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Like other page layout applications, InDesign allows users to control the appearance of every element on a page. It helps format elements with style sheets, which collect formatting attributes for easy replication. But that's where the similarities end. InDesign CS3 One-on-One: Style Sheets demonstrates why InDesign's style sheets are far more powerful than anything found in any other page layout program. Pioneering electronic publisher and author Deke McClelland goes to the heart of InDesign's style sheets, and discusses how they define and guide just about every other program feature. He covers how to format words, paragraphs, whole frames, objects, tables, and even entire stories with a single click. Exercise files accompany the course.
Download Deke's customized keyboard layouts for InDesign Style Sheets from the Exercise Files tab.
In this exercise, we are going to lay down a sequence of squares that will ultimately serve as our Scrabble tiles. By the way I am working in that same Advertisement.indd document that I opened in the previous exercise. I have gone ahead and undone the change to the font, because I like that Garamond Premier Pro semi bold better than the alternative. Anyway, I am going to lay down a sequence of squares and I invite you to do the same, using this guy right here, the Rectangle Frame Tool. You could also use a rectangle tool if you wanted to, really for our purposes the only difference is that will get invisible squares by default using a Rectangle Frame Tool and that's what I want.
So I am going to go ahead and grab this tool and it has a keyboard shortcut of F for frame because it's designed to create frames that all accommodate text and place graphics. Now, I am going to go ahead and click right at this point there, right at the intersection of the margin guides essentially in the upper left corner of the document and notice that we are seeing the last Width and Height values that we used for a rectangle that was in a previous chapter. I was creating those little slim sort of milky white rectangles to appear behind the cells and that's how big they were.
I am going to change these values to 10 and 10. So both Width and Height should be 10 and then I click OK in order to generate that square. Now, I want to create four other versions of the square and I could do it just by clicking again and adding another square and so on, you know that kind of number there if I wanted to or I can take advantage of this pretty nifty function inside of InDesign, I don't use it a ton but when I needed it comes in handy. Under the Edit menu, you choose the Step and Repeat command and what you want to do is you want to enter the Repeat Count that the number of items you want to add to the page.
In all we want four Scrabble tiles that means we want to add three, so I will go ahead and press type 3. Now if you type 3 and you get a warning for example, if this value set to something extraordinary. Let's say I had it say because I ran into this earlier. Let's say I had these values set to something along these lines where I had this whopping big Vertical Offset value and nothing for Horizontal Offset at this point and I say gosh, I want three copies. As soon as I enter 3 and press a Tab Key, InDesign gets mad at me and says, hey you can't do that man, that would make your objects go outside of the pasteboard and a pasteboard is really wide.
It's insanely wide. It goes off to the left and right, these insane amounts, but up and down you barely have any room at all. So when you have a Vertical Offset Value, you can't do this man and not that only might get whine at you this is InDesign talking. Not only am I going whine at you, but I am also going to as soon as you click OK reset your Repeat Count Value. Not even to you let you entertain the notion of doing what you are just doing. The Preview is off so it's like I am not really violating any real rules. It is all theoretical at this point but going to slap my hand.
It's going to require me to change this value before I do anything. Got to change Vertical Offset and I have to be smart enough to know that's the problem. Then press the Tab Key and go back to our Repeat Count here and change it to 3 and press Tab and this time it's happy. This time it won't whine at me. Alright. So I am going to change the Horizontal Offset Value to 11 because I really don't know how much of a value I want. I wanted to fill the entire width of the page and I could have measured it and gotten out a calculator and figured out exactly what the gaps needed to be, but even I am not that fastidious.
It's insane. So I am going to go ahead and enter that value. Just press the Tab Key and turn on Preview so I can see what I am doing and you know that's not exactly right, but I can fix it in a moment. Now, one way to fix it is with preview on. I could then click inside Horizontal Offset and I could press the Up Arrow Key and just kind of nudging that right hand rectangle. I can keep nudging it over to the right and 11p8 so 11 picas, 8 points. It looks like I got a match. It looks like I have done a pretty good job. So that's one way to work, but I am going to show you a different way to work because we don't know that that's exactly right.
I do tend to be that fastidious, so I'll just enter 11 and also I want to show you another feature here. I will click OK and then what I am going to do is I am going to grab this guy. I am going to get my black arrow tool there. I am going to grab this guy and I am going to scud him over manually, drag him over to the right so that he snaps into place and then I will grab all these of fellows by marqueeing them and I am going to go the Window menu and I am going to choose Object & Layout and then choose Align to bring up the Align Palette and that Shift+F7 of course, as you can see on screen. The option that I am interested in is this guy right there.
Change it to align to selection then click on this Alignment Option right there that Distribution Option that is and you get an even headed distribution of these objects across the width of the page. So a couple of different ways to work, it's up to you. I am going to grab this guy and actually move him over here because those palettes are useful to have up on screen and that's it for this exercise. In the next exercise we will add some text to each one of these tiles. Stay tuned.
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