Writing Portfolio

Change Typefaces without Using the Mouse

Published By: InDesignSecrets.com
Credit: Byline
Canonical URL

Here’s a quick tip for changing the font of text quickly in all versions of InDesign and InCopy–and without ever touching the mouse.

Let’s begin by establishing two facts: First, CMD+T/CTRL+T opens or closes the Character panel/palette. Second, we know that typing into the Character panel’s Font Family field causes InDesign to try to match typed characters to the name of a font family. For instance, if you type garInDesign will fill in the first match, which is likely to be Garamond Premiere Pro or another Garamond derivation (assuming you have a Garamond type family installed and active).

What you may not have noticed is a third fact germane to this discussion: When the Character panel is first opened, the contents of the Font Family field are automatically selected and highlighted. (See where I’m going with this?)

Combine those three facts and you have a mouse-free means of rapidly changing the typeface of text as you type. Here’s how:

  1. Press CMD+T/CTRL+T to open the Character panel. If it was already open, press CMD+T/CTRL+T twice–once to close it, once to re-open it.
  2. Begin typing the name of your desired font family. InDesign (or InCopy) will automatically fill in the first alphabetical match. If that match isn’t correct, keep typing out the name until the Character panel serves up what you want.
  3. Press Return/Enter to commit the font family change to the document.
  4. Keep on writing or formatting copy in your document.

Notice that at no time did your hands leave the keyboard.

If you need to change the font style or other options after changing the font family, hit Tab before step 3 to move from the Font Family field to the Font Style field. In that field you can also begin typing the desired style name and let InDesign fill in the rest. For instance, type it to request the italic typeface or cond for the condensed version–of course, InDesign will only offer up styles you have installed.