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mck's picture
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InDesign tips

Stop wasting time switching between tools in InDesign – hold down the Apple (aka Command) key to move objects about and the Option/Alt key to move around in your layout with the hand tool. This is especially useful when working with all pallettes closed (as I do sometimes) to conserve screen space and have more room for layout. To close all pallettes, press the tab key once. If you need the pallettes, press tab again to show them.

fidel's picture
337 pencils

Colour the cheap way

Two tips that relate to the same problem.

Sometimes your client wants colour but he/she hesitates about the cost of a full colour print. The only option you have left is use a spot colour (Pantone). But it's limiting your creativity. Well sometimes InDesign helps you being creative by giving you some options.

fidel's picture
337 pencils


Tip 3 of the InDesign workout

Having rulers follow your text is a paragraph option in InDesign and can be found in the Paragraph options.

Put your cursor in a paragraph, select the paragraph option in your option bar and on the righthand side click on the black triangle, there you'll find 'Paragraph Rules'.

You have two options: Rule Above and Rule Below. To activate click in the check box, you can use either or both.

fidel's picture
337 pencils

Using multiple vector shapes

If you want to span a picture into several shapes. How do you do it?

Start with a couple of vector shapes. I used some squares, make a pattern at your wish. Select all your vector shapes and go to Object > Compound paths > Make

Now your vector shapes will handle as one shape.

With the Compound path selected go to File > Place and navigate to the picture you want. The picture (or logo) is now divided into each vector object.

fidel's picture
337 pencils


I don't like the underline function in text, because it creates too much black and text becomes unreadable.

But now I found a new way of using the underline option, Highlighting, just as you would with a regular marker.

Select a word and underline it with the button in your option bar. With the word still selected go to the little black triangle on the right of the option bar. And go to Underline Options.

A new menu is shown. Now you can play with the width, colour and offset of your line and it is possible to create a highlighted word or text.

fidel's picture
337 pencils

Table options

The Table function in InDesign is very powerfull and I want to do some entries about the possibilities. First of all there are the Stroke options.
When you create a table just like the example above you can determine in the table options the stroke and color and so on. But with the table selected you can click on the stroke pallet and you will have something like the image above. Now what does this mean?

fidel's picture
337 pencils


The Align palet let's you align different objects left, right, center, bottom & top. The alignment always takes the object most to the left or to the top as the reference to align the other objects, depending on the alignment you choose.
What if you want to align to a specific object?
Select the object and go to menu Object> Lock position.
When you select the other objects as well as the locked object and use one of the align options the locked object will be the reference point for the alignment.

fidel's picture
337 pencils

Select overlapping

When several objects are placed one above the other and you want to select the object that is stacked underneath you use the cmd-key (Mac) or the CTRL-key (pc) in combination with the black arrow. With the cmd-key inserted you click and every time you click you select the object that is hidden by the top object. With every click you select the next object below until you hit the canvas and then the show rebegins with the top object.

fidel's picture
337 pencils

Gradient palette annoyance

Someting that bothered me a long time was the behaviour of the gradient palette. When selecting a frame and applying a new gradient you are always stuck with the black/white gradient, but...

fidel's picture
337 pencils

Change one - Change All

color slidersIt's a hassle when you applied a color and you want to lighten or darken it. Finding the good combination of the color combination can be difficult.

When you have selected your color, hold down the shift and take one of the sliders now all the other sliders will go up or down with the chosen one.


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