Monday, September 24, 2007

Better Bridge previews with Illustrator's Crop Area tool

When you save artwork as an Adobe Illustrator (AI) document with the Create PDF Compatible File option selected, the preview that appears in Adobe Bridge is of the entire Artboard (typically a letter-size page). To make Bridge preview only the artwork, and not the entire page, do the following:

1. In Illustrator CS3, double-click on the Crop Area tool, or press Shift-O (the letter O, not the number zero) followed by return or enter.

2. Choose Fit Crop Area to Artwork Bounds from the Preset drop-down list at the top of the Crop Area Options dialog box.

3. Save the file normally, with the Create PDF Compatible File option selected.

This will make Bridge previews of your Illustrator files larger and more useful.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Breaking facing-pages into single pages

A question I get asked frequently is how to take a document that has been created as a facing pages document in InDesign, and change it to a single-page, non-facing pages document without messing up master page items. This is needed in some prepress workflows where objects bleed into the gutter (the left side of right-hand pages or the right side of left-hand pages).

Here is one way to do this:

1. Open a document that has been created as a facing pages document.

2. In the pages panel menu, choose Allow Document Pages to Shuffle (CS3) or Allow Pages to Shuffle (CS2) (this should uncheck, or deselect this option).

3. Grab the right-hand page of each spread, and pull the page to the right of the spread until you see a vertical black bar appear and then release the mouse. This will separate the page from the spread, but the page will remain a right-hand page.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Removing Version Cue from Bridge

One way to simplify Bridge CS3 and remove some visual "clutter" is to remove unused icons from the "Favorites" list. To do this, just right-click (or ctrl-click) on a Favorite, and choose Remove from Favorites. If you ever want an icon to return, it can be added in Preferences.

This works well, except for the Version Cue favorite. If you don't use Version Cue, there is no reason to keep the icon around, but it keeps popping back like an uninvited guest each time you start up Bridge. To banish the Version Cue icon from Bridge once and for all, go to Preferences (in the Bridge menu on the Mac, the Edit menu in Windows) and choose the Startup Scripts category on the left. Deselect Adobe Version Cue in the list on the right, and click OK. The Version Cue icon will disappear from Favorites, never to return until invited back!

Friday, September 07, 2007

InDesign's Break Link to Style command

Ever have this happen to you? You copy a text frame in InDesign CS2 or CS3, and then paste it into another InDesign document, and the text formatting completely changes on the pasted copy?

The most likely cause of this is a paragraph or character style (or styles) that is applied to text in the source file (perhaps the pesky Basic Paragraph style). If this same style appears in the destination document with different formatting attributes, the pasted text will take on the attributes of the destination document.

The solution? Select the text in the source document, and choose Break Link to Style from the Paragraph Styles panel menu. Next, choose Break Link to Style from the Character Styles panel menu. This will "unapply" the style from the text, but leave the formatting intact. Now you can copy the text frame and paste it into the destination document, and the formatting will survive the trip.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Twin Cities InDesign User Group meeting

If you are in the Minneapolis, MN area, don't miss the next meeting of the Twin Cities InDesign User Group, scheduled for Tuesday evening, September 18 from 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. More information about the meeting can be found here. The event is free, but be sure to register to attend on the IDUG Web site.

InDesign's non-joiner character

InDesign CS3 allows you to enter a "non-joiner" character in text by choosing Type > Insert Special Character > Other > Non-joiner. A non-joiner character is a character that has no width. Tim Cole explains the intended use for the non-joiner character here.

I've discovered another use for this character from a recent project. I had a list of items, to which I had applied bullets using the automatic bullet feature (Type > Bulleted & Numbered Lists > Apply Bullets). On one of the items, I needed to make the first word red. But this caused the automatic bullet to become red also, since automatic bullets inherit the formatting of the first character of the paragraph.

Creating a character style for the bullet would fix this, but that was overkill for this simple project. Instead, I inserted a non-joiner character at the beginning of the paragraph, selected the non-joiner, and made it black. Problem solved.

Since the non-joiner has no width, it is tricky to select. The best way is to position the cursor to the immediate right of the character, and then hold down the shift key while you hit the left-arrow cursor key.