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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.
Okay. I've got to let you in on a little InDesign secret, something really weird about In Design and yet something you have to understand if you're going to become an In Design professional. It has to do with selecting text with keyboard shortcuts. And it's called doing the keyboard dance. Right now, you'll see that the flashing text cursor is in the middle of this paragraph, and you probably know that if you hold down the Shift key, and then start pressing the arrow keys on your keyboard you can start selecting text. The Shift key means select from one place to another and you can control where it's going to with the arrow keys.
So, the right arrow key moves one character at a time. The down arrow key moves one line at a time. And you'll see that, because the Shift key is still held down when I change the arrow keys. I'm moving around, selecting different parts of the text. So that's easy enough. But what if I want to actually select to the left of that i. That is, I want to add to the selection to the left side before that original cursor position. Here's where the cursor dance comes in. If I let go of the Shift key. And then hold the Shift key down again, I've reset the cursor positioning.
That is, I've reset which direction InDesign will select from. InDesign is now watching to see which arrow key I press next. If I press the right or the down arrow key, it will continue selecting at the end of the selection. But if I press the left arrow or the right arrow key, it will start selecting from the left edge. Now I'm adding or removing from the selection on the left side. Let go of the Shift key, press it down again, and then press the right or the down arrow. And I'm starting once again to be selecting on the right side. That little trick there, lifting up the Shift key, and then pressing it down again, is the key to the keyboard dance.
And it's the key to making sure you're selecting exactly what you want when you're using keyboard shortcuts. Now if you work kind of slow, and you enjoy dragging over text with a mouse all the time. Then knowing about the keyboard dance won't help you but if your an InDesign power user and your trying to get your work done fast by keeping your hands on the keyboard you have to get this one into your head or perhaps I should say get it into your hands.
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