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David Blatner brings his knowledge of and passion for InDesign to the latest release of this state-of-the-art publishing program, showing how to harness its power and functionality. InDesign CS4 Beyond the Basics covers the process of publishing with an eye on the program's latest nuances: optimizing page layouts, automating InDesign with Data Merge and XML, exploring interactive documents (including making movies), and exporting publications to a variety of formats. Exercise files accompany the course.
In the last movie I mentioned how you can create all kinds of cool effects InDesign without ever having to use another program, but the truth is that sometimes it really is better to use a different program for some effects. The good news is that InDesign plays well with its Creative Suite friends. For example, sometimes I need to accomplish a tricky effect, but maintain my vector lines. That's when I pull out my favorite vector program, Adobe Illustrator. I am going to apply an interesting effect to this number five red logo. Currently it's grouped, so I will go to the Object menu and ungroup it and select just that red logo with a number five in it and I am going to copy it out, switch over to Illustrator, create a new document and paste it in here.
The fact that you can copy and paste objects between Illustrator and InDesign means that you can create all kinds of really interesting effects. In this case while that object that I pasted is selected, I will go to the Effect menu, scroll down to 3D and I am going to Extrude & Bevel that. Let's make it look to the other direction. Click on More Options and set my light source in Illustrator over the left side, click OK. So that's looking pretty good. I have made my 3D looking effect, but now I need to get it back into InDesign. How do I do it? Well, there is two options. Let me show you both of them.
First I could select it copy it and copy it and come back to InDesign and paste. When I paste it comes in as actual editable vector objects in InDesign. Let's move that up here and zoom in so we can see. It looks like a solid object, with a 3D effect applied to it, but if I switch to the direct selection tool by pressing A, you can see that's actually made up of lots and lots of tiny objects. In some cases that's a benefit. For example, I could actually select each one of these objects and change its fill or color. If I want to change the color of one of those objects I just select it with the direct select tool, go to the Swatches panel and change it to anything else I want.
Here I will change the tint of that foreground color to let's say 50% of it. I am not saying it's attractive, I am just saying that you can do it. The problem with doing it this way, with copying and pasting, is it normally you get lots and lots of different objects, but it's very hard to edit it later. Let's say I want to revolve this the other direction instead. Well, I am stuck if there is already vector objects here in InDesign. So I am going to select this whole group, delete it and go back to Illustrator and show you the other way, the way that I typically would do this, which is to save it as an Illustrator file.
Save As, I am going to save this out on my desktop as No5.ai, click Save, click OK and now I want to bring this into InDesign. There is various ways that you can do this. I will just use the Place command. I will go back to InDesign, say Place, choose No5.ai and click Open. Now when I place this, you can see that it looks almost exactly the same, but it's an actual Illustrator file and because it's an Illustrator file, it's very easy to edit it later by Option+double clicking or Alt+double clicking on Windows, which launches Illustrator and lets me change it.
Here I will go to the Appearance panel and I will adjust my Extrude & Bevel to make this look the other direction, just change that angle, change the angle of the lighting click OK, Save it, close it, come back to InDesign and we can see that it updates immediately. That whole edit original feature is really helpful. I love being able to go back and forth between Illustrator and InDesign that easily. Now this whole copy and paste thing between InDesign and Illustrator is cool and it's very powerful, but it doesn't always work the way you would expect. For example, I will zoom back out here to Fit in Window and go to the next page with Shift+Page Down. Let's grab a bunch of text here, maybe this whole column and I am going to copy that out and come back to the Illustrator, create a New Document and paste this.
In this case, the text doesn't come in, just as objects the way you would expect it to. It's so complex. There is so many words, so many characters that Illustrator actually has to outline some of it. So if I click OK, I can see that some of it is text and some of it is outlined. It's actually pretty horrible. I wish that InDesign and Illustrator worked more closely together, but it just doesn't all of the time. So copy and paste simple objects, simple outlines, but not big chunks of text. That rule goes the other way as well. You don't want to copy out complex artwork from Illustrator and try and paste it into InDesign. Simple logos are great, but if you are starting to do gradients meshes and all kinds of complex stuff in Illustrator, you are not going to get the quality you want when you paste that into InDesign. In general you just place to import your Illustrator files. It's more reliable, more efficient, but copy and paste can work, but reserve it for when you have relatively simple artwork and when you really need to make changes to those vectors in InDesign.
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