Tagged: InDesign

Quickly preview your color images in grayscale without leaving InDesign

Grayscale image preview in Adobe InDesign

When you’re working in a full color document in Adobe InDesign, you may occasionally want to see how the image looks in grayscale rather than full color. Normally this would require you to convert the image to grayscale in your favorite image editor. But you can quickly get an idea of how it will look without even leaving InDesign. Here’s how you do it: (more…)

Should you outline your fonts before output?

InDesign Outline Fonts
InDesign offers the ability to outline your fonts before output, much the same way as Illustrator. Outlining the fonts (sometimes known as converting to paths) prevents the potential for missing font errors and a host of other issues. But it’s not without a catch. There was a time when service bureaus and printers wouldn’t accept your files unless the fonts were outlined, but for the most part, that time has long since passed.

InDesignSecrets has the definitive guide to outlining fonts that offers a new way to outline your fonts in Acrobat DC, preventing that gotcha when you do it in InDesign.

Create a grid of InDesign frames from a single existing frame

Adobe InDesign has a built-in way to create a user-definable grid of frames from a single existing frame in your document. Why you might want to do this, you ask? Think of what a pain it would be to place the same image in a grid of frames to make it look like a single large image. Or, maybe you just need a grid of text frames made in the exact space that an existing graphic frame resides in.

InDesign frame grid

Open the Scripts Panel from the menubar under Window/Utilities. In the panel, navigate to Application>Javascript and double-click MakeGrid.jsx. The dialog box that pops up is self-explanatory. You choose how many columns and rows you want to transform the frame into, and how much space to place between them. Finally, you have the option of automatically placing the original image into the frames and adjusting their coordinates to look like it’s one large image. You can see the image above for the results.

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.