The Place and Link feature of Adobe InDesign is amazing. If you select any object in your layout, you can go to the Edit menu, choose Place and Link, and it’s as though you were placing something that you imported from an external file. The benefit to Place and Link is that, unlike simply copying an object, the parent element and its children are linked; any change to the parent ripples down to all the other children when you update the link. This can be a huge timesaver when you need to reuse artwork or text multiple times in multiple places.
However, there’s also a way to keep the formatting of child objects in place. In this week’s InDesign Secrets video, Anne-Marie Concepción shows you how to create multiple copies of linked text that retain their own formatting.
There are three object styles that rule them all—three styles that should be in every designer’s toolbox because you’ll find yourself calling on them again and again no matter how simple or complex the project.
In this week’s InDesign Secrets video, Anne-Marie Concepción shows you how to build these styles from scratch in Adobe InDesign and use them to format images, callout lines, and photo credits.
Adobe InDesign includes a Cross-References feature that allows you to link to other paragraphs and headings in your document and automatically update page numbering as your document grows.
In this week’s free InDesign Secrets video, Anne-Marie Concepción shares her tips for getting the most from cross-references. For example, you can perform text formatting at the same time you create a cross-reference, which makes cross-references doubly useful.
For more tips on getting the most out of cross-references, watch the video and follow along with the tips outlined below.
It’s time to get excited about an oft-neglected dialog box in Adobe InDesign, which can actually save you a lot of time when you’re proofing your documents. In this week’s free InDesign Secrets video, Anne-Marie Concepción shows you how to use the Find/Change dialog box to find and fix mistakes in a busy layout, whether it’s reducing stroke width, adding drop shadows, or modifying any other object attributes.
Watch the video and use the companion text below to help with each step.
1. Press Cmd+F (Mac) or Ctrl+F (Windows) to open the Find/Change dialog box. Choose the Object tab.
2. Change the Search dropdown to Document to make sure you’re searching the entire layout. However, to narrow down your results, change the Type. For example, if you’re looking to format text, you would choose Text Frames.
3. Click the icon next to the Find Object Format pane to define some search criteria. When the dialog box appears, make your selections from the Basic Attributes, Effects, Stroke, and Gap Color menus. In this example, we’re looking for a Stroke with a Weight of 1 pt.
4. Back in the Find/Change dialog, perform the same steps for Change Object Format, entering the new values you want.
5. Now click Change All if you’re sure you want to commit your edits. Sometimes it’s easier to click the Find button and commit your changes frame by frame.
The Find/Change dialog box also presents an excellent opportunity to apply styles to graphic frames without affecting any of their other properties, such as text wrapping behavior. Simply create an object style and disable all the other attributes except for the one you want to change, such as a 1 pt stroke for image frames. Then select the style from the Style Options in the Change Object Format Options dialog.
And voilà! An easy way to make small, consistent changes to objects throughout a document.
In this week’s free InDesign Secrets video, Anne-Marie Concepción introduces one of the more interesting features included with Adobe InDesign CS6: the Content Collector tools, or more specifically, the Content Collector, Content Placer, and Content Conveyor. The Content Collector tools function like a permanent clipboard, allowing you to grab and place content in documents, copying and repurposing it in any way you need while your original InDesign document is open. You can grab text, images, animations, captions, groups of objects, and even entire pages.
Activate the Content Collector tool from the main toolbar (or press B) to open the Content Conveyor panel. To toggle between Content Collector and Content Placer modes, simply press B again. Click one or more pieces of content to place the items on the conveyor “belt.”
In the video, Anne-Marie gives you an insight into sets, which allows you to marquee-select a group of objects and retain the same size and relationships between the objects. Discover how to drill down through a set to find the exact item you need. She also shows how to load, preview, and place sets; grab items from alternate layouts; and create sets from unrelated items.
Overall, the Content Collector tools are a powerful new feature for repurposing layouts, artwork, and text in a precise and visual manner. Looking for more InDesign insights? Join Anne-Marie’s partner in InDesign exploration, David Blatner, in a member-exclusive video called Running text along the top and the bottom of a circle.
As always, David and Anne-Marie will be back in two weeks with more InDesign Secrets.
In this week’s free InDesign Secrets video, Anne-Marie Concepción reveals 10 secrets of the Story Editor feature in Adobe InDesign. The Story Editor is designed so you can read text in a window that’s separate from your layout file, away from the distractions of the formatting and graphics.
But the Story Editor can also be handy in other situations, especially when it’s difficult or downright impossible to see in layout. If you encounter any of these scenarios in InDesign, Anne-Marie can show you why the Story Editor may be exactly what you need:
1. Changing text color
2. Sideways text
3. XML tags
7. Tracked changes
8. Inline or anchored objects
9. Overset text
10. Overset tables
All of which are easier to read, grab, and move around in the Story Editor. Check out the video above to see the Story Editor in action.
Meanwhile, Anne-Marie’s partner in InDesign secrecy, David Blatner, has an exclusive video for members in which he shares 10 ways to move an object in InDesign. The movie is aptly named Moving an object: Ten ways! and lynda.com members can find the video with the entire collection of InDesign Secrets.
The Adobe InDesign Story Editor gives you a view of the text of a given frame or series of threaded frames, with no distractions from layout or formatting. For instance, if some crazy person decided to set text in this headache-inducing way:
You could view the text in the Story Editor in this much more readable format:
In the video, Anne-Marie describes the Preferences settings you can choose to set the text, background, and cursor to your liking. It’s a great way to remove text from a complicated surrounding so you can concentrate on the words.
In this week’s InDesign Secrets episode, Anne-Marie Concepción addresses the dreaded lost image phenomenon, which occurs when Adobe InDesign can’t find your linked images and lets you know with glaring red question marks (circled in pink below to make them extra glaring):
The presence of glaring red question marks in your actual layout (and not just your Links panel) is courtesy of InDesign CS6, but the lost images phenomenon is familiar to users of earlier versions of InDesign as well.
Anne-Marie’s solution is simple: embed your images. That way they can’t get lost if you move the image folder or send the document off to a client without a separate file full of graphics. An embedded Photoshop file even retains its layers.
The first step is to find the original image and relink it (you’ll have to solve that challenge on your own). Then right-click on the image in the Links panel and choose Embed Link:
Your image is now permanently part of your file.
As easy as this is, you should be aware of two potential disadvantages to embedding your file. First, when you embed your images you no longer have the benefit of automatically updating links, but if your graphic is stable and not going to change (like a logo), then it’s really not a an issue. Second, embedding images makes your InDesign file significantly larger. But as Anne-Marie notes, it’s not 1993, and while you may not want to embed hundreds of images, the increased file size you’ll see from embedding a handful of images for an in-house document is not the obstacle it used to be.
One other note: you can’t embed a video file or another InDesign file.
What I find particularly fascinating is if you embed a graphic file within your InDesign document, the encompassing InDesign file behaves in some ways like a zipped archive. If you wish to unembed the graphic later, you can create a new “original” right from InDesign. For certain scenarios, this is an elegantly simple solution to the lost image syndrome.