Category: Adobe Apps

Jumping pages when using InDesign page sections

In this previous tip I reminded you that hitting Command + J and typing a page number and Enter will take you to that page. But in the event that you have special page number options set, it won’t work without a little more effort. Lets say you have an 8 page booklet you’re working on in Adobe InDesign and you want the page numbers to start on document page 3 (because document page 1 is the cover and page 2 is the inside cover). You would right (Control) click on document page 3 in the Pages palette and select Numbering & Section Options and click the Start Numbering Pages At button and type “3”. This now makes document page 3 be page number 1. id_sections_dialogbox The problem is that now when you hit Command + J to jump to a page, you can’t because you’re using Section options. The way around it is to use the standard Command + J, but instead of typing just “3” you must use +3 instead. The + (plus key) tells ID that you want to go to the absolute document page 3… which is actually page 1 in your page numbering scheme. This is somewhat confusing, and quite frankly, I find it very unintuitive, but once you get used to doing it, it’s still faster than going to the pages palette and scrolling through a long document to get to the page you want.

Sharpening an image in Photoshop

Most images in Photoshop need sharpening when you reduce them, or importing from a scanner or digital camera. There are two ways (which generally provide the same results) that you may find useful.

  • Change the image into Lab Mode and only sharpen the Luminosity Channel is one way.
  • Another way is to choose Filter>Sharpen>Unsharp Mask, apply the settings that you want, then choose Edit>Fade Unsharp Mask, and alter the Blend Mode to Luminosity. The benefit of this method is that you can adjust the amount of the sharpening while you’re there instead of undoing and trying again.

There are, of course, other methods to accomplish the same thing, this is just an idea. If you have another way, please share it in the comments!

Sizing a frame to fit content in InDesign

icon_idWhen you have content placed in a frame in Adobe InDesign, you can press Command + Option + C to resize the frame to the size of its contents – text or graphics. You can also hit Command + Option + E to stretch a graphic to fill a frame. If you want to keep the graphic scale proportional, add the Shift key. Once your graphics are placed in a content frame and sized to your liking, you can center the graphic in the frame by pressing Command + Shift + E. These commands may seem obvious, because they’re in the menus and in the manual, but I’ve found that many designers and production artists are so used to Quark’s key commands that they forget to learn new ones.

Automatic right-aligned tabs in InDesign

icon_idWhen you’re in Adobe InDesign and you have a text block that you have carefully set right-aligned tabs for using the tab bar, you’re somewhat stuck with the tab setting if you need to resize the frame. The tab setting stays where it is regardless of any width adjustments you make to the text frame. You can make it much easier on yourself simply by hitting Shift + Tab. This will automatically put the text after the tab to the far right point of the text frame regardless of the width of the text frame. This of course makes it much easier on you if you need to make that frame a bit thinner or wider.

Creating Symbols in Adobe Illustrator

Symbols are simply stored objects created or placed in Adobe Illustrator that you can retrieve easily from the Symbol palette. This includes mesh objects, raster images, text, regular and compound paths or groups of objects. (You cannot, however, create a symbol from a linked piece of art or graphs) ai_symbol-palette To create a symbol, select the object you want to make a symbol and either drag the object to the Symbols palette or click the New Symbol button in the Symbol palette. Symbols are especially useful for designers who do their layout in Illustrator, as you can store frequently used Logos and text as a symbol for easy retrieval.

Fixing blurry text in Web graphics

ps_kerning_paletteWhen using small text in web graphics in Photoshop, you may notice that your text looks blurry at small point sizes (usually, anything below 12 to 14 points). Running a sharpening filter over rasterized text only serves to make it look worse. To clean up the blurry text, try increasing the tracking (kerning)amount of the text using the Character palette. By increasing the tracking amount it lowers the effects of anti-aliasing, thus making the letters appear sharper/cleaner.

Moving InDesign items to the front or back

icon_idWhen using Adobe InDesign, you can send any item to the back of a layer by pressing Command + Shift + [. To bring the item to the front, use the ] key instead. Take the Shift key out and you’ll move the item up and down in the layer order one at a time.

Align guides to ruler tick-marks in Photoshop

Ever have difficulty getting a guide to line up with a tick mark on the ruler while working in Photoshop? Or see that it appears to line up, only to find out when you zoom in that it really doesn’t? Fortunately there’s an easy way to do what you want. Hold the Shift key down while you drag a guide to exactly the tick mark you wish. The guide will “snap” to each tick mark on the ruler.

Snap Photoshop palettes to screen edge

Snap your Photoshop CS & CS2 palettes to the nearest screen edge by Shift-dragging them or Shift-clicking on their titlebars. This seems like a silly tip, but it drives me nuts to see palettes that aren’t perfectly aligned!

InDesign font selection shortcut

Getting control of the Font menu can be a daunting task if you have a lot of fonts activated. Adobe has made their apps somewhat easy in that they group fonts by family, but it can still be a long list to scroll through. When you’re working in Adobe InDesign, you can click in the font field in either the Character palette or Control bar and type a letter of the font you’re looking for, which will automatically select the first font using that letter. So if you type the letter “T” you will most likely end up at a font named Tahoma. Once you have the first font by that letter in the menu, you can click the font popup menu and select the actual font you want. Another way is to simply start typing the font you are looking for and InDesign will select the font as you type.