Monthly Archives: January 2011

Choose Object Style while Placing

I think you still remember my old post about Auto Apply Object Style to Placed Image.

That’s great workaround, but I’ve “found” even better one through scripting! Scripting is just awesome! 😀 So many things can be done with just few lines of code. 😉

WARNING: This only works with InDesign CS5!

So, let’s see how to use it!
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Speed Up your Work with these Cool Shortcuts!

Two weeks ago I started small personal project. Main idea was to collect all predefined shortcuts for InDesign CS5 to one place and create interactive guide.

While i was digging through files, I got really surprised first by number of shortcuts that can be applied (over than 1400) and secondly that InDesign ships with more than 400 already predefined ones! That’s really awesome, so many space to speed up your work! But, there is no way you can remember all of them! 😀 So, every day you learn few shortcuts, but also, you forget about ones you don’t use so frequently.
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Get More InDesign & Document Info

There is good and simple way to check history of your document, last version of InDesign used while saving file, but also version used to create file for the first time. Also, you can find a little bit more about your application like for example number of plugins installed, versions of some core components and other. But, that’s not something you will need very often.

Then, what’s so great about this? Great thing is that you can see plug-ins used in document and also missing ones! Another thing you can find out is which system (PC or Mac) was used to save the file and how many times file was saved! (this is not true for documents loaded in newer version of InDesign) So, where we can find that info?
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Temporary Sort Menus Alphabetically

What?! 😀 Yes, it’s possible, and it’s really useful!

I’m sure you already had that situation, when searching for something in menus, you knew where it was, but can’t find it! 😀 There is one awesome little feature (undocumented one) that allows you to display menus without separators and sorted alphabetically. This feature is available for a long time, starting with InDesign CS.
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Mastering Live Corners

Custom shaped corners are available from very first versions of InDesign, but, they were never really improved them till CS5. Now, we can set different diameters and shapes, and for me personally, biggest improvement is ability to modify them Live, without need to go to dialog box!

This cool new feature is called Live Corners, and I think, that was first think I noticed when opened freshly installed CS5 and created text frame. Live Corners feature is represented by yellow box on rectangular objects. Simply by clicking on that little yellow box you enter Live Corner editing mode, which will be represented by little rotated yellow box on every corner. Also, there is cool little Tip (shortcut) that will toggle Live Corner editing mode and that is key 4 (four) (not from numeric-keypad) (this is undocumented feature, but you can find it in keyboard shortcuts under “Object Editing -> Toggle Live Edit Mode”). But, there is so many more that we can do! Let’s take a look! 🙂
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Rounding Numbered List Numbers

When creating numbered lists, sometimes we want to have rounded numbers with nice circle, maybe colored… But, how to achieve this effect? One of the ways is to find specific font, or maybe to anchor text frame with number. The most expected way would be to apply Character Style to Automatic Numbering and with help of Underline to achieve desired effect, BUT, it seems that InDesign has really bad BUG when it comes to underlining automatic numbering! Yes, you have read it correctly! There is NO way to underline Automatic Numbering! 😦 So, we need to find some workarounds…
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Quickly Transform to Duplicate

This is also, one of my favorite features! (I have so many favorite features! I don’t know why?! Or maybe I do! I just love InDesign! :D) There is fast and easy way to transform selected object and create duplicate.

So, how to do it? It’s really easy. All you need is Alt (PC) / Opt (Mac)! There are so many places where you can utilize this useful feature!

As you can see form screenshot, you can use it in Transform Panel/Control Tool Bar. Select object, input new value in X or Y field and hit Alt (PC) / Opt (Mac) + Enter. InDesign will automatically duplicate selected object and move duplicate by amount of units you entered! So easy!
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Create 2 Guides (H&V) in 1 Move

Guides are very helpful, and I use them all the time. But, when you need to create them, that can be really time-consuming.

Fortunately, there is little helpful feature that will save you some time and energy while creating guides! InDesign allows you to draw both horizontal and vertical guides simultaneously!
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Auto Apply Object Style to Placed Image

Have you ever placed bunch of images and after placing you selected all of them and applied same Object Style? If you even tried to select Object Style before placing, don’t bother anymore, it can’t be done. It’s a bug!

But, fortunately Michael Ninness (VP of Content, lynda.com, former InDesign Product Manager, designer, author) mentioned a little “easter egg” in InDesign CS4 that (sort of) fixes the bug and it’s also working for CS5!

So, let’s see how to make it work! 🙂
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Power + Zoom = Power Zoom!

Personally, one of my favorite features in InDesign is so-called “Power Zoom” feature. This enables you to quickly scroll through your document. It’s helpful especially with long documents. If you never used this feature before, you will fall in love very quickly! 😀

So, how to activate/use it?
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Quickly Add/Remove Row(s)/Column(s) in Table

This is really nice and easy way to add/remove row(s)/column(s) in table. As you probably know, Alt (Opt) key is used to duplicate objects, so it can also be used within table. Simply grab row/column edge and add Alt (Opt) key while dragging. You will instantly see the result! It’s so cool! This also works if you want to add row(s)/column(s) in middle of the table. Notice that InDesign will use width/height of previous row/column while adding new one(s).

To remove row(s)/column(s) do the same, but you have to drag to opposite direction.

Be aware that InDesign will delete row(s)/column(s) all together with its contents!


Create new Swatch “On the Fly”


Creating new Paragraph/Character Style “On the Fly”, setting font, size, tabs, paragraph rules, and everything is great, and when you want to assign color, you see that you didn’t setup color swatch! 😐 You close style dialog, add new swatch, and then come back to style and assign color.

Well, that’s completely WRONG! 😀
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When things Go wrong!

Yes, those things happens with InDesign too! On the other hand, InDesign has really great crash recovery system, and it saved my work so many times. But, sometimes, InDesign just keeps crashing even with no documents opened, or not saving settings that we made, not displaying fonts correctly. First thing you can try is to reset/delete all application settings! This will delete all settings and load default ones like when you first installed InDesign.

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