ADOBE INDESIGN : GENERAL TIPS
If InDesign CS2 crashes, freezes or shuts down unexpectedly
while you are working in the application it may mean the Preference
file has become corrupted. You can fix a lot of these
problems by deleting the preference file when launching
Launch InDesign, then
immediately hold down Shift+Alt+Ctrl (Windows) or Shift+Control+Option+Command
(Macintosh). This will delete the old
preference file so that InDesign launches using manufacturer's
- Quit InDesign.
- Rename the InDesign SavedData file and the InDesign Defaults file
(for example, to InDesign SavedData.old, InDesign Defaults.old) in
the following location:
Start InDesign. InDesign creates new preference files.
If the problem persists, you can restore the original preferences
by deleting the new files and renaming the old preference files back
to their original names.
- Windows: Documents and Settings/ [user name] /Application Data/Adobe/InDesign/Version
- Mac OS: [user name] /Library/Preferences/Adobe InDesign/Version
Split & Span Columns in InDesign CS5:
You can make a paragraph span across multiple columns to create a straddle head effect. You can choose whether a paragraph spans all columns or a specified number of columns. When a paragraph is set to span across multiple columns, any text before the spanning paragraph becomes balanced as a result.
You can also split a paragraph into multiple columns within the same text frame.
Adobe TV and WonderHowTo
Sort Menus Alphabetically:
To sort menus in the menu bar in alphabetical order, select the
required menu while holding Ctrl+Shift+Alt (Windows) or Shift+Option+Command
(Mac). This shortcut sorts the menu and sub-menus in alphabetical
order; it's also useful for sorting fonts in the Type > Font menu
Page Guides vs. Spread Guides:
To create a horizontal ruler guide that crosses all pages of a spread,
drag the guide onto the page while your cursor is on the pasteboard
area to the left or the right of the spread. Or press Command/Ctrl
while dragging a guide to make it a spread guide.
Situation: Big story in a frame, no existing empty text frames
to thread it to, can't autoflow for whatever reason.
Solution: The fastest
way to manually thread a story, starting with just a single overset
text frame, is to click on the overset icon with the Selection
Tool to load the overset text in the cursor; then hold down
key (Mac) or Alt key (Windows) and drag out successive text frames.
Every frame you Option/Alt-drag is automatically threaded to
the previous one.
Show Options When Placing:
When you place content into your layout, click the Show Import
Options checkbox to intercept a file and perform certain
as stripping formatting from a Word file. You can access the Import
Options dialog by holding the Shift key when you click on the Place
button in the Place dialog box.
To change type size and leading incrementally, start by setting
increment size in Preferences > Units & Increments.
In your document,
use Shift+Command/Ctrl+fullstop (US: period) to decrease the point size
of selected type by one increment, and Shift+Command/Ctrl+comma to increase the point size.
Add the Option/Alt key to these combinations
to multiply the increment by five.
You can change leading via Option/Alt-Up
and Option/Alt-Down arrow key combinations.
Add the Ctrl/Command
key to these combinations to multiply the increment by five.
Multi-column Text, One-Column Headline:
Making one headline span several columns of text in a multi-column
text frame takes some trickery. Here's one way to do it.
- Use the Text tool to create a text frame.
- In Text Frame Options, choose the desired number of columns.
- Use the Type on a Path tool on the text frame outline and type
- Position the text brackets so that the text begins and ends above
the text frame.
- Thread the text frames by selecting the headline out-port and
connecting it to the text frame.
- To vertically distance the headline from the body text, apply
a baseline shift to the headline.
Why bother with all these steps? Because you can use Object Styles
and Apply Next Style to format this type of frame and its content
with one click. Also, both the headline and the body appear together
in the Story Editor.
Edit Text Frames:
You can edit text frames just like graphics frames and transform
them into almost any shape. Use the Selection or the Direct Selection
tool to select the text box, and then use the Pen tool to add anchor
points. You can manipulate these anchor points just as you would
any vector path.
To manually break a word at the end of a line, use a discretionary
hyphen. Put your cursor where you want to break the word, then
choose Type > Insert Special Character > Discretionary Hyphen or Command/Ctrl+Shift+Hyphen.
If type should reflow so the word is no longer at a line ending,
the discretionary hyphen disappears. To hyphenate a word that never
breaks on that hyphen, use a non-breaking hyphen: Type > Insert
Special Character > Nonbreaking Hyphen. To prevent a word or string
of text from breaking, select the text and choose No Break from the
Character or Control palette menu.
Better Text Wrap:
When you assign a text wrap to an imported graphic, be sure to
first select the graphic with the Selection (black arrow) tool.
the text wrap to the frame, not the frame's contents, which makes
it easier to delete the graphic or replace it with a new graphic
without deleting the text wrap.
Jump from One Master:
Do you have lots of master pages in your document? Need to jump from
one to the next? It's a hassle to double-click on each of them
in the Pages palette. Don't bother: Just use the Next Spread or
Previous Spread features from the Layout menu. Better yet, just
use the shortcuts: hold down Option/Alt and press Page Up or Page
Down. When you're viewing any master page, this shortcut takes
you to the next (or previous) one.
Same Image, Multiple Frames:
For an interesting effect, you can make one image look as if it's
inside multiple frames:
- Place the image in a circular frame.
- Use Edit > Step and Repeat to create a row of frames.
- Using the Direct Selection tool, shift-click to select each image.
- Using the Alignment controls in the Control Palette, align first
the top edges and then the left edges of the images within the frames.
(Yes, you can align images just like you can align frames!)
- Poof! It looks like you're looking through portholes.
Here's another method: Place the image in just one of the frames
and choose Object > Arrange > Bring to Front. Now choose all
the frames (the image frame and the empty frames) and choose Object > Pathfinder > Add.
The image in the topmost frame appears in all the frames.
Extending a Table:
Need to add rows or columns to a table? Here's the fastest way to
add rows at the end of a table or columns at the right hand side
of a table:
- Hover your Text tool cursor over the bottom or right edge of the
table so that the cursor changes to a double arrow.
- Now, press and hold down the mouse button -- but still don't move
- Press and hold down Shift and the Option/Alt key.
- Now move the mouse down (for extra rows) or to the right (for
extra columns). The more you drag, the more rows or columns InDesign
Build Guide Libraries:
You can save a page's guides by selecting them and choosing Add Item
from the Library's palette menu or by clicking the New Item button
at the bottom of the palette. Then, when you want to use the same
set of guides on another page, simply select it in the Library
and choose Place Item(s) in the palette menu. This places the same
guides, in the same positions, on the new page. You can't add to
or place guides from a Library using drag and drop.
Reveal Custom Kerning:
One person's idea of appropriate kerning can be a compacted visual
disaster for another person. My limit for the loosest and tightest
kern is 30 (thousandths of an em). That means if some copy is kerned
into -20 I will never go over +10 elsewhere in the document.
- To see where kerning has taken place outside of paragraph and character
styles, go to Preferences > Composition, select the Custom Tracking/
Kerning option, and click OK.
- In normal view mode (not in preview
mode), InDesign now highlights in green text with custom tracking
Copy Text Formatting:
Do you need to copy text formatting from one location to another?
To do it quickly, select the Eyedropper tool, click on text you
want to sample, and then use the Eyedropper to click or drag over
text you want to modify. This technique even copies text attributes
from one document to another. To set which qualities the Eyedropper
tool will copy, double-click the Eyedropper tool and enable or
disable the individual attributes.
Quickly Convert Corner Points
Everyone knows that you can use the Direct Selection tool (the
white arrow) to select a point on any frame. But did you know
that if you
hold down the Command and Option keys (Ctrl and Alt on Windows)
you can drag on any corner point to convert it to a Bezier curve?
you can click once with those modifier keys on a curve point to
convert it to a corner point.
Stroke Frame and Table Corners:
Here's how to make a stroke that appears only at the corners of a
- Create a new dashed stroke style by choosing Stroke Styles from
the Stroke palette menu. Call it something like Corners.
- Apply the stroke to a text or graphic frame and give it an adequate
- Return to the stroke style to edit Corners.
- For Pattern Length, insert a value that is much larger than your
- For Corners, choose Adjust Gaps (which will keep the length of
the dash fixed).
- Choose Preview for real time fine-tuning.
- Move the little ruler arrow until you achieve the desired result
(or enter a value for Length).
You can then apply that stroke to any frame (of any size) and the
corners will be identical for all objects. For surprising effects,
try it on tables, too.
Viewing Component Information:
If you hold down the Command/Ctrl key while you choose About InDesign
from the InDesign menu (Mac) or Help menu (Win), you'll see the
Component Information dialog box. It tells you exactly what version
you're running and which plug-ins are installed. The Document History
section of the dialog tells you when the document was first created
and by what version of InDesign, when it was last saved, whether
the file was ever converted from Quark or PageMaker, and other
information. All of it may be useful for diagnosing a troublesome
us if you thought these tips were helpful - thanks.