Friday, May 27, 2011

InDesign's ruler "zero point"

Barb wrote and asked:

"I’m guessing I did something inadvertently. I’m setting up a new large project. The (single) page size is 8.5” wide. I’m setting it up as facing pages and I want the ruler to be set at 8.5” (in the middle) when at the start of the second page – instead it shows up as 0” and goes to 8.5” again. In other words I want the ruler to read from 0” to 17” for the facing pages spread. What do I need to do to change this?"

Short answer: Just right-click (or ctrl-click) on the horizontal ruler, and choose "Ruler Per Spread".

Long answer:

"Ruler Per Page" will position the zero point at the upper-left corner of each individual page.

"Ruler Per Spread" will position the zero point at the upper-left corner of the entire spread.

"Ruler On Spine" will position the zero point at the upper-left corner of right-hand (recto) pages and the upper-right corner of left-hand (verso) pages.

Friday, May 20, 2011

How to resize pages in InDesign

Imagine you have a document consisting of a number of pages that contain text and images. Now you need to change the page size to be smaller or larger.

One way to do this is to choose File > Document Setup, change the page dimensions, and click OK. While this works, it gives you no control over where the extra page width or height is added or removed. The rule is that the page enlargement or reduction is performed equally on all four sides, except in the case of facing pages documents where the width change happens away from the spine.

But, in CS5, you can control this behavior. Instead of using Document Setup, select the new Page Tool in the Tool panel (third tool from the top). Next, select a "reference point" on the proxy icon in the left end of the Control panel. Then adjust the width and height fields in the Control panel. The reference point you've chosen will remain fixed, and the page will grow or shrink in relation to it.

I've found this very useful when creating tablet screens for the Adobe Digital Publishing Suite. One option with the Digital Publishing Suite is to create pages that are longer or wider than the tablet screen, allowing the user to swipe up and down or left and right to view a single long (or wide) "page". It can be really handy to create a 1024px x 3000px long page, add the page content starting at the top, and then just shorten the page from the bottom when finished. The technique above makes this painless!

Friday, May 06, 2011

The future of newspapers

If you're in the newspaper biz, whether a small-market weekly or a metro daily, you owe it to yourself to listen to InDesignSecrets Podcast 148. The main feature of the podcast is an interview with my friend Russell Viers. Russell is a trainer and consultant who has specialized in the newspaper market for many years. The interview is a riot, but beyond being entertaining, Russell has some pointed observations about where newspapers are headed and what they can do about it.

I'm looking forward to catching up with Russell in a couple of weeks. Both he and I are speakers at the InDesignSecrets 2011 Print & ePublishing Conference.