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. :-)