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Use Notes to Hide Text in InDesign

By Keith Gilbert on

What if you’re working in InDesign (or InCopy), and decide to delete a big chunk of text that you’ve ever-so-carefully crafted? You don’t really want to delete it, do you? What if you decide later that you want to include it after all?

One real slick way to deal with this is to use the Notes feature of InDesign/InCopy.

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Use Find/Change to Delete in InDesign

By David Blatner

The Find/Change dialog box is full of all kinds of tricks, some less obvious than others. Here are a few tricks that you need to know:

  • If you see a little “i” in a black circle above either the Find What or Change To fields, it indicates that text formatting has been assigned. You can clear that out by clicking the trash can icon button. (If you don’t see any formatting options, click the More Options button.)
  • To find something and delete it: fill in the Find What field, leave the Change To field blank, and make sure no formatting is applied in the Change Format area.


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Convert Character Styled Text to Paragraph Styled Text

By Anne-Marie Concepcion in

What to do when you inherit a file from someone who used Character Styles instead of Paragraph Styles (of course, you would never make that mistake yourself, right?).

When I work with clients who are already using InDesign, and they send me one of their actual INDD files, the first thing I do after opening their document is open the Character Styles panel. At least 25% of the time, I find at least one—or to my dismay, many—character styles that should have been paragraph styles. Like this:

This is a made up example but it’s emblematic of the problem. The user created a character style called “Body-no indent” and is applying it by selecting all the body text and clicking on the character style name. Ditto for the green subhead, and other styles. Often, they also create paragraph styles of the same name, and apply both to the text. Just in case, you know?


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The best way to create a Straddle Head

By Keith Gilbert in

The new Span Columns feature of InDesign CS5 provides a really quick and simple way to create a headline that straddles multiple columns. But what if you use an older version of InDesign?

Most users just select the headline. cut it out of the text frame, and paste it into a separate text frame above the text columns. The trouble with this is that the headline is then completely separate from the rest of the text. This comes back to haunt you later if you need to export the entire article to XML, HTML, or text format, or if you want File > Select All to select the entire story. It’s a much better practice to make the head a part of the text flow of the story. This is really easy to do, and is no more work than the cut and paste method. Here’s how:

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Turn Off Spell Check for Certain Words in InDesign (like catalog part numbers)

By David Blatner in

How you can make InDesign skip certain pieces of text when checking spelling.

Fortunately, you can tell InDesign to ignore words as an actual property of its character formatting. That is, you can selectively turn off spell-checking for individual words or phrases. The trick is to choose No Language from the Language pop-up menu (in the Control or Character panel). Even better, make it a character style:

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Creating a Two-Function Button for Interactive PDF or SWF

By Steve Werner in

How to create a button that appears to have two appearances and toggles two actions.

I’ve posted before about how to create a button which both shows and hides another object. Such an interactivity effect can be exported both in an interactive PDF file and in a SWF file which can be played in a web browser.

The method which I described is to give the trigger button two events. Events are mouse actions. I described giving an action to the On Roll Over event to show a picture, and giving the same button an action to hide the picture during the On Roll Off event. (Alternatively, you could have the picture show when the trigger button is clicked—the On Click event—and have it hide when the mouse button is released—the On Releaseevent.

But on the Adobe InDesign Forum, I saw this request:

Using InDesign CS5, I’m trying to create a button that when clicked, shows another button; when clicked again, hides the button that was previously shown. Like a toggle. I’ve not been able to do this.


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How to Draw Concentric Shapes

Mike Rankin in

Ever want to draw a series of concentric shapes? It may not be obvious how to do it, but really they’re just a few clicks away.

Click on the W or H to highlight the width or height. Then hold the Option/Alt key and press the up arrow as many times as you like. Each time you press the arrow, you make a copy that is exactly 1 cm larger in diameter.

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When You See Thin White Lines in Your PDF Files

You view your PDF on screen and — gasp! — tiny white lines! Disaster or not?

Have you ever opened a PDF file and seen thin white lines where there shouldn’t be any? In general, the white lines, or “light leaks” are due to a PDF that includes flattened transparency — transparency effects (such as placed PSD files) in a file saved in a file format that doesn’t support transparency (such as Acrobat 4, a.k.a. PDF version 1.3).

Flattening transparency means “faking it” by creating opaque areas that look transparent. But these opaque areas have to fit together like a mosaic, each piece right next to the next. The result is that sometimes white peeks out between them. In the vast majority of cases, this appears only on screen! Sometimes it shows up on low-resolution printers, too, but virtually never in high-res commercial output.

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From InDesign to HTML5 via Flash

Today Adobe announced the beta release of their Flash to HTML5 conversion tool,Wallaby. Adobe demoed this software last Fall at Adobe Max. With todays release, you can download Wallaby (a free Adobe AIR app) and test out the conversion yourself.

In order to convert from Flash, you need to have access to the actual FLA (native Flash authoring file), unfortunately published SWFs will not work. According to various reports, the following items will not be converted in this beta:

  • Blend Modes
  • Flash TLF Text
  • Filters
  • Audio
  • Video
  • ActionScript

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4 Situations Where InDesign Ignores You

Keith is feeling ignored by InDesign today. Discover four situations where InDesign, like a headstrong teenager, ignores your wishes.

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