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What you see on screen is crucial to you being efficient in this program. It's your only portal into understanding what's in your document and how it's going to end up in print or PDF or wherever the file is headed. Fortunately, InDesign gives you a number of controls over how it displays your pages. We saw how to change display quality earlier. Now let's see about InDesign's other display settings. All of InDesign's display settings live up here in the View menu, and the most important one is here under the Screen mode submenu, it is called Preview mode.
Now Preview mode doesn't look like it has a keyboard shortcut, but I'm going to let you know a secret, it does. It's just the letter W. So whenever I want to go into Preview mode, I simply press W. As long as you're not editing text of course, if you're inside of a text frame, then pressing W actually types the W letter, but if you're not editing text, then pressing W puts you into Preview mode, and then pressing W again, takes you out of it. Now preview mode is great, because it gives you a nice neutral gray background inside of your pasteboard and more importantly it hides all nonprinting objects.
Your guides disappear, nonprinting objects disappear, the edges of frames disappear. Actually the edges of frames do appear, if you placed your cursor over an object. So as I move my cursor over an object they appear and they do that because you can actually work in Preview mode. I can actually move this object around if I want to and place it just where I want, completely up to you. So I find it very useful for those little edges to appear when you move your cursor over an object. That said, I do know that it drives some users crazy.
I don't know what it is, but for some reasons some InDesign users just really hate that feature. So I'll tell you a little secret. If you go to the Preferences dialog box, you go to the InDesign menu on the Mac or Edit menu on Windows, and you choose Interface. Inside the Interface pane of the Preferences dialog box is a checkbox, Highlight Object Under Selection tool. If you don't like those edges flashing on and off, turn off that checkbox and then click OK. I'm going to leave it on, because like I said I actually like that feature.
So now, as soon as I deselect that object by clicking out here in the pasteboard, the frame edges hide again. So Preview mode is terrific for giving you a sense for how this document is going to print or export to PDF, and so on. Here is another thing you can do, press the Tab key, again, when you're not editing text. Press Tab and all the panels disappear, they just disappear. So you have much more screen real estate to work with and it looks more cleaned as well. It turns out that those panels are really still there and if I move my cursor over to the right side of the screen, they'll pop out again, and then I can use them.
And as soon as I move my cursor away, they disappear again. Same thing with the tool panel on the left-side of the screen, there they are, and now they've gone again. So Tab key turns them off and on again. Now the Preview mode is cool, especially when the panels are turned off, but for the ultimate in screen display you want Presentation mode and you can get that from the View menu or up here in the application bar you can choose this little pop-up menu and choose Presentation or the secret keyboard shortcut, Shift+W, and when you press Shift+W it hides everything.
Your menus disappear, your panels disappear everything disappears, except your document which is put on a nice black background, very high contrast, great to look at, especially when your boss walks in or a client. Presentation mode is also helpful for moving through a multi-page document because if you click you move from one spread to the next. You can actually see the cursor has a little arrow in there indicating that clicking moves from one spread to the next. If you want to move back a spread, you hold down the Shift key, Shift+Click to move back and I'll Shift+Click again.
When you're ready to exit Presentation mode, you can press Escape or Shift+W again and you're out of Presentation mode. Now I'll press W to exit out of Preview mode and I can see all of my nonprinting objects again, like the guides. By switching from one display mode to another and by turning on and off these view settings you can really get a sense for what's in your document, whether it's laid out properly and how it will look when it's exported or printed.
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