Thursday, May 31, 2012

Viewing filenames while placing multiple files in InDesign

When you place multiple graphic files at once in an InDesign layout, InDesign shows you a small thumbnail of each image as you place it, along with a number indicating the number of images that are loaded into the cursor (called the "place gun"). You can use the arrow keys on the keyboard to move between the loaded images to select the next image to place.


The training client loved this feature, and got all excited about it, but then frowned. "The image thumbnails will be meaningless to us, because all our products look so similar when shrunk to thumbnail size. What I want to see is the filename as I rotate through the images with the arrow keys, so I can select them by the SKU, which is in the filename."

My suggestion was that they should file a feature request with Adobe, because this would, indeed be a nice feature if the filename could be include with the image thumbnail in the place gun.

But today, one of the people in the training class sent me an email alerting me of a workaround that I hadn't thought of, and it's simple! Just position your Links panel where you can view it as you place the files. When you place multiple files, they are all loaded into the Links panel before the thumbnail for the first image appears. Then, as you cycle through the individual thumbnails in the place gun, the filename for each file is highlighted in the Links panel. Clever!


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Join me in St. Cloud tomorrow!

Tomorrow (5-24-2012) from 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. I'll be speaking at an AAF (American Advertising Federation) Central Minnesota event. If you're in the St. Cloud area, come for lunch and a chance to learn more about Photoshop. My topic is "Five Things You MUST Know About Photoshop". I hope to see you there. Details and registration info here.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Two essential plug-ins for InDesign

My friend Martinho da Gloria at Automatication has created two plug-ins that I feel are essential for any production-oriented InDesign user. You need to try these out!

Multi-Find/Change has been around for a while. This handy plug-in lets you string together and save multiple find/change queries so that you can recall them quickly and run them all at once. For example, if you find yourself frequently cleaning up imported text by searching for all multiple spaces and replacing with a single space, searching for all tabs and replacing them with nothing, searching for multiple returns and replacing them with a single return, etc., you could set up a single set containing all these queries, and run them at any time with a single command.


Find/Change Attributes is a relatively new plug-in that enables you to quickly load formatting attributes from selected text into the Find/Change dialog box. If you use the Find/Change dialog heavily, you know that you can search for not only literal text, but also text formatting. But specifying the text formatting to search for can be time-consuming. This script makes it so much easier. You just select some text with the formatting you want to search for,




Both of these plug-ins are essential for anyone doing EPUB work, working with XML data, or creating long documents. These workflows often require industrial-strength search and replace, and these plug-ins make this easy.

Multi-Find/Change is available for InDesign CS4/CS5.x/CS6, and Find/Change Attributes is available for CS5.x/CS6. You can download a trial version and the user guide, and try them out before purchasing.