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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.
If you read the InDesign Secrets blog or listen to our podcast, you probably know that David and I frequently refer to the Story Editor in InDesign, but I thought I'd do one video just dedicated to all the different ways that you might want to use the Story Editor. Let me give you a quick review of what the Story Editor is all about. It is another view of a particular story. So if you click inside of a story, the contents of a text frame, and you go to Edit > Edit in Story Editor, you'll see the contents of that text frame in another window, and any changes that you make here--if you say Each seminar--automatically gets updated in the layout.
So it's just another way to edit stories, a way that is often simpler than editing in the layout because you do not see the same formatting. You get to choose the type face and the size and the background for this editing window, and you do that in Preferences. So if mine looks a little different than yours, it's because I've already tweaked it a couple of times. Let me show you ten things that are very cool about the Story Editor that really don't have anything to do with editing a story. Let's start with number one, here we have some color type. I'm going to zoom in a little bit with Command+Plus or Ctrl+Plus.
Has this ever happened to you, you have some type and you want to change the color? So you do that with Swatches, right? And let's say, ah, I don't like this blue, so I'm going to select all this and I'll change the color to tangerine. Does it look tangerine to you? No, it looks blue, right? So you have to click off and look, oh no, let's do light. I'll select all, let me try the lavender. Is that lavender to you? No, it's green, of course, because when you select text, the color of the selection is the complement. So I'm going to click off, and here is one use for the Story Editor.
I'm just going to be pressing the keyboard shortcut for the Story Editor from now on, which is Command+Y or Ctrl+Y, and it's actually a toggle. It jumps you between the Story Editor window for the active story and then back to the layout, nice and easy to remember, one keyboard shortcut. So I'll press Command+Y, and now up here I'll select all this text and I'll change the color to--let's try this pale yellow, give it a second, and it updates right here in the layout in the actual yellow color. Let's try the lavender again. That looks good! So you see that even though you're working in the Story Editor, you can still--as long as you select the text in the Story Editor--format it, color it, do whatever it is that you need to do.
Anything that you do in the Story Editor immediately affects the layout, because you're essentially editing the same content, just in a different view. If the selection is messing up my preview, I jump over to the Story Editor with a quick Command+Y or Ctrl+Y and do my editing there. To close this, I can press the Escape key or Command+W or Ctrl+W, or like I said before, just press Command+Y or Ctrl+Y, which pops the layout back to the front. Number two: we have a caption that somebody decided would look better if it was rotated, little hard to edit, especially if it's small type like this.
Command+Y or Ctrl+Y, edit it right here, Students in the Digital Design, immediately updates right here. It looks a little rough until you actually press Command+Y or Ctrl+Y again and then you go to Preview. How about applying tags? I'm going to open up the Window Menu and go to Utilities > Tags. So here we have some XML Tags, and our IT people, or our workflow people, our publication manager, wants us to start doing things like if it's a prerequisite we should select the prerequisite and say that is prerequisite.
Now, in the layout you see these tiny little brackets. In fact, I've actually applied a whole bunch of these to this class right here, classname, description, and so on. Really easy to accidentally delete one of these brackets and then mess up the tagging. Instead, if you're doing any kind of work with XML tagging, do it in the Story Editor. Notice also that wherever your cursor is, that's where your cursor will be in the Story Editor. So a little tip, I usually make a selection of text in the layout first so that when I press Command+Y or Ctrl+Y, that same text is selected, see up here? Now you see the opening and closing tags for the XML.
It's really difficult to accidentally delete these guys. So if I want to select all this without accidentally selecting the tags, it's very easy to do. Right here, this is the time, so I click time and it adds the tags. So if you're ever working with XML tags, do so in the Story Editor, it's a lot easier. How about footnotes? When you add a footnote, 3D is in Fall, so this is the footnote reference up here, and here's the footnote down here. If you're working in the Story Editor, the footnote is right here in line.
So if I want to add a footnote like say right here, I'll just go to Type > Insert Footnote, and it appears right next to that, Despite that--Or maybe, because of the--I don't know what I'm writing here, but it's another footnote and it appears right in line, and you can click the left and right edge to collapse or expand it. If you're doing a lot of footnote work in InDesign, check it out in the Story Editor, it's a lot easier to work with. The footnote frame appears right next to the reference, and in fact, the frame hands the reference number in it. You see that little 1 and a little 2? Now, you might be looking at another frame right here, and this is called a note.
And let me get a little text insertion bar. If you go up to the Type Menu and you choose Notes > New Note, then you can type a non-printing comment to the story. Why is this better in Story Editor? Because, see if you can find these notes in the layout here. Let me just make a little selection. I always make a selection before I switch views. I'll press the keyboard shortcut Command+Y to jump back to the layout. Look at these new icons, they're very small, and if I were looking at it in Fit Spread in Window, Command+Option+0 or Ctrl+Alt+0, they can be almost impossible to find.
But all I need to do is click anywhere in the story, press Command+Y or Ctrl+Y, and there is my notes, really easy to see right in line, just like the footnote. Here's another interesting thing, what is this? This is a hyperlink, a hyperlink from Microsoft Operating System. Let's select this, go to the layout, there it is selected. I'll press Command+Plus or Ctrl+Plus, Microsoft Operating System, and it is leading to lynda.com. If you're looking to see where the hyperlinks are in a document, you can easily open up the Story Editor and look for these little link icons surrounding text that's hyperlinked. So useful! Go back to the layout, how about this feature that was added in CS5 called Track Changes? That's the way, just like in Microsoft Word, when you want to see who has made which change to a document.
Let's zoom in on this little story here. In InDesign, you go to Type, go down to Track Changes, and you Enable Track Changes in this Current Story or in All Stories. We'll say Current Story. I've turned it on for this story, and I'll delete the word other and change it to more. Where are the Track Changes? Open it up in Story Editor, there is your Track Changes. You can only see track change markup in the Story Editor. Another interesting use that I have found for the Story Editor is when I'm working with inline or anchored objects. I have one on this spread here.
Let's zoom in a bit. Do you see this frame? Let me switch to Preview Mode, and then you see this is how it works. And if I edit this text, it floats with the text flow. So that's a very simple, basic thing in InDesign is an anchored frame. But what if I want to move it somewhere else? Of course, I could try and figure out how to do that with my Type cursor and try and get just the anchored frame and so on, or Story Editor to the rescue. I jump over to the Story Editor, there is my cursor, I have some Track Changes in the story looks like, and this little anchor icon means that there is an anchored object here.
Now, you can't tell what the anchor is. You have to go back to the layout. Let me select some text and jump back to the layout to look. But what I like about this that sometimes I'm working with stories that have lots of little anchor dingbats and things like that and it's just a lot easier for me to move them around or to make a selection immediately before or after them right here in the Story Editor. So if I wanted this pull quote to be elsewhere, I could just triple-click here and then drag and drop it to another location. Let's move it down a paragraph, there we go.
I have Track Changes turned on, which is why you see this appearing as a track change. So remove from here and add it here. Let's jump back to the layout, and you'll see there it is, it's been moved over. By the way, if you want to edit the contents of an anchored text frame or an inline text frame in the Story Editor, you need to select inside there first and then press Command+Y or Ctrl+Y, and then you'll be able to edit those contents. Let's zoom out and go back to Normal Mode, and come over here, and do you see what's happening here? We have some overset text. How do you see that text? Do you have to create a new page? Do you have to put this on the pasteboard? Of course not, you have the Story Editor.
Click near the overset, press Command+Y or Ctrl+Y, and all the text that has a red line next to it is overset. So this is completely editable. I might decide to completely eliminate this, or maybe I'll say I can make this really short and this really short and get it to fit. Let's turn off the Track Changes. First, I'll Accept All my Changes and then turn off Track Changes, like that. So you're trying to get this to fit.
You can do all of your copy fitting right inside the Story Editor. What's great about this is that you don't have to mess up the layout at all, you don't have to widen any text frames or create a fake additional page in which to thread the overset text onto, you can do it right here. So if I deleted this, there you go, it fits beautifully! And that was number nine, and number ten is related to overset, but it has to do with tables that are overset. Look at this table, it's a beautiful table, but there's too much text to fit in the cell.
Let me select the row. Because this row has been set to an exact size, it's not going to automatically grow if we add too much text, and so we end up with overset text. How are you supposed to access this? Of course, now you know, the Story Editor. Select some text in the table, press Command+Y or Ctrl+Y, and there it is. The interface for showing a table in the Story Editor takes a little getting used to, I do admit, but once you do get used to it, you notice that every row is labeled, and if you have multiple columns in a row, you see them one right after the other.
So a row that doesn't have multiple columns means that somebody merged all the cells. So if we scroll up a bit, here is the overset text, Principles of Good Interface Design, that's overset in that cell. So I'm going to delete this and see if we can get something to fit. That's perfect! There we go, the red line is gone, we close this us, the red dot is gone, everything perfectly fits inside the table cell. So there you have it, ten great reasons to use the Story Editor in InDesign.
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