Category: InDesign

Adobe InDesign topics

How to deal with disappearing white text & objects when printing

White overprint

Your design is done and you’re printing your file. Then you see it. Some white object or text simply refuses to print. You’ve tried printing directly from Adobe Illustrator, you’ve placed the object into InDesign and printing from there, and you’ve even tried saving it as a PDF. But no luck, that object still won’t print. I’ve seen this happen a ton of times. In almost every case, it’s an object created in Adobe Illustrator—usually a logo.

More often than not, the problem is simply that the object is set to overprint in Illustrator. To fix the problem, select the object in Illustrator, open the Attributes Panel, and make sure the Overprint Fill (and/or Overprint Stroke) checkbox is NOT ticked.

Overprint fill checkbox

It happens for a variety of reasons, and it’s easily missed. If you’re working in Adobe Illustrator or InDesign, you can check to see if you’ll have the problem by turning on the Preview Overprint feature found under the View menu in both apps.

Master bullet and numbered lists in Adobe InDesign

InDesign's bullet list feature

Maybe it’s just a sign of our shortening attention spans, but these days we seem to want more and more of our information in quickly-digestible bullet points. And then there’s our insatiable need to quantify. We absolutely love lists: the Top Ten this, the 100 Greatest that, 50 ways to leave your lover, and so on.

So with all these lists to work with, we can be thankful that InDesign has robust tools for creating bulleted and numbered lists. If you’re not familiar with using bullet and numbered lists in Adobe InDesign, this article from CreativePro will make you a “list-master” in short order.

Free Adobe InDesign templates

Free InDesign template downloads

Sometimes you just don’t know where to start on a new project. Particularly newsletters or magazine layouts. Inspiration is everywhere, but often times having a pre-made template is a great way to start your layouts.

BestInDesignTemplates has several Adobe InDesign templates you can download and use for free, including: flyers, newsletters, catalogs, and a 20-page magazine layout. Obviously you would want to use these as a starting-point, rather than a finished design.

Building the ultimate contact sheet using InDesign

InDesign contact sheet

There are lots of ways to build a contact sheet of a folder full of images. Despite what many people think, you can still use Adobe Bridge, but it requires downloading and installing an older add-on. Instead, you can use Adobe InDesign’s built-in ImageCatalog script to build thumbnails of a folder full of images, including the file name, image dimensions, and more.

InDesignSecrets has a great walk-through showing you how to build the ultimate contact sheet. I’ve always used Bridge, which you can still do after downloading and installing the old Output Module. But when I came across this old post detailing how to do it using InDesign, I immediately fell in love with the method because it offers a little more flexibility, and the ability to edit it after the fact.

Advice: Building the best graphic design toolbox

There is no perfect set of tools for graphic designers. We’re all unique, we all work in different ways, and budgets always come in to play. I’ve put together a breakdown of major factors when building the best graphic design hardware and software toolbox based on my experience. Consider the following as a guide, rather than a set of absolute rules.
Design Toolbox

Keep it simple

I’ve been a graphic designer for 30 years, using the Macintosh the entire time to produce work for some great clients. I’ve worked for ad agencies large and small, a design firm, printing companies, and I’ve freelanced full and part time. Over the years I’ve learned a few short rules as it pertains to building my design toolbox and getting things done—and it has held true everywhere I’ve worked. Those rules are: keep it simple no matter the cost, don’t get caught up in software trends and gimmicks, buy a little more than you think you need, because you will grow into it. The following is more specific advice for building your design toolbox. (more…)

Setting InDesign default fonts and colors

InDesign default colorsSetting default fonts and colors seems trivial, but can be a considerable time-savings if you work for an in-house design department where you’re always using the same corporate font and colors for virtually everything you do.

The ability to set default fonts and colors in new Adobe InDesign documents has been covered before, but I still see people asking about it, so I thought it worth mentioning here again.

To set the default colors:

  1. Open InDesign, but do NOT create or open a document
  2. Delete any colors from the Swatches panel you don’t want
  3. Create any amount of new colors in the Swatches panel

Any NEW documents you create will automatically have the new default font and colors already set. Unfortunately, existing documents will still use whatever default font and colors that were set when the document was created.

To set the default font:

  1. Open InDesign, but do NOT create or open a document
  2. Select the Text tool
  3. In the Control Bar across the top, select the Font drop-down menu and choose your default font. You could also use the Character panel if you choose.

Fit frames to content easily in Adobe InDesign

If you’re a digital neat freak like I am (You’ll know, because you always name your Photoshop layers. Always!), then you’ve likely performed this task manually countless times. You draw out an object container in Adobe InDesign—such as a text box or image box—place the content in it and resize the content. Next you have to manually resize the object container so it’s only large enough to hold the content within it. Otherwise you end up with a ton of overlapping object frames, making it difficult to select just the right one.
InDesign frame resize shortcut
Fortunately, you can make it easy on yourself with this quick shortcut… (more…)

Font management with Suitcase Fusion & Adobe Creative Cloud

Font Management Webinar
A reader asked me if a downloadable version of the webcast was available for a recent font management webinar from Extensis.

At the time, I was not aware of one. Fortunately, Extensis has made that webinar available for viewing by everyone.

View this recorded webcast to learn proven techniques to help you focus on design rather than font management. You’ll learn how Suitcase Fusion 5 takes the work out of managing your fonts in Adobe Creative Cloud to improve your creativity.

Learn how to:

• Remove corrupt fonts from your workflow
• Dispel the dreaded “missing font” dialog box in Creative Cloud apps
• Efficiently organize your font collection
• Speed font prototyping
• Remove font duplicates
• Clean font caches
• And more…