Tuesday, August 26, 2008

How to select overset text in table cells

When table text  in InDesign (and InCopy)  is too large or too long to fit in a table cell, InDesign displays a red oval to indicate the text is overset. But what if you want to select this text? Here's how:

1. With the Type tool, click inside the cell that has the overset text. You won't see the flashing text cursor to indicate that you've successfully clicked inside the cell, but that's OK. Trust me.


2. Press the esc key to select the entire table cell. The cell should become highlighted.

3. Press the esc key again to toggle the selection to select all the text in the cell. You will not see this selection, because the text is overset. But again, trust me. All the text in the cell is now selected. So you can delete, cut or copy the text, or make it smaller, or do anything you want to it.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Paste Without Formatting

InDesign and InCopy's Paste Without Formatting command (located in the Edit menu) is often overlooked. This command is really useful in at least two situations.

1. Imagine you have a 60 pt Bodoni headline and some 12 point Myriad body text. If you select a couple of words of body text, and try to paste it in the middle of the headline, the pasted text will appear with the 12 point Myriad formatting, when the desired result is probably to adopt the formatting of the headline. This where Paste Without Formatting comes in. All you have to do is copy the body text normally, then use Edit > Paste Without Formatting to paste the text into the headline. The formatting of the body text will be left behind, and the text will adopt the formatting of the new cursor location.

2. This command is also useful when pasting from other programs like Word, Excel, or email into InDesign. If you choose Preferences > Clipboard Handling, and choose "When Pasting Text and Tables from Other Applications, Paste: All Information" when you copy text from Word and paste it into InDesign, it will bring the formatting from Word. But if you choose Edit > Paste Without Formatting, it will leave the Word formatting behind and adopt the formatting of the text cursor location.

You probably already know the keyboard shortcut for Paste (Mac: command-v, Windows: ctrl-v). The shortcut for Paste Without Formatting is easy to remember. Just add the Shift key. (Mac: command-shift-v, Windows: ctrl-shift-v).

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

InDesign's "Component Information" dialog: useful but perhaps misleading

If you want to know more about the history of a "flaky" InDesign file, here's something to try. Hold down command (Mac) or ctrl (Windows) as you select About InDesign from the InDesign menu (Mac) or the Help menu (Windows). This will display the "Component Information" dialog box. Among other things, this will show you the complete history of every "Save As" in the life of the document, whether it has ever crossed platform from Windows to Mac or vice versa, and if the document was ever converted from QuarkXPress or PageMaker.

InDesign can convert Quark 4 files to InDesign format, and newer Quark files can be converted with the Q2ID plug-in. Here's the problem: the Component Information dialog box will only state that a file was converted from Quark if it was converted using InDesign's native Quark 4 conversion. If the file was converted to Quark using the Q2ID plug-in, the dialog box will display "Converted from QuarkXPress - no". So beware of this. I don't know of any way to tell after the fact whether a file has been converted to InDesign format using the Q2ID plug-in.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

A less-expensive Bridge

If you're reading this, you no doubt have a copy of Adobe Bridge, since it is included with every copy of Creative Suite 2 and 3, as well as many of the "point products" in the suite when they are purchased alone, such as InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator.

But what if you have a colleague that would like to use Bridge, but they don't want to spend the money to purchase a point product, much less the entire Creative Suite? Perhaps a co-worker wants to add XMP metadata to images, or to visually search for graphics files, and Bridge would be the perfect tool for their needs. Unfortunately, Bridge is not available for purchase as a standalone product.

But, if you purchase a copy of Contribute CS3, which sells for $169 US single copy price in the Adobe Store, Adobe Bridge is included. So this is a less-expensive way to obtain a legal copy of Bridge, without shelling out $600 or more for a copy of Illustrator, Photoshop or InDesign.