Category: InDesign

How to select and move all items on an InDesign layer

Experienced InDesign users know the value of using Layers on complex documents, particularly ones where text, object and image items are stacked on top of each other.

Layer item selectOne handy shortcut is the ability to select all items on any particular layer, which you can do by either Option + Clicking the name of the Layer in the Layers panel, or by clicking the Item Indicator square on the far right of the Layer in the list. Performing either action will select all the items on that particular layer.

Now let’s say you want to move all the items from one layer to another. Simple. Just click that little Item Indicator square of the layer you want to move FROM and drag it to the layer you want to move it TO.

Quickly identify kerned or tracked text using InDesign’s Composition preferences

InDesign kerning warning

Easily spot kerned/tracked text

When dealing with text-heavy documents it can be particularly difficult to know if text has been manually kerned or tracked.

This can be particularly important to identify if you work in an environment where you’re not the only person editing the file.

To quickly identify kerned or tracked text, you need to visit InDesign’s preferences by hitting Command + K and select the Composition item in the left-side source list. In the Highlight section at the top, tick the Custom Tracking/Kerning checkbox and hit the OK button.

From that point forward, any text that has been tracked text will be highlighted in green, and any kerned text will be highlighted in orange, as you can see in the image above.

Adobe’s complicated CS6 pricing – and a few discounts

Adobe Creative Suite 6

Adobe is offering some nice Creative Suite CS6 upgrade and Creative Cloud subscription discounts. If you’re debating about upgrading, perhaps one of these discounts will make the decision for you. That is, if you can figure out which upgrades you’re eligible for, and for how long.

Creative Cloud

Creative Suite 3 and higher owners can purchase a Creative Cloud subscription by August 31, 2012 and receive your first year for only $30 per month (regularly $50 per month). Creative Cloud subscriptions include the entire Adobe Master Collection set of apps, all Adobe’s Touch apps, and a host of cloud services.

Free upgrade to CS6

If you’re still running Creative Suite 3, 4 or 5, you can order CS 5.5 now and get CS6 for free when it ships.

Lightroom 4

Purchase Adobe Lightroom 4 for $99 when you buy it with Photoshop CS 6 or any CS 6 Suite Edition.

It’s complicated

Maybe I’m just not remembering things as well, but I don’t ever recall Adobe’s upgrade options being so complicated. I was looking to upgrade my CS Design Premium Suite to CS6, when I clicked the upgrade option drop-down menu, it damn near scrolled off my screen. There are three different prices for the 23 possible upgrade paths.

The important thing to note, that has not been widely publicized or obvious on the upgrade pages, is the fact that upgrade pricing to CS6 from ANY VERSION lower than CS 5.5 ends on December 31, 2012. So basically, if you want to maintain upgrade pricing in the future, you WILL be upgrading this year.

What is somewhat unclear is what qualifies as an upgrade. Unless I’m mistaken, in the past you couldn’t cross-path upgrade. In other words, you couldn’t upgrade a Standard Edition Suite to a Master Collection Suite, or a Premium Edition Suite to a Standard Edition Suite. With CS6, it appears you can cross-upgrade Suites in any way. Again, I’m not clear, but it would be nice if that is indeed correct.

And finally, starting with the release of Creative Suite 6, individual upgrades — both CS suite editions and point products like Adobe Photoshop CS6 and Illustrator CS6 — are available for purchase only through Adobe.com.

What version should you upgrade to? Should you go the Creative Cloud route? Hell, I don’t know. The simple answer is if you currently use the Master Collection (all of Adobe’s apps), and like to stay current, you should definitely get Creative Cloud. Beyond that, it’s more complicated. If you’ve remained current (you’re running CS 5.5), your upgrade options are clear and fairly affordable. If you’re running a Suite or individual app older than CS 5.5, the options aren’t as clear, and are nowhere near as affordable. As for me, I think I’ll be sticking with the boxed version of the Design Premium Suite.

How to quickly switch to any InDesign tool while editing text

InDesign CS5When you’re editing text in Adobe InDesign, switching to a different tool cannot be done simply by hitting the keyboard shortcut for that tool because you’ll end up typing that letter in the text frame.

Instead, to switch to another tool, Command + Click on the text frame or hit Command + Shift + A to exit text editing mode. You can then hit the appropriate letter to switch tools, such as P for the Pen tool, or M for the Rectangle tool.

Adobe launches Creative Cloud and CS6

Adobe Creative Cloud

Adobe today announced Adobe Creative Cloud, a radical new way of providing tools and services that will change the game for creatives worldwide. A subscription-based offering, Adobe Creative Cloud is a hub for making, sharing and delivering creative work and it is centered around a powerful release of Adobe Creative Suite 6 software, packed with innovation across its industry-defining design, Web, video and digital imaging tools.

If the $600 per year Creative Cloud subscription isn’t for you, you can still buy the Creative Suite 6 apps individually, or in Standard or Premium Suites.

Product pricing and a comparison chart can be found here.

Resize an Adobe InDesign image Frame with this quick shortcut

When you have a large image placed inside a small Adobe InDesign Frame and you want to resize the Frame to show the entire image, there’s no reason to do it manually. As with so many of InDesign’s features, there’s a handy shortcut to do the job for you.

Frame resizing in Adobe InDesign

A simple double-click will resize an image frame in a variety of ways

Simply select the Frame your cropped image resides in and double-click any corner Frame Handle to quickly resize the frame to fit the entire image placed in it. If you don’t want the entire Frame enlarged, but want the full width of the image to show, double-click one of the side Frame Handles. And of course, if you want to keep the width of the Frame intact, but resize it to display the full height of the image, double-click either the top or bottom Frame Handles to do that.

As you can see in the image above, the photo Frame on the left is cropped, but double-clicking on the Frame Handle on the side resized the Frame to show the full width of the image I have placed inside it.

Print separations from InDesign CS5 and Snow Leopard

InDesign CS5A friend recently asked what happened to the ability to export color separations from Adobe InDesign CS5 to a PDF using custom page sizes. I’ve never heard of or had the need to do this, so I was of little help. But for whatever reason, I was able to do it because I still had the generic Postscript PPD installed. The only thing I could think of was that I still had CS4 installed on my Mac, and the ability to do it remained in CS5 because of that.

In any case, my friend discovered the work around, and shared with me where he found it. Russell Viers offers the solution, that requires little more than a quick PPD download and install. Again, I’m not sure why you would want to do this because your printer generally handles this in-RIP at their printing facility. You really need to know what you’re doing when you enter the settings.

Learn how to print PDF color seps from InDesign here.

Access InDesign’s Text Wrap panel with this shortcut

InDesign Text Wrap shortcutEven with a 30″ LCD screen, I prefer to not have any of InDesign’s panels open than is necessary. One panel I use often, but don’t keep open is the Text Wrap panel, which offers a few icons in the main Tools panel across the top of the Adobe InDesign application frame.

Rather than keep the Text Wrap panel open or (worse yet) keep opening and closing it as needed via the menubar, you can simply Option + Click the icon in the Tools panel. This will pop the panel open so you can access more of the Wrap features.