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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.
Here's a chapter opener for this book. You can see that there's a chapter number, the title, and the first line starts right here. Now I am going to jump forward a couple of spreads by pressing Option+Page Down or Alt+Page Down, and we can see the second chapter starts here. There is a chapter number, the title, and the first line of the first paragraph starts down here. There it's not the same as here, they have actually moved. Why? Because this chapter title has two lines instead of one. Now that might not bother you, but many designers want the first line of every chapter to show up at exactly the same place vertically on the page.
Now you could accomplish that by creating two or more text frames on the page I suppose, but that might cause problems later if the text reflows. So instead, I am going to show you trick that I learned from Rufus Deuchler, good friend and colleague. He is now at Adobe as one of their Senior Evangelists. And this is a great use of the lock to baseline grid feature. Here's how it works. Normally, the baseline grid takes up the entire column but what we're going to do is start the baseline grid exactly where we want it to show up on the page.
To do that, I am going to open the Preferences dialog box by pressing Command+K or Ctrl+K on Windows. I am going to jump to the Grids pane of the Preferences dialog box, and I'm going to tell the baseline grid to start 24 picas down on the page. I actually don't care what the increment is for this particular trick, but normally you'd want increment to match the leading on the page. But like I said, in this case I am going to leave it to set to 18. Click OK, and now I need to tell InDesign to start this first line at that baseline grid.
Because I've used paragraph styles throughout this document, it's really easy. I simply open the Paragraph Styles panel, I will double-click on this to place the cursor inside that paragraph, and that highlights it in the Paragraph Styles panel, just a quick way for me to figure out what style I was using on that paragraph, and I can see this body first. So I will all double-click on that, I'll jump over to the Indents and Spacing pane, and I'm going to say Align to Grid should be set to not All Lines but First Line Only. That is, the first line of this paragraph is going to be aligned to the grid and the grid starts at 24 picas down, right? Click OK, so I know that that first line is going to be exactly 24 picas down from the top of the page.
Now when I go back to that chapter 1, I can see that it too is at 24 picas down. In fact, let me switch back to the Selection tool and pull down a Ruler Guide and I am going to drop it down right to 24 picas, and we can see that it aligns right up at the baseline. Now no matter how many lines there are in the title, it'll still line up in the right place. So here, as I add a few words, you can see that the first paragraph starts at exactly the same place. I have to admit that I don't usually like using the lock to baseline grid feature, but it can certainly be really helpful in situations like this one.
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