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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.
While there's nothing wrong with using the File Place command or its shortcuts, Command+D or Ctrl+D, there's actually another method of placing images or any file that you place in InDesign and that's drag-and-drop from, say, the desktop or the explorer, if you are on Windows. Nothing wrong with either method. They are both reasonable. Some people like drag-and-drop because it is more visual and they can drag from the folder or the files to the desktop or whatever. So to set this up though, you really need to be able to see your desktop. So I'm going to make the InDesign application window just a little bit smaller.
I am going to click the green button there and that makes the application window a slightly smaller so I can actually see the desktop behind. I am actually going to use a keyboard shortcut on the Mac to hide everything, but InDesign. That's Command+Option+H. Windows doesn't have that equivalent, at least in XP. It might have something like that in Vista that I am not aware of. But anyway, I want to be able to see the desktop or the explorer behind InDesign and that's what I've got set up here. So I am going to click on the desktop and that brings up any windows that were active or open inside the desktop or explorer.
So then I have my Links files here and I can see the images that I want to place. Now if I just drag a single file from my desktop into InDesign, watch what happens. It just places the file. It creates a frame for you the size of the image you are placing and drops it in your page. So you didn't actually have to create the frame first. InDesign will do that. If you dragged it into an existing frame that was on the page, then it would place it into that frame. So I am going to switch back to InDesign and undo this, Command+Z, and it's like it never happened. Let's go back to the desktop by clicking in the window that I can see and this time, instead of just dragging one file, I am going to select multiple files and drag them all together.
Now what's going to happen here is InDesign doesn't place them on the page automatically and it doesn't look like it's done anything. Just I see a black arrow. But when I switch back to InDesign, you'll see that I have the Multi-File Place gun, which is really cool. Here's an issue though. You typically don't want to switch back to InDesign just by clicking into the InDesign window. Let me show you why. Because when you click into the window, InDesign thinks that you're clicking with the loaded cursor. So it actually ends up placing that first image, which isn't what I wanted.
So I am going to undo it and I want to pretend that I have set this back up again. So I am back in the desktop and I am just using my application switcher shortcut. On the Mac and PC, it's Command+Tab or Ctrl+Tab to switch back and forth between applications. So if I bring up Command+Tab, I can switch back and forth between Bridge and the Finder or the desktop and InDesign. Using this method to get back to InDesign is a lot better because it doesn't accidentally place one of the images in the loaded cursor. Okay.
So drag-and-drop if you select more than one image, switch to the application using your switching application shortcut or you can go down to the dock or the taskbar and click on the Application icon. That's another way to do it. That brings you back to InDesign and then you can proceed to place these images where you want them on the current page or return to a different page and click and so forth. So drag-and-drop from the Finder, pretty handy when you already have the file you want located on your desktop.
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