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Author David Blatner provides in-depth training on InDesign CS5, Adobe's print and interactive page layout application, 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.
One of my favorite things about InDesign is the ability to experiment and never feel like anything I've done is set in stone. You can always go back to where you were. Let me show you an example. Let's say I'm working on this document, this hansel & petal order form, and I'm going to say, well, what if I move this here? And what if I move this over here? And what if I took all of this stuff, and moved it down here? And so on and pretty soon, you get the idea, I'm really messing up my document. I say well, you know that doesn't look so good. I'd like to go back to the way it was. Well, you can always go back a step by choosing Edit > Undo, most programs have that, so you can just undo one step, but InDesign goes farther.
InDesign lets you undo again, and again, and again. Of course the keyboard shortcut is Command+Z, or Ctrl+Z on Windows. Or to redo an item, so in other words, to go forward one step, it's Command+Shift+Z, or Ctrl+Shift+ Z on Windows to move forward. So you can move backward or forward, how many times? As many times as it takes. InDesign remembers everything you've done, since you opened this document and started working on it. Really, infinite number of undos, as far as I can tell. I've done a lot of undos and it's never run out.
So this is incredibly helpful, you can really keep undoing, Command+Z, Command+Z and so on, as far back as you need to go. And then when it's looking a little bit closer to what you wanted, go ahead and start working on it again. So, I can undo and redo as many times as I want; very, very handy. Now, if you really mess stuff up, and you don't want to undo so many times, you can choose Revert from the File menu. Revert means go back to the original file on disk. In other words, close it and go ahead, and open up the file from disk again.
So that is like the ultimate undo, all the way back to where it's saved on disk. So that's pretty cool, and then from here, I can start editing and messing my file up again. Now, while I'm working on this, I just want to point out that there's something really, really amazing about this Undo feature in InDesign, besides the fact that there's unlimited undos, which is pretty cool. Let's go ahead and delete that and move this. You get the idea. I'm just pretty much messing up my document in all kinds of ways. Let's say I'm working on this document. What I'm intending to do is start with the document as it was saved, and then work on it, and turn it into a different document, basically base one document on another.
It's a very common workflow for InDesign users; start with a document, edit it, save it off, use Save As to save it as a different name, and you've got two different versions of the same document basically. So, I'm working with that assumption. I'm going to be doing something like that, and let's say I'll use a keyboard shortcut, Command+A, or Ctrl+A on Windows. That's the keyboard shortcut for Select All. Now there's something funny though about Command+A, or Ctrl+A. The A on the keyboard is right next to another letter which does something very, very different, Command+S, or Ctrl+S, which is what I happened to accidentally type just now.
And what is Command+S, or Ctrl +S? Well, it is save, right? So I just messed up my original document. Isn't that horrible? Shouldn't I be panicking right now? Well, I'm not panicking. And you know why I'm not panicking, even though I saved over my original document and I didn't mean to? Well, the reason I'm not panicking is because InDesign's Undo can even undo past a save. This is an extraordinary feature and it's gotten me out of all kinds of trouble in the past. So I just wanted to let you know about it. What I'm going to do is before I start undoing, I'm going to use Save a Copy to save the current state of this document out to my desktop as a new version.
So I'll just call this NEW VERSION. You've got the idea. Click Save, and it saves the current state off. So I'm going to get back to it later, just the way it is. But now I'm going to start undoing. So, I say undo, undo. I'm just pressing Command+ Z, or Ctrl+Z on Windows. Undo, undo, undo, undo, and you just want to keep undoing as many times as it takes, until things stop happening on the page, or until the Edit menu shows Undo as grayed out. As soon as that's grayed out, that means I'm back to the way this file was when I first opened the original document, and now from here, I can save.
So, I've saved my original document back to the way the original document was. But I can still go to the Open dialog box, choose my NEW VERSION and click Open, and now I have the NEW VERSION that I was working on and the old version. So, that's wonderful. That just makes me so happy. This is very powerful. Unlimited undos, it can get you out of all kinds of problems.
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