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We're going to talk about a very important topic here, and that's your application versus your document defaults. In the beginning, I just have InDesign open here. I am going to create a new document, doesn't really matter what it is. I am just going to turn off Facing Pages and make it Wide, just so it fits on screen. One page, doesn't really matter. InDesign has now got a set of application defaults that are in play here. So let me give you an example. If I go ahead and draw just a rectangle, let's say, and take a look at the Measurement System, you will see up here in the Control panel, I have got Width and Height and my Measurement System is using Picas. Okay.
Well, I want to use Inches. So I am going to go to my Preferences, Command+K or Ctrl+K to open up Preferences. One of the preferences here is Units & Increments. So hey, let's change it from Picas to Inches and we will change both Vertical and Horizontal Rulers to be Inches. Click OK. Wonderful! Click on the rectangle, excellent, our Measurement System is now in Inches. We are all happy. Awesome! Let's close the document. Let's not save changes for now. I am going to create a new document. Go ahead and use the same settings again, turn off Facing Pages, make it Wide, click OK, and I go get my rectangle again. Draw a new rectangle out.
I am back to Picas. What the heck? I thought I just changed it to inches. Well, what you did is discovered that InDesign lets you change your preferences and defaults at the document level or at the application level. So if you have a document open and you start changing things in Preferences or menu commands or whatever, you are changing it for that document only. When you save that document, that document captures all those settings and it travels with that document. If you want to set your preferences for every new document you create from this point forward, the solution to that issue is to have no document open.
So I am going to go ahead and close this document and now, insiders call this the no pub state. No publication is open. Anything you do in the no pub state now will be honored for every new document you create. So now if I open up Preferences, Command+K or Ctrl+K, and go to Units & Increments, let's say, you can now change your Measurement System to Inches or whatever Measurement System you want here. Great, we will change it to Inches, and you can do all sorts of other things too. So if I go to let's say the Interface section and I don't want to view Thumbnails on my cursor when I am placing images, you could turn that off, and so forth.
There's lots of different settings here that you might use to customize the application to your liking. The basic point is any choice you make in this Preferences dialog when there's no document open, will be applied to any new document. Now, it's not just preferences. This is also for panels and menu options and so forth. So if I don't want to see text threads on every document, you can make menu choices here as well. If I go to my Type tool, let's say, and I want my default font to be something other than Times, and I want the default size to be something, I can just make these changes here and that will affect the new document.
Same with Swatches. If I don't like the default swatches, I don't like these colors here. I can delete them and bring in my own swatches, then every document will take that on. So I think you get the point. We will go ahead and click a New Document again. Turn off Facing Pages. Make it Wide again, click OK. Now when I go ahead and draw my rectangle, it will be in Inches. If I create another new document, File > New > Document or Command+N, great, and draw a rectangle, that will be in Inches as well. What won't change is if you open a document that had been set to Picas previously.
If you had a document open, change the Measurement System while that document was open and then save that document, when you open that document, it will honor the document setting. So there is a difference between document preferences and defaults and application defaults. Hopefully that makes sense and now you know the difference.
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