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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.
Sure InDesign has a lot of features up here in the menus, but which of these features are relevant to what you're doing right now. For example, when you're editing text, wouldn't it be cool to get a set of frequently used commands that relate just to text? Well, that's where context menus come in. And context menus are those menus that you get when you right-click with a two-button mouse like this, or if you have a one-button mouse, you can Ctrl+Click. I just have to tell you though, if you still have a one-button mouse, I strongly urge you to get a two-button mouse. You will not be sorry.
It's just so much easier to work with a two-button mouse. Anyway, you right-click with a two- button mouse and you get this context menu, and this gives you information about whatever is selected on the page or whatever you've right-clicked on. In this case I right-clicked on the pasteboard so I get some sort of generic document features that relate to the pasteboard of the document. If I right-click on the title of the document, I get some document related features. That's good to know. If I right-click on something on the page, for example, this image, I'll select this image and then right-click, I get some object-specific features or image-specific features.
Or if I use the Type tool, let's just grab that Type tool, and select this text on this curve up here. Let me zoom in to 400% with Command+4 or Ctrl+4 on Windows, you can see that I have some text selected there and now I can right-click. And notice that I don't have to right- click on the text, I can right-click up here, but it still is reflecting whatever is selected down on that path. You can see that I have a lot of text related features; the Font, the Size and so on and so on. I can check the Spelling from here. I'm going to change the case of this to, let's say uppercase.
I'll choose uppercase and you can see that all the text got changed to uppercase. So it only was giving me features that were relevant to what I was doing right now. I'll go ahead and zoom back to Fit in Window with Command+0 or Ctrl+0 on Windows, and I'll press the Escape key to jump back to the Selection tool, because I want to show you that context menus work not just in your document page but even in panels. For example, if I go to the Pages panel, I can right-click on a page and get controls for those pages. Sort of Pages panel features. Or I can go to the Layers panel and I can right-click on a layer, and I can get features for this layer including Select items on this layer.
That means it will select all the items on the Text layer for me. So very, very handy. You should try right-clicking in the Links panel, in the Swatches panel, all of the Styles panels have context menus. Just start right-clicking on stuff and see what happens. It's really great. Now I'm going to get into what each of these features do in upcoming movies, but for now the important thing is that you know where to look. Like keyboard shortcuts, you don't have to use the context menus but you're sure missing out on a world of good if you don't get into that right-clicking habit.
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