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In InDesign CS4 Power Shortcuts, Adobe product manager and designer Michael Ninness reveals hundreds of tips to boost productivity, including the top 20 power shortcuts every InDesign user must know. From placing multiple images to the hidden power of Quick Apply, each one of these videos covers an important topic, and includes just the right amount of information to make anyone a true InDesign power user. InDesign users are always looking for faster, more efficient ways to do everything, and this course offers just what they're looking for. Exercise files accompany the course.
There's one more thing you can do with panels that I'd like to point out, and it's pretty useful. It also takes advantage of some of this what we call dead space underneath the Tools panel. You currently can't take another panel and reduce it down to an Icon Mode and stash it underneath and have it become part of the Tools panel dock, but there's still a way to utilize that space and I am going to show that to you now. I am going to click on the Links panel over here in my dock and you can see I've customized this Links panel quite a bit. I did that by going to the flyout menu for Links and went to Panel Options. I am going to skip that for now, but I turned on a bunch of other attributes, so I have a lot more columns of information here and I made my thumbnail rows bigger and so forth.
That makes that panel a little impractical to keep in this very narrow panel dock now, because I have to do a lot of horizontal scrolling. So what I am going to do is I am going to pull out the Links panel and float it as a separate panel, and then I can go ahead and resize it and make it more of a horizontal panel. So it takes up a lot more area on the screen here, but gives me a lot more information about my particular links. Now I obviously don't want to leave this in the middle of my screen all the time. So I am going to collapse this down to just the icon plus label initially, and then I will go ahead and drag that side down over to the left to make it just an icon.
Now this is the beginning of what we call a flotilla. Now a flotilla is just a group of floating panels that can be configured in any really way you want to. So I am going to open up a second panel, say the Colors panel, and to create a flotilla, I can drag another panel to any edge of an existing floating panel. I can drag it to the bottom or even the left-hand side or right-hand side. So there's really no limitation to how you attach these to each other. I am going to attach it to the right for now, and I can collapse it down to just an icon.
Now this whole flotilla group, if I click on the gray area can be dragged around to different location as a single unit. I might want to reconfigure this so the Color panel is actually docked below or attached below the Links panel. So I have created this flotilla. Now I can open up Color by itself and open up Links by itself as part of this flotilla group. And now you see I have a very narrow secondary panel group, but it's not docked to the edge of the screen. This allows me to have this panel open, and if I were to collapse this panel dock over here, and let's drag this down all the way to its Icon Mode and click on Swatches.
You can see each panel group can have one drawer panel open at any given time. So it's a way to have a little more flexibility in the interface here. I am going to go ahead and take advantage of that dead space here that I was talking about earlier, by clicking on the gray area and dragging this whole flotilla group, not to the edge of the screen, right, because that's going to create a secondary dock on the left-hand side. I don't want that. I am just going to drag it almost to the left where it's not going to dock. I don't see the blue highlighting. I am just going to park it there. I have now created a space for my horizontal Links panel to kind of open from, and when I want it out of the way, I'll just collapse it back down, so I don't see it anymore.
So just some different ways to manage your panels. They don't have to be in the dock on the right. You can actually pull them out, creating these floating panels. You can collapse them down and create these Flotillas so to speak, by attaching panels to each other, and then stretch them out or whatever, any configuration you want, and then park it in that extra unused space underneath the Tools panel, to get maximum flexibility and recover some of that screen real estate that's so valuable.
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