Tagged: InDesign

Adjust your InDesign Pages panel view for a clearer picture

InDesign Pages panel optionsBy default, Adobe InDesign’s Pages panel displays Master Pages and Document Pages in a top-down vertical view. This is fine for a single page document, but for a document with dozens of pages and multiple Master Pages, it get pretty annoying scrolling up and down in the Pages Panel.

By visiting the flyout menu in the upper right of the Pages panel, and selecting Panel Options… at the bottom of the list, you can adjust your Master Pages and Document Pages to display horizontally by unchecking the Show Vertically check boxes. Setting the Sizes drop-downs to Small also helps in displaying more pages in a small space – perfect for users working on a laptop with smaller screens.

As you can see in the bottom half of the image, you’ll get a better view of your document pages in the Pages panel doing this than you would by default in the top half of the image.

Selecting cells with the keyboard in your InDesign table

Selecting InDesign Table Cells

Selecting individual InDesign Table cells, and the content in them, is easy with the keyboard

If you use Tables in your InDesign document, selecting individual cells with the mouse can make your fingers sore. Instead, use the Tab and/or Arrow keys to move between them. Maybe you already knew that. But did you know that you can click the cell you wish to work with and hit the ESC key to select the entire cell (perhaps to fill the cell with a color) and hit ESC a second time to select the content inside the cell (to change the font, for example).

Give your InDesign text a “highlighted” appearance

Ever want to give your text in Adobe InDesign a highlighted appearance but not want to bother with creating a separate piece of artwork to overlay? It’s a simple effect to create, with the added benefit that it sticks with the text when it gets reflowed.

Highlight effect in your InDesign text

Adding a highlight effect in your InDesign document text doesn't require separate artwork

To create the effect, take note of the point size of your text (you’ll need to know that later). Now select the word(s) you want to highlight, click the fly-out menu of the Character Panel and choose Underline Options…. In the dialog box that pops-up, click the Underline On and Preview check boxes so you can view the effect in your document as you make adjustments.

To customize your highlight choose the line type from the drop-down menu, most likely you’ll want a solid line. Now choose a color (any color in your Color Panel) is available to use. You’ll want to do these steps first so you can see the results as you customize further.

Now adjust the Weight of the underline to be a few points thicker than the point size of your text – in the case of the sample image above, my text was 12pts, so I made the underline 14pts. Now adjust your Offset amount by a few negative points so that it overlaps your text – in my sample, -3 was just the right amount. Finally, click the Overprint check box to give it a more realistic effect (overprint will really show if your text is a lighter color). Now just hit OK button to apply the effect.

Highlighted text sampleYou could stop here, but you’ll notice that the highlight begins and ends exactly at the edges of the first and last letter of your highlighted word(s) – as you see in the top of the image at the right. While this isn’t that big of a deal, it’s not quite as realistic as it could be. To extend the highlight effect to just a tiny bit before and after the text as you see in the bottom half of the image, add a space before and after the word and reduce the Tracking amount of each space. I used -140 for the sample image to show how this adjustment affects the highlighting, but you may want to reduce the space even further to avoid unsightly gaps.

If you want to apply this effect to more text in your document, you may want to save the effect as a Character Style.

The Graphic Mac Link Box #5

The Graphic Mac Link BoxA collection of interesting or otherwise helpful links I’ve come across recently that you may not have seen:

9 Things you should do after installing OS X Lion
No operating system is perfect, though. At least, not for everyone, and especially not right out of the (non-existent) box. Looking to make your Lion experience that much better, we’ve bundled together a bevy of tips and tricks that you really ought to have ready on your first trip into the new OS.

What Potential Impact Can HTML5 Have on SEO?
How might HTML5 change the way we approach SEO? What are the possible impacts of HTML5 in search engine algorithms? A few questions answered in this informative article.

10 Free Slab Serif Fonts
You can never have too many fonts available. This is a small, but nice collection.

Instaport for Instagram
A simple way to export all your Instagram photos to other social services or your local hard drive.

40 High-Quality InDesign Tutorials
New to Adobe InDesign? DesignMag has a great collection of informative tutorials to help you learn the ins-and-outs of the most popular page layout and design application.

9 tips for emailing important people (clients)
Here are 9 top-notch tips for writing emails that make it as easy as possible for the recipient to send you a response.

Free Adobe Creative Suite printing guide available for download

Adobe Creative Suite 5 Printing Guide

The Adobe Creative Suite 5 Printing Guide is available for download

Many users of Adobe’s Creative Suite software are unaware that Adobe provides an excellent printing guide in PDF format to aid in learning the ins-and-outs of successful commercial printing using the Creative Suite apps

The guide is an excellent resource for new users, serving as a training manual, as well as a brush-up for experienced users. The guide covers a wide-range of printing-related topics in Adobe InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator and Acrobat. The free Creative Suite 5/5.5 Printing Guide is a 22MB download.

The Graphic Mac Link Box #2

The Graphic Mac Link BoxA collection of interesting or otherwise helpful links I’ve come across recently that you may not have seen:

Steve Ballmer’s days are numbered

Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO, has apparently done more to reduce the value of Microsoft than any other product, service or company. That bit of news comes to us from an in-depth opinion article by Ben Brooks.

Your next logo design: RGB vs. CMYK

MycroBurst attempts to answer the question of what color standard you should use when designing your next logo. It isn’t a particularly in-depth article, but I felt like it was a great lead-in for a list of 9 rules for logo design I wrote a long time ago!

25 Weird interview questions from large companies

I can’t say I’ve ever been asked any of these in a job interview, but I have been asked some odd questions that were clearly intended to set me off pace for the purpose of gauging my reaction.

Text Wrap and Fit Content Options in Adobe InDesign

New users of Adobe InDesign may find this article quite helpful. It covers the ins and outs of InDesign’s Text Wrap and Fit Content Options most excellently!

How to Create Eroded Metal Text with Photoshop

Creating eroded, grungy, nasty, weathered metal text in Photoshop is probably something you do 50 times a day, right? Ok, probably not. But if you did need to, this tutorial will make it easy for you!

Apple to introduce us to Lion: Maybe you’ve heard?

Ok, so that was a smartass question. If you’ve been on Twitter, Facebook or the web in general, you’ve probably heard that Apple has a lot to announce Monday at their annual WWDC conference. Expected in the announcement are details about Apple’s MobileMe replacement, iCloud. Also expected are announcements concerning the next release of iOS 5 which will reportedly include Twitter integration and much more. As for me, I’m prepping my hard drive for a rather large (and price discounted) download of Lion from the Mac App Store!

How to turn on or off InDesign stroke scaling

InDesign stroke scaling settings

Adjusting your stroke weight scaling setting can save lots of frustration

When you’re scaling objects in Adobe InDesign that contain a stroke, you may have been frustrated by the fact that the stroke scales with it – or maybe you wish it did.

InDesign offers a somewhat hidden feature that allows you to customize the stroke when scaling. In the flyout menu of the Transform panel, simply check or uncheck Adjust Stroke Weight when Scaling to adjust the behavior accordingly.

Setting your preferred measurement units in Adobe InDesign

InDesign CS5Ever wonder why certain Adobe InDesign documents open with Inches as the measurement unit, and other open with points, or some other unit? InDesign is smart enough to remember what measurement unit the document was saved with.

You can quickly change the unit of measure in a document by right-clicking anywhere in the document rulers and selecting your preferred unit of measure.

If you’re annoyed when you open a new InDesign document and the unit of measure is not what you prefer, you can set the preferences to always create new documents using inches (or any other unit you prefer). Simply close all InDesign documents and set your preferred unit of measure in Preferences>Units & Increments. From that point forward, all new documents will use that unit of measure by default.

Adobe Creative Suite 5.5: digital content creation and new subscription plans

Adobe announces Creative Suite 5.5

CS5.5 focuses on digital content creation

Adobe has announced the next version of their Creative Suite software. CS5.5 is heavily focused on designers wishing to take their work to tablet, smartphone, and EPUB users. All versions of their individual apps will be updated (except Acrobat, which remains at version X), as will the Creative Suites that comprise the apps – including InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, and Flash.

Beyond the numerous features for building interactive documents for use on iPad, iPhone, and other tablets and smartphones, there’s not much information available covering feature updates for print-based designers.

An Adobe CS5.5 pricing chart is available to help you decide what versions of the Suites or individual apps you wish to purchase.

This is where it gets interesting. Adobe has also announced a new month-by-month subscription plan for all their major Creative Suites and individual applications. For instance, you can rent Dreamweaver for as little as $19 per month, or the entire Creative Suite Web Premium for $89 per month. Serious Creative Suite users will most likely still want to purchase their preferred Suites, but for those who just need to complete a quick website and only own Design Standard can rent Dreamweaver for the price of a week’s worth of coffee at Starbucks.

With any Adobe Creative Suite update comes discussion of frequency and cost of updates. Adobe is making changes in this area. From now on, the Creative Suite will be on a 24-month development cycle for major upgrades (CS3, CS4, CS5, CS6, etc.). Every 12 months they will also release a mid-cycle update (such as the CS5.5 just announced) which will offer only minor feature enhancements, bug fixes, and code tweaking. Previously, Adobe released Creative Suite upgrades around every 18 months.

Unless you’re doing a lot of work destined for a tablet, smartphone or ebook reader, you’re probably going to skip this release and wait for Creative Suite 6. But if you do that type of work, CS5.5 appears to be a dandy update.

SneakPeek allows you to view your InDesign and Illustrator files on the Mac, iPhone or iPad

When Apple introduced Quick Look in the Mac OS it was a huge productivity boost to many designers and photographers. Quick Look allows you to view QuickTime compatible files in an overlay right in the Finder simply by selecting the icon of the file and pressing the Space Bar. It wasn’t long before users began seeking out plugins to view more file types than just PDFs and JPG images though.

SneakPeek Pro, by Code Line Communications (the company that brought us Art Directors Toolkit, arrived on the scene and took Quick Look to a new level. This simple Preference Pane allows you to view layered Adobe Photoshop files, Illustrator .ai and .eps files, and InDesign documents. SneakPeek doesn’t stop with just a preview image of your document though. The Quick Look overlay SneakPeek provides also displays information about Illustrator and InDesign files, such as the colors used, the images placed in the document, fonts used, and general file information such as multiple page previews (see the image below).

SneakPeek for Mac

SneakPeek Pro for Mac allows you to view your graphics files in the Finder

I’ve found SneakPeek Pro for Mac to be a valuable addition to any designer’s toolbox. But with more and more designers working on the road, the ability to view graphics files on the iPhone would be nice addition. Thankfully, Code Line has finally brought the power and usefulness of SneakPeek to iOS device users.

SneakPeek renders previews of graphics files stored on your iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. It works by providing an “Open in SneakPeek” button to your favorite iOS applications like Mail, Dropbox, Safari and just about any app that gives you access to files.

SneakPeek for iOS

SneakPeek for iOS allows you to view the same file information as the desktop version

With SneakPeek installed on your iPhone, you can check the InDesign file for a client’s new business card layout that just got emailed to you without waiting to get back to the office. And rather than viewing a jagged JPG file attached to an email of a new logo, you can view the actual Illustrator file. SneakPeek for iOS also offers you the same file information as SneakPeek Pro for the Mac – such as fonts, images and colors used.

SneakPeek Pro for Mac is available for $19.95, and offers a 15-day demo for you to test out. SneakPeek for iOS devices can be had for only $9.99 directly from the Apple App Store. Both versions of SneakPeek can save you a lot of time, and are well worth the cost of ownership.