Celebrity Keyboard Shortcuts: Dave Saunders

Dave Saunders is one of the planet’s most knowledgeable PageMaker and InDesign users. He’s a world class script writer for InDesign, and, along with his wife Pam, the owner and founder of PDS Associates. Check out their website for InDesign tips, scripts, and publishing services. Dave is also a frequent contributor to the InDesign Scripting Forum.

Dave shares the following favorite keyboard shortcut edits (Dave is a Mac user, so, once again, Windows users will need to adapt these shortcuts to the Windows environment. I clearly need to find more experts who do their shortcut edits on Windows). Many of Dave’s keyboard shortcuts trigger scripts that he’s written for InDesign:

  1. I swap cmd+ctrl+V and cmd+ctrl+Shift+V because I often want to paste in place and rarely paste inside. This also makes cmd+ctrl+V consistent with PageMaker.
  2. I assign cmd+Shift+W to fit page in Window. (A la FreeHand.)
  3. I assign ctrl+~ to a script that toggles the two characters on either side of the insertion point.
  4. I assign ctrl+A to a script that presents a list of that last 15 scripts I’ve run as well as all the scripts at the first level down in the Palette so I can easily repeat recent scripts and get at most palette scripts without having the palette consuming acres of screen space.
  5. I assign ctrl+opt+A to a script that runs any script anywhere in the file system by throwing up a dialog–it also adds that script to the recent list used by the previous script I mentioned. This means that if I’m working on a scripting project, I can keep the scripts with the client’s files where they’ll be backed up, and after calling them with this shortcut they’re available in the "last 15 list" for as long as I need them.
  6. I assign ctrl+W to a script called Reset Window Size that overrides the annoying default window sizes that InDesign tries to foist on me and instead uses a size that is kept in a default file (this allows me to run the same script on any machine or monitor because if the script fails to find a default file and there is an open window, it offers to make the current active window the default for that machine).
  7. I assign ctrl+1 to a similar script that makes the window half as wide as above (using another default text file in the same way). If a window is already occupying those coordinates, it puts the new window to the right of that other window, allowing me to easily have two windows side by side on my 20-inch monitor.
  8. I assign ctrl+opt+1 to a variation of this last script that always positions the front window at the designated coordinates. This allows me to see ESTK on the right and an InDesign window on the left.
  9. Nearly forgot: I assign ctrl+M to merge table cells.

I also hate the fact that cmd-H now hides InDesign. It is elevating my blood pressure each time InDesign disappears on me at least three or four times a day.

3 Responses to Celebrity Keyboard Shortcuts: Dave Saunders

  1. Sandee Cohen says:

    Hey, Dave, I’ve gone one step further with my customization.

    I just realized that 99% of the time if I need to duplicate an object on the page, I simply Opt/Alt-drag.

    But if I need to paste from one document to another, I almost always want the objects in the same position.

    So I’ve bitten the bullet and made all pastes a Paste In Place.

    There are a few times when dealing with facing pages that the Paste in Place causes confusion, but most of the time it’s a great savings.

    Interestingly, it doesn’t screw up pasting text within frames.

    –Sandee Cohen

  2. Chris says:


    Are you willing to share the window resize script? I could really use it!



  3. Evan says:


    I just made the connection that you are the one who has been helping out me and several others on the InDesign forum.

    I want to extend a sincere thanks!