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When I am working on designing or laying out a document, I don't want to be bothered by mind-numbing tasks. For example, can you imagine working on a 200 page document like this, and then your client or art director says something like, hey! Can you make all of these graphics over here have a different colored background and change the stroke around them? Oh man this kind of thing would make the scream if I didn't have the Find/Change feature to do it for me. But I do and it lives just where you'd expect, the Find/Change dialog box. I'm going to open the Find/Change dialog box by going to the Edit menu and choosing Find/Change or you could press Command+F or Ctrl+F on Windows.
Right now it's set to the Text tab; I want to change it to the Object tab. The Object tab lets me search and replace object formatting like Strokes and Fills and all that kind of Object Formatting stuff. I'll move this out of the way and we can see that all of these graphic frames have a 1 point Stroke around them, so I am going to search for graphic frames with a 1 point Stroke. To do that, I'm going to click in this blank area here which brings up the Find Object Format Options dialog box. We can dial-in exactly what we're looking for.
In this case it's a Fill of None and a Stroke of Black. Now I could dial this in even more precisely by saying only find objects that have a Stroke of 1 point Black if I wanted to, but in this case I am going to leave it blank so it's more flexible. In other words, it will find any frame that has a Stroke of Black, not just 1 point strokes. I'll click OK and you can see that it fills it in here. Now what do I want to change it to? I'll click in the blank area down here and I'm going to say I want to fill this with a Tint of Cyan.
I'll come in here and say let's get a 15$% tint of Cyan and I'll put a stroke around this as well. There currently is a stroke, but why don't we change it something different like Blue and let's make it a little bit crazy here so you can see it well, 5 point Dotted lines, there we go. It's going to put a 5 point Blue Dotted line around the frames. May be that's what my client wants, I don't know. Now let's try it out. I'll click OK and you can see it fills in all of that information here. There is one more thing I want to change here and that's the scope of what it's looking for.
I can tell it to search just in this document or all open documents, I just want this document and I can tell it what kind of frames to look for. I don't want it to search for all of my frames, in this case I want to just search for Graphic Frames. I am ready to go, let's try it out. I'll click Change All and it goes through and it finds 11 objects in this chapter. Now, honestly this could have been 1100 objects and it would've gone just as fast. I'll click OK and we can see the changes made, cyan background, crazy dotted lines around.
I'll press Command+F or Ctrl+F on Windows to close the Find/Change dialog box again. That same keyboard shortcut opens it and closes it. And then I'm going to go through my document to make sure they're all changed by pressing Option+Page Down or Alt+Page Down on Windows. And you can see it's gone through and changed each of these, looks pretty good. Let's do one more. I'll open the Find/Change dialog box, I am going to clear out all the formatting that it was searching for before by clicking on this little trash can icon. That just clears this out.
In this case I am going to search for all Text Frames in my document, so I am going to change this to Text Frames and I don't really care what the formatting is, so I'm going to leave this blank. But when it finds a Text Frame, I want to apply some formatting. So I'll click down here and say that I would like to apply, oh let's put a Stroke around it again, why don't we make this may be a 2 point Black Solid Stroke. And I want to change it into a 2 Column Frame. So I'll change this to Text Frame Options, increase my Columns to 2, why don't we add a Gutter here of let's say 12 points and give it some Text Inset Spacing of maybe 9 points, and I'd like to have that on all four sides, so I'll turn on the Link icon. You get the idea.
You dial-in exactly the way you want these things to look and then click OK. And when you do that it lists them all here. Now as soon as I click Change All, it goes to the entire document, finds all of my Text Frames and turns them into 2 Column Frames, and puts the stroke around them. I'll close that dialog box, hit W to go into Preview mode and we can see they all have strokes just the way we wanted them to look. I'm not saying that it looks good or that you should do this, I am just saying that's what my art director asked for.
I happen to know a bunch of the people on the InDesign engineering team and they all say the same thing. Their aim is to make mind-numbing, painful tasks easy and automated, so that you can focus on what you do best, making great-looking pages. Now this Find/Change feature is a great example of how they're really succeeding.
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