7: See the CSS code written out for the container that you drew.

To do this, ensure that the container is selected. Then, click the <> icon in the bottom status bar.

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Step #8 Preview in Chrome or Safari.

From Reflow, you can preview your design in the browser. This can be done from the View menu. If you don’t have the correct version of Safari or Chrome, you will get a warning.

Step #9 View all the HTML and CSS code.

In step #8, you viewed the design in the browser, so, there must be HTML and CSS, right? Of course there is. You can find the CSS and HTML that Edge Reflow creates for your design inside the assets directory of your project.

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Regions have the opportunity to really change the way web sites lay out their content. What I’ve built above is not beautiful, but, its just a sample of how your content can flow through any part of your page you choose.

To download the simple Reflow project I talked about above, you can find it here.

Get To Know Adobe Edge Reflow, A Tool For Responsive Designs

We are live! For the past six months I’ve been working on a new product from Adobe’s “Edge” family. This week, my product, Reflow is having its first public preview. Reflow began development less than a year ago, so, this is certainly not a finished product. We are hoping to put it out to the public with frequent updates and get people’s opinions on how the tool can be useful to you.

If you want to check out some intro videos, go here.

Hopefully, you already know a bit about Reflow and just want to know how to get started. Here is a screenshot of what you see when you start up the tool and a description of the various controls available to you.

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1) Tools: Reflow offers the selection tool, box, text and image. Click on the box, text or image to add one of these elements to your design in a way similar to Photoshop. You can also your shorts V (selection), M (box), T (text), or I (image) to get into these modes.

2) Properties Panel: This section of Reflow gives you two tabs:Layout and Styling. You should be able to edit any css on a selected item from these panels. The styles available in these panels will change depending on what you have selected. If you have the main “Container” selected, you will see options to edit your Grid in the “Layout” tab.

3) Regions and Ruler: The top of the application will show you a ruler and your regions/breakpoints (if you have added some to your project). To add a breakpoint, you can either double click on a part of the ruler or click on the + button at the far right-top of Reflow.

4) Add/Remove/Edit button: You can add a breakpoint by clicking the + icon. If you have a breakpoint marker selected, the + symbol will turn into a -. If the – symbol is displayed, you can click on it to delete a region. Mousing down on the +/- button for a few seconds will bring up an orientation panel where you can change from using max to min regions, edit your regions, or delete them. Reflow uses max media queries, by default.

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5) This mobile device icon will allow you to view your Reflow designs in Edge Inspect. Click on it and follow directions to view your designs live on your device using Edge Inspect.

6) Elements Panel: The icon at the bottom left of the status bar will bring up the “elements panel” in Reflow showing you all the box, text and image items in your project. You can select elements from here and choose to hide/view them. At this time, you cannot re-order elements in the DOM form this panel.

7) Status Bar: When an item is selected, it will show up in the status bar along with all of its parents. You can select items using the status bar. You can also group and un-group boxes using the status bar.

8) CSS Output: Select an element on the canvas, then click on the “<>” icon in the status bar to see all the CSS (for every media query) for that element. The CSS can be copied by clicking on the clipboard icon in a particular region or the clipboard icon at the bottom left of the panel to copy all CSS for the region.

9) Align and Match Size Panel: When you have more than one element on the canvas selected, this icon will be enabled. By clicking it, you will see an align panel to align elements to the right, left, center, middle, top or bottom. You can also “match size” elements by width, height or both.

Screen Shot 2013-02-13 at 11.28.32 AM

10) Zoom Indicator: This dropdown on the bottom right of the application will zoom in or out of the canvas.

Updating My Flash Player Causes A Green Bar For Videos!

An update to the Flash Player, version, 11.2.202.228 just shipped a short time ago and when it did, it introduced a nasty bug on my Windows laptop. Exhibit A:

All videos on Hulu, YouTube, ESPN etc seemed to have this green bar. I found that this problem only occured with Flash Player 11.2  and it also only happened when my laptop was not plugged into its power supply. I tried various resolutions on my laptop and none of them seemed to matter. The only factors were:

1) I was using Flash Player 11.2.202.228

2) My laptop was not plugged into a power source

3) I ran 320p or 720p  video. 240p and 480p video did not reproduce the problem.

I have a Lenovo W510 laptop with an NVIDIA Quadro FX 880M graphics card.

Per the recommendation of the Flash Runtime video team, the way to fix this problem is to download and install the latest drivers . This problem had been reported before and the Flash Runtime explained that this was a driver issue, not Flash issue.  At the time, my driver version was  4/17/2011, 8.17.12.6824.

Here is the first thing to try:

1) Go to your Device Manager. Control Panel -> Device Manager

2) Double click on “Display adapters”

3) Right click on your graphics card and select “Properties”

4) Select the “Driver” tab

5) Click on the button to “Update Driver…”

6) Select “Search automatically for updated driver software”

7) If you got a newer driver installed, you will need to reboot Windows to see if your problem is fixed.

Now, this method of updating my driver did not work for me. Windows came back telling me that I had the latest driver, so, no new drivers were installed. If you get the same response from your system, my next recommendation would be to go to the NVIDIA website to check for drivers.

From the NVIDIA website, select your graphics card and download the driver. I found a newer driver on the NVIDIA site. After downloading it, I was able to run the exe file and complete the installation of the driver.

After rebooting my system, the dreaded green bar was gone.

My new driver information is:

Driver Date: 3/22/2012
Driver Version: 817.12.9635

Now, if you are not seeing this issue on a system that does not use an NVIDIA driver, please leave a comment below. We have only gotten reports that NVIDIA drivers have caused issues, but, maybe the problelm is more widespread.

Also, on some forums, it seems that Linux users are having troubles solving this issue. Sorry, I don’t have information to help Linux users at this time.

If updating a driver doesn’t work, many people have just turned off hardware acceleration and that should work too.

Goodbye to Flex

Today is officially my last day on the Flex SDK team. I have been testing the SDK for over six years. I started on the team when Flex was just finishing up its 1.5 release. Look how far its come!  I am not leaving Adobe, however. I am simply switching roles to become a quality engineering manager on the Flash Player team. I thought it was time to try my hand at something a little new. I look forward to the new people and challenges.

I have always been a huge proponent of community feedback on the team and as my last gift to customers, I just finished sending off “Flex Community Hero” mugs to all of the customers who filed a bug and had it fixed in our last Flex 4.5 release. If you filed and SDK bug that was fixed, you probably even got a handwritten letter from our QA team. These contributions from the community are really appreciated.

For now, this blog will likely be pretty quiet with relation to Flex content.


Getting scrolling right in a mobile horizontal list

With the release of Flex 4.5, you can now use Flex to build mobile applications. One of the features added to the Spark List to support mobile was the addition of bounce/pull effects at the beginning and end of a list. You can see this behavior by pulling down on the top of a list or up on the bottom of the list. When you do this, you will get a ‘bounce’ effect from the List’s boundaries.

In the majority of applications, you will choose to use a vertical list. However, occasionally, you may want to use a horizontal list. If you do this, you will get some strange default behavior with regards to scrolling in your horizontal list. In the horizontal direction, scrolling will work as expected. However, in the vertical direction, where there should be no scrolling, you will actual be able to pull up and pull down on the top and bottom boundaries. This is because the bounce and pull effects are actually still on in the vertical direction. To get the expected scrolling behavior for a horizontal list, you will want to turn verticalScrollPolicy=”off” on the List.

<s:List id=”colorList” dataProvider=”{colorsArray}” width=”100%” itemRenderer=”ColorRenderer”
y=”40″ selectedIndex=”0″ verticalScrollPolicy=”off”>
<s:layout>
<s:HorizontalLayout  />
</s:layout>
</s:List>

For more information on this, you can check out bug: SDK-28980

Here is an example mobile project that uses a horizontal list of colors to select a frame for an image.

Source: ColorFun.fxp

Flash Camp focused on mobile development this Saturday in SF

Flash Camp is happening in the Adobe SF office this Saturday, April 30. Sign up here.

Adobe Flash Camp is a full day event with sessions and a hands-on coding session that will get you up and running and creating mobile application for Android, iOS, and PlayBook with Adobe’s tools.

Details:

Who: Developers who want to build mobile applications for Android, iOS, and the BlackBerry PlayBook.  We’re serving beer, so you must be at least 21 years old to attend!

What: Flash Camp – a morning of sessions and an afternoon of hands on coding. Flex and Flash Builder product team members will be on hands to provide answers to questions. Prizes will be given away for the best mobile applications.

When: Saturday, April 30th, 2010. 9 AM PST – 6:00  PM PST

Where: Adobe San Francisco Office. 601 Townsend St, San Francisco, CA 94103

Why: Three words : code + good beer

How Much: Free and open to the public (limited space and registration required).

What to Bring: Yourself, laptop, ideas for a mobile application. We will provide the beer, lunch, coffee, and snacks.

Agenda (tentative)

10:00 – 10:30 – Keynote

10:30 – 11:00 – Building Mobile Applications: Hands on with Flash Builder and Flex 4.5

11:00 – 11:30 – Customer Showcase

11:30 – 12:00 – Break out sessions

– Flash Builder PHP for Mobile Devices

– Dot Next: Flash Builder and Flex for iOS and the PlayBook

– Designing for Mobile – UX/Tips/Tricks/etc for mobile devices

12:00 – 1:00 – Lunch

1:00 – 5:00 – Hands-on Code Camp

5:00 – 6:00 – Code-Camp Showcase and Prize Giveaway

Changing the barColor for an MX ProgressBar in Flex 4

In Flex 3, which uses the Halo theme, if you wanted to change the color of the bar on a ProgressBar, you would specify a “barColor” style for your ProgressBar. Unfortunately, in Flex 4, the Spark theme that is used by default does not support the barColor style.

To change the color of the bar on a ProgressBar component, you will need to roll a custom skin. Here are the steps:

1. Find the ProgressBarSkin in the SDK: <sdk_home>/frameworks/projects/sparkskins/src/mx/skins/spark and make a copy of it.

2. Rename the new file as something like “CustomProgressBarSkin.mxml”.

3. In CustomProgressBarSkin, find the Rect that represents the fill of the bar:

    <!-- layer 1: fill -->
    <s:Rect left="2" right="2" top="2" bottom="2" >
        <s:fill>
            <s:LinearGradient rotation="90">
                <s:GradientEntry color="0xFFFFFF"
                               alpha="1" />
                <s:GradientEntry color="0xCC3399"
                               alpha="1" />
            </s:LinearGradient>
        </s:fill>
    </s:Rect>

4. Update the colors in your LinearGradient to your desired colors.

5. In your main application, add the following type selector to your application styles.

        mx|ProgressBar {
            barSkin: ClassReference("CustomProgressBarSkin");
        }

Note: If you want to change the appearance of the ProgressBar track, you’ll need a custom trackSkin. If you want to change the appearance of the indeterminate state of a ProgressBar, you’ll need a custom indeterminateSkin.

Try the sample: ProgressBarExample.swf

Source code: ProgressBarExample.mxml, CustomProgressBarSkin.mxml

Adding toolTips to a Spark ButtonBar

This question came up today as to how to add toolTips to individual Buttons in your ButtonBar. No surprise here… the solution was to create a custom skin for ButtonBar. In the custom skin, I am adding a toolTip to the firstButton,  middleButton and lastButton. I assume that people will want to display some text that is in their dataProvider as the toolTip. In my ButtonBar skin, everything is the same except for these component definitions of the Buttons:

<fx:Component id="firstButton">
    <s:ButtonBarButton skinClass="spark.skins.spark.ButtonBarFirstButtonSkin"
       toolTip="{data.data}" />
</fx:Component>

<fx:Component id="middleButton" >
    <s:ButtonBarButton skinClass="spark.skins.spark.ButtonBarMiddleButtonSkin" 
        toolTip="{data.data}" />
</fx:Component>

<fx:Component id="lastButton" >
    <s:ButtonBarButton skinClass="spark.skins.spark.ButtonBarLastButtonSkin" 
         toolTip="{data.data}" />
</fx:Component>

Run the Sample: ButtonBarExample.swf

Source Code: ButtonBarExample.mxml, ButtonBarToolTiipSkin.mxml