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Selecting objects

From: InDesign CS5 Essential Training

Video: Selecting objects

You've seen me selecting objects on pages throughout all the earlier movies. But let's take a moment to really look at the details of selecting objects, because there are so subtle and sometimes confusing aspects to this seemingly simple task. The basic method for selecting any object in InDesign is to use the Selection tool, otherwise known as the Black Arrow tool. The Selection tool lets you select objects or sometimes object inside of other objects. Let me show you what I mean. If I want to select this text frame, I hover the cursor over it, and you'll see that it highlights.

Selecting objects

You've seen me selecting objects on pages throughout all the earlier movies. But let's take a moment to really look at the details of selecting objects, because there are so subtle and sometimes confusing aspects to this seemingly simple task. The basic method for selecting any object in InDesign is to use the Selection tool, otherwise known as the Black Arrow tool. The Selection tool lets you select objects or sometimes object inside of other objects. Let me show you what I mean. If I want to select this text frame, I hover the cursor over it, and you'll see that it highlights.

A blue line goes around the frame. If I click on it, it becomes selected. I can see the corner and side handles around it. Now I can move it around my page on to pasteboard or whatever. If I place my cursor on top of an image frame, something slightly different happens. The frame gets highlighted, but I also see this little round thing in the middle, I call it the doughnut or the bagel. But technically it's called the Content Grabber, because it allows you to grab the content inside the frame.

So if click out here, not on top of that content grabber. I select the frame itself that lets me move it. But if I come over here and click on the grabber, if I just click once, you'll see that something else gets selected, not the frame, but this big rectangle out here, that's the image, and that rectangle is the bounding box of the image. That is the outside edges of the image inside that frame. Now as I click and drag, I move the image inside the frame, it's completely separate. In order to get back to the frame itself, I could either click off of it or click on again, but that's kind of tedious.

Instead just double click, double click switches to the frame. Now while we are in a double clicking mood, I should point out that double clicking again switches back to the content. So that's another way that you can move back and forth between the frame and the content, just double click. I'll come over here, and I'll click once, you can see it selects the frame, double click, and it selects the content, just as simple as that. Now one of the most important keyboard shortcuts that I can tell you is Command+Shift+A or Ctrl+Shift+A on Windows.

And that means deselect all. If you want to use the slow menu way, you'd go up to the Edit menu and choose Deselect All. But again, I think that keyboard shortcut is going to be very important, and you'll why in future movies. So I really encourage you to get that one into your hands. Command+Shift+A, or Ctrl+ Shift+A to deselect all. That deselects everything on the page. The opposite of that is just Command+A or Ctrl+A to select everything on the spread. In InDesign you can only select objects on the current spread. You can't select things on two or more different spreads at the same time.

So Command+A or Ctrl+A to select all. Command+Shift+A or Ctrl+Shift+A to deselect all. Now what happens if you have one object sitting on top of another object? I'll select this object here, and I can see this dash line around it, and the dash line is an indicator that this is more than one object that has been grouped together, and I'll be talking about grouping objects in a later chapter. But for right now, just understand that when you have a group of objects, they act like a single object in some ways. I can click on move it around in all of those objects move at the same time.

But this group is on top of another frame. There is that big blue frame behind there. InDesign lets me click through an object to an object behind, if you hold on the Command key or Ctrl key on Windows and click. So I click once to select the top most object, and then Command or Ctrl click, and it actually clicks through that object to the object below. If there was an object behind that one I could Command or Ctrl click again, and it works through that blue frame, to whatever is behind it. In this case it's just those two frames, so I am going to stay there.

Back on the subject of groups one more time, I want to point out that that double-clicking behavior that we saw earlier with images, also works with groups. I have come back here and I have selected this group, but now I am going to double click on the group, and you'll see what happens? It selects inside the group to one of the objects inside the group. I'll double click over here, and you can see that it selected this object once I have selected one of those, actually I don't even need to double click, because InDesign understands that I'm working inside that group. So I can select individual objects within the group.

When I want to move back up to select the entire group, I press the Escape. Escape is a little shortcut in InDesign, which means move up a level. In other words, select whatever was containing this object. So when I hit Escape it selected the group that contained that little flower petal. If I hit Escape again, it selects another group, which was containing this whole flower image. So Escape is a great way to move up a level when you have objects in a group, or when they're nested. Shift+Escape does just the opposite.

Shift+Escape moves down into selecting an individual object inside the group. So that's the same thing as double clicking on it, but you know me, I like keyboard shortcuts, so that's an important one to keep in mind. Same thing works with images as well. If I have an image selected, this graphic frame is selected here, if I press Shift+Escape, it selects inside the frame to select the image that's there. Press Escape, and it moves up a level and selects the frame itself. So now that you've got the hang of selecting objects in your documents, let's explore how to format those objects, starting with how to assign a fill or stroke color.

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This video is part of

Image for InDesign CS5 Essential Training
InDesign CS5 Essential Training

135 video lessons · 89259 viewers

David Blatner
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 5m 50s
    1. Welcome
      1m 33s
    2. What is InDesign CS5?
      2m 26s
    3. Using the exercise files
      1m 51s
  2. 54m 49s
    1. Understanding the Application window
      6m 0s
    2. Navigating pages
      6m 39s
    3. Zooming and magnifying
      6m 57s
    4. Managing more than one document window
      3m 36s
    5. Setting rulers and measurements
      2m 9s
    6. Positioning panels correctly
      6m 28s
    7. Saving time by making workspaces
      3m 24s
    8. Setting the view quality of artwork
      4m 9s
    9. Adjusting View and Preview settings
      4m 56s
    10. Rotating pages and spreads
      3m 2s
    11. Displaying a new view with the New Window feature
      3m 29s
    12. Setting application and document preferences
      4m 0s
  3. 21m 31s
    1. Using the Tool panel
      8m 1s
    2. Learning and editing keyboard shortcuts
      6m 24s
    3. Working with spring-loaded tool shortcuts
      1m 17s
    4. Using contextual menus
      2m 51s
    5. Choosing menu items with Quick Apply
      2m 58s
  4. 45m 25s
    1. Creating new documents
      7m 28s
    2. Saving and reverting documents
      3m 41s
    3. Using multiple Undo and Revert
      4m 28s
    4. Setting margin and column guides
      5m 16s
    5. Using ruler guides
      8m 10s
    6. Bleeding colors or images off the side of the page
      4m 29s
    7. Saving objects in libraries
      4m 49s
    8. Exporting and importing page snippets
      4m 29s
    9. Saving for CS4 with IDML
      2m 35s
  5. 31m 18s
    1. Inserting, deleting, and moving pages
      7m 23s
    2. Changing page size
      6m 14s
    3. Adding page numbering
      3m 43s
    4. Changing page numbering with sections
      5m 58s
    5. Creating and applying master pages
      5m 20s
    6. Overriding master page items
      2m 40s
  6. 1h 21m
    1. Understanding text frames
      4m 6s
    2. Typing and editing text
      4m 36s
    3. Filling with placeholder text
      2m 38s
    4. Inserting special characters
      4m 43s
    5. Importing text
      7m 49s
    6. Threading text frames
      4m 1s
    7. Setting text frame columns and insets
      6m 32s
    8. Setting vertical justification and first baseline position
      6m 9s
    9. Putting text on a path
      6m 51s
    10. Using the Story Editor
      8m 43s
    11. Checking spelling
      7m 42s
    12. Using Find/Change
      9m 25s
    13. Tracking text changes
      8m 1s
  7. 49m 50s
    1. Importing graphics
      8m 11s
    2. Importing from Mini Bridge
      5m 27s
    3. Using the Links panel
      6m 34s
    4. Embedding links
      2m 37s
    5. Editing graphics in their original app
      3m 14s
    6. Fitting graphics to a frame
      6m 12s
    7. Taking advantage of image transparency and clipping paths
      4m 53s
    8. Adding live captions
      5m 56s
    9. Colorizing images
      2m 1s
    10. Turning image layers on and off
      4m 45s
  8. 46m 15s
    1. Selecting objects
      5m 32s
    2. Applying basic strokes and fills
      8m 18s
    3. Using advanced strokes
      3m 28s
    4. Adjusting transparency
      4m 38s
    5. Adding drop shadows
      6m 41s
    6. Applying feathering
      4m 25s
    7. Copying formatting with the Eyedropper tool
      4m 35s
    8. Finding and changing object formatting
      4m 50s
    9. Making polygons and starbursts
      3m 48s
  9. 22m 56s
    1. Making interactive documents
      2m 6s
    2. Adding hyperlinks
      5m 52s
    3. Building bookmarks
      3m 38s
    4. Creating buttons
      8m 57s
    5. Animating an object
      2m 23s
  10. 23m 29s
    1. Creating color swatches
      5m 52s
    2. The danger and power of unnamed colors
      4m 47s
    3. Building tint swatches
      2m 18s
    4. Creating gradient swatches
      3m 56s
    5. Applying gradients
      6m 36s
  11. 50m 0s
    1. Positioning objects with the Page Gap tool
      2m 53s
    2. Stacking objects
      2m 13s
    3. Creating and controlling layers
      3m 53s
    4. Managing objects in the Layers panel
      3m 37s
    5. Nesting objects
      2m 46s
    6. Editing frame and path shapes
      4m 6s
    7. Adding rounded corners and other corner options
      3m 57s
    8. Grouping objects
      3m 14s
    9. Locking objects
      2m 39s
    10. Aligning and distributing
      5m 43s
    11. Understanding text wrap
      8m 13s
    12. Using anchored objects
      6m 46s
  12. 18m 49s
    1. Duplicating objects
      5m 39s
    2. Rotating objects
      3m 3s
    3. Scaling objects
      3m 57s
    4. Mirroring objects
      3m 46s
    5. Using the Transform Again feature
      2m 24s
  13. 25m 52s
    1. Applying basic character styling
      7m 8s
    2. Applying advanced character formatting
      4m 54s
    3. Changing case
      2m 51s
    4. Understanding OpenType features
      3m 19s
    5. Using Find/Change for text formatting
      3m 18s
    6. Using Find Font
      4m 22s
  14. 45m 27s
    1. Applying formatting to a paragraph
      4m 14s
    2. Spanning a paragraph across multiple columns
      3m 5s
    3. Splitting a paragraph into multiple columns
      2m 1s
    4. Using drop caps
      3m 16s
    5. Adjusting text hyphenation
      3m 21s
    6. Fine-tuning justified text
      4m 19s
    7. Setting tabs
      5m 54s
    8. Aligning to a baseline grid
      4m 24s
    9. Controlling orphans and widows with Keep Options
      2m 39s
    10. Adding rules (lines) above or below a paragraph
      3m 14s
    11. Adding automatic bullets
      4m 39s
    12. Working with numbered lists
      4m 21s
  15. 31m 3s
    1. Creating and applying paragraph styles
      6m 34s
    2. Using character styles
      5m 43s
    3. Applying styles automatically with Nested Styles
      7m 19s
    4. Using object styles
      3m 27s
    5. Using Quick Apply with styles
      2m 49s
    6. Cleaning up a local formatting mess
      5m 11s
  16. 37m 0s
    1. Creating a table
      5m 54s
    2. Adjusting rows and columns
      6m 35s
    3. Formatting a table
      8m 5s
    4. Adding headers and footers
      1m 58s
    5. Applying table styles
      5m 32s
    6. Adding Microsoft Word and Excel tables
      8m 56s
  17. 10m 26s
    1. Checking your document with the Preflight panel
      2m 54s
    2. Creating a custom preflight profile
      4m 45s
    3. Checking color with the Separations Preview
      2m 47s
  18. 31m 7s
    1. Packaging for output
      4m 13s
    2. Using the Print dialog box
      10m 22s
    3. Exporting a PDF
      8m 47s
    4. Exporting an interactive PDF
      3m 59s
    5. Exporting text
      1m 36s
    6. Exporting SWF files
      2m 10s
  19. 1m 32s
    1. Finding more information and help
      1m 12s
    2. Goodbye
      20s

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