Category: InDesign

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.

Get a sneak peek of your InDesign documents with document previews

Adobe InDesign has the capability to create a preview of documents viewable in the Open and Place dialog boxes. You can also view previews of your file in Bridge much the same as you would a PDF or image file.

Unfortunately, this capability isn’t automatic, and Bridge won’t build a preview of the document on its own. You have to set InDesign’s preferences to do so.

InDesign document previews

Document previews allows you a quick peek of your file in Open & Place dialogs

Visit the InDesign Preferences (Command + K) and choose File Handling from the list on the left. Under the section titled Saving InDesign Files. Make sure you tick the Always Save Preview Images with Documents checkbox. You can then choose to save a Small, Medium, Large or Extra Large preview image. If you’re using InDesign CS5, you can also choose to save previews of one, two, five, ten or all the pages in your document.

I have InDesign set to save a large preview of the first two pages; it’s usually enough to tell me if I have the right file. It’s important to know that saving preview images of your InDesign document will add to the file size. It’s not much, but depending on the number of pages in the document, it can add up quickly.

Auto-distribute InDesign objects with a keyboard shortcut

The Align & Distribute panel in Adobe InDesign is a handy tool for lining-up objects and distributing them equally in a specified space. But in order to distribute objects, you have to set the left-most and right-most objects exactly where you want them before using the Distribute icons in the panel.

Auto distribute objects

A simple keyboard shortcut allows you to "eyeball" the distribution of objects

If you would rather “eyeball it,” you can do so simply by selecting your objects, grabbing one of the selection handles on one of the objects and hold the space bar down as you drag the handle. Rather than resizing your objects, the space between the objects will increase or decrease accordingly.

It’s important to note that the objects don’t distribute EVENLY automatically using this shortcut. In other words, if you have a quarter inch between the first and second object, and a half inch between the second and third, it won’t re-distribute the objects giving them equal space between them, it will only adjust the spacing already there proportionately.

Viewing overset text in your InDesign document

When you’re entering or placing text in a text frame in your document, InDesign lets you know when you have more text than it is able to display in the frame by adding a tiny red + icon in the lower right corner of the frame indicating overset text. For obvious reasons, you might want to know how much text is overset, but expanding the frame to see how much text is overset is, well, overkill.

Overset Text

InDesign can display exactly what text is overset in a text frame

Instead, you can view exactly what text is overset by simply hitting Command + Y with the text frame selected. This brings up a small window called the Story Editor.

At the bottom, you’ll see a red bar along the side, as well as a gray divider line showing exactly how much text is overset. To save time, you can edit your text right in the Story Editor until it all fits in the frame, if that’s what you choose to do.