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By David Blatner | Friday, May 15, 2015

Make a Magazine-Style 'Image Sandwich' in InDesign

make an image sandwich

Have you ever wanted to re-create the effect seen on covers of big magazines like Sports Illustrator and Vogue—the kind where the masthead appears to be behind one part of the cover image and in front of another part?

It used to take a million-dollar machine to create the effect. Today, you can achieve the same results with a few clicks in InDesign. I’ll show you how with this week’s InDesign Secrets.

By David Blatner | Thursday, April 30, 2015

Display the Last Page Number in a Book Layout

2015_04_30_IDS

Did you know InDesign has a feature that lets you automatically calculate and display the last page number of your layout? And it’s incredibly easy to add, using the Type > Text Variables menu.

But what if your last page is on a different layout—say in a different chapter in a book? In that case you have to use a cross reference instead.

In this episode of InDesign Secrets, I show you how to create a cross reference, point it at text or a text anchor, and format it to display the last page number of a book spanning multiple layouts.

By David Blatner | Thursday, April 16, 2015

Making a Long Shadow in InDesign or Illustrator

Create a trendy long shadow

The long shadow is a fun, trendy effect and it’s a great way to make flat text and icons stand out—like those used to represent apps in iOS and Android.

Unlike a soft-edged drop shadow, though, the long shadow can’t be achieved with the click of a button in InDesign.

But this week’s InDesign Secrets shows you how to create a long shadow in InDesign in just a few steps. You’ll also learn how to move your design over to Illustrator and use a shortcut there to create a slightly more refined version of the same effect.

By David Blatner | Thursday, April 02, 2015

Put a Box Around or Behind a Paragraph With InDesign

paragraph-borders-indesign-secrets

InDesign is a powerful document-formatting tool, but there are still some tasks that Microsoft Word performs better.

One of those tasks I hear the most complaints about is putting boxes around or behind paragraph, a feature Word calls paragraph borders. So in this episode of InDesign Secrets, I show you a hack for mimicking paragraph borders in InDesign. Unfortunately, there’s no single button, checkbox, or effect you can apply, but using rules and tables, you can approximate the effect.

Watch this week’s free movie to learn more.

By David Blatner | Wednesday, March 18, 2015

InDesign Secrets: Start an InDesign Document on a Left-Hand Page

start indesign document left page

Start your InDesign document off on the right foot: on the left-hand page.

Existing layouts can be a pain to change; InDesign won’t let you drag right-facing pages over to the left. But with the two tricks shown in this week’s episode of InDesign Secrets, you can move spreads so that your document starts on the left. Watch and see!

By David Blatner | Thursday, March 12, 2015

The Fastest Way to Find Missing Links in InDesign

2015_03_12_InDeSecretsLinks

Ever open an InDesign document only to encounter the dreaded “missing links” dialog?

In this super-short episode of InDesign Secrets, I introduce a fast way to find and re-link missing files: files on your hard drive or even on a connected server.

By David Blatner | Thursday, March 05, 2015

Make Your Own Stroke Styles in InDesign: Stripes, Dots, Dashes

make your own stroke styles in InDesign

InDesign comes with many stroke styles built in: thick strokes, thin strokes, dotted strokes.

But what if you can’t find exactly the stroke you’re looking for? You can make your own stroke styles in InDesign — from the Stroke panel menu.

Striped, dotted, or dashed!

By David Blatner | Thursday, February 19, 2015

InDesign Secrets: Hiding the Annoying Content Grabber Icon

InDesign Secrets this week

I don’t just like InDesign; I LOVE it.

But as with even the closest couples, there are still some features in it that drive me batty. Like the content grabber donut—that little icon that appears when you pan over an image. You might call it a bagel or an “O.” Whatever you call it, it’s just not that helpful.

So in this super-short, super-sweet video from my InDesign Secrets series, I show you how to hide the icon, without changing any of InDesign’s behaviors or preferences.

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