Category: InDesign

Printing absolute page numbers in your Adobe InDesign document

I know. You’re probably thinking “just type the page number in the Print dialog box.” But that only works when your pages are numbered in the default method where page one is actually the first page in the document. This isn’t always the case. Many times, you’ll have a multi-page document where you’ve used the Numbering & Section Options in the Pages panel and the page numbering doesn’t start until (for example) page six—to accommodate a cover page, table of contents and intro pages.

So if page one is actually the sixth page in your Adobe InDesign document, and that’s the page you want to print, you can’t just print page one, because that would actually print the first page of the document—which in this case is the cover page.

Absolute page numbering

To print the specific page that is numbered page one (the sixth page in this example), you have to print the Absolute Page Number. To do this, simply add a + (Plus) symbol to the absolute page number in your document (in this case, 6) as seen in the image above.

Common myths about Adobe Creative Cloud

Adobe Creative Cloud

I get a lot of emails about Adobe Creative Cloud and whether it’s right for people. A lot of the questions have been answered by Adobe, but they’re hard to find.

I came across The 10 Most Common Myths About Creative Cloud at ProDesignTools that answers many of the most common questions. By far, the most asked concern seems to be about having a constant Internet connection in order to use the Creative Suite applications. This simply isn’t true. In fact, you only have to be connected once per month for the software to ping the Adobe license server in order to verify your subscription.

[zilla_alert style=”yellow”]Other than the way you pay for the Creative Suite Master Collection, there is no difference between Creative Cloud and the standard perpetual license versions we’ve been buying for decades. Well, other than Adobe will send black helicopters to your office to remove the software from your computer if you stop paying for it.[/zilla_alert]

Disclaimer: I don’t know if Adobe owns any black helicopters, but I’m pretty sure I made that part up about coming to your office.

Another question I get is why Adobe has chosen to offer freebies to Creative Cloud subscribers that aren’t available to standard license users. The answer isn’t as simple as you might think. Of course it’s a great way to entice users to subscribe to the Creative Cloud, but the reality is that the accounting methods used by software companies to claim income don’t allow Adobe to “add value features” to standard license users. You can read more about the situation here.

As for my take on Adobe Creative Cloud; I think it’s the future. Adobe wasn’t the first company to offer software on a subscription basis, but it was probably the first (and certainly the largest) in the design industry to do so. Microsoft has since announced Office 365, a subscription-based Office Suite. It won’t be long before all major software is offered as subscription only.

Got an opinion about Creative Cloud? Share it in the comments below.

Replacing an existing image in your Adobe InDesign document


You probably know you can place an image in Adobe InDesign by hitting Command + D and clicking on the page to place the photo. But many times, you want to replace an image already in the document. Many people end up placing the image, cutting it, then deleting the image from the existing frame and pasting the new one in the frame. That’s a lot of work when you can just replace the existing image.

To replace an image in the existing frame, simply hit Command + D and choose your image as you normally would, but Option-click the existing image in your layout to replace it.

The iMac 27″ for graphic designers: part 2

27" Apple iMac

In part one of The iMac 27″ for graphic designers, I covered the reasons for choosing the late 2012 iMac 27” to replace my 2006 Mac Pro. As a graphic designer who works in Adobe Creative Suite apps all day long, with file sizes pushing the 1GB range, power is important. But as I found out with my MacBook Air, the Mac Pro just isn’t necessary anymore. Not only does the iMac have all the power you need, but it’s a much more elegant hardware solution, and significantly easier on the pocketbook. I also listed some of the pros and cons of the iMac.

Now I’m going to talk a bit about my experience actually using the iMac for the last two months. (more…)

InDesign color-related keyboard shortcuts

InDesign CS6Most designers know that hitting the X key switches between stroke and fill active states, and the / (slash) key fills the currently selected object with the color None in Adobe InDesign. There are a few other color-related shortcuts that, if you burn into your brain, can save you a good bit of time and mousing around on screen.

  • The , (comma) key will fill or stroke an object with whatever the current color is
  • The . (period) key will fill or stroke an object with the current gradient
  • The D key will fill an object with None and stroke it with black.
  • Hitting Shift + X will reverse the fill and stroke colors of the currently selected object. This is by far the most useful shortcut for me, because I’m constantly applying a color to the stroke when I wanted to apply it to fill

How to use the new Content Conveyer in Adobe InDesign CS6

InDesign CS6A new feature in InDesign CS6 is the Content Conveyor that lets you collect elements from a layout and reuse them quickly and easily. Unlike a library that must be created in advance and then opened within your layout, the Content Conveyor lets you collect elements as you go along. It represents a more spontaneous, on-the-fly way to work with design elements that will be reused and repurposed. Think of it as copy-and-paste on steroids.

CreativePro has a great walk-through of the Content Conveyer. At first I didn’t understand how it would fit into my workflow, but after using it a few times, I’ve found it to be quite handy. (more…)

Fit gradient to text in Adobe InDesign

One of the cool new features of Adobe InDesign CS6 is the auto-size feature for text boxes. It’s useful for those of us who prefer to keep our layouts neat & tidy. But it also has another very functional feature; ensuring gradients applied to text appear the way you expect them to.

As InDesignSecrets points out: when you apply a gradient to text, the gradient is actually applied to the frame itself, it just appears to be applied to the text inside the frame. So the gradient can appear to extend beyond the text.

Gradient fit to text

In the example above, I have the same black-to-green gradient applied to the text in all three text frames. But as you can see, only the bottom one shows the full gradient. That’s because the frame itself is set to auto-size to fit the text it contains. The two frames above it are larger, and the gradient adjusts to the size of the frame itself, rather than just the text.

So the moral of the story is: if you apply a gradient to text, make sure the text frame itself is sized to fit.