Join David Blatner for an in-depth discussion in this video Setting up context shortcuts, part of InDesign CS4 Beyond the Basics.
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You may recall InDesign Essential Training title that you can change any keyboard shortcut in InDesign or even give a shortcut to a feature that doesn't currently have one. The way you do that is you go to the Edit menu and choose Keyboard Shortcuts. But now it's time to talk about an advanced feature inside this dialog box that we didn't cover before and that it is the Context popup menu. The Context pop up menu lets you tell InDesign when a keyboard shortcut should be active. Default means make it active most of the time but you can also choose Alerts and Dialogs, meaning a keyboard shortcut would only apply when an Alert or dialog box is open, or Tables. That would only apply if your are actually editing inside of a table. XML Selection would be of course if you're editing an XML Selection, and Text and this is the one that I find most interesting, a keyboard shortcut that only applies when you are editing text.
Let's go ahead and apply one of these and we can see how it works. First I will create a New Set and I am going to call this David's Shortcut Set. You can call it anything you want of course. I will click OK. I am going to choose Tools from the Product Area pop menu and I will scroll down here until I see the Toggle view setting between default and preview. This is of course the feature that turns on and off the Preview Mode and normally its set to W and we can see the Context right here. The Default Context is W. The problem with this keyboard shortcut is it does not work when you are editing text right. If you are editing text, you are typing along you want to go into Preview Mode. So you press W. What happens? Of course you type the letter W in the text frame and that's not what you want. You wanted to go into Preview Mode, so we need to make a new keyboard shortcut for this. I will click in the New Shortcut field here and I am going to type a different keyboard shortcut, maybe a Ctrl+W. This says it's unassigned so that's okay. Let's use that and now I will change the Context to Text and that means that Ctrl+W in most circumstances will not do anything, but if I am editing text it will trigger this feature. It will Toggle into Preview mode.
I will go ahead and click Assign, you always have to click Assign or else it doesn't work then I will click OK and let's try it out. I am going to select some text up here by double clicking on it and I will Zoom in to 200% mode, so we can see it better by just pressing Command+2 or Ctrl+2 on windows and now if I press W, it doesn't work. Right. That types the letter W. So let me undo that. Command+Z or Ctrl+Z on Windows and let's try our new special context-based keyboard shortcut Ctrl+W. Here you go. I pressed it and we went into Preview Mode and I can see all of the non-printing objects disappeared.
Press it again and they come back. So I have now created a keyboard shortcut that will work even if I am editing text. Keyboard shortcuts are all about efficiency and productivity and it's worth it to take the time now to set up your shortcuts because it's going to save you far more time in the future.
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