Tagged: InDesign

How to export InDesign layers as a layered PSD file

InDesign to PSD

InDesign Secrets shared this excellent InDesign script that converts your layered InDesign file to a layered Photoshop file. Mike Rankin takes you through the simple steps in the article, but I’ll tell you from experience that this is the sort of thing that is best left to designers who are obsessive about details like naming and organizing their layers, regardless of what program they’re working in. And as Mike points out, this is something that is best left as the “final” step—as you won’t know (or have a whole lot of control over) what remains editable after the conversion.

Adobe’s unwelcome Welcome screen

Adobe welcome screen

Hey Adobe, see that button down there in the lower right corner of your highly-annoying Welcome screen that pops up every time I launch InDesign CC 2015—the one that says “Don’t Show Welcome Screen Again?” How about you fix whatever bug that tells the app to ignore the fact that I clicked that button the last time I launched the app, EVERY TIME I LAUNCH THE APP!!!

When you do manage to fix the bug, please share your findings with the Illustrator team, because it happens every time I launch that app as well.

To be fair, this only happens on two out of the three Macs I use on a regular basis. But all three Macs have exactly the same software installed, and are running the same OS versions.

Learn how to use InDesign’s Liquid Layout rules to simplify cross-platform design

When you live in the modern-day design world, it’s not often that you design a piece destined for print that won’t eventually be found online. To truly create a piece that can live in both worlds, you have to format the file to work in print, as well as multiple mobile screen sizes. This is where Adobe InDesign’s Alternate & Liquid Layout features can help.

I offer you two great articles over at CreativePro that cover the use of InDesign’s Alternate/Liquid Layouts.

Part 1 here.
Part 2 here.

Alternate Layouts lets you have multiple layouts—of different sizes and orientations—all contained in one single document. What’s that you say…you don’t create digital publications? Not to fear! Alternate Layouts are a great way to create multiple layouts—destined for print or digital or a little of each—that share the same text and images. Maybe you have a campaign that includes posters, postcards, table tents, and door hangers that all share common elements. Or maybe you have a print version and a digital version of your client’s novel and you want to avoid having to maintain two documents when the editorial changes start rolling in. This is a job for Alternate Layouts!

Moving stylized text from Word to InDesign

Creative Pro writer, Jamie McKee, shares the ins-and-outs of getting stylized text from MS Word to Adobe InDesign without a lot of fuss.*

We all get MS Word files from a client for placement in a brochure, booklet, newsletter, or magazine. We end up having to reformat the text by hand more often than not. But there is a better way, which Jamie goes into.

MS Word to InDesign conversion

*That being said, I find Jamie’s solution to be more trouble than it’s worth by an order of magnitude. The problems with his methods are:
A) you have to go through the trouble of setting up the style sheets in word, being careful to name them the same as the ones you’re using in InDesign.
B) you have to do that for every Word file, because…
C) your client isn’t going to bother using your stupid Word file anyway

Now don’t get me wrong, his solution will work if you have a technically savvy client, or you work in an in-house design shop such as a magazine, etc. But the real-world realities are that it’s rare that you’ll find a client that will not make a mess out of this otherwise simple process.

But take a look at the article, because it’s quite informative. Even if your client refuses to use your perfectly stylized Word file, it’ll show you how to at least take some of the work out of the manual stylizing process.

Master bullet and numbered lists in Adobe InDesign

InDesign's bullet list feature

Maybe it’s just a sign of our shortening attention spans, but these days we seem to want more and more of our information in quickly-digestible bullet points. And then there’s our insatiable need to quantify. We absolutely love lists: the Top Ten this, the 100 Greatest that, 50 ways to leave your lover, and so on.

So with all these lists to work with, we can be thankful that InDesign has robust tools for creating bulleted and numbered lists. If you’re not familiar with using bullet and numbered lists in Adobe InDesign, this article from CreativePro will make you a “list-master” in short order.

Free Adobe InDesign templates

Free InDesign template downloads

Sometimes you just don’t know where to start on a new project. Particularly newsletters or magazine layouts. Inspiration is everywhere, but often times having a pre-made template is a great way to start your layouts.

BestInDesignTemplates has several Adobe InDesign templates you can download and use for free, including: flyers, newsletters, catalogs, and a 20-page magazine layout. Obviously you would want to use these as a starting-point, rather than a finished design.

Building the ultimate contact sheet using InDesign

InDesign contact sheet

There are lots of ways to build a contact sheet of a folder full of images. Despite what many people think, you can still use Adobe Bridge, but it requires downloading and installing an older add-on. Instead, you can use Adobe InDesign’s built-in ImageCatalog script to build thumbnails of a folder full of images, including the file name, image dimensions, and more.

InDesignSecrets has a great walk-through showing you how to build the ultimate contact sheet. I’ve always used Bridge, which you can still do after downloading and installing the old Output Module. But when I came across this old post detailing how to do it using InDesign, I immediately fell in love with the method because it offers a little more flexibility, and the ability to edit it after the fact.

Setting InDesign default fonts and colors

InDesign default colorsSetting default fonts and colors seems trivial, but can be a considerable time-savings if you work for an in-house design department where you’re always using the same corporate font and colors for virtually everything you do.

The ability to set default fonts and colors in new Adobe InDesign documents has been covered before, but I still see people asking about it, so I thought it worth mentioning here again.

To set the default colors:

  1. Open InDesign, but do NOT create or open a document
  2. Delete any colors from the Swatches panel you don’t want
  3. Create any amount of new colors in the Swatches panel

Any NEW documents you create will automatically have the new default font and colors already set. Unfortunately, existing documents will still use whatever default font and colors that were set when the document was created.

To set the default font:

  1. Open InDesign, but do NOT create or open a document
  2. Select the Text tool
  3. In the Control Bar across the top, select the Font drop-down menu and choose your default font. You could also use the Character panel if you choose.