Thursday, May 29, 2014

Work Faster and Easier in InDesign

If you work in InDesign a lot, there's a way set yourself up for success. Make it your own.

Start by opening up InDesign with no documents open. (I've done this in CS 5 and 6 on the Mac. I'm sure other versions will be similar. Some procedures may vary on the PC.)

Start by setting all your preferences the way you like to work:
  • InDesign > Preferences
Modify your menu:
  • Go to Edit > Menu
  • Select either Application Menus or Context and Panel Menus
  • What I like to do is eliminate menu items I never use and highlight with a color those items I tend to use a lot like Save As and Export As functions.
Give it a go and see what you like. And while you are at it, modify the window arrangements to your liking and save them: Windows > Workspace > New Workspace. This will save you a ton of time.

Want to start every new document with a certain set of colors and font settings? Open InDesign with no documents open. And start modifying the color palette and basic font selections:

  • Open your Swatches panel and modify the color palette
  • Open your Paragraph Styles panel and set the [Basic Paragraph] to the font and paragraph settings you want to start all your docs with

Change what happens when your fonts don't have a style:
  • Select your Type tool and go to the Content Panel at top
  • Change to Paragraph if isn't already set to that
  • Go to the Paragraph style and toggle from [Basic Paragraph] to [No Paragraph Style]
  • Change your font and paragraph changes there, so that fonts with no style applied all get the same specified look

Last, change preferences on how you want new documents opened:

  • Go to File > Document Setup
  • I usually turn Facing Pages off; I don't use that functionality as much; Leave it on, if that's how you work
  • Next, go to File > Document Presets > Define
  • Create your own document settings that you can call up whenever you open InDesign
  • For example create settings for posters, different types of postcards, web ads, and banners

Now you have a more powerful way to start your InDesign session, and work much faster.

Photo courtesy designella of

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