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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.
Often after you float in a really long story into an InDesign document and you've applied a lot of formatting to it, I am zooming in here so we can see this, you need to do some editing to it. And sometimes it's just too much of a pain to edit wallets in place right here in the layout. You've short lines and the layout is constantly shifting left and right, and you're constantly having to drag over and find where the new places where you need to edit. In those cases, you want to use the Story Editor. A lot of people don't even know that the Story Editor exists, and briefly it is another window, another alternative view of the contents of a story, and a story is the contents of a single text frame.
So here if I select all with Command+A or Ctrl+A, that's single-story. If I select here Command+A or Ctrl+A, select all, that's a single story. But in a story like this that's threaded from frame to frame, you can see I've turned on Show Text Threads so you can see the story continues from frame to frame. If I click in here with my Type tool and choose Select All, it selects all the contents of that story, that's a single story. The story editor lets you edit a single story at a time in a different window.
And why would you ever want to do that? Because it's a lot easier to do it in a single scrolling window, especially for a long story. So if we go to the Edit menu and go down to Edit in Story Editor, it opens up a window reflecting the active story, and the active story is the one that was selected when you chose this command. Anything you do in the Story Editor immediately affects the layout; basically it's just two different views of the same file. But if you use the Story Editor as is, like how it comes out of the box, then you're crazy.
Because I think that this is very difficult to edit. Look at the typeface, it's monospaced. The lowercase Ls like here in the word platform, they look like the number 1. You can't see when something is bold or italic or bold italic. You know it's kind of one of the points of the Story Editor is that it just shows you the pure text without a lot of formatting. But you are supposed to be able to see when something is bold or not, and because of the typeface that Adobe chose as the default typeface for the Story Editor, it's really hard to tell.
So I want to show you how you can edit your Story Editor Display Preferences to make this feature in InDesign much more useful. I am going to close this up. We're going to go to Preferences for the Story Editor. So on a Mac that would be under the InDesign menu, choose Preferences. On Windows it's the last item under the Edit menu, go to Preferences, find Story Editor Display right there. And we can see that they choose a letter Gothic Standard 12 point as a default. And I say don't use letter Gothic Standard, choose something else like Minion Pro is a great one or Myriad Pro; two free open type fonts that come by default installed with InDesign.
I'll choose Minion Pro. Now as soon as you choose a different font you'll get a Preview here in this little window that says Sphinx of black quarts judge my vow. And it's not telling your future or anything, this is a pangram. It's a sentence with every character of the English language in it, so if you're looking for a typeface where the Gs are very legible then you can always just keep your eyeballs right here and choose different typefaces. You can also increase the size of the typeface. Now this is only text display in the Story Editor, I am not really changing the formatting of the layout at all.
And I often will change this larger, too bad this doesn't give you preview of the larger size. You can change the line spacing. I leave mine at single space but you can choose one of these. I kind of think it's interesting how this is written out, kind of like you know word processor Es. Instead of leading, they are calling it line spacing. This is interesting. You can change the color of the text and the background. That's black and white by default and it's actually a theme called Ink on Paper. But you could choose a different theme, how about Amber Monochrome or Terminal.
I actually know somebody who wrote an entire book in Story Editor using this theme. And he insists that it was much easier than the default Ink on Paper theme because he wasn't staring at this bright white monitor all day. It was much easier on his eyes and I could see his point. But I think I would just change the background to something that wasn't white, like may be Canary. That's kind of nice right? It's kind of like cream colored paper. Now you can't save your own themes but at least you can go head and change the text color and the background to whatever you'd like.
So the text color we could make it lime. That's much easier isn't it? Okay, I am going to go back to black. Anti-aliasing is on by default and you can choose what kind of anti-aliasing, so this is would be for laptop monitors or you could choose Soft Anti-aliasing and you get a little preview here. I'll just leave it at the default. But here's something I really love too and I wish we could do this layout is that you can change the cursor. So it's a lot easier to find a cursor if it's barbell for example than standard.
And you can choose whether or not the cursor should be blinking. This level of control I love this. Like I said, I wish we have this in layout. So I a going to leave my Story Editor displays as is, and I am going to make sure my cursor is blinking in this long story. Go back to Edit in Story Editor which is Command+Y or Ctrl+Y, and there you go. You can make this window large. You can even put it right inside the document well up here, and now I can actually see the type a lot easier and it's not so hard on my eyes with the white background.
So I'll close the Story Editor window and I'm back to my layout. The next time that you want to edit a long story, that's highly formatted in the Layout view, why you don't you think about switching to the Story Editor view, where you can see the entire story in one long scrolling window. And if you're going to be spending any time in there more than a minute, be sure to go to Story Editor Preferences and choose a better typeface at least.
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