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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.
All right, this next power shortcut I know is going to make someone smile really big, because I bet you've been bit by this issue. The issue I am talking about is I want to be able to move this yellow frame. Now I'd kind of set up a fun example, because you don't actually have to have a separate frame to have Fill and Stroke. You can put Fill and Stroke on the text frame. But this is just a simple example to show it. This yellow rectangle behind this text frame. So if I move the text frame, you can see there is a separate object there. So, I am going to go and undo that. What I want to be able to do is select that yellow object and move it separately from the text frame.
Now when these things are exactly on top of each other, there is really nowhere to click on the yellow frame. So, we are going to pretend that's the case. Here as long as I can see some portion of yellow frame that's not overlapped by the text frame, I can click on it directly, but sometimes it's just easier instead of trying hunting around to figure out where you can click, just click on the top object. That selects the top object of course. Then I want to select the next item behind it. And there's a shortcut for that. That's not the tip of this movie, but just as a reminder, Command-click or Ctrl-click lets you select through the stack of objects, and you can just keep clicking until you get to the object you want, if there's more than one object in that particular area. Okay.
Here's the thing I want trying to set up. I have the yellow frame selected and I now want to move it. So typically what you do to move something is you click on the selected item and you start dragging. Oh! What just happened? The text frame selected. Well, what's up with that? That wasn't selected. The yellow frame was what was selected. So let's undo that. The yellow frame is not selected now, because we accidentally selected the text frame, because it was in front. InDesign does this weird thing where it basically looks at what you clicked on, and even though you had another object selected, you clicked on another object before you started moving.
So there is actually fortunately a very graceful solution to this and a lot of people just haven't discovered it. So let's reselect that yellow rectangle. Command-click or Ctrl-click. Here's the thing, there's this little blue dot in the center of the selected item. Now a lot people just think, oh, that's just some visual cue to help me know that it's selected. Well, it actually has functionality. If you put your mouse on just the dot, you will see the cursor change ever so slightly. It loses the stem of the arrow. That's supposed to be a visual cue there.
You can use the center dot to move the selected item and make sure that you don't accidentally deselect it in the process. So that's very, very handy, especially when you're zoomed in. If I do Command+Plus or Ctrl+Plus and zoom in on this yellow rectangle and I can't even see the edges anymore. Well, now where do you press? Am I pressing on the other rectangle here if I click where my arrow is or am I going to get the text frame again? You are not really sure. You'll find out quick enough you are going to end up getting that text frame. So what we are going to do instead is to use the center dot.
Click the center dot here for the yellow object and that lets me move the rectangle independently of the text frame. We will zoom back out so we can actually see what we did, Command+Minus/Ctrl+Minus, and there you have it, a very easy solution to a scenario that actually happens quite often. You want to move an item that's selected behind some other items without accidentally deselecting along the way, use the center dot and you'll be much happier.
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