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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.
I want to talk about an often-neglected dialog box, and that is Object Find/Change, which you will find if you go to the Edit menu, go down to Find/Change and we choose Object. Now what I found is that a lot of people spend a lot of time proofing printouts, going over them with a fine-tooth comb in a loop when instead they could just use Object Find Change to fix a lot of problems. For example, here we are looking at a few pages from a student catalog--and I will scroll through here--and you can see it's a pretty busy layout.
Let's say that one of the things you want to make sure is that none of the text frames have a stroke. So if I select text frame here, and I look in my Control panel, I can see it has no stroke, 0, and this one is 0 and this one is 0, so I am always looking here and figuring, okay, that's fine. So then I send it off to the printer, or I create a PDF for downloading, not realizing that there is a wayward text frame somewhere else that has a 1-point stroke. Now of course, you could always switch to Preview mode and scroll through, but why even scroll through? Why not let Find/Change do the job for you? I am going to go back to Normal mode, and we will go to Find/Change with Command+F or Ctrl+F to Object.
What we want to do is we want to find a text frame that has a 1-point stroke. Let's set up the Find/Change dialog box to do that. First, down here under Search, if you left something selected it's only going to go to search for that one thing you have selected, so I am going to change this to Document. And I don't wanted to search every single frame, maybe there are frames that I do want to have a 1-point stroke. So you know, if I am going to change it I'm going to say like change every 1-point stroke to zero stroke. I wouldn't want to do All Frames, I would want to that for Text Frames only.
Under Find Object Format, I want to find Stroke, and over here the Weight would be 1 pt. And then Change Object Formats, I am going to come over here, go back to Stroke, and change it to 0. Then we will do the Find, and ah-ha! I found one right there. So let's actually take a look at this. I am going to deselect and switch to Preview mode, and yeah, that's pretty obvious. Let's go ahead and change that one, nice, and see if there's any more.
Change All, no more, okay. I am going to revert this because I want to show you what could be a problem with this method. And that is that there is no way in Find/Change to say, for example, find me anything that is not zero points. So you would have to search for Text Frames that have a have 1-point stroke [00:02:42501] or a .75-point stroke or a .5-point stroke and so on. Here is what I do, I am going to clear this out and this out, and instead I'm going to find the good ones and make it really obvious if they're good.
Then I can easily scan through the document looking for ones that did not get the hit of good. And let me show you what I mean. We want to find a stroke that is .5, and we want to replace it with a stroke that is .25. Now again, we can't just do an entire wholesale search for find me every unassigned frame and give it a weight of .25 because there might be other unassigned frames, like for example, no color backgrounds and things like that, that are not filled with text, not filled with an image, so they are unassigned that you do not want to stroke on.
So you have to be a little careful when you're using Object Find/Change. And let's do a Find, and ah-ha! I found one. Let's just go ahead and change that and find Next and that's it. One last little tip that I want to show you has to do with Image Frames. If you have an untitled document and you drag out an empty image frame and you will look at Objects Styles, you can see that it is not an Object Style. Object Styles are graphic frames and text frames, and this drives me crazy because what is a graphic frame? A graphic frame is not contain a graphic, a graphic frame is something that you would draw like this with one of the empty Shape tools which I would consider more to be unassigned frame.
There is no Object Style for image frames, let's call it. However, that is not the case when you're talking about Find/Change. Let's come to our catalog, if I select one of these images you can see that the Object Style is None, that if I go to Find/Change with Command+F or Ctrl+F--let's clear our old search and replace and say Document--and we say a Graphic Frame, in Find/Change Graphic Frames mean Image Frames. Let's say in this situation that we want all of our Image Frames to have a 1-point stroke.
And that's very difficult to tell if an image frame is 1-point stroke or not when you're looking at it on screen, especially when you're looking at a Normal Mode when you have these Frame Edges obscuring them. So you can go to the Find Object Format and search for any Graphic Frame that has a zero-point stroke and replace it with a Graphic Frame that has a 1-point stroke or even better. What you should do is create an Object Style that has a 1-point stroke on the image, which I have already done in this document.
Let's take a look at what that is, I want to right-click, and choose Edit. In this Object Style I've told it to ignore all other settings. So when the Style gets applied, it's not going to change anything having to do with the fitting, for example, of the Text Wrap. All it will do will be to make stroke 1 point, there we go. So what we're going to do is find all objects that have a zero-point fill and we're going to replace these Graphic Frames with a Style called 1 pt stroke, and say OK and Find.
I am going to find that image, Change it. Let's take a peek. I am going to click on the blank area and switch to Preview, find Next, let's just do Change All. It found 7 of them and it fixed them all, and so now all of our images are accurately and consistently formatted with a 1-point stroke throughout the entire document. Use Object Styles and use Find/Change for objects to make sure that all of your text frames, image frames, and lines are formatted exactly how you want them to be.
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