Join Nigel French for an in-depth discussion in this video Setting preferences, part of Designing a Brochure (2009).
In a similar vein to setting up your workspace, it's always a good idea to make InDesign your own by setting up your preferences. Because I want to set application preferences I'm going to close any InDesign document. That way, any preferences I change that going to apply to every document I create from this point forth. Now bear in mind preferences are just that. They are preferences. An obvious point but this is just what I prefer. It's not necessarily the right way but it's what I prefer. And most of these I'm just going to leave as they are and I'm not even going to mention them.
But I'm going to come down to Type first of all and I want to have drag and drop editing in my Layout View. That makes things a little bit faster. Whether or not I'll actually use it, I don't know but I'm as well check that to have the option. Units and Increments. Now, I want my units to be in points although as you will see I do tend to bop back and forth between points and millimeters and inches and occasionally picas. But for the most part I want to be in points and if I need to change it, and it's very easy to do that. Use Move to where the two rulers intersect to the top left hand corner, right-click or Ctrl-click on a one-button mouse and you can change the units on the fly.
But I'm going to set that to Points. My Cursor Key Increment, how far the things move when I nudge them using the cursor arrows, and I think I'll leave that where it is. But I'm going to make both my Size and leading and my baseline shift at half point increments. So if I'm using keyboard shortcuts to increase or decrease my type size or my leading, I have got finer control by setting it to half point increments. Now here is one that's really important and I just don't understand why the default setting is at 20 because that's far too coarse.
We want to be kerning and tracking in the finest increment that we have available to us. 1/1000th of an em and by kerning and tracking, what we're talking about is the adjustment of space between the characters and the only other preferences that I feel that need to change are in the grids. I'll be using baseline grids in all the different versions of the brochure. Of course, it's not essential to do that. Again it's just my preferences, the way I like to work. I find having a grid gives you something to hang the content on and makes your layout decisions much easier. I don't like the default color of the grid. I find that a little bit too in your face.
So I'm going to change it to Light Gray and rather then starting at a specified distance from the top of the page, I'm going to set that to zero and start from the Top Margin. I am going to leave the Increment at 12 points. Although I may need to come and change this on a case by case basis. The View Threshold, the size at which the grid becomes visible if it's turned on, I can leave that as is. And because I really like my grids, I like to see where they are at all times, I'm going to uncheck Grids in Back.
Now that's really all I need to do in terms of preferences. Of course, we are now going to see how these work until we get going with creating our documents in later movies. But having done this, this is going to pay us dividends because we are now working with InDesign and what I think are the optimum settings for the kind of work that we are going to be doing.
InDesign CS4 and Illustrator CS4 Essential Training are recommended prerequisites to fully execute the techniques in this title.
- Integrating InDesign, Photoshop, and Illustrator
- Establishing a workflow that combines maximum efficiency with maximum editing flexibility
- Working with a printer at the outset
- Designing with grids to create balance
- Choosing fonts and color palettes for a consistent look and feel
- Manipulating images for maximum impact
- Exploring different brochure formats and folding
- Proofing and printing the final product