Join Michael Ninness for an in-depth discussion in this video Recommended changes to preferences, part of InDesign CS4 Power Shortcuts.
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All right, I am going to walk you through some preferences that I think you might want to change from the factory defaults. So let's open up our Preferences dialog. It's Command or Ctrl+K. And the first category is under the Type section. A couple of things to think about. First, Triple Click to Select a Line. Most applications out there, if you triple click, that actually select a paragraph. InDesign intercepts that triple click and gives you the current line that your cursor is in. You may like that. You may not like that. So if you wanted to this to be three clicks for a paragraph, you could turn that off. I'm going to leave that on so I want to point it out to you.
The other one, Apply Leading to Entire Paragraphs, again, that is turned-off by default. This is a throwback to Quark if you had converted it from Quark. Leading was a paragraph attribute. In InDesign leading, each line of a paragraph can actually have different leading by default. It's especially helpful if you are wanting to optically balance display type. A multiple headline or say a descender is on one line but maybe it's a three line headline and one line has a descender and another line doesn't. Having the same leading value in that scenario is not going to look very good.
That's why it's off by default but if you want to keep it as a paragraph attribute then you can turn that back on. I happen to like drag and dropping of text. This is kind of a religious argument. Some people just absolutely can't stand that because they accidentally drag selected text. I like it. It's a way to drag selected the text from one text frame to another. Okay, the next category, Units & Increments. I personally like to work in points for my rulers. Again, this is more of an individual preference but I'm going to change mine to points. I like to have my measurement system based on the type size, same increments and unit of measurement for type and leading, so that's just the way how I like work.
The Cursor Key distance. What this means is how far should something move when you nudge it with the arrow keys. On the page, I like it to be 1 point for every time I press the arrow. So 0p1 is how you enter points in here. Any number in front of a 'p' is a pica, any number after 'p' is a point. Now I'm going to hit the Tab key. Because I actually haven't clicked OK, the dialog actually still thinks the measurement system is default inches, so it converted that 1 point into 0.0139 inches. When I click OK and could come back in this dialog, it would show me in point, so if in case you're confused why that's happening.
I also like to use smaller increments for changing Leading, Type Size and Baseline Shifts. I like to go in 1 point increments. I'm just going to change that to 1 each and then for Kerning and Tracking, I think the number 20 is way too high. I like to set that to 5, so I have just really fine control over how much space gets adjusted as I am using my Kerning and Tracking keyboard shortcuts. Under Guides & Pasteboards, this is one that will cover in another movie here but Smart Guides specifically, the default color is this light green color, grid green or something like that.
I think that's too light so I'd like to change it to a color that's a little bit easier to see on screen when Smart Guides keeps kicking in, so I've changed mine to red. Under Dynamic Spelling, I run into a lot of people who either forgot that InDesign had a spell-checker, kind of like the way it works in Word. So where it sees a misspelled word in your layout, it will underline it with a little squiggly red. And I've had people who think it's turned on or just don't have any spelling errors because they don't see any red squiggles. Well, you don't get the spelling visualization, the incorrect word spelling with the little red squiggle, unless you actually turn-on Dynamic Spelling and that is turned off by default.
So I am going to turn that on. Next under Display Performance, it's about time now where your default display performance should be High Quality. Typical is what's going to give you a low resolution proxy preview for any images that you place. I've had several users e-mail me or write to me saying, why is InDesign making my Illustrator and Photoshop images look like garbage? They don't look very nice. They look much better in Photoshop and Illustrator. When I bring them in InDesign, they seem to get all jaggedy and pixely. It's because the default Display Performance view is set to Typical.
High Quality is going to give you a nice rendering on-screen. I also personally don't like the greeking of text. That's where the text turns into gray bars at a particular view percentage. So I just take that back down to 1. Then a couple more under File Handling. Specifically Links. This is something that you now have a choice of where InDesign goes when you click the Relink button. You can have it go to the original folder that the placed file was linked from or you can have InDesign open the last folder that you used to relink something.
Again this is a big personal preference some people like one or the other, so now it is a preference that you can choose in the default that's most recent. I like original. I want to know where the original one was. And there you have it. There is some good preferences to change to get you moving along in the direction that you probably want to start from and have your application based on.
- Scaling a frame and its content at the same time
- Using the Control panel
- Switching to the Hand tool while editing text
- Placing multipage Illustrator, PDF, and InDesign files into a layout
- Selecting and moving items that are behind other items
- Setting frame-fitting options before starting work
- Working with layers, master pages, frames, text, styles, and more!