• Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint
Share this Page URL

Chapter 4. Palettes and Windows > Managing Palettes

Managing Palettes

Adobe InDesign makes liberal use of palettes, as opposed to QuarkXPress, which places most of its features in dialog boxes. This different way of presenting options creates a few challenges in keeping your workspace organized.

Palette Key Commands

Most palettes have their own key commands, which—if the palette is hidden—makes the palette appear and activates the first field within the palette. If the palette is already visible, then the keyboard shortcut hides the palette. Once the first field of the palette is active, you can use the Tab and Shift-Tab keystrokes to move between fields. For example, you can access the Character palette by using Command/Ctrl-T, then tab to the size field, type in a value, and press Enter to leave the palette. Note that you can also use the arrow keys to increase and decrease existing entries within the palettes (or Shift-arrow keys to increase and decrease in larger increments).

One of our favorite keyboard shortcuts is Command-~ (tilde), which highlights the last-used palette field. Unfortunately, Mac OS X grabbed this keyboard shortcut for “switch window” so if you want to use this feature in InDesign you have to change the keyboard shortcut (see Chapter 6).

Minimize Palettes

Adobe InDesign lets you minimize your palettes by clicking the Grow Window button at the top of the palette (see Figure 4-1). This button varies between operating systems—on the Macintosh it appears as a green button in the left corner of the palette and on Windows systems it appears as a horizontal line to the left of the Close Window button in the upper right corner of the palette.

Figure 4-1. A minimized palette

You can also double click on the name of the palette you are viewing to have the palette expand or contract its view. Some palettes sport three views, so double-clicking on the palette name provides you with an expanded view, a reduced view, and a view where the palette is hidden except for its name.

Combining and Docking Palettes

Because you are working with so many more palettes with InDesign it is important to customize your workspace to efficiently find what you need. With InDesign you can move palettes so that they are positioned together or separate palettes to view them independently. For example, the paragraph and character styles palettes are combined by default, but by dragging the title tab of one of these palettes you can separate them. Drag a palette (by it’s title tab) on top of another palette to combine them (see Figure 4-2).

Figure 4-2. Combined and docked palettes

You can also dock palettes together by dragging the title tab of one palette over the bottom edge of another (wait until the palette’s bottom edge highlights before letting go). When palettes are combined or docked, they’ll always hide and show at the same time.

Hide Your Palettes

You can easily open palettes out and then forget to put them away, leaving your screen cluttered. We recommend closing palettes when you are done using them (a good reason to remember those keyboard shortcuts). Or, if you need to get a temporary uncluttered view of your page, press the Tab key (when not editing text) to hide all palettes—or Shift-Tab to hide all palettes except the Tools palette.

Tiny Text

If you have dozens of styles in the Paragraph Styles palette, or colors in the Swatches palette, consider selecting Small Palette Rows from the palette’s flyout menu. This way, you can fit many more items in the same amount of space—though you may need to squint to read them.

  • Creative Edge
  • Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint