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By David Blatner | Thursday, December 12, 2013

InDesign Secrets: Making patterns with PatternMaker

Creating patterns with PatternMaker

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Learn how to spice up your boring backgrounds with patterns. While Adobe InDesign doesn’t have a built-in pattern fill feature, in this episode of InDesign Secrets, David Blatner shows you how to download PatternMaker, a free plugin from Teacup Software, and fill any object with one of its three free built-in patterns. You can then customize the pattern to your heart’s content—making a pattern that’s completely unique to your design. Watch the free video below to get started and learn more about transferring your patterns to Illustrator and expanding your pattern options with Teacup’s PatternPack.

By David Blatner | Thursday, November 21, 2013

Making a custom arrowhead: InDesign Secrets

Creating a custom arrowhead.

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Adobe InDesign has a few options for stroke endings. But some designers aren’t satisfied with the defaults. In this episode of InDesign Secrets, David Blatner shows how to create a custom arrowhead using a symbol or special font character, anchor it to your path, and make sure the arrowhead moves along with the path as you move or reshape it. If that’s too much work for you, David also shows you an easier way to create a custom arrowhead using InDesign’s sister program, Illustrator. Watch the free video below to get started.

By David Blatner | Thursday, November 07, 2013

Selecting text in InDesign: InDesign Secrets

Selecting text in InDesign

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Got two minutes? Great. Check out this week’s top-secret tip on something David Blatner calls “the keyboard dance”, a technique for making really precise text selections in Adobe InDesign straight from the keyboard. You can even select text before the cursor. So let your fingers do the talking and click through for the full tip.

By Lauren Harmon | Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Typesetting poems: InDesign Secrets

Typesetting poetry

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As David Blatner says in this week’s InDesign Secrets, typesetting a poem is an art and a science. Your layout should complement both the theme and the length of the poem, and make it visually distinguishable from surrounding text.

But one of the greatest challenges designers face when typesetting poetry is centering a poem on its longest line, and then making sure all other lines are flush left with it. In this free video, David shows you how to accomplish just that using the tools in Adobe InDesign. Plus, learn how to determine your cursor position anywhere in your document—a useful tip for any kind of text, poetic or not.

By Lauren Harmon | Thursday, October 10, 2013

Easy figure numbering with paragraph styles: InDesign Secrets

Easy figure numbering with paragraph styles.

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When you’re getting to the final stages in a long layout and find you need to add or remove a numbered figure or illustration, the prospect of renumbering them all can be very disheartening. But InDesign’s paragraph styles can make figure numbering a breeze. Learn how to create a figure style that auto-numbers your captions by following along with David Blatner in today’s free InDesign tutorial video. David also shows you how to cross-reference the number in the text, and update the figure number and text reference when you need to reorder your illustrations.

By David Blatner | Thursday, September 26, 2013

Inserting custom text: InDesign Secrets

Inserting custom text with paragraph styles

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Did you know you can insert text before any new line with paragraph styles? The trick is to use numbered lists, and sneak the text into the numbering. This is especially useful in situations where you want to label phone numbers (as work, mobile, home, etc.) or any other information that repeats throughout your document. In this episode of InDesign Secrets, David Blatner shows you how to create a style, change the list type, and replace the numbering with the word, phrase, or even symbol you want to insert.

By Anne-Marie Concepción | Thursday, September 19, 2013

Updating a PDF document: InDesign Secrets

Update a PDF without Acrobat

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Many PDFs that begin their lives in Adobe InDesign are later sent to Acrobat, where they are given calculated fields, buttons, bookmarks, and other special features. If, at some point in the document’s life cycle, you need to update the text, an image, or another design element in InDesign—do you have to rebuild the document in Acrobat all over again? Not if you know this week’s InDesign secret! Anne-Marie Concepciòn introduces a little known Acrobat command called Replace, which allows you to refresh the design layer without messing with the interactive features. Learn how this trick works in this week’s free video.

By David Blatner | Thursday, September 12, 2013

Highlighting text: InDesign Secrets

Highlighting text

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Many word processors can mimic the look of highlighters—the florescent pens used to call attention to certain passages of text. InDesign doesn’t have this effect built in, but in this week’s InDesign Secrets, David Blatner shows you how to work around it. The key is creating a custom underline effect with a large, offset line weight. Watch the video below to learn the exact steps to highlighting text and building a highlighter character style so you can use the effect over and over again.

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