Posts in Category "Buried Treasures"

Fixing Inconsistent Formatting in Numbered Lists

I don’t intend to be very active on this blog for the next few months for double top secret reasons that may or may not have to do with the characters C, S, and 5. I’ll focus on short and sweet posts, like this one.

Here’s a little tidbit from the Format a bulleted or numbered list Help topic.

When you italicize or bold the first word of a bulleted or numbered list paragraph, the formatting is applied to the number as well, making it inconsistent with the rest of the numbering. Like this:


See how the number 3 is italicized just like the first word? That’s ugly. So what’s the solution? Apply a character style to the numbering. Here’s what it says in Help:

By default, bullets and numbers inherit some of their text formatting from the first character in the paragraph to which they’re attached. If the first character in one paragraph is different from the first characters in other paragraphs, the numbering or bullet character may appear inconsistent with the other list items. If this is not the formatting you desire, create a character style for numbers or bullets and apply it to your list by using the Bullets And Numbering dialog box.

Now, back to the fun stuff!

Starting a Document with Page 1 on the Left Side

[Note: This article applies only to InDesign CS4 and earlier versions. In InDesign CS5, you can simply add an even number for the Start Page # option in the New Document dialog box to start a document with a two-page spread.]

Here’s another buried treasure from the Help files. By default, documents you create with facing pages include a single-page spread to begin the document, like this:

spreadstart before.jpg

How do you start a document with a two-page spread, like this?


If you try to delete the first page, the other page numbers just move up, and page 2 replaces page 1. The Start a document with a two-page spread Help topic gives the answer:

Start a document with a two-page spread

Instead of beginning the document with a right-facing (recto) page, you can delete the first page and begin your document with a left-facing (verso) page that’s part of a spread.

Important: Because of the settings that make it necessary to keep a left-facing page as the starting page, it can be difficult to insert spreads into a document when following this method. To avoid this difficulty, it is best to work in the document with a right-facing page starting page (which should be left blank). When you have inserted all of the pages needed in the document, delete the first page by following the steps below.
Make sure page 1 of the document is blank.

1. Choose File > Document Setup. Be sure the document contains at least three pages and that the Facing Pages option is selected. Click OK.

2 In the Pages panel, select all the pages except page 1. (The easiest way to do this is to select page 2 and then Shift-select the last page of the document.)

3. In the Pages panel menu, deselect Allow Selected Spread To Shuffle.
Select page 1. In the Pages panel menu, choose Delete Spread.

TIP: To add a spread to a document that starts on a left-facing page, first make sure Allow Selected Spread To Shuffle is deselected and Allow Document Pages To Shuffle is selected. Then, insert three pages, and delete the extra page.

Buried Treasure: Creating Quick Contact Sheets

[This article refers to InDesign CS4. In InDesign CS5, you can create grids while placing files, while drawing frames and shapes, and while duplicating objects.]

In the Creating contact sheets help topic, I mention how to place multiple graphics into a grid. It’s a pretty neat trick, especially if you use the modifier keys to change the number of rows and columns as well as the spacing between the images.

You can also create a simple contact sheet in InDesign by placing multiple images in a grid.

1. Choose File > Place, select multiple images, and choose Open.

2. Hold down Ctrl+Shift (Windows) or Command+Shift (Mac OS) and click or drag.

3. While still dragging, release the other modifier keys and press the arrow keys to determine the number of rows and columns. Use the Up Arrow and Down Arrow keys to change the number of rows and the Left and Right arrow keys to change the number of columns. To change the spacing between frames, use the Page Up and Page Down keys or hold down Shift while pressing the arrow keys.

4. Release the mouse button to place the grid of images.


Even though the images may have different sizes, the frames in the grid are the same size. Use the Object > Fitting commands to fit the images within the frame. If images need to be moved within the frame, use the Direct Selection tool to select and move the image.

Fixing Incorrect Last Name Sorts in Index

For another edition of my Buried Treasure series, here’s a tip found in the Help topic, Index a word, phrase, or list quickly. This topic describes how to index names quickly in the Last Name, First Name format. To index a proper name quickly by last name, select the name and press Shift+Alt+Ctrl+] (Windows) or Shift+Option+Command+] (Mac OS).

This works well for names like Arthur Mays (Mays, Arthur) and Harriet R. Smith (Smith, Harriet R.). But what about names like Edgar de la Peña, Thurston B. Howell III, Floyd Airweather Jr.? You’d have an index that looks like this:

III, Thurston B. Howell
Jr., Floyd Airweather
Peña, Edgar de la

Here’s where the buried treasure comes in.

To index compound last names or names with a title, include one or more nonbreaking spaces between the words. For example, if you want to index “James Paul Carter Jr.” by “Carter” instead of “Jr.”, place a nonbreaking space between “Carter” and “Jr.” (To insert a nonbreaking space, choose Type > Insert White Space > Nonbreaking Space.)

If you add nonbreaking spaces (also called “hard spaces”) between the “real” last name and all the words that come after it, the generated index won’t have the bad sorting problems:

Airweather Jr., Floyd
de la Peña, Edgar
Howell III, Thurston B.

Vertical Alignment and Corner Effects

[This article applies only to InDesign CS4 and earlier. InDesign CS5 lets you apply vertical justification to non-rectangular shapes.]

For another edition of my Buried Treasures series, here’s a note found in the Help topic, Align or justify text vertically within a text frame.

Vertical justification isn’t applied to text that takes on a non-rectangular shape due to influences such as text frame shape, text wrap, or corner effects. In these cases, top alignment is applied. When a corner effect is applied, vertical justification is possible if you make the text area rectangular by increasing the Inset value in the Text Frame Options dialog box, relative to the Size value in the Corner Options dialog box.

In other words, vertical justification and corner effects don’t play nicely with each other in InDesign CS4. One workaround, as described in the Help topic, is to increase the inset value in the Text Frame Options dialog box (Ctrl+B/Command+B) so that it’s at least as large as the corner effect value. In the example below, I justified the text within the text frame, and then I added a 2p corner effect, and then I added a 2p inset.


That’s one option, which works perfectly well if you don’t mind changing the inset value. If you want your inset value to be smaller, the best approach is to use two frames of the same size. Apply the vertical aliignment to the text in one frame, and apply the corner effect to the other frame, and then stack and group the two frames.

Buried Treasure – Inserting Tabs in Tables

InDesign Secrets just did a post on typing tabs in a table cell. It’s a good tip that reminded me of a series I’ve been wanting to do called “Buried Treasures” in which I extract tips from Help topics and highlight them in this blog. I’ll start with this little topic called Insert tabs into a table cell:

Insert tabs into a table cell

When the insertion point is in a table, pressing Tab moves the insertion point to the next cell. However, you can insert a tab within a table cell. Use the Tabs panel to define tab settings in the table. Tab settings affect the paragraph in which the insertion point is placed.

1. Using the Type tool , place the insertion point where you want to insert a tab.
2. Choose Type > Insert Special Character > Other > Tab.
3. To change tab settings, select the columns or cells you want to affect, choose Type > Tabs to display the Tabs panel, and then adjust tab settings.

Note: When you use the Tabs ruler to apply a decimal tab to a cell or group of cells, you usually don’t need to press Tab at the beginning of each paragraph to decimal-align the text in the cells. Paragraphs are automatically aligned on the decimal character, unless the paragraph contains additional formatting, such as center alignment, that overrides the decimal tab.

On a Mac, you can press Option-Tab. In Windows, you need to assign a keystroke.

You may wonder why we don’t provide keyboard shortcuts in Adobe Help topics. It turns out that scattered keyboard shortcuts give our international friends fits when they’re translating the Help topics, especially for languages that use different keyboards. To save time and money, we keep all of our shortcuts listed in the Default keyboard shortcuts topic.