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Adobe InDesign Tips and Tricks

1. Frames First, Images Second
When you have to place a number of images into your layout, save yourself some effort and first set up the graphic frame with particular specifications (Fit Proportionally, fit content to frame, fit frame to content, etc.). That way you won't have to fidget as much to make the fit.

Drag out the frame to the desired size and proportion. Select Object > Fitting > Frame Fitting Options. Define the Crop Amount or the Reference Point (the point from which your sizes will emanate), and select Fitting > Fit Content Proportionally. Once you define one frame, Option/Alt-drag it to make a duplicate with the same parameters. Now when you Place (Command/Ctrl-D) an image, it will come into the frame with the predefined sizing.

Using the Scissors Tool You can use InDesign's Scissors tool to convert a closed path into an open path and to cut an open path into two separate open paths. First, select it in the Tools panel, and then move the crosshair pointer over the edge of an object. When a circle is displayed in the middle of the crosshairs -- indicating that the pointer is over the edge of the object -- click the mouse button. An anchor point is added where you click. If you select this anchor point with the Direct Selection tool and move it, you'll find another anchor point in the same place. This anchor point is the other endpoint if you cut a closed path. It's an endpoint on a separate path if you cut an open path.
2. Stay Away from System Fonts
When you're preparing InDesign files for print on a Mac, stay away from System fonts. These include the Helvetica, Helvetica Neue, Courier, Symbol, and Zapf Dingbats fonts found in [Your computer] > System > Library > Fonts.
They won't print badly, but the names are the same as PostScript fonts you may also be have. Sometimes the wrong version can be substituted by mistake, causing incorrect spacing or missing characters.
3. New Tabs for Document Windows
If you're not a fan of CS4's tabbed document windows, you can disable them either temporarily or permanently.

Under Window > Arrange, there are commands that let you float one InDesign document outside the tabs or float all InDesign documents outside the tabs. Or simply drag the tab down a bit, and the document becomes a regular floating window.

For the permanent solution, go to Preferences > Interface and turn off the Open Documents as Tabs.

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