5 Tips to Make Adobe InDesign Easier for You

Everyone has their own way of doing things. But no matter how long you’ve been using InDesign, it’s fun to learn a few new (or old) tricks. Here’s a few of my favorites.

  • Copy Effects to Another Object

    This is super easy, just select the object you want to copy, then open the Effects panel (Window>Effects). Click-and-drag the Object effects icon (fx) onto your new object. Release your cursor and look at that — both of your objects have the same effects!

  • Let InDesign do the Math for You.

    Hate math? Well now you don’t have to. Simple math can be used in any field that contains a measurement: width, height or location. So instead of grabbing the calculator, just type your info and watch InDesign add it up. For instance, if you have a box that is 1.37 inches wide and you want it twice as wide. Just insert your cursor in the filed and add *2. Press enter and voilà, your new value is 2.74 inches. You can also use different operations, such as subtraction (–), addition (+), and division (/).

  • Need a Guide Quickly?

    Here are two of the easiest ways to place a guide

    1. Double click any point on a ruler to create a guide.

    2. Drag a guide from a ruler to add a guide to a page. Tip: Hold Ctrl/Cmd+drag to have the guide applied to a spread, or hold the shift key while dragging to snap the guides to the ruler marks.

  • Resize Your Frame in a Matter of Clicks

    Instead of dragging bounding box points to to fit the size of your contents, just double-click on any corner bounding box point and watch the frame instantly resize to the image it contains. Double-click on a side center bounding box point, and the frame will resize to fit the image’s width leaving the height of the frame untouched. The same is true if you double-click on a top or bottom center bounding box point, the frame will resize to fit the image’s height, leaving the width of the frame untouched. Nifty trick.

  • Automatic Continued On and From

    If you start text on one page and want to continue it on another page, chances are you’re going to want to have “continued on page [xx]” or a “continued from page [xx].” Having InDesign do this for you automatically is quick and easy. Select the Type tool (T) and create a new text frame. Once created, drag the new text frame to touch the original text frame. In the new text frame, type “continued on page [leave a space]” or “continued from page [space].” Then, go to Type>Insert Special Character>Markers>Next.

novara.pngDebra Novara's love affair with design and the outdoors was truly realized when just two weeks after graduation she landed in Denver with nothing more than a backpack, her portfolio and a pair of skis. After 20+ years of designing for the Denver market (and skiing every resort) she returned to Michigan where she continues to work in the design industry as a member of the NHLS Marketing team. In addition to receiving awards for her design work, Debra has taught design at universities, served on multiple design panels and is recognized as one of the founding members of the AIGA-Denver Chapter.

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Debra Novara, Branding ManagerDebra Novara

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