Magma Effects for InDesign

Plug-in accesses Mac OS X Core Image filters within InDesign

Magma Effects for InDesignMagma Effects is a clever plug-in for InDesign CS and CS2 that allows a number of Photoshop-like edits to be applied directly in InDesign. Technically, the effects are from Apple’s Core Image filters in Mac OS X Tiger, but many of them will be familiar to Photoshop users. The plug-in simply accesses the image filters within InDesign.

The plug-in is fairly easy to use, which is good because there’s no manual included. Perhaps since the plug-in is only accessing features that are already hidden away in the OS, RogueSheep didn’t feel the need to explain the effects. More information about the filters would be useful.

To use the plug-in, you use the Magma Effects command that’s added to the Objects menu. A new dialog appears with a preview on the left and the filters on the right. Clicking on the plus sign allows you to add and preview multiple filters. When you’re finished, a copy of the file can be saved, so the original image is untouched. The only formats you can save in are TIFF, JPEG, and PNG, even if the original image is a Photoshop file. Transparency is maintained in the TIFF and PNG formats. Also, the filter must convert CMYK images to RGB.

Once effects have been applied, they can’t be re-edited; however, it’s easy enough to re-import the original image and try again. Luckily, the applied filters can be saved as a preset, so with some forethought, future edits can be fairly easy. The presets are available separately under the Object menu.

The ability to run Unsharp Mask on images directly in InDesign might be worth the $50 for many users. Keep an eye out for a similar plug-in for Illustrator in the near future.—David Creamer

FROM RogueSheep Incorporated

HOT Special Photoshop-like effects in InDesign
NOT No manual; can’t re-edit applied effects