Tech Tips

5 Need-to-Know Tools for InDesign Users

Adobe InDesign is industry-grade publishing and typesetting software used by production artists, graphic designers, architects, and marketing specialists to create works such as magazines, posters, newspapers, books, etc.

The software appeared in 1999 as a pioneering DTP app to support Unicode for text processing, advanced typography with OpenType fonts, layout styles, transparency features, advanced optical margin alignment, and JavaScript cross-platform scripting. It’s flexible, versatile, can connect and sync multiple files, and is suitable for text-heavy projects ⎯  all that saves a lot of time and increases productivity.

InDesign has the Toolbox, which is the basic tool for editing, selecting, drawing and typing, transformation, modifying, and navigating page elements.

InDesign Toolbox. Source: adobe.com

However, it can become more expansible once you learn the most essential InDesign tools. Let’s take a sneak peek at them: 

#1. Text Options Tools

Text tools are the most powerful design tools. To get the best of InDesign projects and make your experience working with text smooth and proficient, here’s the list of options:

  • Auto-Hyphenation. To enable/disable auto-hyphenation, opt for the Text Tool, select the text, go to the Window, choose Types & Tables, then Paragraphs, and uncheck Hyphenate.
  • Change the Text Case Format via Type choosing between uppercase, lowercase, title case, or sentence case.
  • Text and Object Containers. Select the Type Tool to change the text’s properties or bring formatting effects to the container by clicking on the text with the main selection tool. 

#2. Content Collector Tool

Content Collector Tool is a great solution if you’re transferring images, text frames, and other patterns or assets from one document to another.

This pop-up ‘conveyor’ offers a bit more control over items as it allows you to grab the pieces of content by clicking on them and modify throughout the same or different InDesign documents. The collected items are seen on the conveyor.

The objects can be repurposed by pushing on the Content Placer Tool dragging them out of the collector. It’s especially handy once you work with multiple documents and layouts or you need to create a new document by repurposing some assets or content from old documents.

#3. Tables 

Tables can be a huge part of any project when you work with such clients as restaurants, cafes, or someone who needs to list lots of things out. Tables are good for creating references, charts, planners, worksheets, catalogs, diagrams, and more.

You can create a table either within the existing text frame or build up the enclosing text frame. All you need to do is to have a text box drawn and then click on the Table tab and tailor table dimensions and style.

#4. PubTyper

PubTyper is a free and customizable Adobe InDesign tool which helps to merge InDesign files of multiple formats such as PDF, TXT, PSD, and others into a single document. It also allows you to set a template for a document, do content reflow and automated processing by example, edit images, tables, colors, and fonts.

With the ability for massive operations, the PubTyper tool provides an assemblage of items into a high-quality print-ready file. Starting from CC, it supports all Adobe InDesign versions with no extra cost required. 

#5. Master Pages

A Master Page is like a background you can use as a template for all other pages in the document. It can contain graphics and texts to be displayed (page numbers, footers, headers, logos, etc.).

By default, any document contains a master page. Master items are surrounded by a dotted frame on the page, and every alteration to a master is applied to all pages. You can also copy various masters to other documents once you need to sync the latter in a book or import master pages.

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