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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.
When you are working with a long document in InDesign, it can be sometimes difficult to navigate your way through it. So, you keep going back to certain points somewhere deep in the middle of the document. And this is not a small document, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. You can see it's 107 pages, 54 spreads. And wouldn't it be nice if we had something like, say PDF bookmarks? I'm jumping over to a PDF of the same document and opening up the Bookmarks panel. And here you can see that every chapter has its own bookmark and I can easily jump back and forth.
Well, you can do that in InDesign. Let's just come back here, and we'll open up the Bookmarks panel which is underneath the Window menu. Go down to Interactive and choose Bookmarks. Or, if you switch to the Book workspace, you'll see that bookmarks is part of that as well. To add a bookmark manually, you can go to any page, like let's say This one right here, Pool of Tears. Click an insertion point or select a frame and then click the new bookmark at the bottom. Because I put an insertion point here, it comes in as a text anchor, and we'll call this Chapter 2 Pool of Tears.
Now when I'm elsewhere in the document. Like I would say that I'm up here. I don't even need to be in the book work space anymore. Let's go back to Advanced and we'll open up the Bookmarks panel on its own. And I want to jump to Pool of Tears. I just double-click and it jumps me right there. So in your long document, you could create a custom bookmark for every point that you need to quickly go back to. Like say, an index, or you know, a certain illustration, or a table that's buried somewhere in there. You'd also have InDesign automatically create bookmarks based on a paragraph style. To do that, create a table of contents.
Even if you're not going to use the table of contents in your document, you can just put it on the paste board. So to create a table of contents, which will add bookmarks, go to the Layout menu, go down to Table of Contents. As you can see, I want to create a TOC with chapter title. Make sure that under Options, Create PDF Bookmarks is enabled. And then click OK. Ta da! They've all populated the Bookmarks panel. They've been added to any ones that you may have manually done but they don't replace them, which is nice.
And you're going to need to drag this out and keep it some place on the pace board if you don't want to use it in your actual document. If you just delete it, these are going to disappear from the Booksmarks panel. Similar to the Bookmarks panel is the Articles panel. Let's close this up. To find the Articles panel, go to the Window menu, and it should be the first item. This was added in InDesign CS 5.5. It's normally used for EPUB export, because this helps to find the order of the content that gets exported, but we can use it for our own devices as well.
Instead of clicking an insertion point and clicking New. What you do is, you actually drag and drop that object over. Now this is one long story. So probably not the best example here. Let's go to a shorter story, and let's just try this one here that's not threaded to anything. Now we're going to drag and drop it right on to the Articles panel. If you're not dropping it into an actual article, then it's going to create one on the fly. You know, we really don't care what the articles are called because we're not planning on exporting this to EPUB at all. All we want are to create little weigh points for ourselves to be able to double-click.
And you can see that it got that text frame right there. If we want to do, let's go way down in here and we'll grab an image. Now, it doesn't work with anchored images like these guys are, so I'm going to un-anchor this by cutting it and pasting it. We'll just put it over here for now. So say that we want to come back to this page very often. I would just drag and drop this image right here, and all it does is it makes like a pointer to it. Now, if you want to rename these though, you would have to rename them in the Layers panel. That's where they're getting their names from. But still, it's a fast way to jump back and forth in your document.
And finally, don't forget about page labels. If you quickly want to get to a certain page, like this illustration, you could just select it in the Pages panel, right-click, go to Page Attributes, and apply a label to it Like orange. They appear as a little bar here and you can go to any of the important pages and just apply the same color to all the pages that share the same attribute. And now you can quickly just go through your Pages panel and go to the ones that have the right label. If you have, say, a master that you're applying to all chapter openers, you could apply a label to the master.
And then when you're applying a label to an individual page, under Page Attributes, you can say, Use Master Color. So, those are three ways that you can make it a lot easier on yourself to navigate a long document in InDesign, Bookmarks, the Articles panel, and page labels.
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