Tagged: InDesign

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.

Fit frames to content easily in Adobe InDesign

If you’re a digital neat freak like I am (You’ll know, because you always name your Photoshop layers. Always!), then you’ve likely performed this task manually countless times. You draw out an object container in Adobe InDesign—such as a text box or image box—place the content in it and resize the content. Next you have to manually resize the object container so it’s only large enough to hold the content within it. Otherwise you end up with a ton of overlapping object frames, making it difficult to select just the right one.
InDesign frame resize shortcut
Fortunately, you can make it easy on yourself with this quick shortcut… (more…)

My favorite new InDesign CC 2014 features

Adobe Creative Cloud 2014

If you’re a graphic designer, you no doubt know that Adobe released new versions of the major apps in their Creative Cloud subscription this past week.

I’ve been using InDesign CC 2014 the last few days, and had no troubles at all with the software. While Adobe focused on specific features for all the apps, it’s often the case that the little things make all the difference. For me, this is definitely the case with the latest InDesign. There are two new features that make a world of difference for me. (more…)

Aligning punctuation in Numbered Lists in Adobe InDesign

I come across files all the time where the designer used multiple blank spaces, or even separate text boxes to align the period after the numbers in a numbered list in their InDesign document. It’s a royal pain in the ass to fix, and it actually is a lot more difficult to do than just doing it the proper way to begin with.

InDesign numbered lists

To align the punctuation in numbered lists, the first thing you do is NOT type numbers. Simply select the items in your list and click the Numbered List icon in the Control Bar (see image above). This will add the numbers for you.

To align the punctuation, Option + Click the same Numbered List icon in the Control Bar and adjust the Alignment of your list to Right Justified.

InDesign numbered list alignment

Next, click the Preview checkbox in the lower left corner of the dialog box so you can see your adjustments updated live, and adjust the Left Indent amount until there is a sufficient amount of space after the numbers and before the text of the list.

Finally, adjust the First Line Indent amount by a negative number until your satisfied with the look of the list. The amounts in the screenshot above is what I used to achieve the fixed list on the right.

The beauty of doing it this way is that you can go back later and make adjustments to all your lists at once, no hitting the space bar multiple times, no setting multiple tabs, no hassle!

Free InDesign templates

StockInDesign
I recently came across StockInDesign, a site devoted to providing designers free InDesign templates for flyers, brochures, magazines, resumes and more. The InDesign files are provided in .indd and .IDML format, so you can open them in Adobe InDesign CS4 or later. While they are free of monetary payment, you are required to pay with a Twitter Tweet or Facebook Share.