Category: Adobe Apps

Quickly switch and select objects and layers in Photoshop

This may seem like a very basic technique, yet I see very few Photoshop users making use of it. If you want to quickly change layers. Press “V” to select the Move tool. Then Command + Click the object you want to work on. That’s it. The correct layer becomes active and you don’t need to navigate to your layers palette and scroll through the list to activate the layer you want to work on.

InDesign’s hidden forward-delete key

If you’re working in Adobe InDesign on your iBook or any other keyboard that doesn’t have a forward delete button, you can get the same function (deleting the character AFTER the cursor) by holding the Shift key down and hitting the normal Delete button.

Working with History states in Photoshop

Normally, when you select a history state and then change the image, all states below the active state are deleted (or, more accurately, replaced by the current state). However, if you enable the Allow Non-Linear History option (from the History Options in the History palette menu), you may select a state, make a change to the image, and the change will be appended to the bottom of the History palette (instead of replacing all the states below the active state). You can even delete a state without losing any of the states below it! Note: The color of the horizontal lines between history states indicate their linearity. White dividers indicate linear states and black dividers indicate non-linear states. Another Note: Not only is a non-linear history very memory intensive, it can also be very confusing!

Locking items in your InDesign document

To Lock an item in Adobe InDesign means to lock it in place, unlike Quark XPress where locking an item won’t even let you edit the item. To completely lock an object in ID, you must place the item on a layer and lock the layer – only then is the item truly “locked.” However, should you want the ability to continue to edit the item but not move it, you can use the Command + L key shortcut to lock the item and Command + Option + L to unlock it.

Setting up default colors in InDesign & Quark

When you want a set group of colors to be available to you every time you create a new Adobe InDesign document, simply close all open ID documents, then create any colors you want to be “always available” in the Color palette. Now, whenever you create a new document, those colors will be available. It should be noted that this tip works exactly the same in Quark XPress.

Change views in Photoshop

Everyone knows you can use the Command + or Command – keys to zoom in and out on an image in Photoshop – or, at least I HOPE you know that. But sometimes that can be tedius to hit the key combo several times back and forth to zoom in and out when making adjustments. There is an easier way. If you want to fill your screen with the image at the largest size that will fit, you can double-click the little Hand Grabber tool. If you’re zoomed way in on an image and want to quickly go back to 100%, you can double-click the Magnifying Glass tool.

Drag instead of “Place” files into InDesign

Did you know that you can drag any file ID can place normally right from an application, or the Finder? If you have a folder full of images and text, select them all and drag them to an open ID window. Wherever your mouse is when you let go, that’s where ID will start displaying the images/text (it will cascade them down the page). As you are dragging the files from the finder, you should notice a ghosted icon for each file over the ID window as you drag it around. id_drag-to-window You can also open a MS Word file with tables in it, select it all and drag it to an open ID window – which will keep the Word Table intact & editable. (QUITE HANDY!). This tip is a great time-saver if you have a lot of images to place all contained in one folder. Once they’re in ID, you can size them and move them around normally.

Duotone support in Adobe Illustrator

Adobe brought transparency to the Illustrator world back with version 9. One of the many complaints about the poor-selling AI9 (and believe me, if you used it, you could see why nobody liked it after only 5 minutes of use!) was the inability of linked spot color EPS photos to interact with all the transparency features. In order for the Pantone colors to output correctly, you HAD to embed the photo in AI, which resulted in absolutely huge file sizes and a pretty decent wait while the file saved. If you forgot to embed the photo, AI would output it as a CMYK or RGB image, depending on what document color space you were in. Illustrator finally fixed this with version 11 (Illustrator CS). You can now link spot color EPS images into AI and not embed them – Even if you have an object with a drop shadow on top of it. This is great because you can keep a more modular workflow this way. Of course, there are very few instances where I would use a placed photo in Illustrator to begin with (at least in the advertising design business anyway). But, this is one old habit I’m happy to say I can finally break!