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Chapter 4. Views and Navigation > Managing Palettes

Managing Palettes

Adobe InDesign has a great many palettes, which makes it important to know how to quickly access, hide, and manage them.

Palette Key Commands

Many palettes have their own keyboard shortcuts. These make the palettes visible and activate their first field. Or, if the palettes are displayed, the shortcut hides them. Once the first field of the palette is active, you can enter a specific value and then use the Tab and Shift-Tab keystrokes to move between fields.

Minimize Palettes

Minimize your palettes (Figure 4-4) by clicking the Grow Window/Maximize button at the top of the palette. You can also double-click on the name of a palette 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 only the palette name is displayed.

Figure 4-4. A minimized palette

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.

By default, many palettes are attached to the right side of the document window. Clicking the name tab of a palette that is attached to the side of the window causes the palette to slide out and become fully visible—or if it is already expanded, to hide the palette and only show its name.

Palettes that are attached to the side of the window can be positioned anywhere on the screen by clicking and dragging. You can also customize the grouping of various palettes so that the palettes you need are positioned together in a palette group, or separated so that you can view them independently. For example, the Swatches and Character Styles palettes are combined by default, but by clicking and dragging the title tab of either one of these palettes you can separate them. To combine palettes that are separate, click and drag a palette (by its title tab) on top of any other palette (see Figure 4-5).

Figure 4-5. Combined and docked palettes

You can also join palettes together so they are “docked” 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.

Using Workspaces

Workspaces provide a handy tool for managing the dizzying array of palettes. By creating a workspace you can save the position of all open palettes on your screen, making it easy to access them again. To save the positions of all open palettes as a workspace choose Windows>Workspace>Save Workspace. To activate a workspace, choose the name of the workspace you wish to use from that same submenu.

Use the Control Palette

When editing text you can use the Character palette, the Paragraph palette, the Character Styles palette, and the Paragraph Styles palette—or replace all those with the Control palette. The Control palette is a versatile palette that combines many of the common attributes that are typically found by using individual palettes. By default, the Control palette is attached to the top of the document window, just below the menu bars. When editing text, you can choose to edit either Paragraph or Character attributes in this palette by clicking on the appropriate buttons on the left side of the palette (or press Command-Option-7/Ctrl-Alt-7 to swap the views).

When objects are selected using one of the selection tools, the Control palette can also be used in place of the Transform palette and the Stroke palette, as it displays positioning and size information along with stroke (border) options.

Making Objects Non-printing

You can make objects non-printing (that is, they appear on screen but don’t print out) with InDesign. There are many reasons you might want non-printing objects in your document. For instance, you might want to add a note you want someone else handling the document to see, but which you don’t want to appear when you print out the page that it’s on.

To make an object non-printing with InDesign, open the Attributes palette (from the Window menu), select the object, and turn on the Nonprinting checkbox (see Figure 4-6).

Figure 4-6. The Attributes palette

InDesign also lets you preview the printing status of objects by selecting the Preview mode button on the Tools palette, or pressing W (when you don’t have a text insertion point). Non-printing objects disappear in any of the preview modes.

You can also have InDesign suppress the printout (not print) all pictures in a document. Do this in the Print dialog box by selecting None from the Images menu on the Graphics panel.

Tip: You can disable printing for every object on a layer by Option/Alt-clicking on a layer in the Layers palette (to select all the objects on that layer) and then, in the Attributes palette, turn select the Nonprinting checkbox.

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