How to Manage Multiple Document Windows in InDesign CS5
Managing more than one document window
I almost never work with just one document open at a time. In fact sometimes, I have a half a dozen or more that I need to manage efficiently. So let's look at how InDesign handles multiple windows. Right now, I only have one document open, this HanselandPetal_Catalog. I'm going to open a new one by going to the File menu choosing Open and then choosing the file from my Exercise Folder. I'll click Open and now I can see that I have two documents open at the same time. Each one of them is a different tab inside my document window. To switch back to the first document, I simply click on that tab.
I can also see all the documents that are open at the bottom of the Window menu, down here. That's a pretty slow way to switch to a different document, but there you go. It's good to know all the different options. The keyboard shortcut for moving from one document to another is Command+tilde. On the US keyboard, that's the key up near the numeral 1. But Command+tilde, or Ctrl+tilde on Windows, moves from one document to the next. In fact, why don't I open yet another document here? I'll just go to the File menu, choose New and then choose New Document and I'm not going to get into any of these details right now. I'll deal with that in the future chapter, but right now, I'm just going to click OK, so that we can see that we have three documents open at the same time.
Once again, I'm going to use Command+tilde or Ctrl+tilde to move from one to the next. It just rotates through them. Now I've found that some people do not like this whole tabbed window thing. They don't like having multiple tabs in one window. I personally love it. I think it's very efficient, but some people really want to have multiple windows open at the same time and you can do that by clicking on this tab and dragging it down and when you drag it down, it becomes its own floating window. If you have a bunch of windows open and you want to pull them all out into separate windows, you can do that by going to the Window menu, choosing Arrange and then choosing Float All in Windows.
So when they're in individual windows, they're floating; when they're all in one window, they're docked. So I'll drag this out of the way and you can see that there are three different windows open here. If I want to put them back into the same document window again, if I want them to be tabbed, it's easy. Just click-and-drag until you see a little blue line. See that little blue line there. I've dragged it just below the title bar, and when I let go, it becomes a tab inside that document window. I can do the same thing with this or I can go to Window > Arrange and say Consolidate All Windows that consolidates all of them back into tabs.
Okay, now for the most important multiple window feature of them all that is in App bar, the Arrange Windows popup menu. This menu which only lives inside the Application bar. So if for some reason you've turned off your Application bar, you will not get this feature. So you better have that turned on. Inside this popup menu is a whole bunch of different arrangements for multiple windows. This is very handy especially when you need to see more than one window at the same time, because you don't have to drag windows all over the screen. Instead just go to this Arrange Windows menu and choose the configuration that's closest to the one that you want.
For example I've got three documents open right now, so I'll just choose 3-Up and you can see that I get one document window but with all three documents showing at the same time. If I don't like the relative size of each of these, I can place my cursor over one of the edges and drag. In this case dragging to the left, makes this one smaller and the other ones larger. If I want to see only two Windows, I can select that out of the popup menu. If I want to see all of them back in one document window, I can simply choose that one window. It consolidates them all back into a single document window again.
Just like the page navigation techniques we saw in the previous movies, managing your windows efficiently is key to being productive in InDesign.
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