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3. Adobe InDesign Tips and Tricks

Q: Find Patterns You Can Automate
To be efficient in InDesign, automate the repeating elements in your documents. For example, the Text Variables feature (which debuted in CS3) is ideal for handling repeating elements, such as variable running heads in a book or catalog, or the current date. You can find a list of premade text variables in the Type > Text Variables > Insert Variable submenu. If you don't see any, your document was probably created in CS2 or earlier. You can load text variables from another InDesign document (such as one created in CS3 or CS4) by choosing Type > Text Variables > Define, then clicking Load.

Q: Master Items and Books
A: Say you have several documents in a book, each of which ends on a right-hand (odd) page, and you want each following document in the book to start on a right-hand page. In InDesign CS3, choose Book Page Numbering Options from the Book panel menu, then choose "Continue on next odd page" from the Page Order options. Click Insert Blank Page to automatically add a left-hand page to any document in the book that ends on an odd page. However, the inserted pages are always based on no master page. To give those blank pages master page information, you have to manually drag a master onto them.

Q: Make All Frames the Same Height or Width
A: So you have a whole bunch of frames on the page, and you want them all to be the same height (or width). Select one of the frames and enter the correct height (or width) in the H (or W) field in the Control panel. Press Return. Now, select all the other frames you need to fix. Choose Object > Transform > Transform Again Individually. Presto! All of the frames change their height (or width) to the previous amount.


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