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1 July 2016

Of the 80 stories we've just archived in Photo Corners Volume 5 Number 6, 16 were Features, 39 were commented News stories, 22 were Editor's Notes (including at least 88 items of interest), two were Reviews and one was a Site Note.

That's a lot to read, we realize. It's a lot of work to produce, too.

And yet that doesn't represent the work we do behind the scenes on products whose reviews we have not yet finished. When we agree to consider a product for review, we actually live with a while, using it on real work before sitting down to write about our experience.

And that's if all goes well.

Often we run into problems of various sizes and complexity. We'll spend a healthy amount of time trying to figure it out ourselves but we often work through the issues with product managers. And sometimes this leads to product revisions that make life a lot easier for everyone.

WHILE WE DON'T YET have full readership figures for June, we did set some records. We had substantially more Unique Sites this month than every before and more Average Visits per day, too. Which means, we hope, we're making life easier for even more people than ever.

You would never guess (neither would we) what our most popular stories were this month. Two news releases from Canon about a new online learning series and large format papers. And they were double the nearest competitor, our review of Optics Pro 11 followed closely by our news story on Photoshop 2015.5.

Software development was more fun than usual this month.

Photoshop was much in the news this month with our permanent fix for the Generator problem and our review of Photoshop 2015.5.

Our Saturday Matinees continue to rank highly. As do our Obituaries. You can learn a lot from both, we think.

SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT was more fun than usual this month.

We found ourselves reinventing the shopping list with a responsive online form for a old relative unable to walk the aisles at the local market.

We knew the most popular items in each department, so we put checkboxes up for them but left a blank for anything else. Because it runs on a phone, it can go through the kitchen with you checking the shelves.

When the form is sent to the server, it builds an email of just the selected items and descriptions with a spot to mark each off and sends it to both the originator and the person doing the shopping.

Which means the shopper can just use their phone in the aisles to check things off or, alternately, print the list.

That wasn't all though.

When we include an image in a story, we use code to indicate how to lay it out and what the caption should be. It also includes the image's dimensions. There are several ways to get that information but we've never been very happy with any of them. They can be slow, they can be unreliable (not reporting), they can require too many clicks away from what we're doing.

Why not, we wondered, use Keyboard Maestro to run the ExifTool code to retrieve that information from any selected image quickly?

We had the code already in an AppleScript that ran too slowly so we just popped it into a Keyboard Maestro macro and had what we wanted plus a little exposure information. It was fast, reliable and nothing more than click and a key chord away.

We did the long version of the Exif report while we were at it and then thought we'd do a version of Copyrighter Pro as a Keyboard Macro. We put all three imaging utilities on one palette called by a key chord, each one triggered by a single letter.

Previously we had to drag an image to the AppleScript utility we wanted. So this represents a small but significant productivity gain.

Those are the sort of small but useful projects we can do for you, too.

It's all part of our effort to make life easier for everyone who visits Photo Corners.

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