Tagged: InDesign

How to use the new Content Conveyer in Adobe InDesign CS6

InDesign CS6A new feature in InDesign CS6 is the Content Conveyor that lets you collect elements from a layout and reuse them quickly and easily. Unlike a library that must be created in advance and then opened within your layout, the Content Conveyor lets you collect elements as you go along. It represents a more spontaneous, on-the-fly way to work with design elements that will be reused and repurposed. Think of it as copy-and-paste on steroids.

CreativePro has a great walk-through of the Content Conveyer. At first I didn’t understand how it would fit into my workflow, but after using it a few times, I’ve found it to be quite handy. (more…)

Fit gradient to text in Adobe InDesign

One of the cool new features of Adobe InDesign CS6 is the auto-size feature for text boxes. It’s useful for those of us who prefer to keep our layouts neat & tidy. But it also has another very functional feature; ensuring gradients applied to text appear the way you expect them to.

As InDesignSecrets points out: when you apply a gradient to text, the gradient is actually applied to the frame itself, it just appears to be applied to the text inside the frame. So the gradient can appear to extend beyond the text.

Gradient fit to text

In the example above, I have the same black-to-green gradient applied to the text in all three text frames. But as you can see, only the bottom one shows the full gradient. That’s because the frame itself is set to auto-size to fit the text it contains. The two frames above it are larger, and the gradient adjusts to the size of the frame itself, rather than just the text.

So the moral of the story is: if you apply a gradient to text, make sure the text frame itself is sized to fit.

Get to know the Fill and Stroke shortcuts for Adobe InDesign

InDesign CS6I’m a huge fan of keyboard shortcuts, particularly in Adobe apps like Photoshop and InDesign. They not only save time, but they tend to not interrupt your creative ‘flow’ while you’re working once you get used to using them on a regular basis. Here are a few simple ones to work with the Fill & Stroke tools in the Tools panel.
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  • X = Swaps the active state of Fill and Stroke in the Tools panel
  • / = Sets the Fill or Stroke (whichever is active) color to None
  • , (comma) = Applies the selected object with the last color used
  • Shift + X = Swaps the Fill and Stroke of the selected object in your document (if you have a box filled with red and no stroke, hitting Shift + X will fill the box with none and stroke the box with red).


Adobe InDesign offers JPG export of individual items

InDesign JPG selection export
When exporting as JPG from Adobe InDesign, most users export an entire page, then do any cropping necessary in Photoshop. But there’s an easily missed feature that allows you to export only what you want.

Simply select the object(s) on your InDesign page that you want to export before hitting Command + E (File>Export) and choosing JPG from the drop-down menu. When the JPG Export dialog box appears, tick the Selection button at the top before setting your other JPG options. InDesign will export a flattened JPG the size of your object(s) at your specified resolution and color mode.

InDesign’s Paste In Place works across multiple documents

InDesign CS6When you want to copy an object, or group of objects from one page of your Adobe InDesign document, and paste it in the exact same spot on another page, you simply hit Command + C to copy, and Command + Option + Shift + V to paste it in the exact same spot. Most people know about this function, but did you know it works in other open documents? As long as both (all) your documents are exactly the same dimensions, Paste In Place will work between documents.

Creating percentage-based paragraph styles in Adobe InDesign

When you’re setting your paragraph styles in Adobe InDesign you must specify a font size. If you want to shrink your entire layout by 20%, you have to go to each style and manually alter it. Such a pain!

Percentage-based paragraph styles

InDesignSecrets has a wonderfully clever solution to this problem which involves creating a paragraph style based on percentages of your already existing paragraph styles. Check out this cool InDesign paragraph style tutorial!

InDesign CS6 offers text frame auto-size feature

Adobe InDesign CS6 allows you to have text frames auto-size to fit the text you’re typing or placing into them. This can be a real time-saver, and it’s easy to set.

To turn Auto-Size on, right + click on a text frame and select Text Frame Options, or simply hit Command + B. In the dialog window, click the Auto-Size tab at the top right and choose your settings.

InDesign text frame auto-size

In the Auto-Size tab, you can set your text frames to automatically grow in specified directions, and by minimum amounts if you choose.

If you’re placing a long text document, the frame will grow to the bottom of the pasteboard.

InDesign CS6 adds link indicator badges for easy troubleshooting

InDesign link indicator badgeAdobe InDesign CS6 added a great feature to help designers quickly located missing or edited images and other placed objects without the need to visit the Links panel.

When you’re working in a document and an image or placed graphic is missing or has been edited but not updated, InDesign places a small colored badge at the top of the object to indicate its status. In the case of my missing logo in the screenshot, InDesign has placed the red alert badge on the object box.

This method of badging is handy because most designers probably don’t think about the status of their placed objects until the project is finished. If an object has changed enough, it can mess-up the overall layout. With these new badges, you can see problems on the fly with no interaction necessary.

iStockPhoto plugin for Adobe Creative Suite apps makes image searching easy

iStockPhoto pluginI spend a lot of time searching for stock photography. One of the sites I spend the most time on is iStockPhoto due to its large selection of images and relatively low cost. Switching between my InDesign layout and Safari to compare the images on the website to the layout to see if the image is appropriate can be tedious – especially when you consider the time to download and place the comp images.

It would be so great if you could do it right inside InDesign, Photoshop or Illustrator without using a browser. Thankfully, you can with this nifty plugin.

iStockPhoto has released the iStockPhoto Plugin for InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator that adds a Panel to all three apps which allows you to search for images, view the images, create and view light boxes, and place a comp image directly into your file, and purchase the image – all without ever leaving the Adobe application.

Installation is simple, as the plugin is installed for all three apps via the Adobe Extension Manager. The plugin is free. You can search for images and add comp images to your layout, but you must have an iStockPhoto account to use lightboxes and purchase images.