Monday, July 11, 2011

Locking objects in InDesign CS5 or newer

Adobe changed the way the Lock feature works in InDesign CS5. I think the change is a huge improvement, but there are a few subtleties that you need to be aware of.

1. The new Lock is a "true" lock. When an object is locked, you can't do anything with it, unlike the previous "lock position" command in previous versions.

2. You can lock objects 5 different ways: a) Object > Lock, b) command-L (Mac) or ctrl-L (Windows), c) by clicking in the lock column to the left of the object in the Layers panel, d) by clicking in the lock column to the left of the parent layer of the object in the Layers panel (which locks all the objects on that layer) e) by hiding a layer (which effectively "locks" the objects on the layer, since the objects can no longer be selected).

3. You can unlock objects 5 different ways: a) Object > Unlock All on Spread (which unlocks all the objects on the currently selected spread), b) command-option-L (Mac) or ctrl-alt-L (Windows), (which also unlocks all the objects on the currently selected spread), c) by showing Frame Edges (View > Extras > Show Frame Edges), and then clicking on the padlock icon in the upper-left corner of the frame, d) clicking on the padlock icon to the left of the object in the Layers panel, e) by clicking on the padlock icon to the left of a layer name in the Layers panel (which unlocks all the objects on that layer, unless individual objects on the layer have been previously locked).

4. If an object is locked, but the lock icon in the upper left corner of the object doesn't display when frame edges are shown, that means that the parent layer is locked. To unlock the object in this situation, you must unlock the parent layer by clicking the lock icon to the left of the layer name in the Layers panel.

5. If an object is locked and the lock icon is displayed in the upper left corner of the object, but nothing happens when you click on it, this means that the object is locked AND the parent layer is locked. To unlock the object, you must unlock the parent layer by clicking the lock icon to the left of the layer name, AND unlock the object by clicking the lock icon to the left of the object name in the Layers panel.

6. Surprisingly, the Object > Unlock All on Spread command will, indeed, unlock ALL objects, even those on hidden layers (but not objects on locked layers). In other words, a hidden layer isn't considered "locked" for the context of this command.

2 comments:

Philip Vernon Hastings said...

Great stuff Keith.

Going on week number three of CS5.5 and haven't had much down time to notice subtle differences.

However, we were a little surprised that a major print shop in the metro area had not upgraded.

The irony is that we're a tiny web dev company that just so happens to be producing huge print jobs.

Keep up the great work!

F. Hoppen, the Netherlands said...

Hi Keith,
Nice blog! Good description of locking and unlocking in Indesign CS5.5. Still, I don’t agree with you entirely.
Last week (March 2012), I upgraded from Indesign CS3 to 5.5. What bothers me is not so much that Adobe added new functionality. On the contrary, it is laudable that Adobe tries to improve its software.
What really bothers me is that it is no longer possible to unlock individual frames by using the context menu. The option you mentioned in 3.c. I find rather troublesome: now I have to look all day at a myriad of frames and double click in precisely defined spots: the padlocks. (Some ten years ago there was a lot of talk about RSI – did it go away by itself?) Perhaps the Adobe programmers just can't program so many different approaches to locking/unlocking frames, but I found the (un)locking of individual frames via the context menu elegant and easy to do.