InDesign CS5 Essential Training
Illustration by John Hersey

Using the Story Editor


InDesign CS5 Essential Training

with David Blatner

Video: Using the Story Editor

It's time for me to talk about one of my favorite features in InDesign. It's not a particularly flashy feature but it is incredibly helpful to anyone who needs to write or edit text inside of InDesign. And that feature is called Story Editor, and it's like having a little Word Processor built right into InDesign. Let me show you. Now I have my Catalog file open here and my Editor has told me that I have to make a little bit of change to this text down here, so I'm going to zoom down into this lower left corner of this page and I need to edit some text inside this frame.
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  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 15s
    1. Creating color swatches
      5m 52s
    2. The danger and power of unnamed colors
      4m 33s
    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 14s
    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 35s
  18. 31m 6s
    1. Packaging for output
      4m 12s
    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

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Watch the Online Video Course InDesign CS5 Essential Training
10h 33m Beginner Apr 30, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Author David Blatner provides in-depth training on InDesign CS5, the print and interactive page layout application from Adobe, 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.

Topics include:
  • Navigating and customizing the workspace
  • Managing documents and pages
  • Rotating pages and spreads
  • Adjusting and mixing page sizes
  • Overriding master page items
  • Putting text on a path
  • Threading text frames
  • Applying strokes, fills, and other formatting effects
  • Nesting, grouping, and locking objects
  • Formatting: character-level and paragraph-level
  • Packaging, printing, and exporting
David Blatner

Using the Story Editor

It's time for me to talk about one of my favorite features in InDesign. It's not a particularly flashy feature but it is incredibly helpful to anyone who needs to write or edit text inside of InDesign. And that feature is called Story Editor, and it's like having a little Word Processor built right into InDesign. Let me show you. Now I have my Catalog file open here and my Editor has told me that I have to make a little bit of change to this text down here, so I'm going to zoom down into this lower left corner of this page and I need to edit some text inside this frame.

But the problem is that the text is so small and the text frame is so wide that the only way for me to see the text is by scrolling back and forth, left and right to see it all. That's really annoying and makes it very inefficient to edit text. But I know about Story Editor so I am going to edit it there. Let me show you how it works. I will select that text frame, go up to the Edit menu and choose Edit in Story Editor, or the shortcut is Command+Y or Ctrl+Y on Windows. Now Story Editor opens a little new window that is completely formatting neutral.

It's line ending neutral, in other words it just shows me the text as though I were editing in a Word Processor and it's so great because it's very easy to read and it shows me all the text, I don't have to scroll back and forth to see it. Now there is one problem with Story Editor in my opinion and that is it starts off by showing you this weird letter Gothic font, which I'd actually don't like reading. It's just not happy on my eye. But the good news is that InDesign lets you change that and you change that by going to the InDesign menu on the Mac or the Edit menu on Windows and choose the Preferences sub-menu Story Editor Display.

You can change the Story Editor Display to what ever you want it to be. I'd like something like Georgia, personally I am just going to type Geo so it guesses I want Georgia. I like that from my Preview Font and I am going to make this a little bit bigger so it's easier for me to read. I am getting a little bit older. I want to be able to see it really easily on screen, so I am going to make it 16 points as well. You could see you have a lot of different controls in here over how much space do you want in between each line, what color do you want the text to be. I like the black and white but you can have all kinds of options here if you are really into the old-style terminals you could change it into something like green on black, but both would drive me crazy.

So I am going to leave it set to black and white, the Ink on Paper theme and move on. I will actually change one more thing while I am here though. I am going to change this to the Barbell Cursor, because again as I am editing text, sometimes it's hard to see exactly where the cursor is. But if I change the Cursor Options to this Barbell text or one of these other options, it really pops off the screen. I'll show you what I mean. Click OK. It updates the font, it updates the size, and you could see the cursor really easily. Wherever I click it just really pops out at you, I love that feature. So now I can easily read this, make the change I want.

I will say change this to click here, maybe it's going to be interactive document, put a period at the end. Those are the changes I needed to change, and I can close it and it will update on the page. I can see that update if I scroll over to the right. This is what I was trying to avoid, right, the scrolling around, but you can see that the text has changed, so that's exactly what I wanted. Let me show you another example of Story Editor, I am going to zoom back to fit in window with the Cmd+Opt+0 or Ctrl+Alt+0 on Windows and I am going to look at this text frame up here in the upper left corner.

I can immediately see that there is overset text here, there is more text than can fit into that frame. Let's zoom in on that, I'll just click inside that frame and then press Cmd+2 or Ctrl+2 on Windows to zoom into 200%. And I can really say that's right. The text has dropped off here unfortunately. But how much text? Is there a whole paragraph missing or just one word missing or one character missing? Sometimes it's hard to know. Now most people would say well, I will just make the text frame bigger, but that's going to ruin my layout, so I don't want to do that.

I just want to see what's overset. So here again is one more use for Story Editor. I am going to open Story Editor by pressing Cmd+Y or Ctrl+Y on Windows and I can see immediately, there is my story, and look at this. See that little red line and this little gray line over here? That's how much text is overset. All of this stuff did not fit into the frame. That's incredibly helpful information because now I can edit it or I can copy it or I can do something with it, I could copy it, cut it out, and paste it some place else, whatever I need to do with that overset text. Now there is one other editorial like feature that I want to show here.

It's actually not a part of Story Editor but I do need to point it out because it's really cool. Under the Window menu, I am going to choose Info. That opens the Info panel and the Info panel when I'm editing text either of inside Story Editor or just in a regular layout window. Whenever I am editing text the Info panel gives me information about that text. For example, I can see here that it says 334+53. That means that this story, this whole story has 334 characters in it plus 53 overset, anything after the plus means it's overset.

That's the part that's over here that won't fit in the frame. It also shows me the number of words and lines and paragraphs. It doesn't know the number of lines because it's overset. It doesn't know what to do with overset lines, but it knows that there are seven extra words beyond that which can fit into the frame, so that's really cool. This is also useful when I want to find out how many words are there in this sentence? Let's say I can simply select the text in the sentence again, in Story Editor or on the document page and the Info panel updates and shows me there's 17 words in there.

Isn't that cool? I just love that feature. All right, I am going to close the Info panel and show you a couple of more things about Story Editor, which you absolutely need to know. One is, that that Cmd+Y feature or Ctrl+Y on Windows does more than just opens Story Editor. It synchronizes the Story Editor selection and the Layout selection. Here's what I mean, if I select this text and simply close Story Editor nothing happens. But if I select some text, like I will select these three words and use the keyboard shortcut, it synchronizes it, so what's selected inside the Layout menu is also selected inside Story Editor.

If I select the word greenhouse here and press the keyboard shortcut it switches back to the Layout Mode and synchronizes the selection so that the word greenhouse is selected here as well. That's a little thing but it turns out to be extremely efficient whenever you are trying to move back and forth between the two views. Select some text, press the keyboard shortcut and it syncs so that you'll have the same selection. Earlier on I mentioned that the Story Editor was formatting neutral, what does that mean? It means that it only shows you bold and italic. It won't show you superscripts.

It won't change the font for you. It doesn't show you any of the formatting except bolds and italics. That can be good and bad depending on what you want, but it is an important thing for you to know about. And the last thing I need to tell you about Story Editor is that you can see tables. A Table Layout is kind of wacky so I want to point it out to you, I am going to zoom back to the Fit Spread in Window, click inside my table over here in the lower right corner, and then zoom in, just so you can see that better with Cmd+2 or Ctrl+2 on Windows. This is a big table that I've created. I'm going to be talking about tables in a later chapter, but I just want to point out that if you do have tables in your document, you can even see those in Story Editor.

I will press Cmd+Y or Ctrl+Y on Windows and scroll up here so you can see this is what tables look like inside Story Editor. It first gives you a little table icon that you can roll up if you want to with that little twirly triangle thing. You can make the whole table go away or visible again just by clicking on that, and inside that it shows you Row number 1, Column number 1 and then Row number 1, Column number 2, Row number 1, Column number 3 and then Row number 2, so it's going to go one row at a time. And some people like seeing the tables like that and some people prefer to see columns first and then one row at a time.

Let me just show you what I mean. If I right-click or Ctrl+Click with a one-button mouse on the Table icon I can scroll to the bottom, way down near at the bottom you can see that there are two options arranged by rows or arranged by columns. There we go. Now I'm seeing it in Column View. So in Column number 1 I have Item Number, Example Flower and then blank, blank, blank down there. I'll actually type something here. Here is another example, and you'll see that as soon as I stop typing, it updates on the Layout page as well.

Now I will come down here and you can see there is Column 2 and I can say Type and then wait for a moment and it updates here. So you get the idea. That's how tables work in Story Editor. Whether you are editing really tiny four-point text at the bottom of a legal contract or text on a path or a table or any kind of long story, the Story Editor makes life so much easier.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about InDesign CS5 Essential Training .

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Q: In the “Exporting to PDF” video, the author states "The flattener, and how to control it, is an advanced topic that I cover in a later title."
Is this “later title” available on yet?
A: Unfortunately that title is still in development. However, the features are exactly the same in CS4, so please see Chapter 11 in InDesign CS4 Beyond the Basics.
Q: Can an image be placed into a cell in InDesign?
A: Yes,  but only as an anchored (inline) object. Cut the frame with the Selection tool, switch to the Type tool, click in the cell, and Paste.
Q: Is it possible to load or import pages from one document to another in InDesign CS5?
A: Pages cannot be “loaded”, but they can be "pushed" from one document to another by choosing Layout > Pages > Move Pages.
Q: When I place an image, it is distorted or pixilated to the point of not being able to use it. I can place or open those same images in Photoshop or Illustrator and they are fine.
A: You are likely seeing the low-resolution preview. To see high resolution or vector artwork, choose View > Display Performance > High Quality.
Q: When I place an image, it is distorted or pixilated to the point of not being able to use it. I can place or open those same images in Photoshop or Illustrator and they are fine.
A: You are likely seeing the low-resolution preview. To see high resolution or vector artwork, choose View > Display Performance > High Quality.
Q: I'm looking for a tutorial that will allow me to use InDesign to create files that can be emailed. I guess they have to be converted to HTML first? Is that possible?
A: If you are trying to make an HTML email, then InDesign really isn't the tool for you. It's HTML abilities are extremely limited. Look toward Dreamweaver for that. Alternatively, you could create a layout in InDesign, then export the page as a JPEG image and put that in the email.
Q: Since I upgraded to the new version of InDesign, when I click the "edit original" button in the Links panel, the pictures open in Preview instead of Photoshop
A: "Here are two articles about this problem: 
Q: I cannot see files on the desktop when in InDesign.
A: If you are using the Mac OS, you may need to turn off Window > Application Frame in order to see files behind InDesign (such as those on the Finder Desktop). If you are on Windows, you are seeing a difference between Mac and Windows. In Windows, the application is always living inside the application frame. If you un-maximize the windows frame, you can drag it smaller so you see the desktop and drag to or from it.
Q: I am currently working on an InDesign document originally created in Spanish. I am translating it to English and I need to change the language preference to be able to use the spell check in English. I have changed it in Preferences, but when I go to do the spell check on the document it is still in Spanish. How can I change the spell check to English?
A: Changing the language in preferences does not change the document or text language. You need to change the langauge in the paragraph style or the character style or in the Character panel or the Control panel (select the text first).
Q: In the movie, "Inserting, deleting, and moving pages" the author claims you can Shift-click text and the red overset symbol (a plus sign) will disappear. This isn't working for me.
A: Shift-clicking to make text automatically flow to the next text box or boxes only works when you place text from a loaded cursor. Shift-clicking existing text will not affect it.
Instead, if the overset text symbol appears in an existing text frame, choose the Selection tool and click the symbol to load the text in your cursor. Then Shift-click inside the next text frame to start it auto-flowing from there.
Q: I want to add a 2-page spread following a 1-page spread, but when I insert two new pages, InDesign creates a 3-page spread. How do I solve this?
A: If you're seeing 3-page spreads, turn on Allow Document Pages to Shuffle (and Allow Selected Spread to Shuffle) from the Pages panel menu.
Q: The keys used for navigating to the previous or next spread in a layout (Command+Page Up/Command+Page Down) don't appear on my laptop keyboard and the arrow keys don't work. What keys should I use?
A: Most laptop keyboards don't have these keys anymore. Look for a "modifier" key (such as the Alt or Fn keys) to press to access these keys. For example, on a Macbook Pro, you'd press Command and then Fn+Up Arrow to invoke Next Spread.
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