Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tips for using the NEW panel icon

Many of the panels in InDesign, InCopy, Illustrator, Photoshop, Flash and Fireworks have a small icon at the bottom that looks like a page with a dog-eared bottom-left corner.

Whenever you see this icon in one of these programs, the icon means "new". If it's at the bottom of the Pages panel, it means New Page, at the bottom of the swatches panel, it means New Swatch, etc. You can click on this icon to create a new page, swatch, layer, or whatever.

Here's a nifty trick. If you option-click (Mac) or alt-click (Windows) on the New icon in certain panels, you will get a new page, or swatch, or layer or whatever, but first you will be presented with some options (thus the option/alt key) that will control how the resulting page, layer, swatch etc. is named or what it looks like.

For example, clicking on the New icon at the bottom of the InDesign/InCopy Paragraph Styles panel creates a new style named Paragraph Style 1. But if you option/alt-click on the New icon, the New Paragraph Style dialog will appear, giving you a chance to name the Paragraph Style and set other style options.

Option/alt-clicking on the New icon at the bottom of the Layers panel in InDesign, Illustrator or Photoshop displays the New Layer dialog box, giving you a chance to name the layer before it is created.

Likewise, option/alt-clicking on the New icon at the bottom of the Paths or Channels panels in Photoshop gives you a chance to name the Path or Channel as it is created.

So, two things to remember:

1. Look for the dog-eared page icon in many of the panels in Adobe Products. It always means New.

2. Try option/alt-clicking on this icon, to see if it provides additional functionality that can make you faster and more efficient.

1 comment:

John Clifford said...

You can also drag items from the panel over the new page icon and get a copy of the original.

If you drag a page over the icon, you will get a duplicate of the page (including any items on that page). You can duplicate master pages this way as well as things like stylesheets, object styles, etc.

One of my favorites is used when I have a 4/2 type project. I drag a spot color swatch over the new page icon and get a copy of the spot color. I then name it as Pantone 184 process and convert it from spot to process. This way I can use the same color on both sides of my document (assuming that the spot color is in gamut).