Top 25 InDesign Tips From The InDesign Conference

I’ve been soak­ing up all kinds of tips, tricks and tech­niques from the InDesign Conference going on right now in Chicago. Here are my picks of the top 25 tips from a sin­gle day’s ses­sions. The instruc­tor and sem­i­nar are list­ed after each tip.

25. Keyboard short­cuts for apply­ing styles can only be com­posed of a mod­i­fi­er key (Cmd/Ctrl, Opt/Alt, etc.) plus a num­ber from the numer­ic key­pad.
Sandee Cohen, Supercharged Style Sheets

24. If Caps Lock is acti­vat­ed when you insert place­hold­er text, a dif­fer­ent pas­sage of Latin will be used.
David Blatner & Sandee Cohen, Essential Tips & Tricks

23. InDesign will auto­mat­i­cal­ly update a linked image after it has been edit­ed using Edit Original with­in InDesign.
David Blatner, Making The Most of The Suite

22. Cmd-Option-C (Ctrl-Alt-C) is the key­board short­cut for fit­ting a frame to con­tent.
David Blatner & Sandee Cohen, Essential Tips & Tricks

21. Tables can be nest­ed and table cells can be merged or divid­ed in many com­bi­na­tions.
Diane Burns, Make Tables Work For You

20. Press “w” to enter Preview mode, which dis­plays the doc­u­ment as it would be print­ed.
David Blatner & Sandee Cohen, Essential Tips & Tricks

19. Placed TIFF and PSD images do not pre­serve vec­tors; EPS and PDF do.
David Blatner, Making The Most of The Suite

18. You can drag and drop files from the Finder/Windows desk­top or win­dows to the Book palette.
Robin Williams, Long Document Techniques

17. Guides can­not be dupli­cat­ed by Option-dragging, but can be dupli­cat­ed with Edit –> Duplicate or Edit –> Step and Repeat.
Pariah Burke, Where Text Meets Graphics

16. It’s eas­i­er to work with Book files from the Book palette than by open­ing the file itself.
Robin Williams, Long Document Techniques

15. Multiple undos can undo actions exe­cut­ed before a sub­se­quent save.
David Blatner & Sandee Cohen, Essential Tips & Tricks

14. The Autocorrect pref­er­ences in InDesign allows you to cus­tomize what InDesign flags for cor­rec­tion.
Pariah Burke, Cool Text Techniques

13. Hold Shift while select­ing a print, doc­u­ment or PDF pre­set (from their respec­tive menu items in the File menu) to exe­cute the pre­set with­out dia­log box­es.
David Blatner & Sandee Cohen, Essential Tips & Tricks

12. Use the Absolute Page Numbering pref­er­ence to work with a multi-section InDesign doc­u­ment in terms of absolute page num­bers.
Sandee Cohen, Fundamentals of Document Construction

11. The Text Wrap palette can accept neg­a­tive val­ues, cre­at­ing text over­lap of a spe­cif­ic val­ue.
Pariah Burke, Where Text Meets Graphics

10. In long doc­u­ments, the more mas­ter pages you use the bet­ter.
Sandee Cohen, Fundamentals of Document Construction

9. Press Cmd/Ctrl-Enter to open Quick Apply, where you can type any let­ters in a style’s name to apply that style to text or objects.
Sandee Cohen, Supercharged Style Sheets

8. The Underline Options in the Character palette fly­out menu allows for cus­tomized under­line styles.
Pariah Burke, Cool Text Techniques

7. Book Page Numbering Options can set chap­ters to always begin on odd (right-facing) pages.
Robin Williams, Long Document Techniques

6. All tables are anchored inside a text frame.
Diane Burns, Make Tables Work For You

5. Distilling PDFs through Adobe Acrobat Distiller will flat­ten trans­paren­cies.
Claudia McCue, Fast & Sure, The PDF Workflow

4. When cre­at­ing a Table of Contents, “Create PDF Bookmarks” will hyper­link TOC entries to cor­re­spond­ing pages. The hyper­links do not show up in InDesign, but will when the file is export­ed as a PDF.
Robin Williams, Long Document Techniques

3. The TIFF file for­mat can hold any kind of data the PSD file for­mat can, but it is non-proprietary and can also be com­pressed for small­er file sizes.
David Blatner, Making The Most of The Suite

2. PDF/X-1a is the best PDF for­mat to get qual­i­ty out­put for print.
Claudia McCue, Fast & Sure: The PDF Workflow

1. Preflight ear­ly and often, using InDesign’s Transparency Preview and Flattener Previews as well as Acrobat 7 Professional’s Print Production tools.
Claudia McCue, Fast & Sure: The PDF Workflow

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5 Responses

  1. woz says:

    How about this one: Do not use Photoshop .EPS files any­more. If you do INDD wil NOT “see” the ICC pro­file enclosed with­in the .EPS. Re-save your image as .TIF or PSD and “Bob’s your uncle!”.

    Distilling PDFs through Adobe Acrobat Distiller will flat­ten trans­paren­cies.” Well that all depends on your jobop­tion, now doesn’t it ? ;-). every­thing below PDF 1.4 will flat­ten.

  2. Anne-Marie says:

    Woz,
    There is no Distiller job option that will make a PDF with live trans­paren­cy., because Distiller only con­verts .ps and .eps, which are both by def­i­n­i­tion flat­tened files. You can choose a PDF lev­el (1.3, 1.4, 1.5 etc.) but that does not res­ur­rect the live trans­paren­cy. There are oth­er fea­tures (besides trans­paren­cy sta­tus) of the oth­er PDF ver­sions, which is why you get a choice.

  3. woz says:

    Ah, thanks Anne-Marie, I got the ‘export pdf’ and ‘print to ps pdf’ mixed up ;-) All my pdf’s are 1.3. so it doesn’t real­ly mat­ter. Thanks!

  4. Stick E. Pad says:

    coolest com­ments sec­tion i’ve ever seen!

  5. Why thank you, Stick E. Pad. :-)

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