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In this series, David Blatner and Anne-Marie Concepción, co-hosts of the web's top resource for InDesign tips and tricks, InDesignSecrets.com, share some hidden and sometimes surprising workflow tips that will make working in InDesign more efficient and more fun. The course covers built-in timesaving features such as Quick Apply and auto-expanding text, but also little-known tricks, such as using the eyedropper to copy and paste character and paragraph text attributes and making accurate selections by selecting through or even into objects.
New techniques will be added to the collection every other week, so check back early and often. Find more tips and tricks at indesignsecrets.com.
David Blatner: Okay, it's time for me to let you in on some of InDesign's deepest darkest secrets. Yes that's right, I'm talking about Easter eggs. Easter eggs are those little wacky undocumented features that the software engineers sometimes sneak into a program without telling anyone. Well InDesign has some really great ones. You've got know about these. Now if you used to use QuarkXPress, you may remember an old angry Martian that would come out and delete things off your page. And you know, now that most of us use InDesign we cannot miss that old alien a little bit. So fortunately the good people at Adobe added in an alien for us.
And you can find them inside the Print dialog box. I'll choose Print from the File menu and I'm going to be doing a little secret trick here to bring the alien forth. Here's what you do. You go to the Save Preset button and you add a new preset. Doesn't matter what the settings are in this dialog box. You just create a new preset called Friendly Alien, right. QuarkXpress had the angry killing alien. This one is a friendly alien and I click OK and now as long as Friendly Alien is chosen up here in the Print Preset pop-up menu I can come over here and click once in this little area in the lower left corner.
That's all you need to do. Click that little P page and all of a sudden here's our Friendly Alien and he is friendly too, he likes to say hello. Okay, so that's a totally useless feature. I admit it, it's a Friendly Alien, but it's just fun to know that it's there, isn't it? Alright, let me show you another Easter egg in InDesign. This one is actually somewhat useful. I am going to click Cancel mnd I am going to go to the Stroke panel and inside the Stroke panel and inside the Stroke panel I am going to choose Stroke Styles from the Stroke panel menu and when I do this it gives me an option to create my own custom stroke styles.
In this case I am going to create a new one and I'm going to call it Feet. That's all I need to do, just call it Feet. Click OK, click OK and now I'll go draw something with the Bezier Pen tool, something like that. It doesn't really matter what. And I'm going to select that and change it to a much thicker stroke, maybe at big 30 pt stroke and change the Type to my new custom stroke style that I created called Feet. And there they are, there is the Feet. Zoom in on this so you can see it a little bit better. There is the little feet walking across my page.
So maybe you need a feet stroke. That's how you get it. Who knew, right? We can do a couple of more in here too. We'll go back to stroke styles, click New, and I can change another one Woof. In this case I don't see any change in the dialog box. All I need to do is change the name and I'll get the effect minute. I am going to click Add, so I can add that one and start off with a new one and this one is going to be called Lights, there we go. Need two different ones and you can get a little indication here that something special is going to happen when I choose those. I'll select that stroke and I'll change it to the Woof and you can see that instead of human feet we have canine feat. Now isn't that cute? And now we'll do one last one. Change it to lights.
This one I really like for your holiday letter or something. You want some holiday lights on there? There you go. Holiday lights inside of InDesign. Now the last Easter egg in InDesign that you have to know about is the butterfly Easter egg and if you've been using InDesign for a long time you may remember that the old icons for InDesign that Adobe used to use was the butterfly. And some of us are sad because there are no butterflies anymore. But wait, there are butterflies. They are in there. You just need to know where to look. To find them you go to the InDesign menu and choose About InDesign or on Windows you choose About InDesign from the Help menu. Either way you get this page of credits with all these people who worked on InDesign, which is kind of cool.
You can see even more by clicking on Credits down here, but we are not going to do that. Instead, while this little splash screen is open we are going to type the word butterfly, B-U-T-T-E-R-F-L-Y. There you go. There are InDesign's butterflies inside this little window here and they're flying around in this beautiful pastoral scene. Isn't that lovely? It actually gets better here because-- or worse depending on how you look at it. You can actually click on these and pin them right into place.
So that's-- some people like that kind of thing. Don't worry. It's doesn't hurt them really. You can unpin them by clicking on them again and they'll unpin. But if you do a bunch of these sometimes you get an even better effect. I am going to keep clicking, keep clicking, keep clicking, and it's kind of a game here to see how many you can click. If you can get a bunch-- oops I undid by accident- if you can get a bunch of these pinned, you'll see a little friend come out to greet you. There we go, there is our friend, the friendly alien, coming out and freeing the butterflies.
So there you go. That's the final Easter egg that I wanted to show you today. And then when you're done with that, when you're ready to put the butterflies away, just press the Escape key and that makes it go away. Granted, these Easter eggs may seem like they're completely superfluous and useless, but after a long day thinking about hyphenation or footnotes, these puppies are just the ticket for remembering your sense of humor.
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