Category: InDesign

InDesign CS6 offers text frame auto-size feature

Adobe InDesign CS6 allows you to have text frames auto-size to fit the text you’re typing or placing into them. This can be a real time-saver, and it’s easy to set.

To turn Auto-Size on, right + click on a text frame and select Text Frame Options, or simply hit Command + B. In the dialog window, click the Auto-Size tab at the top right and choose your settings.

InDesign text frame auto-size

In the Auto-Size tab, you can set your text frames to automatically grow in specified directions, and by minimum amounts if you choose.

If you’re placing a long text document, the frame will grow to the bottom of the pasteboard.

InDesign CS6 adds link indicator badges for easy troubleshooting

InDesign link indicator badgeAdobe InDesign CS6 added a great feature to help designers quickly located missing or edited images and other placed objects without the need to visit the Links panel.

When you’re working in a document and an image or placed graphic is missing or has been edited but not updated, InDesign places a small colored badge at the top of the object to indicate its status. In the case of my missing logo in the screenshot, InDesign has placed the red alert badge on the object box.

This method of badging is handy because most designers probably don’t think about the status of their placed objects until the project is finished. If an object has changed enough, it can mess-up the overall layout. With these new badges, you can see problems on the fly with no interaction necessary.

iStockPhoto plugin for Adobe Creative Suite apps makes image searching easy

iStockPhoto pluginI spend a lot of time searching for stock photography. One of the sites I spend the most time on is iStockPhoto due to its large selection of images and relatively low cost. Switching between my InDesign layout and Safari to compare the images on the website to the layout to see if the image is appropriate can be tedious – especially when you consider the time to download and place the comp images.

It would be so great if you could do it right inside InDesign, Photoshop or Illustrator without using a browser. Thankfully, you can with this nifty plugin.

iStockPhoto has released the iStockPhoto Plugin for InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator that adds a Panel to all three apps which allows you to search for images, view the images, create and view light boxes, and place a comp image directly into your file, and purchase the image – all without ever leaving the Adobe application.

Installation is simple, as the plugin is installed for all three apps via the Adobe Extension Manager. The plugin is free. You can search for images and add comp images to your layout, but you must have an iStockPhoto account to use lightboxes and purchase images.

Adobe Creative Suite 6 Design Premium: First look at speed

Adobe CS6With every release of the Adobe Creative Suite apps, one of the first questions always seems to be “is it faster?” Whether you use Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator or Flash, you probably crave improved speed almost as much as new features.

With all the major Adobe Creative Suite apps being fairly mature in their lifecycle, new marquee features have taken a back seat to minor tweaks, small feature additions, bug fixes, and speed improvements. Creative Suite 6 follows that trend for the most part, and that makes it a bit easier to compare the speed of the apps between CS5 and CS6.

I’ve been using Creative Suite Design Premium for a few weeks now, and have collected my thoughts and observations about CS6 regarding speed. It should be noted that, with the exception of the launch-time chart below, these are my opinions based on very unscientific testing. I’ve not run any benchmarks or other timed processes, just real-world “eye-ball” tests.

Test Macs

All my observations are based off the results of running Adobe CS6 (and CS5) on two Macs, both running OS X Lion 10.7.4:
Mac Pro 2006 (MP): 2.66 GHz Dual-Core Xeon, 11GB RAM, 7200 RPM internal HD
MacBook Air 2011 (MBA): 1.7 GHz Core i5, 4GB RAM, SSD

Installation

I chose the download option for CS6, rather than the boxed DVD collection. So I installed CS6 from the mounted disc image on my hard drive. This is important to remember, and you’ll see why below. (more…)

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.