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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.
Welcome back to InDesign Secrets. Have you ever noticed that some art directors are more picky than others? For example, I did a project for a client a while back who insisted that the captions, the first line of every caption be exactly one pica six down from each image. I'm a production guy, so I live to serve. If that's what they want, that's what they'll get. But how do I control that distance between the image and the first line of text? Let's zoom in here so we can see this a little bit better. The first thing I want to do is select that text frame and snap it right up against the bottom of the image.
When smart guides is on, that's really easy to do, because they'll snap together. Another way to do it would be to select both of those objects, go to the Window menu, choose >Object and Layout menu, and then >Align. And inside the Align panel I can turn on Use Spacing in the Distribute Spacing section. When I click on the Distribute Vertical Space button, it's going to snap together. In other words, its placing zero space between each of these objects. So they snap together. The next thing I'm going to do is, select this text frame, go to the Object menu, and choose >Text Frame Options.
Inside the Baseline Options tab of the Text Frame Options dialog box, I'm going to set the first baseline offset to Fixed. And I'm going to set this min value And I'm going to set this value on the right to the amount that my art director wanted, one pica six. In other words, the first baseline is going to be fixed at one pica six down from the top of the text frame. When I click OK, you'll see it update. Notice that the text frame got a little bit larger when I did that. That's because of a new CS6 feature. I'll go back to Text Frame Options, and you can see that auto size is set to height only.
In other words, this text frame is going to grow to any size that I need it to be to fit that text. So that's it. Let me click off here so you can see this better. The first baseline in this text frame is exactly one pica six down from the top of the text frame. But that text frame is exactly the same place as the image. Therefore, my client is going to be happy. The first line is exactly one pica six down from the image itself. Now once I've created one of these, I'm going to want to make an object style to create it elsewhere. So I'll open my Object Styles panel, select the Text Frame, and say, give me a new object style.
I'll call it Captions. And I'll apply this style to the selection, click OK, and now next time I need one, like over here, I'll just click on the object style called Captions, and I'm done. One of the reasons I love InDesign is that it lets me be as free-flowing as I want to be, or as precise as I need to be. Gotta love that.
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