All Sort of Tidbits

I’ve had a number of items on my To Do list for a few weeks and today was a great catch up day for making some miscellaneous videos.

Item Number 1: I’m going to once again BEG all of you to change a particular setting in Windows which hides your files extensions. Trust me… your “computer life” will be improved if you can see those little letter combinations which follow the name of a file. Sometimes, in a folder, you might find 5 files or more ALL with the exact same name! But they are vastly different files and even though you can usually figure out the type of file by looking over at the Type column, it’s MUCH faster to just see that file extension in the file name! In a prior post from almost two years ago, I explained how to do this in XP. But it’s a little bit different finding the setting in Vista or Windows 7, so I’ve made videos for both:

Showing File Extensions in XP

Showing File Extensions in Vista or Windows 7

Item Number 2: For those of you who haven’t back up your ACS/KNK/DM/GE license files, here’s a quick video to show you how to do it. For those with a dongle, it’s a good idea to have them backed up on a flash drive and even on a different computer, although you should be able to pull them from your installation CD. However, on ACS Studio, I believe the license files are now stored on the dongle itself. For those with dongle-less versions of the software, backing them up to another location on your C Drive is important in case you install an updated version of the software, which will wipe out your license files!!! If you don’t have them backed up, then it could be a 1 – 3 day wait (more over the winter holidays) before they can be regenerated if you lose them! So, make sure you copy them into a back-up folder. Again, I have made videos showing this for the different Windows operating systems:

Backing Up License Files in XP

Backing Up License Files in Vista or Win 7

Item Number 3: Now for something more fun! I recently read about a way to freeze raster images so that they cannot be inadvertently selected or moved. This is useful when you are manually tracing an image or editing a vector image that it still on top of the original raster. I made a quick video showing how to do this:

Freezing a Raster Image

Item Number 4: This is something I’ve been aware of since writing the first KNK User Manual, but somehow then forgot about it. In many of my videos you’ll see me select all images of a particular color by double-clicking the color on the Job Palette. It works fine… most of the time! But sometimes, for whatever reason, I will double click and it will just not select anything. There’s another short cut key which does the same thing: hold down the Shift key and click on a color on the Job Palette… same result. All images of that color will be selected. This is the new way of selecting by color I plan to always use.

Item Number 5: Another recent discovery that I think I already knew but had forgotten. Most of you know the usefulness and, in my opinion, the necessity of using a mouse with a middle scroll wheel for zooming in and out in the software. However, you may not have realized that pushing that middle scroll wheel will put you into the Panning mode so that you can pan around on your screen as necessary. Pushing it again will turn panning off. VERY handy!

Grouping versus Making Path

Thanks to Kathy TwoBears for today’s subject. Great suggestion, Kathy!

In Klic-N-Kut Studio, the difference between Grouping and Making Path can be very fuzzy for most new owners. I even had to get Chad Youngblut at Accugraphic to explain it to me, in detail, early on in my KNK Studio mentoring. Rather than try to explain it in technical terms, he simply provided a few examples to me over the phone and suddenly, the light bulb came on!

Before I begin explaining the differences, remember that a vector image is an image made up of nodes, connected by lines or curves, and these are the required kinds of image for cutting. A raster image is made of thousands or millions of little squares of various colors, like a photograph. A raster image must be traced first, so that there is a vector image to send to the cutter. So now, onto the subject of today’s post…

Applying Layout>Group on two or more objects means:

  1. KNK Studio still sees them as individual objects, but will have them “linked” together. Thus, when you click on any one image in a group, ALL of the images are selected and you can move them, resize them, rotate them, etc, as one object.
  2. If the images are different colors, then grouping them WILL retain those assigned colors.
  3. You can group a raster image with a vector image. This can be very useful with Print and Cut projects where you want to make sure the two images stay perfectly aligned.
  4. In KNK Studio, you can have layers of grouping. For example, if you have three images: A, B, and C, you can group A and B first. Then group A/B with C. When you then select Layout>Ungroup, the result will be that A and B are still grouped and C is separated. You need to then go to Layout>Ungroup again to separate A from B. This is a VERY useful feature in the software!

Applying Arrange>Make Path on two or more objects means:

  1. KNK Studio sees them as ONE object. Double clicking on the image will bring up the nodes for ALL of the paths for the images, even though they are made up of separately closed paths on their own. A great example is to type a letter “B”, go to Arrange>Text to Graphics, and then double click. You’ll see the nodes for the exterior path of the “B”, as well as the two interior paths. However, if you double click on grouped objects, this causes the Group Viewer window to open, rather than seeing the nodes. This tells you immediately that if you wish to view the nodes, then you must ungroup those objects and then double click on just one of the objects.
  2. If the images are different colors, then Arrange>Make Path will cause all images to become the same color…. which color will be selected, amongst the choices from each object, is yet for me to determine! I think it’s whichever color is assigned to the earliest object created amongst the ones selected… but does it really matter? If you don’t like it, change it! lol
  3. You cannot do an Arrange>Make Path with a raster image included in the selection of images. This option will be grayed out if you try to include the raster image.
  4. There are no “layers” of making path. Again, let’s go back to images A, B, and C. If you do an Arrange>Make Path on A and B and then do the same on A/B and C. Then when you do Arrange>Break Path, all of the paths immediately become individual paths.

Now, perhaps I’ve just made this MORE confusing rather than LESS? If so, don’t fret, I will address this again after I have a chance to sleep on it and maybe think of some great analogy outside KNK Studio. 🙂