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Author David Blatner provides in-depth training on InDesign CS5, the print and interactive page layout application from Adobe, in InDesign CS5 Essential Training. The course shows how to create new documents with strong and flexible master pages, precisely position text and graphics, prepare documents for print, and export designs as interactive PDF or Flash SWF files. Exercise files are included with the course.
I have my Hansel and Petal catalog open here, and I'm going to jump to the last spread of the document by clicking at the Last Spread button in the lower left corner of the document window. And I can see that this page is a mess. I mean the design's not bad, but there's all this stuff on top of the design. For example, there's all these vertical lines going through this image. Why? Because they're column guides. Up here around this frame, there's this frame edge, a blue box around that text there. Over here, they're just big ovals. I can't tell what's going to print and what's not going to print anymore.
Fortunately, there's a way to streamline your visuals to strip out all of the stuff that's not going to print. And there's actually a couple of ways to do this. The first way is to go to the View menu and come down here to Extras and we can turn on or off Frame Edges. If you turn off Frame Edges, then all of the edges of your frames disappear but the guides are still there. I can see that those ovals were not actually there, they're just Frame Edges. So, that's helpful right away. I can go back to the View menu and go down to Grids and Guides and say Hide the Guides.
And now the guides are gone as well. So this is much nicer. Now, those settings from the View menu are replicated up here in the Application bar in the View Options popup menu, and you can see I can turn on and off my Frame Edges, and turn on and off my Guides, and other options there as well. So that's great. But to be honest, I very rarely use any of those features at all. Why? Because I prefer a feature called Preview Mode. Preview Mode is great. To get to Preview Mode, you simply press W, as long as you're not editing text.
If you're editing text then pressing W will type a W, right? But as long as you're not inside of a text frame, you press W, you go into Preview Mode and look at what you get. All of the non-objects disappear. The guides are gone, the Frame Edges are gone. Anything that was bleeding off the side of the page is gone. And you're left with a perfect view of what your final document is going to look like when it's printed. Now, you can work in Preview Mode if you want to. For example, as I drag over the page, I can actually see the edges of each of these objects highlighting. But I'm not going to work in Preview Mode.
Typically I'll go into Preview Mode, look at it, and then hit W again to come out of Preview Mode. Now, just for the sake of being complete, I should mention that you can get to Preview Mode in other ways as well. Up here in the Application menu, you can choose Preview Mode from this little widget here, or at the bottom of the Tool panel, you can get to this little fly-out menu here and choose your Preview Mode from this popup menu. There's Preview Mode down there. But again I usually don't use that. I just press W. That's good enough. Now, since I am talking about cleaning up the screen, I should also mention that you can press the Tab key to hide all of your panels.
You saw I press Tab, they all disappeared and that gives me a lot more space to work with, which could be handy in some situations. Just press Tab and they all come back. Now there's one other screen Mode that I want to point out, which sort of combines those two things together, like the Tab to make everything disappear and the Preview Mode to make all non-printing objects disappear. This is called Presentation Mode. It's new in CS5 and it's so cool. You can get to it by going to the Application bar and choosing Presentation Mode up here. But you know, again, I'd rather just use the keyboard shortcut.
We learned just a moment ago that pressing W puts you into Preview Mode, so to go into Presentation Mode, you press Shift+W. It's like W plus, even better. So Shift+W puts you into Presentation Mode, and you can see that it takes over the whole screen. The menus are gone, the panels are gone, the pasteboard is gone, everything is gone except for the document itself. And this is a great way to present your document to a client or to your boss or something. Once you have it up here, you can move through the pages by pressing the Up and Down Arrow keys.
Now, I'm on the previous spread, you can move through one spread at a time. You can also do the same thing by clicking to go to the next spread or Shift+clicking to go the previous spread. So either of those works. It's actually just like Acrobat Professional when you're in Full Screen Mode. So this Presentation Mode is really nifty. I do want to point out one other additional tip. This is something that Anne-Marie Concepcion, who's my co-author and co-host in InDesign Secrets, pointed out to me, really cool tip, while you're in Presentation Mode, you can actually press different keys to get different color backgrounds.
Right now, we've got a Black background, but if I press W, I get a white background. See, that's kind of nice in its own way as well, or G for a grey background. So that's kind of nice. It's good to know that that's an option. Ultimately, though I like hitting B for Black because that really makes the page pop and art directors just love that. Oh that's really nifty. To come out of Presentation Mode, you press Shift+W or just press the Escape key. Nobody can design well in a cluttered environment like this.
That's why the Preview and the Presentation Screen Modes are so great. They strip the wheat from the chaff and they leave you seeing what's most important about your document.
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