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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: All these guides and frame edges and stuff are great when you're working, but they're distracting when you just want to see the design. After all you wouldn't want to show this to your client or art director, right? Fortunately InDesign has two other display modes that let you hide all that stuff and focus on the design itself. You can find those at the bottom of the Tool panel at this little flyout menu that when you click on, you see Normal, Preview, Bleed, Slug and Presentation. Bleed and Slug are pretty much the same as Preview. They just show you stuff that's in the bleed guides or within the slug guides.
I don't find those very useful at all. So I am going to focus on Preview mode and Presentation mode. Preview mode hides everything that's nonprinting. The guides disappear, the edges of frames disappear, anything that's hanging off onto the pasteboard disappears. We can focus just on the design itself. So this is a terrific thing. Now there is a shortcut for going in and out of Preview mode which is the W key. Press W and you are out. Press W again and you are back in to Preview mode. So that's typically the way you'd want to get there and while you're in Preview mode, you can actually keep working.
So I can for example, select these objects and move them around on my page. Let me undo that, but you get the idea. I can keep working even though all of those nonprinting objects are hidden. Now the one thing that I do want to point out about Preview mode is while you are in Preview mode and you are moving your cursor around, you'll notice that these objects keep highlighting. This was a new feature in InDesign CS5 and I have to tell you that a lot of people hate this. People who like working in Preview mode often hate the fact that as you move your cursor around, those objects highlight on the page. I don't know why.
I don't find it that annoying, but some people just go berserk about this. So fortunately, in InDesign CS5.5, Adobe added a preference. You can turn that highlighting off, thank goodness! So here's how you do it. We are going to go to the Preferences dialog box. On the Mac it's under the InDesign menu. On Windows, it's under the Help menu and we'll jump right to the Interface pane of the Preferences dialog box. There it is, there's our new preference, Highlight Object Under the Selection tool. If I turn that off, now as I move my cursor around the page nothing highlights.
Now I should point out there's one other item in the Preferences dialog box that has to do with the Preview feature. Let me just jump back there with Command+ K or Ctrl+K on Windows and I'm going to look inside the Guides & Pasteboard pane. In here, there's a pop-up menu called Preview Background. In Preview Background lets me change that Preview Color from Light Gray to something else. We could change it to pretty much any color we want, but you know I ordinarily don't do that. I think light gray is a pretty good neutral color. So I am going to stick with Light Gray. Besides, if I want to show this with let's say a black background or a white background, I would rather use the other display mode, Presentation mode.
Presentation mode is like Preview mode, but it goes one step further. It actually hides InDesign itself. So we really focus on the page. Let me show you what I mean. I'll jump into Presentation mode by pressing Shift+W. Instead of just W, it's Shift+W on Mac or Windows and you can see that InDesign hides everything except for the spread itself. The menus disappear, the panels disappear, even the Pasteboard disappears. It's just the design itself and this is a great way to show my document to a client or an art director or just get an idea of what the document is going to look like without all the clutter of panels and menus and so on.
I can even navigate through my document by clicking to move to the next spread or Shift+clicking to move back again. Now I happen to like that really dark black border around my page, but if you'd rather have a white background or a gray background, you can get that. You just have to know this super-secret tip, that is you press the W key to get a white background in Presentation mode or the G key to get a gray background. But I'd rather have the black background. So I'll press B. B goes out to the black background. Now I should point out that you can not work while you are in Presentation mode like you can in Preview mode.
This is just for displaying your page on the screen. So I am going to jump out of Presentation mode by pressing Shift+W and now I can keep working. Preview and Presentation modes are always just a keyboard shortcut away. Get in the habit of switching in and out of these modes as you work so you'll always have a good sense of what your design really looks like.
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