Why are there no default gradient swatches in Adobe InDesign? The Swatches panel tricks us into thinking there are, but you really have to build them by hand. Here’s a tip for leaving your days of manual labor behind: steal your gradients from Illustrator. In this week’s InDesign Secrets video, Anne-Marie Concepción shows you how to commit “gradient larceny” in the Creative Suite.
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, David Blatner reveals another use for the Table of Contents feature in Adobe InDesign: namely, that it’s not just a TOC creation tool, but it can also create a list from text tagged with a specific paragraph style throughout your document.
In this example, David shows you how to create a list of people included in your layout’s photographs by using a layer of hidden text.
1. First create captions for all your photographs.
2. Isolate the captions on a single layer in your document, assign the same unique paragraph style to all of them, and hide the visibility of the layer.
3. Choose Layout > Table of Contents to open the Table of Contents dialog.
4. Select the paragraph style you applied to your hidden text.
5. Check Include Text on Hidden Layers option and click OK.
This video is a great example of the TOC feature’s uses, but you could create a list of anything, such as a list of advertisers in a layout for a magazine or yearbook.
Looking for more InDesign insights? Join Anne-Marie Concepción in a lynda.com member-exclusive video called Threading a bunch of frames together quickly (and unthreading too).
And 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 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, David Blatner explains the mysteries and transformations provided by the Optical Margin Alignment feature. Hidden in the Story panel, the feature allows you to align characters in a paragraph so they appear visually uniform rather than technically aligned.
For example, without Optical Margin Alignment, the punctuation on both the left and right edges prevents the actual letter characters from aligning:
With the Optical Margin Alignment turned on (see the check box in the lower-right corner below), the quotation marks, hyphens, and even parts of certain letters extend beyond the frame to increase the appearance of graceful uniformity.
In the video, you’ll also learn David’s tricks for fine-tuning the position of various characters. For example, I may want the D in “Down” in the title to align with the A in “Alice” in the first line. David’s secret solution involves an extra space and some negative kerning to push the quotation mark next to “Down” completely out of the frame, so the first full-fledged letter of each line starts in the same vertical position.
Alternately, you could decide you don’t want the quotation mark halfway down on the left of the paragraph to extend at all. In this case, David’s got a solution involving a mysterious invisible character that hangs out and pushes the other visible text back into the frame.
Meanwhile, David’s partner in InDesign secrecy, Anne-Marie Concepción, has a member-exclusive video called Changing the shape of any frame with the pen tool.
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.