Did you know that InDesign has an obscure keyboard shortcut to “force” a recompose of all the text in the document? This “Recompose All Text” shortcut (command-option-/ [Mac] ctrl-alt-/ [Windows]) has been around for many years. But I’ve suddenly found myself needing to use it several times in the last couple of weeks. Why?
More automation features have been added to each upgrade of InDesign. Some of these features require almost constant “background” recalculation and recomposition of text, columns, line endings, page breaks, etc.
For example, the addition of Smart Text Reflow (new in InDesign CS4) requires InDesign to “rethink” pagination every time a text change or change to the size or shape of text frames is made. Today I had a very complex long file that would not flow the text past page 1 until I hit the Recompose All Text shortcut, and then it flowed perfectly.
The awesome Auto-Size Text Frame feature (new in InDesign CS6) is supposed to adjust the size of a text frame any time that the text changes within the frame. But I’ve run into obscure situations when an Auto-Size Text Frame that contains anchored graphic doesn’t automatically resize, and I need to hit the Recompose All Text shortcut to force the frame to resize.
Other highly-automated features that I’d expect to sometimes require this shortcut include: footnotes, text variables, conditional text, cross references, live captions, and automatic paragraph numbering. Any time that your screen doesn’t seem to redraw properly, the Recompose All Text shortcut is worth a try.