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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.
Look, I love InDesign as much as anybody, but even I have to admit that there are some features that are just plain confusing or non-intuitive. For example, take inserting pages. You know, adding pages to your document. This is something that almost everyone needs to do, but it's not always obvious how to do it. For example, in my document that I have open right now, I want to add a new page. So at the bottom of the Pages panel, I'll click on the Insert Page button. Where is that page going to be added do you think? Will it be at the end of the document or maybe after the pages that are visible here in the screen? What do you think? Let's try.
I'll click the button and you'll see that InDesign added a page after Page 23. What the heck? Why did it do it there? Well, let's undo and I'll show you. Notice that when the Pages panel is open, you can single click on a page and it highlights very subtly, or you can single click on the numbers underneath a spread and it'll select both pages in the spread. InDesign will insert pages after whatever is selected in the Pages panel, not necessarily what's visible on your screen, but whatever you've clicked on in the Pages panel.
That's why it added it after page number 23. In general, I like to insert pages not by just clicking on that button down there, but by Option+clicking or Alt+ clicking on that button. When you do that, it forces InDesign to open the Insert Pages dialog box. And now I can tell InDesign exactly where I want my pages to be added. Because this is a facing pages document, one that has a left-hand page and a right-hand page, I like inserting or deleting even numbers of pages. That way a left-hand page doesn't turn into a right-hand page and vice-versa.
So I'm going to insert two pages here and I can say exactly where I want it to go. In this case, I'm going to add it to the end of my document. Click OK and there is my new pages at the end. Now if you don't feel like Option+clicking or Alt+clicking on that button, you can get that same feature from the Pages panel flyout menu, there it is, Insert Pages or choose the Pages menu from the Layout menu and then choose Insert Pages. Does the same thing. Now there are a couple other ways that you can add pages to your document as well.
For example, you can drag one of the master pages from the top part of the Pages panel down to the bottom. But when you do that, pay attention to the cursor. The little differences in how the cursor looks make a big difference in what's going to happen. For example, if I drag down over here, I'll see a page icon and a thick black bar and that thick black bar means insert pages right here. If I drag to the right of the first spread over here, I see a similar black bar, that's exactly the same thing, insert the pages after that spread.
Now if I drag down here on top of one of these pages, a different thing happens, the page itself highlights. In this case, it's not going to insert pages at all, it's going to apply that master page to this document page. That's not what I want. So you either want to drag out here on this side or drag in between the spreads and you get a slightly different effect. You get a hand with a little arrow in it, and that arrow is either pointing to the right or to the left. This means insert the pages in between these two pages of the spread.
When I let go of the mouse button, you'll see that InDesign actually added pages in between the pages that were already there. The last technique I want to show you on how to insert pages is to duplicate pages that are already in your document. For example, I can duplicate this first spread by clicking on the page numbers underneath the spread and then holding down the Option or Alt key while I drag. And as I drag, I'll get the same kinds of icons, but it will duplicate that to this new position. I'm going to drag all the way to the bottom until it scrolls down to the very bottom, and you can actually see that the cursor is slightly different now.
It's a hand with a plus in it. That means it's going to duplicate that spread right there at the bottom of my document. Like so many features in InDesign, it's kind of obvious how to insert pages once you see how it works. So I hope that this demonstration will help you insert pages for years to come.
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