Category Archives: Learning CS6

Help Sheet

Below is a pair of links to “cheat sheets” or as like like to call them, “help sheets”. These sheets offer useful information regarding a ton of web tech, such as keyboard short cuts and code tags.

The top link is for an HTML5 cheat sheet which shows you new tags and tells you ones that are not in use any more.  The second link is to a whole host of different help sheets, ranging from Photoshop keyboard short cuts to CSS3 tags.

These help sheets are pretty useful if you’re new to this stuff. Although I will say that I think these should be used as a resource as and when you need it rather then a constant help. If you are reading from a sheet all the time its unlikely you will improve, so use in moderation.
I hope these help you and let me know in the comment section if you have found any worth sharing.

http://www.html5in24hours.com/2012/04/html5-cheat-sheet/

http://guider.com/blog/dont-miss-this-fantastic-collection-of-developer-designer-cheatcheats/

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Weekly Reflection – Week 1 to 5

Its only been 5 weeks since I started university but over that short space of time I feel like I’ve learnt a lot. Each week has shown me something new. This post is a week by week run through of the things I’ve learnt and the different  programs I’ve come across.

I’ll start by going back to week 1. Week 1 was all about the history of the web. I learnt about its creation and about its creator, Tim Berners-Lee. I actually wrote about him in a related blog post which you can find here. I also looking into HTML which was also created by Tim Berners-Lee. I did all of my research of him online and didn’t come across any problems. There is a wealth of pages and sites about him. I’ll list my resources at the end of this blog if you feel like doing some research of your own.

In week 2 I learnt about search engines. I learnt how they work, what they do and the different types of search engines there is. I conducted some research into Steve Wozniak using different search engines and search techniques to try and improve my research method. Below is a table of searches I made and the results I got from them:

Search Engine Criteria Result
Google Steve Wozniak http://www.biography.com/people/steve-wozniak-9537334
http://ei.cs.vt.edu/~history/WOZNIAK.HTM
http://www.landsnail.com/apple/local/woz_gig/woz.html
http://www.crunchbase.com/person/steve-wozniak
http://sanfrancisco.about.com/od/attractionslandmark1/a/stevewozniak.htm
The history of Steve Wozniak http://www.markusehrenfried.de/mac/applehistory.html
http://inventors.about.com/od/Computer-Geek/p/Steve-Wozniak.htm
http://www.ideafinder.com/history/inventors/wozniak.htm
Yahoo Steve Wozniak biography http://biography.yourdictionary.com/steve-wozniak
Steve Wozniak history http://www.pophistorydig.com/?tag=steve-wozniak-history

You can click any of the links in that table to see the pages I looked at. I posted my findings in this blog post. He is a pretty interesting guy and I enjoyed learning a bit about him. This was my first real experience with the search engine Yahoo and I can honestly say I didn’t like it. First of all the Yahoo site doesn’t look nice at all and although the actual search results page looks similar to Google’s one, I found that it didn’t produce results that were half as good. That is just my opinion anyway.

Week 3 was all about HTML and I got my first experience with Dreamweaver. I went online this week too and try to learn some basic HTML to get me up to speed. I found some great resources that you can read about here. I have had brief experience with HTML so have some basic knowledge but could definitely improve on what I know. I didn’t find it difficult and have since been able to replicate what I learnt that week.

During week 4 I carried on learning about HTML and other mark-up languages. I moved away from Dreamweaver and went back to basics. Pen and paper! I had to annotate a web page and write down what code was being used and where. I found this easy. By dong it on paper and having to actually write it off the top of my head without the help of Dreamweaver I found that this really solidified my learning. I was able to recall the code used for different section and write them down so that someone could pick up that bit of paper and build that web page. I certainly think I’m well on my way to becoming much better at HTML.

That brings us to this week and today in fact. This week was all about designing the web. Today was also the first time I have ever used Adobe Fireworks (as I write this, fireworks are going off outside my apartment, I kid you not). I liked how simple it was compared to the likes of Photoshop and Illustrator. My previous experience with vector programs, which I talk about here, has already give me a good understanding of how Fireworks should operates. I say ‘should’ because as I’ve found in the past, although these programs do very similar stuff they can actually operate very differently. Thankfully Fireworks isn’t too complicated and I’m hoping to pick it up in no time. I’m getting to the point now where I’m really enjoying my web lessons in university. After all this is what I came to uni to learn about in the first place. The use of Dreamweaver was great. Tinkering with code and making thinks do what I want, for me was actually really therapeutic. I’m keen to learn a lot more about Dreamweaver but haven’t had the chance just yet. Firework was also something enjoyable. I found that I could quickly create content for a web page and save it in a format that is sensitive to the webs restrictions. I.e. bandwidth and browser type.

I’m excited about next week and I’m hoping for more work on either Dreamweaver or Firework. From here on you will be able to read a weekly update of the things I’m learning and my thoughts about the subjects. In the future they will probably have a bit more detail in them, as I won’t be trying to remember what happened 5 weeks ago. Sometime I can remember what happened 5 minutes ago.

If you are studying the same subject as me then leave me a comment and let me know what you have thought of Dreamwaver and the like. If your not studying the same subject as me then leave a comment anyway about your experience at university and how your finding it so far. Is your courses living up to expectations? Is it better then expected? Let me know!

 


Addison Wesley Longman (1998). ‘A history of HTML’ W3.org http://www.w3.org/People/Raggett/book4/ch02.html

Ross Shannon. ‘What is HTML? HTML’ Source.com http://www.yourhtmlsource.com/starthere/whatishtml.html

W3c.org. ‘W3C Mission’ http://www.w3.org/Consortium/mission

Jennifer Kyrnin, About.com Guide. ‘What is HTML? Learn More About the History of Web Page Markup’ About.com http://webdesign.about.com/od/htmlxhtmltutorials/a/what-is-html.htm

W3school.com. ‘Web Standards’ http://www.w3schools.com/web/web_standards.asp

Anders Møller and Michael I. Schwartzbach. ‘An Introduction to XML and Web Technologies’. Addison-Wesley, January 2006

My First Photoshop CS6 Creation

That is the first thing I’ve made using Photoshop CS6. Its a cool denim text effect. I started off as a simple bit of text on a blue background and evolved into what you see there. I did this by following the tutorial found here. I’ve discussed the tutorials on that site in a past post, this one to be precise. The image I made may have limited use at the moment but its taught me some fundamentals and shown me ways of creating dynamic effects.

I’m working on other things too which I will post when I’ve finished them. Let me know what think in the comment section!

Me, Dreamweaver and a whole bunch of code

I started using Dreamweaver today for the first time. I like it! It’s got some nice little features, such as being able to have a split view with your code on the left and web page on the right.

W3Schools.com – A great resource for learning HTML and other web based languages.

I used w3shcool for help with learning some of the code. It’s a great resource! I encourage you to use it if you haven’t before and would like the learn HTML. I’ve used it briefly in the past and it’s always helped me. It doesn’t use jargon to confuse you or waffle on, its right to the point and informative. Another reason to use it is it lets you experiment and actually put the code into practice. I found its also very up to date with lessons in HTML5. HTML isn’t the only language it has lessons in, it also has them in CSS, JavaScript and other. Check it out by following the link here to the page www.w3schools.com

Codecademy.com – An interactive set of free lessons teaching you to code

Another site I used is Codecademy. This site has only been introduced to me today. Its an interactive tutorial website that’s free to sign up to and will track you progress. The signup process involved interacting with a online console which immediately taught me some very basic JavaScript. So needless to say, I was pretty impressed. It will even let you compare your learning to your friends. Now I cant see that really being a feature I will fully utilize but its interesting never the less. I haven’t really got much further with Codecademy just yet but I’m excited to see what it has to offer.

I tried looking for Dreamweaver tutorials online. Most of the things I come across were not based on CS6. The video I found at this link did show me how to insert images into my web page thought, http://youtu.be/Q6rRLw5ggOg. That was the first video that shown up on Google, so you could argue that I need to delve a little bit deeper to find a really good resource. To be honest Dreamweaver itself does seem fairly straight forward in most areas, its the actual coding languages that I need to learn.

I’m going to get to Dreamweaver and see what stuff I can make it do. Let me know what you think of Dreamweaver and any of the resources mentioned in the comment box!

Getting to grips with CS6

Well I’ve gone and downloaded CS6 Web and Design Premium. I’m familiar with vector programs and image manipulation software but not so much with the Adobe stuff. I used to work for a leisure company in sales and marketing, long story short but I started designing all there leaflets one day. I just messed about at first and I got kinda good at it. Basically I was getting paid to play around and draw things all day. I always used the freeware stuff because I could never afford the pricey industry standard software and the company wouldn’t fork out for the good stuff, or allow me to use an illegitimate versions either. Inkscape, a vector program and GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) a poor mans Photoshop were the programs I would use.

If you find that you can’t afford CS6 either here is a link to both Inkscape and GIMP. Give them a try! They may not be the greatest but they’re free!

Inkscape: http://inkscape.org/
GIMP: http://www.gimp.org/

Now back to CS6. I’ve been aware of some tutorial websites for a long time because I used to try and replicate them in the freeware stuff. I’ve been using two sites psd.tutsplus.com and abduzeedo.com.

PSD Tuts+ – Tutorial Website

PSD tuts+ is basically what it says on the tin, a tutorial website. It offers basic to expert tutorials on a lot of the Adobe programs, mainly Photoshop and Illustrator but it does do others like Dreamweaver too. I’ve actually started doing and intermediate tutorial on there and I plan to post the results once I finish, so keep your eyes peeled for that! The only downside to the site is the you do have to pay for some of the tutorials and its pretty advert intensive, not necessarily popups, but tons of annoying moving image often making the pages look cluttered. Not particularly great if your trying to concentrate.

Abduzeedo – Inspirational Blog

Abduzeedo is a slightly different site. It is a blog that was set up in December 2006 by a Brazilian designer called Fabio Sasso, the Senior Designer at Google. He hasn’t always worked at Google but good things can actually come from a good blog. What I like about it is that its not just full of tutorials but it also has interviews, case studies and inspirational work. Be warned though, the stuff they do on the blog, although highly impressive and often amazing, is expert stuff. If you a novice you may just want to take ideas for here rather then try to fully replicate things.

Thought I’d share these with you because they could help you if your looking for inspiration for a piece of work or may be struggling to use the software. Give them a look and let me know what you think in the comments section! And if you know of any other sites that would help please feel free to share those too.

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