Quick tips for InDesign

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Here are a few tips that I’ve found useful when tooling around Adobe InDesign. There are no big revelations here, but sometimes it’s the little things that make us more efficient:

Of Tables and Tabs

It’s simple. Select the text with decimal points in the table—the quickest way is to just click just above the top cell in the column to select all the text in that column. Then type Command-Shift-T (or Window -> Tabs) and select the Decimal Tab Stop in the palette and click in the palette ruler where you want the decimals to be aligned. InDesign should align your column of prices on the decimal, even without you even needing to insert a tab character.

If you want to add an actual tab character wherever you want it, simply use Option-Tab instead. Or do it the “hard way” by choosing Type -> Insert Special Character -> Tab.

Moving Objects

Also in the Move dialog box is another nifty feature that allows you to duplicate that object by clicking the Copy button, rather than hitting OK. This will allow you duplicated the object and move it at the same time. And finally, you can add a rotation to the object using the Angle input area as well. That’s three tasks in one dialog box. Pretty handy!

Jumping to Pages

  • Command-Down Arrow moves to the beginning of the next paragraph.
  • Command-End moves you to the end of the current text article (or block).
  • Command-Shift-End moves your cursor to the end of the article, even if it isn’t showing (usually due to being overset in a short text box).
  • Command-Shift-Home moves your cursor to the beginning of the article.

[James Dempsey runs the Creative Guy blog, which offers tips, tricks and opinion on a variety of design topics.]

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