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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, let's cover the difference between a Selection tool and a Direct Selection tool and then just some basics along the way that you should just pick up if you haven't figure them out already. So the Black Arrow tool, the Selection tool, that's used to select the top level of things. So as an example, if I click on this frame, the frame has some content in it. It has a picture inside that. That picture is a separate object that sits within inside that frame. So when I click on that with the Selection tool, I am just selecting its container.
If I want to get to that content within that container, I would need to use the Direct Select tool. So if I click on the White Arrow tool, the Direct Selection tool and click on any frame that has content in it, I skip right through the frame and go straight to the content. That's why it's kind of called the Direct Selection tool. You select directly to the content that's inside that. Now, there is a variety of different ways to switch back and forth between the tools. You don't literally have to go and click on the Tools in the Tools panel and then go make your selection.
You can automate some of this. So, for instance, both the Selection tool and the Direct Selection tool have simple keyboard shortcuts. A is the Direct Selection tool. V is the regular Selection tool. So if I just quickly want to get to that content, I can just press the letter A and click and I've got that flower image selected. If I press the letter V right now, that will switch me back to the Selection tool and then I can just click on the frame again. So that's one way to toggle back and forth. There is another way to toggle that doesn't require having to press any keys on the keyboard and that's just to simply double-click.
So let's start with nothing selected. If I double-click on this frame, that switches me to the Direct Selection tool. If you take a look at the Tools panel, it now has the White Arrow selected. If I notice though, I don't actually have the frame content, the flower, selected. I have the path of the frame selected. So it requires one more click to actually then grab the content. You know you've got the content in most cases because you see the grabber hand. That's kind of your visual clue. And then in this case, the image is much bigger than the frame, so you see the image's bounding box as opposed to the frame's bounding box.
Now, you can double-click again, and that will take you back up to the frame and switch you back to the Selection tool. So just some easy ways to go back and forth. Just a variety of clicking with the mouse, double-click, double-click again, or pressing V or A is another way to control it explicitly. Same thing with the text frame. If you double-click with the Selection tool, you are put into the frame and actually selecting the text of that text frame. You have been switched to the Text tool, and then to get out of the Text tool and go back to the Selection tool, just press the Escape key.
You can't press V in this context because that will actually enter the letter V into your selected text. Just press the Escape key to switch back up to the frame and switch to the regular Arrow tool again, the Selection tool again. So those are some pretty handy shortcuts. The other thing to remind you about is that you can get to the regular Selection tool from any other tool by holding down yet another modifier key. If you hold down the Command key. So right now I am in the Rectangle tool. I could be in Rotate or the Hand tool. It doesn't really matter what tool you are in.
From any tool, on the Mac, you'd hold down the Command key. You'll see the cursor temporarily changes to the Selection tool, Black Arrow. I am going to let go the Command key. On Windows, you would hold down Ctrl, same thing, and that would toggle your current tool to the Selection tool. So it lets you make another selection, and then when you let go of the key, it goes back to whatever tool you were last using. So there is your basic reminders of just differences and how to go back and forth between the regular Selection tool, and the Direct Selection tool.
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