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Author David Blatner provides in-depth training on InDesign CS5, Adobe's print and interactive page layout application, in InDesign CS5 Essential Training. The course shows how to create new documents with strong and flexible master pages, precisely position text and graphics, prepare documents for print, and export designs as interactive PDF or Flash SWF files. Exercise files are included with the course.
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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