Field of Science


The uptake sequences vs proteomes manuscript is almost ready for resubmission. The bioinformatics author is just checking whether she can do any statistical analysis for one simple graph, and I'm trying to prepare the figure files for submission.

Unfortunately the journal wants the files in CMYK format, but we made the figures with PowerPoint, which doesn't do CMYK. I spent much of yesterday evening looking for a way to convert them that didn't involve PhotoShop. I don't want to buy PhotoShop because it's far too sophisticated and complex for our needs, and it's very expensive.

So first I Googled the problem, but didn't find any easy free solutions. Then I tried my test version of the program Acorn, which costs less than 10% of what Photoshop costs but claims to do most of the same things, only easier. But Acorn can't convert files to CMYK. Then I Googled some more, and found that Macs come with a utility application called ColorSync that claims to do this. So I spent quite a while figuring out how, and doing it, only to discover that the CMYK files became their negatives every time they were saved. Everything goes black except the text, which goes white. The colours don't exactly go black, but they become very dark.

So then I emailed the former post-doc who had mastered these file conversions, and he said he'd had the same problem with ColorSync, but had done CMYK conversions using an old copy of Photoshop on one of our computers. I found our old copy of Photoshop Elements on that computer (it came free with a scanner), but it refused to open. The RA said she has Photoshop (no, wait, it's on the home computer), and that it's also on another old computer. That was again Photoshop Elements, and it did open. But when I tried to use it on my files, there was no CMYK option, and further Googling revealed that Photoshop Elements doesn't support CMYK at all.

I'd really like to get this done today, because the journal wants the resubmission by today so they can include it in their inaugural issue. So I think I'll ask around to see if someone else has a copy of Photoshop I can use for a little while.

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