Back in the day, the software of choice was PageMaker (I started with version 1.0). Pagemaker was a wonderful program, and through the years evolved into something spectacular for most any type of graphics, typesetting and design work. Years passed, and PageMaker was morphed into what we know today as InDesign. It was a tough blow at first to make the transition from software that was so loved, but in time, bitterness passed and InDesign was accepted into the family so to speak.
I’ve never been a love of QuarkXpress. Quark was the clunky cousin is some respects of PageMaker, then InDesign. I do think it all comes down to what ever software package you start with on your career journey, that is what you ultimately stick with and fall back to. To put it bluntly – I can use Quark, but I’m not a Quark user. Never will be.
InDesign has continued to improve and evolve over the years. It’s not perfect – and there are still some old PageMaker features I wish they would incorporate. But it is now my software of choice for all things design and typesetting today.
Here’s a few quick InDesign tips and tricks that not every user may know about.
Paragraph Returns: Have you ever imported a Word File or other doc that contains paragraph returns? Frustrating when you don’t want them. Here’s a quick fix: check Show Import Options when importing your file and you will find an option to remove them.
Snap-To Tip: Tired of switching the Snap-To guides feature on and off throughout your layout process? Give this a try. While dragging your object(s) into place that you do NOT want to Snap-To the guides, hold down the control key.
A Perfect Circle (or Square): Trying to draw a perfect circle or square, and your mouse is getting away from you? Hold down the shift key while dragging/drawing and poof! Perfect every time.
Placeholder Text: You just finished a great layout, but your customer has not written the text yet. What to do? Use Placeholder text. Draw your frame, and place your cursor inside. Then go to the Type menu. Select “Fill with Placeholder Text” and the text box will fill with dummy text. If you ave the Caps Lock on, you will get a different version of the text.
Three ways to place a guide: There are three ways to place guides in your document. 1.) Double-click your ruler at the point you want the guide to appear. 2.) Drag the guide from the ruler and drop it in the layout. 3.) Go to the Layout menu, select Create Guides.
Selection in a stacked layout: You have a complicated layout, with frames on top of frames. Then of course, you have to select the frame at the bottom of the pile. What to do? Hold down the command key and click. Starting from the top down, each click will cycle through the elements until you reach the one you need.