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In this series, David Blatner and Anne-Marie Concepción, co-hosts of the web's top resource for InDesign tips and tricks, InDesignSecrets.com, share some hidden and sometimes surprising workflow tips that will make working in InDesign more efficient and more fun. The course covers built-in timesaving features such as Quick Apply and auto-expanding text, but also little-known tricks, such as using the eyedropper to copy and paste character and paragraph text attributes and making accurate selections by selecting through or even into objects.
New techniques will be added to the collection every other week, so check back early and often. Find more tips and tricks at indesignsecrets.com.
I have a catalog here, and I want to make a table of contents, but I don't want a normal table of contents. I want to specify exactly what text shows up in the table of contents, rather than just pulling the text from whole paragraphs of my document. For example, I'm going to grab the type tool, and I want to select just this word, "Welcome", and I want that word, "Welcome", to be in my table of contents, not the whole paragraph. "Welcome to", or "Welcome to Roux". So I cannot use InDesign's normal table of contents feature to do this, because that feature always grabs whole paragraphs.
Instead, I'm going to make my table of contents using the index feature, which let's me put any text I want in it. Now, I'm not going to get into all the many details of indexing here in this short movie. I talk about that in one of my other titles here in the online training library, so I'm going to go through this quickly, and you'll get the idea. First, I need to open my index panel by going to the window menu, choosing type and tables, and then, index. Next, I'm going to add this to my index by clicking on this little new index entry button, and there it shows up inside the topic level, so I can click ok.
Now let's go ahead and go to the next spread by pressing option, page down, or alt, page down, in Windows. I'll click over here and zoom into 200% so I can see what I'm doing a little bit better. I see I have a bunch of different classes in my catalog, and they're all similar. I don't want to put the actual class name in the table of contents. I want to put the concept, so for example, in this one, I'm going to calling it, "Designing "Characters", so I'll just select this word and add "Designing", and I'm going to type myself, "Characters", into that field. There we go. Click ok, and now that's been added to my index, or my table of contents.
Down here, this is all about Adobe Flash, so let's go ahead and add that one. Zoom out, and look at over here, we're got figure drawing one and figure drawing two and architectural drawing, so I'm going to change this to, let's say, just "Drawing". Click ok. Let's go to the next spread, and I'm going to say, "Oh, this is all about clothes stuff." I don't even know what this, but I'll place my cursor there, and type, "Clothes Stuff". Okay. There we go. You get the idea. I'm adding a bunch of index entries to my index, and now, I need to make my index.
I need to generate it, except this is not really an index. It's a table of contents, but you get the idea, and I'm going to generate this index out on the pace board because honestly, I don't have any other place to put it right now, so I'm going to go back and grab my selection tool. I'll come out of preview mode. I can press the W key, or I could go to screen mode normal, and oh, I have a text frame out there. I'm going to get rid of that, and now I'm going to generate my table of contents out here on the pace board. Now I'll go to my index panel. Click on generate index, and I can click on the "More Options" button.
I want to see more options, so I get all the features in here, and the first thing I'm going to do is change my title. This is not an index. It's a table of contents. Of course, you can change it to anything you want, and I'm going to turn off the include index section headings checkbox. That's the alphabeticals, like A, B, C, in my index. I don't want those. I want them all to flow together, and I'm going to go down to the following topic field, and I'm going to remove the spaces that are in there. Just hit the delete key, and instead, I'm going to type a tab, and I can type the tab not by pressing the tab on the keyboard, but instead by inserting a special code for a tab, and I can find that code by clicking on this little triangle on the right side, and then choosing tab character, and it types the carrot t code for me, so that's great.
Now let's go ahead and generate that table of contents by clicking the ok button, and it goes through the whole document, pulls all those index entries together, and puts it into a story on my place cursor, so now all I have to do is click and drag. Let's go ahead and zoom in here so we can see what's going on, and you can see I have my index entry, followed by the page number, but the problem here is that these are in alphabetical order, not chronological order. My table of contents should be chronological order, so how am I going to change the order? I need to sort it by the number, and in order to sort it, I need those numbers to be at the beginning of the paragraph, so this is going to be dense.
I'm going to use some grip fine change, but don't be scared! It's not that hard. First, I need to open the fine change dialogue box by pressing command f, or control f on Windows, and then I'll click on the grip tag. Inside my find what field, I'm going to type some code, and I'm not going to go into the details too much of what I'm typing, but bear with me follow along, and you'll be able to do this, too. I'm going to type carrot, and then in open parentheses, then a dot, or a period, followed by a plus sign, and a question mark, followed by a closed parentheses, and then a backslash, not a forward slash, but a backslash t, followed by an open parentheses, backslash d, followed by a plus sign, question mark, closed parentheses, dollar sign.
Now, what the heck is all of that? That is a special code, which means, start at the beginning of the paragraph, that dot plus question mark, find some words up to the tab, backslash t means tab, and then followed by some numbers. A whole bunch of numbers all the way to the end of the paragraph. Isn't that amazing? That's what that code means. Now, I'm going to find all of that, and I'm going to turn it around. I'm going to turn it around by pressing, dollar sign two, followed by backslash t, there's the tab again, followed by dollar sign one, and that means, take what I found, and flip it around.
There it is. So I want to sort these paragraphs, and I'll run this script simply by again, first selecting the text, and then double clicking on the script, and then clicking ok. It's done! It went through that whole list, and it put them order. Now, if I wanted my table of contents to have a page number first, then I'd be done, but if I want to flip it around again, and put the page numbers at the end, I've got one more fine change I need to do. Let's go ahead and close my scripts panel. I'll go back to my fine change dollar box, and I'm going to delete this, and I'm going to replace it with another code, and the code is going to be carrot, open parentheses, backslash d, followed by a plus sign, and then the closed parentheses.
Then I'm going to find a backslash t, which is a tab, followed by an open parentheses, dot plus, closed parentheses, and then dollar sign, and that is going to find, from the beginning of the paragraph, any numbers followed by a tab, followed by pretty much anything, dot plus means any text, all the way to the end of the paragraph, and I'm going to change it to dollar sign two, which is the second part that it found, the text, followed by a tab, followed by dollar sign one, which is the first part of the text it found.
That's the number. Ready? Here we go! Change all, and we're back in business. So, we've created a table of contents using just the words and phrases that we want. Now, there's one really important thing that you need to watch out for when doing these kinds of grip fine changes. If you've applied local formatting, like font, or color changes to the text, it'll all get messed up, and that's because grip works on the underlying text separately from the formatting. It can be very frustrating, but if you format the text using automatic formatting, like nested styles or grip styles or format the text after you do the fine change, then it'll work just fine.
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