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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.
- Any inDesigner worth their salt knows about quick apply, and we've done many tips here about quick apply. Talked about it on inDesign secrets. I want to show you some, I would say, uncommon reasons to use quick apply. Ones that I use all the time and that often apparently surprise other people when they see what I'm doing with quick apply. I think that you'll like them. Now just incase you're one of the few people who've never used quick apply, let me quickly review it, it is, (laughs) that was on purpose. It is just a little window that lets you apply any menu command or script or style to the active object.
Without having to memorize a keyboard shortcut or take your hands from the keyboard. For example, my cursor is blinking inside this pull quote. Let me zoom in a bit with command or control plus. Quick apply is typically used to apply styles. So I would just press the keyboard shortcut for quick apply which is command return on a mac. Or control enter on a PC. Tap it, a window pops up. I could move this out of the way but I'm too lazy I don't want to take my hands off the keyboard. And then I would just-- It's remembering the last thing that I used but right now I'm going to type in the name of a style like "body." So as soon as you type in any characters from that like d-y or b-o, or b-o-d-y it doesn't have to be the entire thing, quick apply filters down any command or script or style whose name matches that, or contains what you entered, and highlights it at the top.
If it didn't get it exactly right, if I wanted body first, I can easily just tap the down arrow and select body first. Anyway you highlight what it is that you want and then to make inDesign apply that highlighted item, just press the return or enter key again. And there it is. Now I don't really want to apply the body style, so I'm going to undo. But one thing that I might want to do in this pull quote is, do you see where that double quote is? I'm going to go ahead and click here. I would like this quote to hang away from the double quote. In other words I want it to look like the double quote is outside of the text frame.
And to do that I'm going to use the indent to here command. Whichs is under the insert menu. Now the insert menu is notorious for having a lot of power that nobody knows where to find these things. So go into the type menu, insert special character, we have all these guys. You have to know which sub menu to look in and I've been using InDesign forever, and I can tell you I hardly know where a lot of these things are. But that's where I use quick apply a lot. When I want to insert a special character. So here I'm just going to press the command+return because I'm using a Mac.
And I'll type in "indent to here." Now I type in "i-n-d" and I haven't gotten there yet so I just keep on typing, indent, to... there it is just as I typed the 't' that's fine. Indent to here and then because it's highlighted I'll just press return again. And there it went. Indent to here does have a keyboard shortcut already. But quick apply is excellent for things that don't have a keyboard shortcut. That you don't use often enough to warrant creating one. for example, the notes command.
I don't know how often you use notes. I use them once in a while. But if you look under the type menu, and you go to notes, new note does not have a keyboard shortcut. If I created one I'm never going to remember it because I don't use the command that often. So I will often use quick apply to insert a note in the text. So if my cursor's blinking here, and I want to insert a note, I'm not going to bother going up to the type menu and choosing new note, I'll just press command+return, type new space n, and there it is new note. Go like this, the notes panel opens up. And I can go ahead and start typing my note.
Alright, so, a little note appears. Another thing that I like to use quick apply for is to open up panels. I am not very good at memorizing the keyboard shortcuts for opening up all these panels. However I do know the name of the panel. so for example if I want to create a new hyperlink, I select sharing.com, I want to open up the hyperlink panel. And I don't know the name of it. So I press command+return, and if I type hyperlink, well there's a problem here because quick apply also shows panel menu items which is great, but there's a lot that have the name hyperlink in them.
So instead I'm going to type in t-i-v-e hyper. Now why did I do that? Because hyperlink is in the interactive sub menu. And if something is buried a few levels deep you can often quickly get there by just typing in the last few letters of the submenu name, and then no space, right, chevron, greater than symbol, no space, and then the first few letters of what it is you want. So there we go and I open up the hyperlinks panel. Maybe that's a little too much work, but you know it's sort of like it's very addicting quick apply.
Let me show you just a couple more things. Let's zoom out a bit. Now you probably already know the keyboard shortcut for showing and hiding guides, right? It's command or control+ semi-colon. Just tap it to show and hide. But do you know the one for hide frame edges? (laughs) no I didn't think you did. Why bother going up to the view menu. Just press quick apply and type 'frame edge' there it goes, hide frame edges. If they were hidden, then they would say 'show frame edges.' So it's kind of like a little toggle. Isn't that nice? Another one that I use is to show bleed guides.
Let's go ahead and show our guides again with command or control+ semi-colon. quick apply will work in any mode that you're in not just with a type tool. But say that I want to switch to preview mode, I can just type a "w," right? There it is. There's preview mode. But what if I want to see if this image is bleeding correctly? This one on the left over here. I want to go to bleed guide mode. So Instead I can just type "bleed." There we go. And now I can see the bleed allowance when I go to preview. I could have come all the way up here, go to view, screen mode, and chosen bleed.
Or chosen it from down here, but I like using quick apply. So there you go a whole bunch of ways and reasons to use quick apply that have nothing to do with applying paragraph or character styles. Give it a shot!
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