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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.
So some InDesign users can be really organized and they utilize groups extensively. They even create what's called nested groups, so groups within groups. The problem with that is that selecting items within a group or selecting a nested group within another nested group can be a little tricky if you don't really know some shortcuts here. So we are going to walk through some of these scenarios. First, let's create a group again. So I am going to drag select with the Selection tool across these five items here and then I will Shift-click on that background object, because I don't want that to be part of the group, and I am going to group that's Command+G or Ctrl+G. Great, there's one group.
It gives me the dash line that indicates that is a group. I am going to turn this text frame, in this yellow text frame into a group. So I have selected them both by Shift- clicking, Command+G or Ctrl+G. Now I have a second group. I am actually going to select these two objects now. This group of two objects along with this frame and turn it into a group, Command+G, Ctrl+G. Then I will Shift- click to select in that group and we'll wrap these two groups into yet another group. Now this is kind of a silly example for this particular page design, because this really not all that meaningful, but this is just for demonstration purposes.
It's quite common to have groups within groups within groups. It might have an advertisement on an article page and everything within that ad is a group and there might even be some subgroups within the advertisements. So you can imagine that this is a useful metaphor to organize a page. Now it comes time to actually operating and working on items within a group. Now the most direct way to select any single item, it's as if the groups are nonexistent here, is to use the Direct Selection tool. So if I press the letter A, that toggles me or switches me to the hollow arrow, the white arrow and then I can just click on any object whether it's in a group or not and it just goes directly to that object.
So if I click in that text frame, it ignores the fact that is a one group followed by another group. That's like four different groups before I would get to that text frame. The Direct Selection tool just cuts right through that and gives me that text frame directly. That's all great, but what if I actually wanted to select the subgroup of those five rectangles? That is a group within a group within a group. I have lost track, but you get the idea. Well, how am I going to do that? Direct Select just gives me that one object that I clicked on. If I double-click once the item is selected, that will toggle me back to the Selection tool and select the frame in its bounding box as opposed to the path.
But when I click on any other object now, I don't go to the subgroup of those five rectangles. I go all the way out to the parent group. What to do, what to do? Well, it turns out that there are actually some hierarchy buttons. It looks like these little Org Chart buttons helping the Control panel and they actually come pretty useful to select items within groups on the page. So right now, if I click this Down Arrow, it's actually going to go down and select each subgroup within a particular group.
It basically lets me walk with because sometimes called the tree. So I can go up to select that particular object's container and if I clicked the up button again, it's going to go to the uber group that has all of these in it. If I go down, that selects the next sub-container, but now if I click Down again, it's going to dive into that group. I want to go to the other group that's within this subgroup here. So just to recap, this is one group, this is another group. This text frame here is a subgroup within this group here.
I don't want to dive in there. I want to dive to here. So that's when you use the sideways buttons. This lets you go within the same level to the next object within the same level. So Up and Down goes up and down the tree or node and then the sideways buttons work within the same node. I know it sounds a little geeky and it's kind of weird, but believe it or not they actually come in quite handy in a complexly structured document. If you want to go deeper inside within a particular level, then you can go back up to the Down or Up tree buttons here.
If I clicked the Down button, now I'm starting to get an object within that group level and I can use the sideways buttons to go navigate within that particular group as well. So hopefully that made sense. You might need to watch this video one more time. It is kind of a complex example, but hopefully you've learned some basics here that just because a document has been organized in such a way, it doesn't mean you can't quickly and easily get to the component parts of it. These are especially helpful if you consume a document that was designed by someone else and you have really no idea what the structure is, you just inherited it, take a look for those what I call the Org Chart buttons.
It might just come in handy and help you decipher what the heck is going on with that document that you got from someone else.
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