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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.
Anne-Marie Concepcion: Live Captions are one of my favorite new features in CS5, but I find that they are kind tedious to set up and use. So I want to show you a bunch of really neat features that hopefully will motivate you to use the Live Caption feature set for all your projects. Let me back up a little bit and explain what a Live Caption is. I'm just going to go over it briefly. If you want to learn more about Live Captions in depth, then you need to watch InDesign CS5 Essentials or the new features in CS5, which have a number of videos that discuss Live Captions.
But essentially you start out with a placed image and you create a Live Caption by selecting the image, going up to the Object menu, going down to Captions, and choose Generate Live Caption. It's going to actually create a text frame that contains metadata about the selected image. Now if you're wondering what metadata is it going to put in there, then you check Caption Setup first. So if you go to Caption Setup, it's going to use your most recently used piece of metadata.
Now the default one is Name. So it's going to create a text frame with Name. It's going to put in a text frame below the image, offset by 1 point, without any kind of paragraph style attached to it. So that was Caption Setup. Now if I go back up here, Objects > Captions > Generate Live Caption, you could see that it created that. That's not really that useful. Well though actually I have talked to clients who said, "isn't there a way that I can show the filename for every image in a document?", and there you go. Now to see all of the metadata that could possibly be associated with an image, the best way is to open up the Links panel, right-click on the image, and choose Reveal in Bridge.
Though you can reveal this in Mini Bridge, that's one of the new panels in CS5, unfortunately Mini Bridge does not show metadata and you can't edit the metadata, which is on my feature request list for CS6 or CS7. In the meantime, we need to go to Bridge. What should happen is Bridge should open if it wasn't already running, it should highlight the image, and then over here on the right in Metadata you can scroll through here and view and edit. Any field with a pencil in it, you can edit the metadata.
What I'd like to do in InDesign instead of always having to jump over to Bridge to check out to see if my images have metadata in the first place is to modify the Links panel so that it shows all the metadata in the top section. You can scroll through here and see some metadata, but there is all other fields that it isn't showing by default. So I've already done that and I've saved it as a custom workspace, which is the only way to save your modifications to panels. And of course I called it Link Metadata. And now when I open up the Links panel, it opens up really wide and it shows me if there is anything entered in the Description field, the Author field, the Copyright field, and some other fields.
So I really like that and that's a cool tip right there. There is another little interesting factoid about Live Captions, is that they are not really tied to the image that you generated them from. If I drag this caption away, you can see it says No intersecting link, because the caption frame needs to actually touch the image in order to know what is the metadata that it should be pulling. But I can also drag it down here, let's zoom out a bit, and I haven't touched this image. Any part of that text frame can touch it.
I can actually of course resize the frame if I wanted to. So in fact, I could actually keep this out in the pasteboard if I wanted to, and then just Option+Drag them in as necessary, or if I have one already set up here, I can just Option or Alt+Drag and add another name Live Caption here. Now let's take that a little further and let me show you. It might be easier to understand with an actual document with a bunch of images in it. So if you want to take a peek at my Link Metadata Links panel you can see that we have a bunch of images, but actually only a couple of them have description fields.
I showed you how you can put the Live Caption out in the pasteboard or you can Option or Alt+Drag it, but a little more advanced is to create a library. If you go under the File menu and go to New > Library, you can create a library just for your Live Captions, and I've already done that here. Let me detach it. All I did was create a Live Caption like the one that had the filename and then I dragged and dropped it right over here. And then I named it Filename. So if I double-click this, you can see that I just gave it a name here so I can quickly identify it here.
Let's create another one so you can see how this is done. I'm going to select this image, go up here to Captions > Caption Setup. This time let's do one for description. The Description field is often where the photo editor or the photographer will enter a caption for the image. If it's a panel shot, group of people sitting on a panel, that'll have all the names for all the people listed there and so on. You can do this in Bridge like I showed you or image-by-image in Photoshop or in Lightroom or other programs.
But we don't want the actual text, filename, to appear before there. We just want a description. While you're here you can also say like should it be associated with the paragraph style, and I actually do have a caption paragraph style, so I would like it formatted with the Caption style. Now that I have set it up, I create one and then I'm just going to drag it off here and put it right over here, and we're going to call it Caption.
And I think these are a little easier to deal with if we change the look of the Library from Thumbnail View, because we can't see anything in Thumbnail View, to List View, and leave. Now let's go ahead, we want to add a caption and a photographer credit to this image. So let's pull Photographer Name out, and I'm going to rotate this 90 degrees, and move it over here. Let's zoom in a bit, like that.
Doesn't have quite the formatting that I want, so I'm going to click inside here and make sure that it is wide enough. Come on, there we go. Sometimes you really have to futz through these things. It's probably because this image has a text wrap on it, there we go. All right, so it says Photographer Nigel French. Now Photographer was not part of that metadata, but I added Photographer as a preceding text before it adds the metadata.
Now let's add another Live Caption to the same image, and that's another tip. A lot of people think that only one Live Caption can be associated with an image but you can have multiple ones. It's just that normally you have to keep going back to Caption Setup to change which metadata it's going to pull. If you have already created library items for them, then you don't have to worry about that. So for example, I could say Filename, and as long as I move it up a bit, Nigel French added under Filename I guess. Or we could say Caption. Let's bring the Caption out, and that's pretty wide text frame.
My caption should be like this. Now the problem here is that Live Captions can only fit in one line. They are like a variable. So if you are ever going to have to make a narrow frame, or you have a multiple- line piece of metadata, which often happens with the Description field, then what you're going to need to do is convert this to a static caption, so that you can see all the text. And that's easy to do from the Object menu or you can do it from the right-click menu. Convert to Static Caption, and there it is. Now it's already using our Caption style because remember I set that, when we first created the Live Caption.
So there you have it. A whole bunch of tips related to using Live Captions in a smart and automated way for all of your projects. Try it out.
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