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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 often find myself rifling through all the folders in my hard drive, looking for a particular InDesign layout. So I'm jumping from folder to folder and you know, in InDesign, you usually can't see a preview here, in the Finder or even in Windows Explorer. And even if I could see a preview, I would like to see all the pages in this InDesign file. Oh, I wish that there was a program that Adobe offered that let me see previews of all my InDesign documents without having to open each one of them in InDesign. Oh wait! There is one.
It's called Bridge! Yes, Bridge CC is the program that lets you preview InDesign files. Now, if you do not have Bridge, it's because you've started with the Adobe CC, I assume. Starting with CC, Adobe did not automatically download Bridge whenever you downloaded one of the major suite applications like InDesign, Illustrator, or Photoshop. If you have CC though, you can easily download it, and I strongly urge you to do so. Go to your Creative Cloud app, and then in the Apps section, find Adobe Bridge, and download it.
That's what I have already done. If you're on an earlier version of InDesign, I assume that you already have Bridge, go ahead and start that up. So Bridge is simply an alternate view of all the files on your hard drive, in addition to the Finder or Windows Explorer. Right now we're looking at the contents of my desktop, which is the folder Client Projects. That's exactly the same as in the Finder, Client Projects. I see here eight folders, I double-click Client Projects, and I see eight folders. But look at what's very cool about Bridge.
First of all, we have these little bread crumbs going across the top, so if I click on desktop again, we move back up in the hierarchy. Now say that I want to view all of the files inside my Client Projects folder. I don't need to keep double-clicking and moving down and back and down and back. What I could do would be just to get to the parent folder, Client Projects, and then see this right-pointing chevron right here, choose Show Items from Subfolders. So this is going to flatten everything in there, and just show me everything that all those subfolders contain.
So every one of the files inside each of these folders and their subfolders are being shown to me in thumbnail view. Isn't that fantastic? It's extremely useful. We also see the empty folders, and if you want, you can choose to not look at the folders, I'm just going to turn off Show Folders from the View menu. What's also very useful is that here on the left, you can choose what exactly you want to see. So it's telling us, under file type, that we're looking at five Illustrator files, 12 InDesign documents, 70 jpegs.
I love this, so if I just want to see all the jpegs, I just click that and now we're only looking at jpegs. While I actually only want to look at InDesign documents, so I'll select InDesign documents, and select jpegs again to deselect them. Here's a way for me to preview all of my InDesign files at once. Let's go a little bit beyond that, though. Let's say that I want to look close up at an InDesign file, so I select Lost Highway, for example, one I've used a lot in these videos, and I see in the preview, let's make this a little bit bigger, I can see the cover, looks great, but you see how it says 1 out of 2? I click to the right, it shows me preview of page 2, but I know this document is longer, what is the problem? Well, InDesign is set by default to only save previews of the first two pages.
If you change your preference to show previews of more pages, then you'll see more pages previewed here in Bridge. Let me show you where to change that. Go to InDesign > Preferences > File Handling, like down here at the bottom, and under Saving InDesign Files, make sure that Always Save Preview Images with Documents is turned on, and change it from First 2 Pages to whatever you like. If you have a big hard drive and hard drive space is cheap these days, why not try All Pages? All that does is add a bunch of jpegs to the metadata of this file, for use by any programs that know how to access those jpegs, like Bridge.
You can change your Preview Size as well. I've found that if you leave it at the Medium 256x256, it's enough to discern the differences between quite different layouts. But if you want to see the text, then you're going to need to move to an Extra Large preview, so I'm going to go ahead and do that. Now this has not changed any InDesign documents that you've created already. If you've already created an InDesign file you're going to have to open it up, make a little change to it and save it again. Then, InDesign will generate the additional previews. But for any new document that you create from now on, InDesign will always generate those previews, which make them much more handy in Bridge.
I've already done this to a version of the Lost Highway file, so here I have Lost Highways 2014-better previews.indd, and now you see that it says 1 out of 8 pages. Let's actually change the workspace to focus on the preview and look at how beautiful this looks. I can page through every page, and see the text and I can even zoom in on the text if I wanted to. There's page 3, page 4, and so on. If you have enough hard drive space, I think it's time enough now to go ahead and change that old default of only saving the first two pages at a Medium preview.
Go ahead and change it to make previews of all your pages, and you'll be glad you did next time that you're searching through your files in Bridge.
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