Author Archive

Convert footnotes to endnotes with one easy script: InDesign Secrets

Published by | Thursday, August 8th, 2013
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Adobe InDesign does footnotes well. Endnotes? Not so well—not at all, in fact. Anne-Marie Concepción has the solution for you in this week’s InDesign Secrets: a free script that converts footnotes to endnotes. It actually changes footnotes to styled cross-references at the end of your story, and reflows the text. The links to the cross-referenced destinations stay active when you export to the PDF and EPUB formats, too. (Be aware that these endnotes do not renumber when you add new entries, so it’s best to run the script after you have entered all of your footnotes.) Find out where to download the free script in this week’s free video.

Applying corner options to any shape: InDesign Secrets

Published by | Thursday, July 25th, 2013

Are you struggling to draw smooth curves in Adobe InDesign? Learn how to use the Corner Options to create clean Bézier curves without fighting the Pen tool, this week in InDesign Secrets.


You may know how to apply corner options to shapes and text frames; you select the object and and then choose Object > Corner Options or use the menu in the Control panel. The menu includes options like Rounded, Bevel, and even Fancy. Changing the radius values allows you to perfect the shape of the corner. Turn on the Preview check box to see your changes in action.

Surprising ways to do a word count in InDesign: InDesign Secrets

Published by | Thursday, July 11th, 2013

Adobe InDesign can provide a word count for any story, which is a great feature if you’re trying to stay under a certain editorial limit, fit text within a proscribed layout, or measure readability. But this week in InDesign Secrets, Anne-Marie Concepción shows you how to take it to the next level with scripts.


InDesign Secrets: How to place and link text—without its formatting

Published by | Thursday, June 13th, 2013

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.

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InDesign Secrets: Three great Object Styles for any designer

Published by | Thursday, May 16th, 2013

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.

InDesign Secrets: Creating a custom cross-reference format

Published by | Thursday, March 21st, 2013

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.

InDesign Secrets: The secrets of formatting objects with Find/Change

Published by | Thursday, February 21st, 2013

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.

Adobe InDesign Find/Change Dialog

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.

Adobe InDesign Find Object Format Options

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.

Adobe InDesign Find Change Object Options

And voilà! An easy way to make small, consistent changes to objects throughout a document.

Looking for more InDesign insights? Join David Blatner in a member-exclusive video called Using ruler guides: 10 great tricks.

And as always, David and Anne-Marie will be back in two weeks with more InDesign Secrets.

Interested in more?
• The entire InDesign Secrets biweekly series
• Courses by David Blatner and Anne-Marie Concepción on lynda.com
• All lynda.com InDesign courses

Suggested courses to watch next:
InDesign FX biweekly series
InDesign CS6 Essential Training
• InDesign CS6 New Features

InDesign Secrets: Working with sets in the Content Collector tools

Published by | Thursday, January 24th, 2013

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.”

Use the Content Collector tools in InDesign to copy and repurpose elements from one document to another

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.

Use the Conveyor tool to load individual images, text blocks, even entire pages to use them in another InDesign document

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.

Interested in more?
• The entire InDesign Secrets biweekly series
• Courses by David Blatner and Anne-Marie Concepción on lynda.com
• All lynda.com InDesign courses

Suggested courses to watch next:
InDesign FX weekly series
InDesign CS6 Essential Training
• InDesign CS6 New Features