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By Anne-Marie Concepción | Thursday, February 21, 2013

InDesign Secrets: The secrets of formatting objects with Find/Change

It’s time to get excited about an oft-neglected dialog box in Adobe InDesign, which can actually save you a lot of time when you’re proofing your documents. In this week’s free InDesign Secrets video, Anne-Marie Concepción shows you how to use the Find/Change dialog box to find and fix mistakes in a busy layout, whether it’s reducing stroke width, adding drop shadows, or modifying any other object attributes.

Watch the video and use the companion text below to help with each step.

1. Press Cmd+F (Mac) or Ctrl+F (Windows) to open the Find/Change dialog box. Choose the Object tab.

2. Change the Search dropdown to Document to make sure you’re searching the entire layout. However, to narrow down your results, change the Type. For example, if you’re looking to format text, you would choose Text Frames.

Adobe InDesign Find/Change Dialog

3. Click the icon next to the Find Object Format pane to define some search criteria. When the dialog box appears, make your selections from the Basic Attributes, Effects, Stroke, and Gap Color menus. In this example, we’re looking for a Stroke with a Weight of 1 pt.

Adobe InDesign Find Object Format Options

4. Back in the Find/Change dialog, perform the same steps for Change Object Format, entering the new values you want.

5. Now click Change All if you’re sure you want to commit your edits. Sometimes it’s easier to click the Find button and commit your changes frame by frame.

The Find/Change dialog box also presents an excellent opportunity to apply styles to graphic frames without affecting any of their other properties, such as text wrapping behavior. Simply create an object style and disable all the other attributes except for the one you want to change, such as a 1 pt stroke for image frames. Then select the style from the Style Options in the Change Object Format Options dialog.

Adobe InDesign Find Change Object Options

And voilà! An easy way to make small, consistent changes to objects throughout a document.

Looking for more InDesign insights? Join David Blatner in a member-exclusive video called Using ruler guides: 10 great tricks.

And as always, David and Anne-Marie will be back in two weeks with more InDesign Secrets.

Interested in more? • The entire InDesign Secrets biweekly series • Courses by David Blatner and Anne-Marie Concepción on lynda.com • All lynda.com InDesign courses

Suggested courses to watch next:InDesign FX biweekly seriesInDesign CS6 Essential Training • InDesign CS6 New Features

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