Lucy Nguyen

How To Create Interactive Pop-ups in your PDF in Adobe InDesign

First create the content that you want to pop up. Here I just did a green box with text. If you have multiple items you want to pop up simultaneously, you have to group them together. To do this, select all the items and then right-click and choose group.

Then open up the Buttons and Forms Panel. To do so go to Windows > Interactive > Buttons and Forms.

Then select your pop up content, and choose button from the type drop down options below. Then give it a name. I gave mines the name of Green Box. Also, select hidden until triggered. This is important as it hides the content from the viewer initially until it is triggered by the button we are going to create.

Next, create your button any way you want. Again, make it into a button, give it a name but do not choose hidden until triggered.

Next, select the plus icon next to actions. Then select the option, Show/Hide Buttons and Forms.

An additional section will show up in the panel. Next the X beside the names of the button you create determines the action when the user clicks the blue button. Click the X till you see an eye icon. That means that the button is now visible.

You can also hide by choosing the eye that is slash out, but for now we are choosing the show option.

Then go to File > Export. Then choose a file name, and choose to save it as an ADOBE PDF (INTERACTIVE). If you don’t the pop up will not work.

Test your button and it should work.

Additionally, you can have the pop-up close by creating another button, such as an X and chose the hide option as discuss before. You can also choose a rollover state, when someone hovers over the button to create an additional dynamic.

To do that, click the button and then click [Rollover] under the appearance section and choose whatever you want.

Also, many other have created video tutorials on how to do a pop-up. Here is one I recommend.

I hope that helps! Happy Creating.

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How to recolor default patterns in Adobe Illustrator

Adobe Illustrator offers an array of default patterns to use in your work. However, it isn’t straight forward to recolor it. To so, open the pattern and DOUBLE CLICK on the pattern you want to change.

The following should show up. The Pattern Options Panel and the pattern becoming isolated. There should be a square over the pattern, and the rest is faded out.

Select the objects in the square only, and you can recolor it to any thing you want.

The pattern should change color too in the Pattern Options Panel.

I hope that helps! Happy Creating!

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How to add tracking to your Interactive PDF in InDesign

I must note, that tracking stats on your PDF is only possible if it is online. If a user choses to download and send it via email to others, you will not be able to track it. With that said, some stats are better than no stats. 

*You must already have an Google Analytics Account

Recently, Adobe had teamed up with Google Analytics to allow embedded tracking on PDFs. To do this, go to File> Publish Online

Then go to the advanced tab, you need to put your Measurement ID in. You can easily find it in Google Analytics.

Then click “Publish”, it will then publish to Adobe’s Cloud and can be viewed. Unfortunately, the URL will have Adobe in it. It cannot be a vanity link. What you can do in that case is to embed the PDF file onto a webpage to get a vanity link.

Of course, test it out and it should be working. Also, here is a video tutorial if you need that explains the steps again.

I will also note here if you go to through Google Analytics there are certain stats you can see. However, there are other PDF tracking companies who can get a bit more different stats. It depends on your needs of course. For many, google analytics will be good enough.

I hope that helps! Happy Creating!

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What to Check for before sending out emails in Hubspot

Occasionally, amidst the hustle of sending out emails, especially in bulk, our nerves can lead to inadvertent mistakes. To alleviate this, here’s a straightforward checklist for a quick refresher or reference. While these points may seem obvious, having them at hand serves as a helpful reminder to ensure a smooth email dispatch.

  • Recipient Organization:
    • Consolidate all marketing contacts into one main list to avoid confusion.
    • Label multiple lists for different purposes and keep them to a manageable number (10 or less).
  • Suppressions List:
    • Exclude specific groups like competitors, customers, and unsubscribed individuals.
  • No Name Setting:
    • Determine a placeholder for cases where the first name is unavailable.
    • Consider using a blank space when utilizing dynamic tags.
  • Subject Line:
    • Ensure the subject line is concise, ideally seven words or less, to prevent truncation.
  • Testing:
    • Send a test email to yourself to verify the format and overall appearance.
  • Sender Identification:
    • Opt for a personal email address over a generic corporate one to enhance deliverability.
  • Time Zone Consideration:
    • Choose whether to send emails based on the recipient’s time zone or your own.
  • Uncheck “Send to Unengaged Contacts”:
    • Disable the option to send emails to contacts below a certain engagement score to streamline the list.
  • Mark Contacts as Marketing Contacts:
    • Ensure all intended recipients are appropriately marked as marketing contacts in HubSpot.

That all! I hope that helps and happy emailing!

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Ideas for Volunteering in Ontario

In Ontario, there is a mandatory requirement for high school students to complete 40 hours of volunteer work, but figuring out where to start can be challenging. Here are three quick ideas to help you kick off your volunteering journey:

  1. Explore Online Opportunities: There are numerous online platforms where you can apply for volunteer positions, including opportunities for remote work. One recommended site for those in Toronto is Volunteer Toronto, a comprehensive volunteer board. Additionally, try using job search platforms like by entering keywords like “volunteer” to discover potential positions.
  2. Look Within Your School: Don’t hesitate to inquire within your own school community. Many opportunities may be available within the school premises, such as assisting in the library, collaborating with teachers, coaches, or librarians. Often, these activities can be completed during lunch hours, providing convenient options for fulfilling your volunteer hours.
  3. Reconnect with Your Previous Schools: Consider reaching out to your former middle school and elementary school. Existing relationships can facilitate the process of acquiring volunteer hours. Building on connections you already have can open up opportunities that align with your interests and skills.

Lastly, don’t underestimate the power of your personal network. Reach out to family and friends; you might be surprised by the connections they have. This experience teaches a valuable lesson about the importance of networking for success. Continue to nurture these connections as they may prove beneficial in unexpected ways. If you have additional advice, feel free to share it in the comments. Best of luck with your volunteering journey!

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My experience with getting RGD certification

First of all, here is the link to start RGD Certification.

Starting out with Provisional Membership

Before applying for the full certification, I apply for Provisional Membership, which is a step before the full certification. I applied online and then waited a bit before contacting a Portfolio Reviewer for a virtual meeting.

My reviewer, Nadine Kuhlkamp, was amazing and took the time to help me understand the process, gave me advice, and was lovely to talk to. I was a bit nervous and wary because I did not graduate with a degree in graphic design, fine arts, or any similar degree. I was a business major. However, RGD recognizes that people can enter the field of graphic design through different paths and be from different degree backgrounds.

I then got approval for the provisional membership and started paying member dues far less than the full membership. During this time, the pandemic was in full swing, and what I found wonderful was the compassion that RGD showed and provided financial relief to those who were facing hardship. Discounts are also given on resources for provisional members.

The steps are as summarized:

  • Apply online.
  • Then, you will be asked to complete a form to identify preferences for your Portfolio Reviewer (required as part of the Membership).
  • We will contact you to put you in touch with your Portfolio Reviewer. It can take some time to identify a reviewer.
  • Reviews can take place virtually or in person, depending on your location, areas of interest and availability of Reviewers.

Trials and Tribulations on obtaining Full membership/certification

First thing first you have to at least 7 years experience which can include 2-4 years of schooling. Applying to be a full member is a whole different ballpark. There are more hurdles and more scrutiny than the provisional membership. The steps are as summarized:

  • Apply to determine eligibility.
  • Take an open-book, multiple-choice, 80-minute Online Test.
  • Present 6 pieces of your work virtually to 3 senior practitioners over 30 minutes.
  • Receive your results and join RGD.

It took over a year for me to even pass the first step. My major hurdle was getting my application in an acceptable state. I applied two times and was rejected twice due to the quality of my answers and work samples. Zaria Pucknell was the one who reviewed the application, and she was kind and helpful each time. It definitely made the sting of rejection hurt way less.

I then applied for a mentorship as I was finally in the time period to apply for one. I knew I needed help, badly. I was then paired with Yunwen Zhu. Who, I have to say, was so amazing! There are several sessions with your mentor to help get your portfolio in shape, give advice, and for anything else. She definitely helped me improve as a graphic designer in just two sessions, improve myself and my mindset, and, in general, made me smile and laugh!

I then submitted my application for a third time with fingers and toes crossed…

I then heard that I was finally eligible! Third time is a charm?

Taking the Test

First, here is the link for an overview on the test portion. For preparation they do provide e-copies of the texts to help as listed, and they you can order the books. I brought them to support the organization and of course the tests are based on them.

I took the test online, and of course there were instructions on what to do before hand and during the test. Such as testing your webcam and connection etc. I was able to pass every section expect the research. In the event that you fail a section you are allow to retake it. Which, I did and then I finally pass.

Presenting my work

Portfolios are presented for 30 minutes to 3 RGD Reviewers, in my presentation I had a fourth observing member, and of course a impartial person to oversee the process. You are presenting the same six pieces that you submitted in your application. You will have to choose one piece to go in depth.

Here is a link to what they are evaluating on.

The best tips I got from my mentor and others, is to keep a consistent look to your presentation, have HQ pictures, and of course practice. My experience was great, the reviewers were all kind and of course I got results. I know I didn’t do to stellar, but nonetheless I passed and the feedback was invaluable.

The end of a long journey

I finally pass all the steps and I am now certified! I got my virtual membership, and will be getting the stickers and welcome package later. I hope to become a better designer in the future.

I hope that was helpful in any capacity! If you have questions, feel free to ask! Thank you for reading if you got this far!

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Where to download fonts for free

Fonts can elevate a design to another level. Here are some resources to find new fonts to love:

Google Fonts:

Link to site

I love Google Fonts! Not only do they have a huge selection, but there is also integration with many other applications like Web Flow. The con is the filtering system is no where granular as I would like it to be.


Link to site

An OG. Every designer will know this site and they do categorize fonts by style, however they do miss other filtering such as weight, etc.

Font Space

Link to site

They do have interesting fonts, but their filtering is lacking.

1001 Free font

Link to site

Similar to DaFont in how they organized.

BONUS: Adobe Fonts

If you have adobe creative cloud subscription you by default have access to Adobe Fonts which is amazing!

Hope that helps!

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How to use clipping mask in Adobe Illustrator

The clipping mask in Adobe Illustrator is a bit finicky. Here’s how to do it:

I’m starting with two shapes.

Select both objects. Then go to Object > Clipping Mask > Make or hold Ctrl+7 on your keyboard.

This is the result, the object on front is the shape it will take. The one beneath is what will show up.

Note: Clipping Mask works best with simple shapes. If you have a complicated design or pattern, you will have to group it first together before clipping.

If you need to make changes to the position of the clipping mask objects, you will need to go into the layers panel. Click the arrow next to the layer to expand it. Then you can see the components, you would have to double click on the layer you want to change.

I hope that helps! Happy creating.

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How to curve text in Adobe Illustrator

First, ensure the fill and line colors is transparent. This can be found at the bottom of the tool panel or at the top. You have to select this square cross out with a red line.

Then select the pen tool, and create the curve that you want. If you want to do it on a circle, you can use the shape tool path.

Then select the text tool and hover over the line, till you see the cursor change to a T and Squiggle Symbol. You can’t see it in the image below because my computer couldn’t screen shot it.

Click on the path and the curve text should appear.

You can also shift the text along the curve by selecting the ‘move’ option. You should see a line and a white square at the beginning of the curve text.

Click on that, and while holding, drag the text along the curved path.

And that’s it! Hope that helps and happy creating.

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Tools you can use to optimize your website

Note: These sites are Freemium, meaning some features are locked behind a paywall. However, I still think what they offer for free is useful.

PageSpeed Insights

PageSpeed Insights is a valuable tool that enhances your website’s speed by analyzing and identifying specific areas for improvement. While some optimizations may require programming expertise, many issues can be easily addressed without extensive technical know-how.


Among the plethora of useful tools they offer, my personal favorite is the Site Audit, which is specifically designed to enhance SEO performance. This feature provides actionable recommendations, including insights on keywords, backlinks, and more! Although there is a usage limit, it still provides a wealth of valuable information to optimize your website effectively.

Google Analytics

This tool is a no-brainer when it comes to gaining valuable data insights. With its ability to reveal trends and provide a deep understanding of your page’s performance, Analytics is a must-have. Once you become proficient with Analytics, you can explore two other highly recommended Google products: Google Tag Manager and Google Search Console. The amount of functionality and potential here is immense; some professionals even have dedicated jobs focused solely on SEO, with Google as their primary tool.

Let me know if there are any sites I’m missing. I’m constantly look for new tools and learn.

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How to create scannable tickets online

There are a lot of online sites where you can create scannable tickets, but often it is “freemium”. Meaning there are features that are free and there are other features that will cost money.

Here are some sites:

To make a scannable ticket yourself and manage it would require some knowledge of coding.

A low-tech way is to generate numbers and use an Excel sheet, then have someone (like a bouncer) check the ticket number code. A word of advice don’t use 001, 002, 003, etc. Like a strong password, use a combination of numbers and letters. That way it’s harder to counterfeit.

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HubSpot: Exploring the Shortcomings of a Popular Marketing Platform

Introduction: In the world of marketing and sales, HubSpot has emerged as one of the most widely recognized and utilized platforms. With its suite of tools and features aimed at streamlining inbound marketing processes, HubSpot has garnered a large user base. However, like any software or service, HubSpot is not without its shortcomings. In this article, we will delve into some of the limitations and areas where HubSpot falls short, providing a balanced perspective for those considering the platform.

  1. Costly Pricing Structure: One of the significant drawbacks of HubSpot is its pricing structure. While it offers a free version with limited features, the full suite of tools can be quite expensive for small businesses or startups. The cost increases significantly as you add more contacts and require access to advanced features. This can make it challenging for companies with tight budgets to fully leverage the platform’s capabilities.
  2. Steep Learning Curve: HubSpot’s extensive feature set and complex interface can lead to a steep learning curve for users who are new to the platform. While HubSpot provides training resources and certifications, mastering all the tools and functionalities can take a significant amount of time and effort. This learning curve can be a hurdle for businesses looking to quickly implement and integrate the platform into their existing workflows.
  3. Limited Customization Options: Despite offering various templates and design options, HubSpot’s customization capabilities are somewhat limited compared to other marketing platforms. Users may find themselves restricted when it comes to customizing landing pages, email templates, or even the overall look and feel of their website. This lack of flexibility can be frustrating for businesses with specific branding requirements or those looking to create a unique user experience.
  4. Integration Challenges: While HubSpot integrates well with many popular CRM systems, such as Salesforce, there can still be challenges when integrating with other third-party tools. HubSpot’s ecosystem may not support certain niche or industry-specific software, forcing businesses to rely on workarounds or manual data transfer. Limited integration options can hinder the seamless flow of data and reduce the overall efficiency of marketing and sales operations.
  5. Reporting and Analytics Limitations: HubSpot provides basic reporting and analytics capabilities, but it falls short in delivering advanced insights and data visualization. Users often find themselves needing to export data to external tools or resort to creating custom reports to gain a deeper understanding of their marketing efforts. This additional step adds complexity and can lead to delays in accessing actionable insights for making informed decisions.

Conclusion: HubSpot undoubtedly offers a comprehensive set of tools for inbound marketing and sales automation. However, it is essential to consider the platform’s limitations and shortcomings before committing to it fully. The cost, steep learning curve, limited customization options, integration challenges, and reporting limitations are factors that businesses need to weigh against the benefits. By thoroughly evaluating their specific needs and conducting a comparative analysis of alternative solutions, businesses can make an informed decision about whether HubSpot is the right fit for their marketing strategy and operational requirements.

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