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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.
Do you know what the Find/Change dialog box is missing? It's missing search for a color. There is really no way to do a comprehensive search throughout an entire document to find where a particular color is used. And you could search for text that is colored a particular color, in Find/Change, go to Find/Change > Text. Find Format, go down to Character Color and then choose any character that's filled with this particular color.
I'll switch back to Any Swatch. You could search for an object that's filled or stroked with a color, but you can't run it the same time that you're searching for text that's filled with that color. You have to do it one at a time. In fact, it's just as bad as the text one actually, because you can search for an object that's filled with the color and stroked with that color, but you can't say and/or. They would have to be either both be filled with that color or then you do one search with a Fill and then the other search with the Stroke.
But if you fill them both in here, it would only find objects that are both filled and stroked with that color. So it's very obnoxious in other words, and I don't know why they don't include one more tab that lets you search for wherever colors used. Or maybe you would make more sense to have it right in the Swatches panel itself. A little Find/Search in this document please for anything that's colored with a particular swatch. That would make sense. What is a designer to do? Well, one thing you can do is to turn to our friend, the Separations panel. That comes the closest to what we want.
And that works with spot colors especially. So for example, in this document which is supposed to be CMYK, we apparently have a spot color someplace. Where is that spot color used? Is it in text? Is it a graphic? We can go to the Separations panel, under the Window menu, go down to Output > Separations Preview. You have to turn the View to Separations otherwise it won't work. Why it's not turned on by default? Who knows, and initially, it's all set with the eyeballs are turned on. I was playing around with this before.
To search for just the Pantone color, click on the eyeball next to CMYK to turn off all of the CMYK colors. So just the Pantone, and now when only one color is visible in the Separations panel then that would look filled with black in the document. So this word right here Roux is apparently filled with a illegal spot color. If I select it, you can see it's not even text. So let's turn on all the colors again or just turn off Separations Preview and you can see, aha! It's part of this graphic.
If we go to the Links panel, it's an Illustrator graphic and I could Option or Alt double-click it to open it up in Illustrator and select these letters here, and in the Swatches panel, I could convert that Pantone to a CMYK color or I could just leave it alone, and in InDesign when I print, I could go to the Swatches panel menu and in the Ink Manager of course, I could just say Convert All Spots to Process when you print.
But that is how you can search for wherever color is used in a document is that you look for it in the Separations Preview as long as we're talking about a spot color. Let's take another example. Here's a catalog. Here we have that same pesky spot color. Let's search for where it's used here, Separations, turn off CMYK, and what I usually do is I zoom way out and then just look for swatches of black.
And I might want to choose Hide Guides, here we go. Now it's very easy to see. There is something down here. Let's select it and zoom in, it says Roux again. Let's turn off Separations. Look at that, it is actually a spot color being used in a placed PDF. This has happened to me so many times. So it's wonderful being able to use Separations Preview to hunt down these pesky spot colors, and then you can decide what to do with them after.
But the question remains, what about if you're looking for where another color is used? And it might not be a spot color. What are you supposed to do? In this document, let's select all the unused colors to make sure that we are not hunting down colors that aren't even being used. Nothing gets selected, so apparently every one of these colors is being used. What if I wanted to search for say wherever this gold color is being used? The answer is to turn it into a spot color temporarily. Just right-click on the color, choose Swatch Options and change the Color Type to Spot.
There we go, and now it appears as it's called New Color Swatch in Separations Preview, and we'll turn that off and zoom out, and I see it's being used as rows at the top and then also this right here. Let's zoom in a bit, and then turn Separations Preview off. That's where it's being used. To go back to how it was before CMYK, right- click on the color, choose Swatch Options and I always right-click. I don't double-click on it because I don't want to accidentally apply it to something that I have selected in my document.
When you right-click and choose Swatch Options, then you edit the color without applying it to anything in your document. And change the Color Type back to Process. Turn on Name with Color Value, so it goes back to its old name and click OK. These percentages here do not change whatsoever. I might use that technique to hunt down this problem right here. You see that I have two CMYK colors that are very close, and I really don't want to have two different CMYK colors that are very close.
This is the color I want. What is this color? Where is this one being used? Instead of having to go to Find/Change and search for where it's being used in Text or an object, fill or stroke, I'm just going to turn it into a spot color temporarily and then go to my Separations Preview panel, deselect, zoom out, and see if I can see any telltale black splotch anywhere. And aha! What is this down here? I'll select it, zoom in, somebody's name.
Turn Separations off. Look at that! See, this would be really hard to spot in even a color proof, that these are two somewhat different colors. So this is the correct color. This is the incorrect color. What I could do is just delete this and replace it with this one or I would just select all of this, give it the correct color, and then choose Select All Unused and then delete that bad guy. There you go! The answer for now for how to find where color is being used, is to use a Separations Preview panel and if it's not a spot color, turn it into a spot color temporarily.
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