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49 - Changing Preferences For Advanced InDesign Users


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Okay, it's Advanced Preferences time. On a PC, it's under 'Edit'. 'Preferences'. On a Mac here, it's under 'InDesign', 'Preferences'. Let's start with 'General'.

First thing people don't like about the new version is this Start window, with all these recently used documents. What you can do is, just turn that off, click 'OK' and it will go back to kind of like when it opens, you can just get all your documents. So up to you. I'm going to go back.

Another interesting one is-- actually, first I'm going to turn back on my 'Start', and I'm going to go to 'Units & Increments'. So, this is the place where you change it from inches to millimetres, or if you're doing a lot of web work, or digital work you can switch it out to pixels, and it will change it by default.

The other useful thing down here is the 'Keyboard Increments'. At the moment, if I click 'OK', open up a new document, and if I'm tapping things around, often I like to use my keyboard just to move things around. Mainly because Smart Guides are so smart. So I'm going to give this a Fill of 'yellow'. So, it's snapping but I just want to use my keyboard, so I can just tap it along with my keyboard, but often it's working in two bigger increments. So I want do like really microscopic stuff.

So, in 'InDesign', 'Preferences', you can adjust that. Go to 'Units & Increments' again and just turn this down to something really small. So instead of 013, I'm just going to put in that. So I'm going to get rid of that, and it's now, watch this… my keyboard shortcuts, it's just teeny tiny. I'm going to zoom in. So it's just like little bit. So you can hold 'Shift' to get it to go a lot faster, but now it's just nice, tiny little increments.

Another interesting 'Preference' option is down here, it's 'Clipboard Handling'. So if you're copying and pasting from Word or other InDesign files, or any sort of document, what you might find is you want to bring through lots more information. So to adjust the text when you're pasting, bring in anything you can. It might be styles from Word, or InDesign it's not going to clear them all out. So you can decide which option you prefer here, so straight on text or going through all of the junk. Things like Styles, Paragraph Styles, decide what works for you.

Another useful thing is, especially for me, under 'Spelling' there's one called 'Dynamic Spelling'. And that means it's going to work just like Word. When I type in a word that I can't spell, like there, I always get it wrong. It gives me a little red line. So I know I can go back and type the right one. You can even right click it, and get spelling options, and I click there. Then it goes green, because there's a duplicate. If I right click it, it says there's a repeat word in here, be careful. So, quite useful, Dynamic Spelling. Especially for people like me who find it tough. Where does that 'i' go? I'm never sure. One little thing though, is you won't see Dynamic Spelling if you're in preview mode. So just tap the 'W' key, and you can't see it at all. 'W' on, 'W' off. So, just note that.

One of the other things is that making a PDF can take a long time and sometimes you're like, "I just made it, is it frozen?" You can turn on this window called 'Background Tasks'. It's under 'Utilities', and it's called 'Background Tasks'. It's a big window so you might need a bigger screen to actually be using this one here, but it just shows you what InDesign's trying to do. If you're working with big slow documents, let's say we export this one, I'm going to call mine 'Export Test'. Just going to make it a regular PDF, and I hit 'Save'. Keep an eye on this guy, watch… it was really fast, but if it's taking a really long time it will groan and moan, and you will see a little bar kind of eventually getting to the end here. It can be useful, especially if you're waiting for a PDF to get created and not sure how long it's going to take.

The other things that can happen, is alerts appear down here. If you're finding you're making PDFs, and they're just not being made, it's some sort of error, it will tell you down here, the alerts. It might have useful things, like you used the Pantone, or you've used the wrong color mode. So I'm going to close down the Background Task window. He's not really a Preference, I know.

Now on to my most favorite of all Preferences. It's this Control bar along the top here. Sometimes it's called the App bar. The Control bar here is what's included along with these little options. And you can customize them. I find this is super useful when I'm at my Type tool. Grab my 'Type' tool. Remember, we're toggling between these two here. Be nice, on some screens you might have noticed, if you got a really big iMac, you can see both the character, and then there's a little break here, it's kind of a dark line you can't really see. Now it's starting with the Character stuff but imagine if you can just see them all in one go. What you can do is just turn this stuff off, you don't use. Then you don't have to go and toggle between these two. To do it, pick anyone of them, and go to this little cog here and go through and say, actually in Character I want to see everything, but I want to see Character Style. That's this option here. Takes off a big huge chunk, we just don't need it.

Let's say you don't use Character Scaling, you shouldn't. It's like against the typography rules. I'm going to use Stroke, and I'll use all the rest of it and say 'Paragraph'. What else do I not need? Baseline Grid, say you don't use it. Text Grid is good. I don't use Paragraph Styles up there, I use a separate panel. Borders & Shading I don't use, and I click 'OK'. And now I've got lots of room up here, and I got kind of like everything I need. You can do it with any panel. Click on the 'Selection' tool and up here you can decide what to turn on, and what to turn off. Under 'Object' and just get it down, it's adjusted but it's that you just won't use if you want to make a nice clean Control bar or App bar along the top.

All right, that's going to be it for Advanced Preferences in InDesign. Let's get on to the next video.

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