Join David Blatner for an in-depth discussion in this video Use the Story Editor, part of InDesign CC 2018 Essential Training.
- [Instructor] It's time for me to talk about one of my favorite features in inDesign. It's not a particularly flashy feature, but it's incredibly helpful to anyone who needs to write or edit text inside inDesign, and that feature is called Story Editor. It's like having a little word processor built right into inDesign. Here, let me show you. I have my magazine file open from the exercise files folder, and I'm going to select this text frame over here. Now I want to edit some of the text inside here, right inside that frame, but instead of zooming in and trying to find the text, I'm simply going to select the frame itself with a selection tool.
Now, I'll go to the edit menu and I'll choose edit in Story Editor, or you could press cmd+y on the mac or ctrl+y on Windows, and when I do that, up comes a nice, neutral window, just like a text editor. And I'm not distracted by colors or drop caps, or anything like that. Just a neutral window, and I can make this as wide as I want, and all the text just reflows. Now I will tell you, the one thing that I really dislike about Story Editor and that's the default font that it ships with.
Who wants to read this? It's crazy. I want a font I can easily read on screen. Now fortunately, you can easily change that inside the preferences dialog box, which you can find on the mac underneath the inDesign menu, or in Windows under the edit menu. Just choose the preferences sub-menu, and then come down to Story Editor display. Inside the Story Editor display, you can change the font right at the top. You can see it's set to Letter Gothic. I don't like that, so I'm going to click in there and change the font something that looks good to me.
Let's try Georgia. I'd like to make this text a little bit larger so it's easier to read, and so I'll change the font size to 16, and I'll change the line spacing to say, 150% space. That's 1 1/2 spaces. Now there are several other things you can change here as well, like the background color, and the text color, but for my tastes, just black text on a white background works best. Now the one thing I am going to change in here is the cursor option. I like barbell. You know how sometimes it's hard to see the cursor flashing on screen? Well, barbell takes care of that.
You'll see in just a moment. All right, I'll click ok, and now that changes the font. It's much easier to see now, and wherever I click, it's really easy to see that cursor. Now as I said, the Story Editor does not show fonts or size, or most other formatting of your text. What it does show is bold and italic, like down here, this text that's in italic. It shows that. Now I'm going to move the Story Editor window over to the right so we can see both it and the text behind it on the page.
Now the text back here is so small that this might be hard to see, but I'm just going to select some text inside the Story Editor, and I'll delete it by pressing the delete key on my keyboard. You'll see a slight pause, but then as soon as inDesign recognizes that you've paused for a moment, it updates on the document page behind. That way, the Story Editor view and the document page view are always in sync. Now I mentioned earlier that you can use cmd+y or ctrl+y to open the Story Editor. You could also use the same thing to switch out of Story Editor and go back to the document page, and that turns out to be really useful, because I can select some text down here, and then press cmd+y or ctrl+y in Windows and it closes the Story Editor and selects the same text down here on my document page.
Now Story Editor is great whenever you need to edit really tiny text, or text on a path, or maybe text that's in a text frame so wide that it's hard to see all the text at the same time. But one of the best uses for Story Editor is when you have so much text that it can't fit inside the frame, but you can see it in the Story Editor. Story Editor knows no bounds. So, for example, I'm going to select some text over here, then press my keyboard shortcut, cmd or ctrl+y, up comes a Story Editor, and you can see the same text that's selected here.
Now I'll scroll down just a little bit longer and you see this text over here that has red to the left of it? That's the overset text. That's the text that didn't fit inside this text frame. Look, I can still edit it, copy it, paste it, delete it, whatever I need to do. That's super helpful. Now since I'm talking about an editorial type feature, I should also mention the info panel. I love the info panel. I'm going to go to the window menu and choose info. Let's move this off to the side a little bit.
Now to me, the most interesting part of the info panel is the bottom down here where it shows how much text I have selected. For example, if I select this text up here, you can see right down here that I have 105 characters selected in 16 words on four lines. It's all in one paragraph, or if I deselect some text so that the cursor is just flashing inside the story, it updates to show me all the text in the story. You see, in the info panel, it shows me there are 264 words, plus 147.
What does the plus sign mean? Well, that's how much text is overset, so you know exactly what you're dealing with, 264 words in the text frame, and 147 words overset. Now if you do a lot of work with text, you know this kind of word count is really useful. Ultimately, whether you're editing really tiny four point text at the bottom of a legal contract, or text on a path, or a long story, the Story Editor makes life so much easier.
- Creating a new layout
- Inserting pages
- Adding text
- Inserting graphics
- Applying color and transparency
- Drawing and editing frames and paths
- Formatting objects
- Formatting text
- Creating styles for uniform formatting
- Building tables
- Adding links and interactivity
- Printing and exporting InDesign documents