March 5, 2006

Plugging Plugins: Rick Johnson

At times, we get frustrated with our favorite set of tools when they don't perform as they should. However, there are also plenty of times when our favorite apps simply don't have the features we might need, and that brings frustration to a whole new level. For example, why can't Illustrator join multiple paths at once (you can only join to anchor points at a time)? Why can't you cut through mutliple paths with the Knife tool? Why is it so hard to control the dashes on a path? Oh, the list goes on...

Well, let me introduce you to Rick Johnson. A wonderful man who decided that rather than get frustrated about these shortcomings, he was going to actually do something about it. And he did. He wrote Illustrator plugins. And to REALLY make a difference in the world, he decided to give some of them away for free, and the remainder he charges but only a small nominal shareware fee (we'll except for one plugin, which he charges $25,000 for...)

My favorites are: Concatenate, which allows you to combine multiple paths at once; Nudge Palette, which allows you to slowly adjust the dashes along a path to get them to fit better; and Select, which adds a boatload of settings to the Select menu to make it possible to select just about any kind of object or construct in a file.

Rick also has several scripts, including the ever popular Concat Text, which takes multiple broken up text strings (you know, the kind created by exporting text from CS and CS2) and sewing the text back together again, humpty dumpty style.

You can find Rick's plugins here.

6 comments:

Teri Pettit said...

Rick Johnson's plugin site is the second entry on the Links list on my Illustrator web page, right after the link to your blog. :)

Speaking of links, have you thought of making a topic-oriented index to the best of your blog entries? (By "best of" I mean just about everything except the "I'm heading to Flash Forward" or "I'm going on vacation" notices.) Good top-level categories would be Tips, Interviews, and Editorials. I sometimes link to specific relevant blog articles from the User-to-User forum, and it isn't easy to scroll through the monthly archives finding the one I want.

Mordy Golding said...

you're right Teri. Looks like I need to do some maintenance around these here parts. I'll try to take care of it this week. I have plenty of links to add as well (including yours!)

Newmango said...

I've been sending people to Rick's site for years. And my life would not be complete without the Alien plug-in, worth every cent of the $25,000...

Teri Pettit said...

Hey, great job with the menus! That will help a lot.

Mordy Golding said...

Thanks Teri -- I spent some time getting things organized somewhat today. It's a work in progress. I've been learning more about CSS these days :)

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