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If you are anything like me, your memory isn't like it used to be and you probably want to leave notes for yourself all over the place. Well, the good news is that InDesign has a Notes feature so that you can leave notes for yourself or for others if you are handing these documents off to somebody else. However, you can only add these kinds of notes inside of a text frame as part of a story. Let's see how it's done. I am going to put a note inside this story here. So I will select it and zoom into 200% with Command+2 or Ctrl+2 on Windows and I will double-click inside here to switch to the Type tool. To add a note, I will go to the Type menu, choose the Notes submenu and then choose New Note. Two things happen when I do that.
First, the Notes panel appears, which I will move over to the side here. The second thing is, you will see a little kind of double triangle hourglass shape icon appear where the note is going to be. The cursor is flashing inside of the Notes panel already so I simply type the note. Here is my note, hopefully your notes will be a little bit more interesting than this, but you got the idea. Let's add another note. I will click over here and I will click on the New Note button and it adds a new note over here. This is going to be -- is this supposed to be milk or a dark chocolate? You can ask your question here. By the way, when I am adding a note, I cannot select text or even select a word, I have to have the cursor flashing inside the story or I will see the note will not be able to be added.
Let's look at another way to add a note. I will switch to the Note tool, here in the Tool panel. Now, I can click anywhere even if the Text Frame isn't selected. I will click up here, it adds a note and I will start typing. Let's look at the top of the Notes panel. Here we see the number of characters and words in this particular note. We see that this is note number 1 out of 3, so it tells us how many notes are in this document. It also tells us when it was created, when it was last modified and the author. Right now it's set to Unknown User Name. That's because I have not told InDesign who I am yet, it can't guess. So let's take care of that.
I will go to the File menu and choose User. Now I will type my name in here and I will pick myself a color. How about dark green? That sounds nice! I'll click OK. This does not change any of the notes that I have already created, but as soon as I start making a new note, you will see that my color shows up here instead of that gold color and my name shows up as the author of these particular notes. Here is another way to make notes. I can select some text, go to the Type menu, go down to the Notes submenu and choose Covert to Note. Now all of that text has turned into a note. If I want to see my note, I can place my cursor on top of the upper half of the icon and I can see a tooltip that shows me the note.
I can also click on that and the note shows up here in the Notes panel. I can see that I seem to have made a mistake there and the F is not in the note. So I can type F here and then come over here and delete the F over there. Another way to see my notes is by going to the Story Editor and if you have seen the Essential Training title, you know that the Story Editor is one of my favorite features in the whole program. I will go the Edit menu. We will choose Edit in Story Editor or press Command+ Y or Ctrl+Y on Windows and we can see this whole story in a nice Story Editor window, including the notes and the notes show up inside of these little collapsible squares. I don't know what to call them, but basically if you click on them, they collapse to almost nothing.
I am just clicking on those to collapse them. That makes it easier to read the story and later I can click on them again to open the note. I can even come in here and edit that. So instead of saying first name, I will change this to second or third name and we can see that as I type there, it updates in the Notes panel as well. Let's close the Story Editor and zoom back to Fit Page in Window. I did a Command+0 or Ctrl+0 on Windows. I will deselect everything with a Command+Shift+A or Ctrl+Shift+A on Windows. Now let's say, somebody has just given me this document and I opened it in InDesign and I don't know if there are any notes in here that I need to pay attention to. How can I find out? Well, here is the trick, just use the Type tool and place the cursor inside any text story, doesn't matter which, just choose any text story. Now, in the Notes panel, click on the Next Note button. That's that little triangle over here.
Click once on there and it jumps right to the first note and I can see that this is note number 1 of 5. I can move through those notes one at a time with these buttons. If I want to go right to that note, I can click on the Go to Note anchor button and that takes me directly to that note. I will zoom in to 400% with Command+4 or Ctrl+4 on Windows and you can see that note is actually selected inside the story. I can see that I don't really need this note in here, so I will go ahead and delete it by pressing the Delete Note button, now it's gone. I will go to the next note and delete it and we can move on from there.
The Notes feature is even more helpful if you have editors who are using InCopy, because your notes show up there and their notes will show up for you. But even if you are just working on your own, adding notes is an easy way to prop up that rapidly failing memory.
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