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It's time for me to talk about one of my favorite features in InDesign. It's not a particularly flashy feature, but it's incredibly helpful to anyone who needs to write or edit text inside InDesign. And that feature is Story Editor. And it's like having a little Word Processor built right into InDesign. Let me show you. I have my roux_article file open from the Exercise folder and I am going to jump to the second spread by pressing Option+Page Down or Alt+Page Down. I want to edit some of the text in here, but instead of zooming in and trying to find the text, I'm simply going to select the frame itself, go to the Edit menu and choose Edit in Story Editor, or I could Command+Y or Ctrl+Y on Windows.
Up comes a nice neutral window, just like a Text Editor. I'm not distracted by fonts or size or anything like that, it's just a neutral window and I can make this as wide as I want and it will reflow to any size. And I will tell you the one thing that I really dislike about Story Editor and that is the default font that it comes with. Who wants to read that font, it's crazy. I'd rather use a font that I can read easily on screen. Fortunately you can do that; you can make that change by going to the Preferences dialog box.
I am going to open Preferences by pressing Command+K on the Mac or Ctrl+K on Windows, up comes the Preferences dialog box and I am going to click on the Story Editor Display pane. Here we can see that the Font is that the Letter Gothic which I think is crazy. So I am going to select that and type Georgia instead, I like reading Georgia, you can pick any font you want, but I find that very easy to read. I am also going to change the Line Spacing to something a little bit larger, like 150% and I am going to change the Size to 16 points, so it's really easy to see on screen.
There are many other things you can change in here as well, like the Theme, you could change Ink On Paper or if you really want to go crazy, go Yellow On Black, now that's hard to read. I am going to go back to Black On White Ink On Paper. The one last thing I'm definitely going to change here is the Cursor Options. You know how sometimes the text cursor is so small that it's hard to find it easily, well, I can change it here to Barbell, it will only change it inside the Story editor, but you'll see it's great. I will click OK, the font updates and look at that cursor, it's flashing, it's big, I can immediately see exactly where it is.
I will click before that H. Now as I said the Story Editor does not show fonts or size or most formatting of your text. What it does show is Bold and Italic, so over here where we have some texts in Italic, it does show that. I am going to move the Story Editor window over to the right a little bit, so we can see both the text on the page and the story editor. That text is so small that you won't be able to see this very well. But I am just going to grab some of this text up here, like the end of that paragraph and delete it. You'll see a slight pause and then as soon as you're done in the Story Editor, as soon as InDesign recognizes that you have paused for a moment, it updates the document page behind it.
I mentioned earlier that you can use Command+Y or Ctrl+Y to open the Story Editor, you can also use the same thing to switch out of the Story Editor. This turns out to be very useful, because I can select some text inside the Story Editor and then press Command+Y or Ctrl+Y and it swaps back to the document page and synchronizes the selection. The same words are selected here that were selected in the Story Editor. That turns out to be very useful thing and you'll see this, the more you are using Story Editor. I will select some text here on the page, press Command+Y and it opens Story Editor and immediately synchronizes the selection, so the same words are selected here.
Story Editor is great whenever you're dealing with really tiny text or text that's in a very wide text frame that's really hard to see all the text at the same time, but it's also great when you have so much text that it can't fit inside the frame. In this text frame, the story is overset, it can't fit inside the frame, but I can see it inside Story Editor. Story Editor knows no bounds. So if I scroll down a little bit here you'll see all the overset text, all the stuff that has red next to it, that is overset it's not fitting inside the text frame, but I can still edit it, copy it and paste it, delete it whatever I need to do, I can work with it inside the Story Editor.
Since I'm talking about an editorial type feature like Story Editor, I also want to point out the Info panel. I will go to the Window menu and choose Info and that opens the Info panel. The Info panel is interesting especially at the bottom where it shows how much text is selected. If I select this sentence you can see that the Info panel updates to show me that they're 65 Characters, 11 Words, 1 Line and 1 Paragraph selected. If I deselect the text, so the text cursor is just flashing inside the story, it updates to show me all the text in the story.
That is, this has 194 Words, plus 1242. What's that plus? Well, that's how much text is overset. How many Words are outside this text story? But if you do a lot of editorial work, you know that that kind of Word Count is really useful. Ultimately, whether you're editing really tiny 4 point text at the bottom of a legal contract or text on a path, or a long story, the Story Editor makes life so much easier.
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