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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.
So it probably comes with no surprise that if you are working on a long document, a document with multiple pages in it, interacting with the Pages panel is something you are going to be doing quite a bit. It's kind of your view on the overall document. It let's you navigate from page to page easily. It gives you a little representation of each page, a little thumbnail if you will. If we take a look at the Pages panel that I've got set up here, it's been customized quite a bit to look different than what it looks like by default. So, let's start by getting this to look the way it does when you just first launch InDesign for the first time. To do that, I am going to switch from the Power Shortcuts Workspace, which is my custom workspace that I have created for this title, and we are going to switch to one of the default workspaces, in this case it would be Essentials.
Let's go ahead and do that temporarily. And we will go and expand the dock to show you what the Pages panel looks like, by default. So you can see, the page thumbnails are much smaller, and they're arranged in a vertical stack. So that's one of the very first things I like to change about how the Pages panel works. I just think this is an incredible waste of space over here on the right-hand side. I think this is a legacy decision, this was how the QuarkXPress Pages panel arranged its pages from top to bottom in a vertical stack. Let's go ahead and start customizing it. It's doing the same for the Master pages by the way.
It's putting them in a vertical stack as well. You can of course, split the divider here and move it up or down to see more or fewer master pages and so forth. To customize the Pages panel, and any panel for that matter that has options, you go to the flyout menu of the particular panel, it's in the upper right-hand corner, and we will choose Panel Options here down at the bottom, and this brings up its own special dialog where you can control certain aspects. So the pages themselves, the default Size is Medium, I'm going to change that Large. And I don't want to show them vertically, and by default the thumbnails are displayed, so you actually get a graphical representation of each page.
I find that very useful. Some people have complained that they notice a slight decrease in performance. Personally, I think that's not always the case, but if you change a page, InDesign behind the scenes does have to update that thumbnail from time to time. So if you really want to run InDesign as fast as possible, there is some credence to be able to turn that off. I just think that the usefulness of the thumbnails outweighs that performance gain. So, I like to turn that on and keep it on. For the Master pages, you have the exact same options. I don't really need to see thumbnails per se, most of the time, so I usually keep my Page thumbnails for Master pages either Small or Extra Small.
Go ahead and leave it Small for now. I don't like to have them vertically as well, I think that takes up too much space, so I want them show horizontally. Then I can turn thumbnails off if I wish. There's some other adornments that can be turned on. By default, some options are available. I think transparency is the default, but maybe it's not, because it's not checked here. Anyway, depending on the size of the thumbnail you choose, these icons may or may not show up, and there is a little hint there that kind of gives you that information. Transparency is if you've added, it's certainly sort of Opacity effect or a drop shadow or changing the blend mode of an object on a page.
This puts a little badge on the thumbnail to let you know that that that's been applied to that particular page. If a spread has been rotated, a new feature introduced in CS4, the ability to rotate spreads in 90 degree increments, you can have that noted, because sometimes if you've, for instance, flip a page 180 degrees, you won't necessarily know it's rotated. Or the person who gets your document may not know that you rotated that. So the flag with a little icon there is very helpful. And I'll go ahead and turn all three of these on. I think to show all three your page thumbnail size has to be extra large, to show all three.
So we will go ahead and change that for now. We can always go back and change it again. And then lastly, you can also change the Panel Layout so that the Master pages are on top, the default, or the pages are on top, and again, it's totally your choice. I am going to go ahead and click OK, and you see the Pages panel changes quite a bit. I get much larger thumbnails. Now because the width of the panel isn't wide enough to show you more than one page, it still looks like they are vertical. Let me go ahead and drag the Pages panel out to float it. You just click on its tab to float it, and let go, and now when I resize this to be wide.
You can actually see that they're not stacked vertically. I actually love this arrangement. If you have a second monitor, it's kind of interesting to use the Pages panel. Let's make it a very wide panel, and you can kind of get more of a left to right arrangement, kind of like you would in a book or magazine, where you are seeing spreads from left to right, instead of vertically arranged. You still have to scroll down to see the next row, but again, depending on the size of your monitor you can always show one or two rows at a time, depending on how much screen real estate you want to dedicate to the actual Pages panel. It's completely up to you.
It's a nice way to customize the navigation experience for your pages, and it gives you a lot more room for the Master page icons as well. Let's go ahead and reduce the size of the page thumbnails. We will go back to panel Options. I am going to take them down from Extra Large to just Large. I will go ahead and click OK. And there you see what I mean. So, gives you a much more holistic view of your document, and of course, you can collapse this whole thing down to just an icon. By default you see the icon in a label, or you can go ahead and grab a right or left edge and drag that down to just the icon label, and now I can position this anywhere I want.
And when I click on the icon, I get a popup panel that gives me a much more descriptive view or overview of the entire document. So, just some interesting ways to consider how to use the Pages panel. I am going to take this back to the Power Shortcuts Workspace that we have been using, and that will wipe out all of these customizations. So remember, when you save a workspace, anything you've done to a particular panel to customize it gets captured as part of that workspace. So that's a really good thing, especially if you have done all this work to customize the Pages panel. I am going to go back to Power Shortcuts, and that takes the Pages panel back to where we started.
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