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M A G A Z I N E 56 October | November 2013

the Type issue 25 Typographic Tricks Legibility vs. Readability Fixed-Layout EPUB Solutions Creating Outlines the Right Way InDesign 101: Opening and Saving


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MAGAZINE

PUBLISHERS David Blatner, Anne-Marie Concepción EDITORIAL Editor in Chief Mike Rankin, mike@indesignmag.com Managing Editor Wendy Katz, wendy@indesignmag.com Senior Editor Sandee Cohen, sandee@indesignmag.com Contributing Writers Erica Gamet, Bart Van de Wiele, Ilene Strizver, Claudia McCue, Anne-Marie Concepción, Jeff Gamet DESIGN Andrew Fintzel  IDUGBoston.com Rufus Deuchler  rufus.deuchler.net PRODUCTION Matt Mayerchak  mayerchak.com BUSINESS Contact Information indesignmag.com/contact.php Subscription Information indesignmag.com/purchase.php Published by InDesignSecrets.com, a division of Publishing Secrets, Inc. Copyright 2013 InDesignSecrets.com. All rights reserved. Reproduction and redistribution prohibited without approval. For more information, contact permissions@indesignmag.com. InDesign Magazine is not endorsed or sponsored by Adobe Systems Incorporated, publisher of InDesign. InDesign is a registered trademark of Adobe Systems Incorporated. All other products and services are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners and are hereby acknowledged. Photos on page 1, 32, and 44 and courtesy of Fotolia.com

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Letter From the Publisher We have a clear goal here at InDesignSecrets: deliver as much value as we possibly can in each issue of InDesign Magazine. So I'm really proud of this issue, which is chock full o' tips, techniques, and insight that every Adobe InDesign user can take advantage of. This issue's theme is Typography, and Erica Gamet leads the charge with an onslaught of great type tricks you should know. Sometimes you need to jump through hoops to make text behave. For example, Bart Van de Wiele offers an incredibly clever method of creating bullets that sit at the end of a paragraph. And I’ve updated one of my most popular articles: how to convert all your text to outlines… the right way! When it comes to text, it's important to understand the difference between readability and legibility—so Ilene Strizver explains it all for you. And Mike Rankin helps you make text really pop by showing how to apply a variety of non-standard drop shadows.

I’m also excited to note the debut of Sandee Cohen’s InDesign 101 column for InDesign beginners; this month she discusses the fine points of Save and Open (which can be more confusing than you'd expect). From there, you just have to take a look at Rick Smolan’s cool new book and iPad app called The Human Face of Big Data, produced in InDesign and described by Claudia McCue. So many InDesign users want to make fixed-layout EPUBs these days, but InDesign can’t export them. So Anne-Marie Concepción reviews two great add-ons that can do the job, Flipick and CircularFLO. And finally, Jeff Gamet was almost washed away in Colorado flooding, but he still got us a great collection of neat products in his InBrief column. Thanks to Jeff and all the great contributors to this issue. Enjoy!

David Blatner

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InSide: Table of Contents  7 Type Tips and Tricks Erica Gamet shares key techniques for working with type.

51 InReview: Fixed-Layout EPUB Solutions Anne-Marie Concepción looks at CircularFLO and Flipick.

T

20 InStep: Bullets on the Right Side Bart Van de Wiele demonstrates an inspired trick for putting bullets at the end of a paragraph.

59 InDesigner: The Human Face of Big Data Claudia McCue reveals the inside story behind the production of a fascinating new book and iPad app.

25 How to Create Outlines the Right Way David Blatner shows the best way to approach the job of converting text to outlines.

66 InBrief: New & Improved Products Jeff Gamet keeps you up to date on products that are new, improved, and interesting to InDesign users.

31 InDesign 101: Saving and Opening Documents Sandee Cohen covers all the the basics of creating InDesign documents. 37 InDesign Effects: Patterned Shadows Mike Rankin shows how to give your titles some pop without resorting to a standard drop shadow. 44 I nType: Readability vs. Legibility Ilene Strizver offers insight and advice on how to choose and set type that’s easy on the eyes.

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70 InDex to All Past Issues Download the InDex and discover what’s in all the past issues of this magazine.

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© 2010 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All rights reserved. Adobe, the Adobe logo, InDesign and InCopy are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Adobe Systems Incorporated in the United States and/or other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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Type Tricks Don’t just trust that InDesign will make your typography beautiful for you. It takes a human eye (yours!) plus these great tips to set stellar type. by Erica Gamet InDesign is a type workhorse, giving you a wide range of options for automating, styling, and making type do your bidding. Whether you’re just getting started or you’re a seasoned pro, the options might seem overwhelming, or somehow be viewed as “cheating.” But with these tips you can put the power of type in your hands.

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25 Type Tricks

WORKING WITH TYPE STYLES It’s a fact of life: you simply cannot be efficient in InDesign without using paragraph and character styles. Learn them, use them, live them. And then, adopt these tips that will help you use them even better. KEEP YOUR STYLES SIMPLE It’s a good idea to keep your character styles relatively simple. Remember, they are for the exceptions to the formatting you apply with your paragraph styles—for example, italic text to indicate emphasis of a particular word or sentence. So, when creating a character style, don’t specify font and style and size and color and so on (unless those are all important for the style). Instead, with no text selected, Option- or Alt-click the Create New Style button in the Character Styles panel, and then define the character style by choosing Italic in the Basic Character

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Formats pane. Not specifying a font in the character style (just leave that field blank) means that you can apply the same character style to body text and headings and it will still work. Also, remember: you should almost never apply a character style to an entire paragraph (that’s what paragraph styles are for).

NEST FOR SUCCESS You can make InDesign automatically apply character styles to specific patterns of text by building nested styles into the definition of a paragraph style. For instance, if each paragraph needs to start with some bold type, then switch to italic, then back to the “regular” paragraph style settings, use nested styles.

Figure 1: The key to nested styles is telling InDesign where the change should occur.

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TT YY

25 Type Tricks

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FAST TEXT STYLING WITH CELL STYLES I see too many people assigning paragraph styles to text inside table cells manually. Instead of applying formatting to individual pieces of text in a table, you can automate the styling with a cell style. Click the Create New Style icon in the Cell Style panel, and choose the necessary paragraph style from the drop-down menu. Then, when you apply a cell style (or a table style that uses cell styles), all the text is formatted with the proper paragraph style automatically.

CREATE HIGHLIGHTS WITH UNDERLINES Take control over what underlined text looks like, and build your chosen styling into a paragraph style. If you simply choose Underline from the Character panel (or click the Underline button in the Control panel), you’ll just get the standard underline—the boring one built into the

Mac OS: T Windows: T

Text frame options

Command-B Ctrl-B

Ellipsis

Option-; Alt-;

Create outlines

Shift-Command-O Shift-Ctrl-O

Strikethrough

Control-Shift-Command-/ Shift-Ctrl-/

Superscript

Shift-Command-+ Shift-Ctrl-+

Subscript

Shift-Option-Command-+ Shift-Alt-Ctrl-+

Small caps

Shift-Command-H Shift-Ctrl-H

All caps

Shift-Command-K Shift-Ctrl-K

Increase/decrease point size

Shift-Command-> or < Shift-Ctrl-> or <

Increase/decrease leading

Option-Up or Down Arrow Alt-Up or Down Arrow

Auto leading

Shift-Option-Command-A Shift-Alt-Ctrl-A

Type and Text Keyboard Shortcuts

The key to nested styles is telling InDesign where the change should occur. In the example on the previous page (Figure 1), let’s say the italicized text sits within parentheses. To “program” that, choose New Nested Style from the Drop Caps and Nested Styles pane of the Paragraph Style Options dialog box, and choose the bold character style from the drop-down menu. Next, indicate that this style is to be applied up to the first open parenthesis by choosing Up To from the drop-down menu and typing the open parenthesis in the last field. Next, create a second nested style (choosing your italic character style) that runs through the first closing parenthesis. If the text doesn’t offer an obvious character to force the style change, consider using an en space or inserting the End Nested Style Here hidden character (Type > Insert Special Character > Other).

Type tool

Toggle hyphenation on/ Shift-Option-Command-H off Shift-Alt-Ctrl-H Decrease/increase kerning/tracking

Option-Left or Right Arrow Alt-Left or Right Arrow

Autoflow text

Shift-click loaded text Shift-click loaded text

Semi-autoflow text

Option-click loaded text Alt-click loaded text

Insert current page number

Option-Command-N Alt-Ctrl-N

Jump to end of story

Shift-Command-End Shift-Ctrl-End

Jump to beginning of story

Shift-Command-Home Shift-Ctrl-Home

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WORKING WITH PARAGRAPHS Paragraphs are, of course, the basic building blocks of most layouts. So of course you want to be able to make them be both effective and attractive. Not surprisingly, InDesign has ways to address many aspects of how paragraphs appear and behave. Figure 2: Take control over what underlined text looks like, and build your chosen styling into a paragraph style.

font. However, Option- or Alt-clicking the Underline button in the Control panel brings up more options (Figure 2)! You can choose the type of stroke, stroke weight, and amount of offset from the baseline. Additionally, you can choose a color other than that of the text, and set a tint and gap color, if you’re using a dashed or dotted stroke. For fun, try making a really thick stroke and a negative offset value to create a highlighting effect that will travel effortlessly with the text.

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THINK OUTSIDE THE FRAME Keep your paragraphs looking tidy by floating punctuation and serifs outside the text frame. With a text frame selected (or the text cursor inside a story), open the Story panel (Type > Story) and click the Optical Margin Alignment checkbox (Figure 3, next page). To adjust how far into the margins the items will hang, adjust the point size in the box just below that checkbox. The default is 12 pt, but you can tweak the value and adjust the amount visually (in general, you should use the size of your body text). Since this

setting is applied to the story, rather than to the text itself, it can be incorporated into an object style and applied to other text frames. Sometimes you’ll find a paragraph that just doesn’t look right with Optical Margin Alignment applied; fortunately, you can turn this feature off for selected paragraphs by choosing Ignore Optical Margin from the Paragraph panel (or Control panel) menu. SPLITS AND SPANS The ability to span a headline (or other text) across multiple columns in a multicolumn text frame is an incredibly helpful feature when producing newsletters, magazines, newspapers, and other multicolumn layouts. To take advantage of this feature, put your cursor in the paragraph in need of spanning, and then choose Span Columns from the Control panel menu (Figure 4, next page). Choose Span Columns from the Paragraph Layout

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Figure 3: Keep your paragraphs looking tidy by floating punctuation and serifs.

drop-down menu, and indicate how many columns the paragraph should span. You can even add space before or after the span, but remember: if you’ve also used the Space Before or Space After feature to add space before or after the paragraph, InDesign uses whichever value is greater. (That is, if you use 5 mm for Space Before and 3 mm for Space Before Span, InDesign will use 5 mm.) While Span Columns is cool, InDesign is also able to split a paragraph or multiple paragraphs—think short bursts of text, like a list of items—into “mini columns”

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Figure 4: Choose Span Columns from the Paragraph Layout drop-down menu, and indicate how many columns the paragraph should span.

within a column. Select the desired paragraphs, choose Span Columns from the Control panel menu, and then choose Split Column from the Paragraph Layout drop-down menu. You control how many sub-columns you want, the gutter between each, amount of space before and after, and any extra spacing on the outside of the new columns. Both Span Columns and Split Columns can be incorporated into paragraph styles.

CONTROLLING BREAKS You can control how a word breaks—or doesn’t break—on a case-by-case basis. If you don’t want a word ever to break, select the word, and then choose No Break from the Control panel menu. You can apply this to more than one word to ensure they stay together—but be careful, as this sometimes results in text becoming “too wide” to fit in the frame (which then becomes overset).

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There are at least two ways to control precisely how a word breaks. The “brute force” method is to place your text cursor in the word where you want the hyphen and choose Type > Insert Special Character > Hyphens and Dashes > Discretionary Hyphen. The “discretionary” refers to the fact that the hyphen is there if necessary (if the word is near the end of the line), but never shows up mid-line if your text reflows. You can also use InDesign’s Dictionary feature to customize how the program adds hyphens to words (see this article at InDesignSecrets). KEEP OPTIONS Orphans and widows are lonely lines of text at the top or bottom of a column or page. You can (and should!) eliminate them by using the Keep Options features (Figure 5, next page). (You can find Keep Options in the Control panel menu or when editing the definition of a paragraph

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Fine Typography for the Novice With a little effort, you can apply some simple techniques that will elevate your project’s typography from amateur to professional. Here’s how: 1. Don’t use too many: Coco Chanel once said that before leaving the house, she always removed one accessory. The same could be said of fonts; using too many creates a mess of type that can confuse your readers. Instead, try picking two type families—a serif and a sans serif, for example, or one for display and one for text—to base your design around. Indeed, if you choose a superfamily with many weights and widths (such as Myriad or Univers), you might even be able to make do with just one typeface. 2. Don’t stop at bold and italic: Using boldface or italics is the simplest way to call attention to some text. But there are other ways too. A subhead set in all caps or small caps will look refined. When setting all caps, be sure to increase your tracking a bit— about 50 should do the trick—to give the letters some breathing room. 3. Do watch your line lengths: Lines that are too long can tire readers and make it hard for the eye to find the next line. Lines that are too short are just as irritating. So keep in mind this rule of thumb: the ideal line length is the length of 1½–2½ lowercase alphabets in whatever font you are using. A second rule is just as good: double the point size you are using to find the ideal column width in picas. So, if you are using 10-point type, an ideal column would be around 20 picas wide. 4. Don’t cheat with body type: Novice designers faced with an overset column are often tempted to use tricks like horizontally scaling the type (“No one will notice it being 95%!”) or worse, applying lots of negative tracking. But this results in a line or paragraph that looks noticeably strange in comparison to the rest of the text. So do what almost every daily newspaper does: skip the cheats and edit the text so it fits. Runts—words on a line by themselves at the end of a paragraph—are the easiest to eliminate by careful editing. —Michael L. Lewis

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style.) The section labeled Keep Lines Together gives you the option of never allowing a paragraph to break across pages or columns: choose All Lines in Paragraph. The next option, At Start/ End of Paragraph, lets you dictate how many lines must appear in each location.

By specifying 2 lines at the start and 2 at the end, you’ll be sure to never see a widow or orphan again. There are other great features in this dialog box, too. Select the top option, Keep with Previous, to make sure the specified number of lines of

the previous paragraph stay with the selected paragraph. This option is perfect for keeping headlines together with the paragraphs they introduce. The bottommost option, Start Paragraph, lets you force a paragraph to start at the next column, frame, or page. All of the Keep Options can be built into a paragraph style.

WORKING WITH TEXT FRAMES As powerful as styles are, they don’t control every aspect of text formatting. Text frames also have attributes you can use to efficiently build your layouts and control the look of the text they contain. AUTOMATICALLY ADD COLUMNS Everyone knows you can set a text frame to contain more than one column in the Text Frame Options dialog box (which

Figure 5: You can eliminate orphans and widows by using the Keep Options features.

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you can find in the Object menu). But few people realize that you can specify a flexible number of columns in a text frame, rather than choosing a set number. Change the Columns option inside this dialog box from Fixed Number to Fixed Width, and then choose the width that you want each column to be. The next time you resize the text frame, InDesign adds (or removes) columns as necessary. If you’re not picky about how wide the column should be, choose Flexible Width from the Columns drop-down menu, and then indicate the maximum width allowed in a single column. This tells InDesign to allow some flexibility in the column width, but still constrains it so that the column will never get too large. AUTO-SIZE Overset text frames have long been one of the most frustrating problems in InDesign. Fortunately, there’s a cure: the Auto-Size feature, found in the Text

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Frame Options dialog box. Select a text frame, choose the Auto-Size tab inside that dialog box, and indicate how the frame should resize: by height, width, both, or both while keeping the original proportions intact. The strange-looking grid lets you choose in which direction the change should take place. As you insert or remove type, the text frame grows or shrinks to accommodate the text. Other options include a minimum height and width, and whether or not line breaks are allowed.

KERNING Controlling the spacing between pairs of letters—known as kerning—is handled through the Kerning field in the Character or Control panel (Figure 6). Choosing the default Metrics setting from the menu next to the field tells InDesign to use the kerning built into the chosen font. For precision control, place your cursor between the two letters you’d like to manually kern, and input a specific value in the field. Alternately, you can press

TRACKING, KERNING, AND FONTS Most of the tips we’ve talked about so far approach text on a pretty macro level: working with pages, paragraphs, and text frames. All of which is, of course, very important. But now it’s time to zoom in a little closer, and look at functions you can use to affect individual text characters.

Figure 6: Controlling the spacing between pairs of letters is handled through the Kerning field in the Character or Control panel.

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TYPE TYPE TYPE 25 Type Tricks

Seven Secrets of the Glyphs Panel The Glyphs panel (Type > Glyphs) is where you access all the individual glyphs—or characters— within any given font. Here are a few secrets to working with this handy panel. • To insert a glyph at the active cursor point, simply double-click the desired glyph in the Glyphs panel. • To choose a glyph from a different font, choose the new font from the drop-down menu at the bottom of the Glyphs panel.

• To see a subset of glyphs—such as swashes or ligatures—choose a category from the Show menu near the top of the panel.

• Many of the glyphs have a flyout menu, indicated by a black triangle, that contains similar and alternate glyphs for the character. You can see what’s in these menus by clicking and holding on the glyph square. For example, you can select any dash or hyphen, click and hold on the character in the panel, and the panel will usually show you all the dashes available within that font.

• With a specific character selected in your text, choose Alternates for Selection from the Show menu. Only similar or related glyphs will appear in the panel. For instance, choosing a capital letter A might display a swash, ornamental, and small caps version of the letter A. • To see the Unicode value for a particular glyph, hover your mouse over that glyph in the panel.

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You’ll also be able to see the GID value for each individual alternate form of that glyph as well as the character’s name.

• Create a library of often-used symbols—for instance, a collection of currency symbols—by creating a glyph set. Choose New Glyph Set from the panel menu, and name it. Then select a glyph in the panel, and choose Add to Glyph Set. Being able to look at your custom-made sets (choose View Glyph Set from the panel menu) saves you from having to scroll through the entire font’s worth of glyphs.

Option/Alt-Left/Right Arrow to decrease or increase the kerning by an amount specified in the Preferences dialog box. Choosing Optical from the kerning drop-down menu tells InDesign to adjust the kerning automatically, based on the letter shapes. You may want to use optical kerning when mixing fonts on the same line, using fonts of varying sizes or weights, or when a font contains little or no built-in kerning. Here’s a fun trick to help you evaluate kerning objectively: rotate your text frame or page view 180°. This way, you can judge how letters look next to each other without being distracted by actually reading the words. TRACKING Controlling the amount of spacing on an entire block of text—called tracking or sometimes “range kerning”—is also handled in the Character panel (or character section of the Control panel).

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25 Type Tricks

Select all the text you want to affect, and then choose a tracking amount, or use the same shortcut as for kerning: Option/Alt-Left/Right Arrow. (When the cursor is flashing between two letters, the shortcut changes kerning; when more than one character is selected, it changes tracking.) You can apply tracking on top of kerning, and the effect is cumulative; the relative amount of kerning remains as you increase or decrease overall tracking. Here’s another cool shortcut you should know: You can add or remove word spacing (the amount of space just between words) without affecting the space between the letters inside the words. Select two or more words, and then press Shift-Option-Command-\ or Shift-Alt-Ctrl-\ to add space between the chosen words. Shift-Option-CommandDelete or Shift-Alt-Ctrl-Backspace decreases the spacing.

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RECENT AND FAVORITE FONTS Fonts are wonderful, but they can also be a distraction, especially when you have too many of them. Fortunately, InDesign CS6 introduced a new feature that automatically places the most recentlyused fonts at the top of all the font menus. This is super helpful when trying to find a font you used recently but can’t recall the name of (Figure 7). Then InDesign CC took it even further, with the ability to filter fonts by name quickly and designate fonts as “favorites.” It’s worth taking the time to choose some faves, so you can find them faster later. Each font

Figure 7: InDesign CS6 introduced a new feature that automatically places the most recently-used fonts at the top of all the font menus.

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has a star next to its name in the menu; simply click the star to favorite it. You then have the option to display only your favorite fonts in the menu. Additionally, you can start typing a portion of a font’s name in the font field—in either the Character or Control panel—and only those fonts whose names contain that text will appear. This feature isn’t so handy if you search on the term “bold,” but if you remember the font contains something more specific, like the word “ornaments,” it can be a real time-saver.

SCRIPTS FOR WORKING WITH TEXT Most graphic artists I know don’t think twice about spending an hour or two playing with and checking the formatting of type in a project—of course it’s worth the time to get it just right. Sometimes that makes the most sense: a unique process for a unique outcome. But

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whenever possible, you should work smarter, not harder, and take advantage of the many excellent scripts out there that can make some text formatting tasks much, much easier.

appearance. While I wouldn’t recommend it for large swaths of prose, it can add a little whimsy to text—in a children’s book, for instance.

WORDALIZER Want to give your audience a fun visual? Try a word cloud, using the Wordalizer script from Indiscripts (Figure 8). The free version of the script lets you choose from a set of themes, ignore the most common words, control the angle of the words, and set the maximum size and kerning amount in the final display. There is a paid version that adds the ability to edit the importance—or weight—of each word in the resulting design. SCRIBBLER Put a little jiggle in your words by using the fun Scribbler script (Figure 9, next page). The free script from Loïc Aigon moves your type slightly above or below the baseline, giving it a jumbled

Figure 8: Try a word cloud, using the Wordalizer script from Indiscripts.

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SHOWHIDELOCALFORMATTING On a more practical note, the ShowHideLocalFormatting.jsx script from Indiscripts lets you see exactly where someone has applied style overrides (text formatting over and above the paragraph or character styles). Simply double-click the script to view the overrides. Character style overrides are indicated with a red strikethrough, while paragraph style overrides are marked by a vertical red line to the left of the paragraph. Now that

you see the overrides, it’s up to you to fix them. If only there was a script for that, as well!

IT TAKES AN EYE As designers, we sometimes shy away from anything that automates our tasks for us or makes our jobs seemingly routine. But by blending our designer’s eye with InDesign’s automation and typetaming features, our type and our designs will really shine.

where creatives go to know

n Erica Gamet has been involved in graphics and prepress for over 25 years. She is a speaker, writer, and trainer focusing on Adobe InDesign, Apple Keynote and iBooks Author and other print- and productionrelated topics. When she’s not keeping students from their Angry Birds games, Erica can be found propelling herself around Colorado on two wheels or watching campy British sci-fi.

Figure 9: Put a little jiggle in your words by using the fun Scribbler script.

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By Bart Van de Wiele

Creating Backward Bullets

Did you ever wish you could put a bullet at the end of paragraph instead of at the start? Now you can! Despite InDesign’s incredible range of formatting options when creating bullets, there seems to be one thing you cannot edit: the location of the bullet. Bullets (and numbered lists, too, for that matter) are always added at the left side of your text, at the start of the paragraph. But sometimes you might want a bullet or special character at the end of your paragraph (Figure 1). You could just type the character, of course, but that’s not very efficient, and you might miss a paragraph accidentally. If you know GREP, you could pretty easily add the character at the end of each line using the Find/Change dialog box. But that adds the bullet as a real character, which means you

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Figure 1: Bullets at the end of each heading

cannot include it in a style. You might even try to add the bullet and then align the text to the right. Unfortunately, that results in the whole paragraph being flush right (Figure 2).

Figure 2: Whole paragraph flush right

What you really want is to keep the text left aligned while having the bullet appear at the end of the paragraph—and, for good measure, to create this as a style so you

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Creating Backwards Bullets

can then apply this treatment consistently throughout your document. It turns out there is a sneaky way to tackle this problem. And the good news is that it uses the actual Bullets and Numbers option in InDesign. The only downside to this technique is that it only works in InDesign CS6 or CC.

Create Placeholder Text To make this trick work, we have to tell InDesign to use the right side as the origin of the paragraph. This means that when a bullet is created at the beginning of the paragraph, then that beginning must be at the right side. This might seem impossible, but actually this is exactly what we have when working with Middle Eastern texts. Unfortunately, there is no native right-to-left option in InDesign… or is there? You may know that in InDesign CS6 and later you can customize the language of your placeholder text. Today many people are used to the classic Latinesque Lorem

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Ipsum text. But what if you’re working on a more international job that requires placeholder text of a different origin, such as Cyrillic, Greek, or Japanese? Well, for those cases, you can choose a different flavor of placeholder text. Use the following steps to achieve this: 1. Create a text frame using the Type tool. 2. Hold down the Command (Mac OS) or Ctrl (Windows) key and choose Type > Fill with Placeholder Text. 3. Choose Arabic or Hebrew (Figure 3).

Figure 4: Arabic Placeholder text

it to right-to-left text (Figure 5). Behind the scenes, it also quietly turns on the World Ready Paragraph Composer, which is part of what makes this trick work. Figure 5: Flush right icon in Application Bar

Figure 3: Choose Arabic or Hebrew

Convert the Text to Your Preferred Style

InDesign fills your text frame with that language (Figure 4), and automatically sets

The reason you added Hebrew or Arabic text is because this is the only way (apart from a script or plug-in) to get one unique

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Creating Backwards Bullets

Figure 6: New Paragraph Style

property: right to left text! Let’s take a closer look at what we have here: place your text cursor inside this new text, and open the Paragraph Styles panel by choosing Window > Styles > Paragraph Styles. Click the panel menu, and choose New Paragraph Style (Figure 6). InDesign will soak up all this text formatting in your newly created style, because you had a selection of it. Take a closer look at the formatting (Figure 7)—do you see it?

Figure 7: Paragraph direction Right-to-Left

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There’s a text option here called Paragraph Direction: Right-to-Left. And that’s what we want, though of course unless you are actually planning to use Arabic or Hebrew text, you need to change it to a type style you do want. 1. Name your new style, click the Apply Style to Selection checkbox at the bottom of the New Paragraph Style dialog box, and then click OK to save this new style. 2. Delete most of the text, until you’re left with one line of text which will act as your title placeholder. Change the characters by typing some new text that you can actually read. 3. Change the font, size, horizontal alignment, color, and any other formatting you want, until the text looks the way you want it.

Create the Bullet Character Now it’s time to add the actual bullet character. While the text cursor is in the text, go to the Paragraph formatting options in the Control panel and click the Bulleted List button to add a bullet to your title. Notice anything? The bullet is added to the right side of the text instead of the left side (Figure 8).

Figure 8: Bullet added to right of text

So far, so good. But the text itself is still right aligned. So click the Align Left button in the Paragraph Formatting options to put the text back at the left side of your text frame (Figure 9).

Figure 9: Text changed to Alight Left

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Creating Backwards Bullets

Now it’s time to personalize the bullet character. Hold down the Option/Alt key, and click again on the Bulleted List button in the Control panel to open the Bullets and Numbering options. Notice that there is something strange going on here: Anything you type in the Text After field actually shows up before the bullet instead of after (Figure 10).

applied it as a bullet character. Because of this, I added the opposite arrow from the same Zapf Dingbat font, and chose that as my bullet instead.

Figure 12: Redefine Style

Play Around! Figure 11: Choose opposite facing bullet

Figure 10: Text After shows up before bullet

Depending on the character you choose for your bullet, it may appear backward in your text frame. For example, in Figure 11 you can see I added a right-pointing arrow from the Zapf Dingbat font, but the character is pointing the wrong direction when I

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Click OK when you’re done, to close the Bullets and Numbering panel. Now that you have made all these changes since creating your original paragraph style, you now have to update the style by choosing Redefine Style from the Paragraph Styles menu (Figure 12). Your title style with alternate bullet is finally ready to be applied to your text!

This method also works with numbered lists. Figure 13 shows an example of the same technique, but this time I used a Numbered List instead of a bullet character, and I added both an em dash and a character style to the automatic numbering. Figure 13: Numbered List

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Creating Backwards Bullets

There is one significant problem with this technique that I must share: any punctuation character at the end of the line is misplaced to the beginning of the line! For example, if your heading ends with an exclamation point, InDesign puts that character before the first word. Oops. Fortunately, now there is an incredibly helpful script that creates a backward bullet paragraph style and fixes that punctuation problem! See the sidebar, A Scripted Solution.

A Scripted Solution After reading Bart’s article, we enlisted one of the best InDesign scripters on the planet, Kris Coppetiers from Rorohiko, to work the technique into a script which, when run, will automatically create a paragraph style for you.

n Bart Van de Wiele is a digital publishing trainer and consultant from Belgium focusing on Adobe’s print workflow products and the Digital Publishing Suite. He is certified as an Adobe Certified Instructor, Adobe Design Specialist, and Adobe Design Master. He’s also a contributing author for InDesignSecrets, wrote the Adobe DPS ExamAid studyguide, and co-authored the InDesign CS6 ExamAid studyguide. Follow him on Twitter @bartvdwiele.

Tips: Any character you have selected when you run the script becomes the bullet character. You can run the script again to replace the current paragraph style with an updated one. You can edit this style… to change the font, bullet style, and so on. And best of all, punctuation will appear correctly at the end of the paragraph! You can download this script at InDesignSecrets.

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By David Blatner

Converting Text to Outlines the Right Way

If someone told you to go jump off a bridge, would you do it? Okay, so why are you so keen to convert all your text to outlines, just because some printer said you should? Like bridge-jumping, converting your document’s text to outlines can be dangerous and has all kinds of bad consequences. I’m not saying you should never do it; I’m just saying you need to think about it first . . . and if you’re going to do it, do it the right way. Why Convert?

A condensed version of this article first appeared on InDesignSecrets.

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First, let’s explore why people want to convert text to outlines. I want to be clear that I’m not talking about converting a letter or a word into outlines; there are lots of good reasons to do that. (For example, you might want to put an image inside it; see the alternate drop shadow trick in this issue. Or you might want to convert text for a logo design. That’s fine.) Instead, I’m talking about why people want to convert most or all of the text inside a document into outlines.

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Converting Text to Outlines the Right Way

Many InDesign users think that they need to convert their text to outlines, or else other people won’t be able to print the file properly. This is simply not true! When you export a PDF, your fonts are almost always embedded, so anyone printing the PDF should be able to print it correctly. The main exception: there are a few fonts that are labeled as “non-embeddable” and InDesign won’t embed them. These are very rare. (One specialty font vendor I know of used to restrict embedding, but stopped that years ago. If you have an old version of their font, though, you’d need to contact them to get a newer version!) But if you do have non-embeddable fonts, the technique you’ll learn in this article will be a life-saver. Some printers (especially those in Asia, I’ve noticed) tell their clients to convert all text to outlines, no matter what font they’re using. Their main argument appears to be: “We may not have the same fonts as you, and we may need to either edit your InDesign document or open your PDF file

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in Illustrator, so we need you to convert to outlines.” I need to respond to this quickly: »» The idea that someone would open a PDF in Illustrator to edit it is horrifying. Run away from these people and take your business elsewhere. If they need to make edits to a PDF, they can use Acrobat or PitStop or some other tool—something far better suited to the task, and which doesn’t require you to have outlined text. »» I personally hate the thought of a printer messing with my InDesign files, but I have heard that they need to because many designers don’t make their PDF files properly. If they insist on having your INDD files, you can usually supply the associated fonts by using the File > Package feature. »» I have slightly more sympathy for printing companies that do specialized output, such as very large format, vinyl, or fabric printing. These folks often really do need text converted to outlines.

So, if your printer really won’t accept your document without outlines, you can either find a different printer or use the technique I’m going to show you in a minute.

You can find more in this blog post: “Outlining Fonts: Is It Necessary?”

What’s Wrong with Outlines? InDesign offers several ways to convert text to outlines: »» You can select text with the Type tool and choose Type > Create Outlines. This converts just the text that is selected (the original text is deleted), and anchors it as inline objects in the text frame. »» You can select a frame with the Selection tool and choose Create Outlines. This converts all the text inside the frame; again, InDesign deletes the original text. If your frame is part of a threaded story,

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Converting Text to Outlines the Right Way

then InDesign converts all the text in the story, even across multiple pages. »» You can do either of the above while holding down the Option or Alt key. This tells InDesign to make a duplicate first, so the original text doesn’t get deleted. So, if it’s this easy to convert text to outlines, then what’s wrong with converting all of it? Unfortunately, there are significant downsides. Your file explodes in size and takes longer to print or process, as InDesign suddenly has to track millions of points and paths instead of real text. When you print your document, the type often looks fatter and uglier, particularly on laser printers, inkjet printers, and even some digital presses. This is because real fonts have something called hinting built in, which can tell the printer how to make the text look better and cleaner at lower printing resolutions. But the biggest problem is that some parts of your text disappear when you

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convert them to outlines! Poof, they’re gone! Specifically, paragraph rules (rule above/ below) disappear. The bullets and numbers that InDesign inserts for you in the Bullets and Numbering features disappear. Underlines and strikethroughs disappear. Lots of stuff disappears, and that’s Not Good! And there’s one more potentially huge problem: once you convert the text to outlines, you can’t edit it anymore. And it’s a rare file that doesn’t require some typo to be fixed or some text changed at the last minute. Fortunately, there is a better way to convert text to outlines—one that can satisfy your printer and leave your text totally editable. I first learned this trick from the European InDesign trainer Branislav Milic.

Flatten, Don’t Convert Here’s the whole tip in a nutshell: don’t use Convert to Outlines at all. Instead, use InDesign’s transparency flattener to convert the text automatically for you when you export a PDF.

Figure 1: When you click New, you get a duplicate of the currently selected preset.

To do this, you’ll need to use a custom flattener setting, which you can create by choosing Edit > Transparency Flattener Presets (Figure 1). Choose High Resolution from the list of presets on the left side of the Transparency Flattener Presets dialog box, and click New (Figure 2, next page). You want to choose High Resolution first because New creates a duplicate of the selected preset. I’m not going to get into all the details of this dialog box here (hey,

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Converting Text to Outlines the Right Way

Figure 2: Give your custom preset a name, and enable Convert All Text to Outlines.

there are good books that cover that kind of thing!); I’ll just say, turn on Convert All Text to Outlines. Then give this a suitable name (such as “High Res Convert Outlines”) and click OK; then click OK again. Next, you need to make sure your spreads are going to get flattened, so you need to put a transparent object on each page. Of course, you don’t need to put an object on every page of your file; you can just put one on each master page! (That’s assuming your document pages are based on master pages.) You can use any transparent object, but I usually just make a very small frame near the edge of the page, fill it with the Paper

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swatch, and apply an Opacity of 0.1% in the Effects panel or Control panel. Note that assigning a Tint to the color won’t do it; you have to adjust the Opacity for the object to be considered transparent. Alternatively, you could assign a color to the frame and then assign both a Tint and Opacity of 0.1%. Or you could make a onepixel large Photoshop file with a transparent background and place it on your pages. The key is that you need some kind of transparency on the page. Finally, you need to tell InDesign to flatten the transparency in your output: when you export your PDF file, make sure you have Compatibility set to Acrobat 4. This version of Acrobat (also known as PDF version 1.3) always flattens transparency. But before you click OK, remember to select your custom flattener setting (called “High Res Convert Outlines” or whatever you named it) in the Advanced pane of the Export PDF dialog box (Figure 3). Now click Export to export the PDF.

Figure 3: Don’t forget to choose your custom transparency flattener setting when you export. That option is available only when exporting to Acrobat 4/PDF 1.3 compatibility.

That’s it! All the text in the document (well, at least on each spread that has a transparent object) gets converted to outlines . . . and you don’t lose your rules, underlines, bullets, and so on (Figure 4, next page).

There’s Always a Caveat This convert-to-outlines trick works extremely well, and is a very efficient way to get a fontless PDF. However, there are a few gotchas that you should be aware of. First, Acrobat 4 files cannot contain any interactive elements, so hyperlinks, movies, and buttons will all get stripped out when you do this. That’s rarely a problem because

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Converting Text to Outlines the Right Way

documents you’re converting to outlines usually don’t need those. A bigger issue is that text inside your placed PDF, AI, and INDD files will not get converted to outlines. The reason: InDesign won’t try to flatten these graphics unless it really needs to. The solution: Just put a tiny transparent object (like the one you used on the master page) over some part of the placed graphic. Now InDesign forces those graphics through the flattener, and all the text gets converted to outlines, too. As I said, I don’t like to convert all my text to outlines—it feels wrong to me, and it just isn’t an efficient “best practice.” However, sometimes real-world requirements are more important than best practices. At least now you know how to convert the text to outlines the right way, without worrying about messing up your file.

Figure 4: When you open the PDF in Acrobat, it should look exactly the same. But when you choose File > Properties, and look in the Fonts tab, it should be empty. That means there are no fonts in the document; they’ve all been converted to outlines.

n David Blatner is the co-host of InDesignSecrets.com and co-author of Real World InDesign (Peachpit Press).

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By Sandee Cohen

InDesign 101: Saving Your Work

You might think you know everything about saving a document. You’ve done it thousands of times. Choose File > Save, name the file, click Save, and from then on just press Cmd/Ctrl+S each time you want to save. But there are actually some special techniques that you may not know that can help you work more efficiently. What this column is going to do 101

InDesign 101 is a new column for InDesign Magazine where I’ll be covering introductory techniques of working with InDesign. While the topics may be appropriate for beginners, there will be lots of tips that even experienced long-time users may find useful.

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Save or Save As? When you save your work, you are designating three aspects of your file: Who, What, and Where. Remember those requirements as you work. The first thing that could save you a few microseconds of work is what you do the first time you save a document. I’ve seen many students move to the File menu and choose Save As for untitled documents. That’s what they’ve been told to do: Save As is the command that you use to name a document.

Figure 1: The File > New command creates an untitled document that needs to be saved.

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InDesign 101: Saving Your Work

101

Well, technically, that’s true. But if you’re looking at an Untitled document (Figure 1, previous page), it doesn’t matter which one you choose—Save or Save As. At this early, untitled stage of a document’s life, both bring up the Save As dialog box. So, if you’re like me, and routinely press Command+S to save a document, just continue to do it when you start a project. You’ll still get the Save As dialog box (Figure 2). This is where you can enter a name—the Who—for the file as well as choose the location.

Figure 2: The Save As dialog box lets you create a name for a file as well as choose where the file should reside.

Right up there with a file’s name—both in the Save As dialog box and in overall “file importance”—is the location for the file— that’s the Where. I can’t tell you how many

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times I’ve seen students name the file and then hit the Save button almost reflexively. Later on, when they need to reopen the file, they have no idea where they saved it. Don’t forget to look at where the file has been saved, or navigate to put it where it belongs.

How Often Should You Save? Once you’ve named the file and put it in its proper place, Command/Ctrl+S is all you need to do to keep your work safe and secure. The question is, how often should you save? I follow these rules: »» Save if you have ten or more minutes of unsaved work. »» Save when you finish doing something really difficult. »» Save when you’re moving to another page. »» Save when you’re moving to another document window. »» Save before running a script or plug-in action. »» Save before you switch over to another program.

The Ellipsis After a Command A tiny nuance you should recognize is where there is an ellipsis (...) after some menu commands. The ellipsis signifies that you will open a dialog box when you choose the command. Save As… always opens a dialog box as do Print…, Open…, and Place…. But the Close command doesn’t have an ellipsis, since there’s no dialog box when you choose the command. You may get an alert if you have unsaved changes in the file. But that’s not really the same thing. »» Save when you’re answering the phone. »» Save when you’re getting up from the computer. »» Save when the cat jumps up on the desk.

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101

Save As or Save a Copy? You may have noticed there is yet another “Save” command under the File menu. This is the command to Save a Copy of the document. So what’s the difference, and which one should you choose? When you choose Save As, you always see the dialog box where you can rename the file. This is helpful if you’ve opened the October version of your newsletter and now want to change it to the November issue. You save the file under a new name, strip all the October information out, and right away you’re working on the new November document. (There’s actually a better way to do this, but we’ll cover that later.) Save a Copy is different, and extremely handy if you’re about to start something tricky in the document. The Save a Copy feature starts out with the same options as Save As (Figure 3). However, when it closes, you’re left working on the original file. Think of Save a Copy as a way to create versions of your document as you work.

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Figure 3: The Save a Copy dialog box lets you create a backup version of your document without closing the original file.

Let’s say you started working at 9 am and continued for an hour. You then decide to change all the swatches in the project to neon colors. Since you don’t want to lose your original swatches, you choose Save a Copy and name that file SavedJustInCase or something similar. Then you keep working on the open document. Later on, you realize that you hate the neon colors. You don’t have to choose Undo a hundred times to get back to the original colors. Just close the file you’re working on and open the SavedJustInCase file. Rename that file as your original and continue to work. Simple.

Save a Copy is also helpful if you need to back up your work to a server at the end of a day. Again, it’s like saying “save a copy of what I’m working on right now, and put that copy over there for safekeeping—but let me keep working on the file.”

Documents or Templates? The last aspect of saving the file—the What—is choosing the file format (Figure 4). There are three choices: InDesign [version] document, InDesign [version] template, or InDesign CS4 or later (IDML). The extensions for these three formats are .indd for a document, .indt for a template, and .idml for an IDML file.

Figure 4: The Save As dialog box allows you to choose the format for the saved file.

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InDesign 101: Saving Your Work

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Most people save all their files as InDesign documents (.indd) and never investigate what a template means. When you save an InDesign document, you can close it and then reopen it to continue your work. However, an InDesign template is different. When you save the file as a template, you’re adding protection against inadvertently writing over your work. Let’s say you’re working on the monthly newsletter I mentioned earlier. What would happen if you opened the October version, but forgot to use the Save As command to save it under a new name? If you’d stripped out all the October information and then started on the November issue, you would lose the October version. This could be a real problem. If you save the first issue as a template (.indt), you can’t inadvertently override the previous issue. When you go to reopen that original, it opens as an untitled document. The template format protects the file. You can also save a template of the original file with all the master pages, swatches,

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styles, and placed images that appear in each issue. The name of the template could be “Basic Layout.indt” or something similar. When you open the file, you get a fresh “Untitled” document which you can then save as a regular InDesign document and continue to work on it.

Saving Backward One of the most frequent questions I hear is how to save an InDesign document so it can be opened with an earlier version of the program (sometimes called “downsaving” a document). This is an issue because if you’re working with a file in InDesign CC, someone with a previous version of InDesign can’t open that file. InDesign CS6 can’t open InDesign CC files; CS5 can’t open CS6; CS4 can’t open CS5. It’s not a conspiracy from Adobe to get you to upgrade to the latest version—it’s a result of the way new features in each version are saved in the file. That’s where the IDML file type comes in. Instead of sending your version of the

InDesign file to someone who can’t open it, send them an IDML file. It’s a kind of a go-between file. They can open the document and work on it. They can save the file using their version of InDesign. When they send it back to you, your more recent version can always open previous file types. When you save your document as an IDML file, anyone with CS4 or later can open the file. However, it is not a best practice to use IDML files to send files back and forth repeatedly between versions. When you save the file backwards, some features may be lost. For instance, one of the features in InDesign CS6 gave users the ability to create PDF forms. But when those CS6 files are saved as IDML files and then opened in CS5, any form objects are converted to ordinary frames. (It has to work that way, because CS5 doesn’t offer that feature.) That’s just one example. There are many more for each upgrade of the program. If you need to do a lot of work with someone who has a previous version, you have to make a choice:

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InDesign 101: Saving Your Work

101

Don’t use any of the new features in the version you’re using, have the other person upgrade to the latest version, or install the previous version yourself. This is also true if you work with a print shop that won’t upgrade to the latest version of InDesign and wants you to save in IDML format. Don’t do it! You run the risk of something changing and screwing up your layout. Instead, send them a PDF or insist that if they want your business they should have the latest version of the program.

Open Normal, Original, or Copy Earlier on I said that when you open a template file, it opens as Untitled—but that’s not entirely, always true. It depends on how you open it. Let’s take a quick look at how InDesign lets you open files. When you choose File > Open, you have three controls that affect how the file opens (Figure 5). Normal opens the file with the normal action for that type of file. If the original file

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was an INDD document, the file opens with the same name. If the file was an INDT template, the file opens as Untitled, because that’s the normal behavior for a template. This is what you get if you double-click the file icon on your Mac or Windows computer; it just opens it.

Original opens the original version of the file. For INDD documents, this is the same as Normal. For templates, however, this opens the original template file under its template name, not as an untitled copy. This is terrific for making changes to the template. Copy opens a copy of the original file. For INDD documents, this means the file opens untitled, just as if it were a template. For INDT documents, this means the file opens as it usually does, as an untitled copy. See Table 1, next page, to see the differences between these actions.

Figure 5: The three choices for how a file is opened

Saving as IDML or exporting as IDML There are two places you can save IDML files. One is in the Save As dialog box; the other is in the Export dialog box. There is no difference between the commands. (The IDML format used to be only under File > Export. For convenience, however, Adobe added it to the Save As dialog box, but didn’t take it out of the Export dialog box, for those users who were used to seeing it there.)

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InDesign 101: Saving Your Work

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Open Normal

Open Original

Open Copy

INDD file

Original document

Original document

Untitled document

INDT file

Untitled document

Original template

Untitled document

Table 1: Open normal, original, and copy

Saving a Preview

Better Save than Sorry

I want to say one more thing about saving documents. You have an option in the Save As dialog box to Always Save Preview Images with Documents (Figure 6). This feature adds an image that can be previewed before the file is opened. However, this preview doesn’t show up in the Mac OS Finder or Windows Explorer. It does show up in Adobe Bridge. (You can learn more about how to show this Preview image, including some software that will let you see it in the Mac OS Finder, in this InDesignSecrets article.)

Whatever methods you use to save files, make sure you save early and save often. Also make sure you have a backup server— optimally offsite—where you back up all your files on a regular basis. Understanding the different methods for saving and opening files just might save your business one day.

Managing Multiple Versions on the Same Machine Many InDesign users have multiple versions of the program on the same computer, and they want CS4 files to open in InDesign CS4, CC files to open in CC, and so on. One way to do that is to buy the third-party product Soxy from Rorohiko.

n Sandee Cohen is the author of the InDesign CC Visual QuickStart Guide as well as the co-author, with Diane Burns, of the new book Digital Publishing with Adobe InDesign CS6.

Figure 6: You can control if a preview image is saved with the file.

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By Mike Rankin

Patterned Shadows

The next time your display type needs some extra “pop,” try one of these alternatives to a traditional drop shadow. They’re super easy to make, and the creative possibilities are almost endless.

creativepro.com

How many times have you set some display type, and even though you’ve used the perfect font, the design still needs a little something extra to make it eye-grabbing? You might try adding a drop shadow or other transparency effects. But if you want to try something really different, you can make a unique ­patterned drop shadow tailored to your type. Here’s how.

1. Grab some great (and free) vector patterns

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Head to CreativePro.com and grab David Blatner’s awesome (and free) vector patterns. Be sure to check out both Volume 1 and Volume 2, for 40 choices in all. They’re all PDFs that you can scale to any size in InDesign without any loss of quality. When you find one you like, simply right-click on the thumbnail and save the PDF to your hard drive.

Just a small sampling of the free vector patterns available at CreativePro.com

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InStep: Patterned Shadows

2. Duplicate the display

With the Selection tool in InDesign, select the text frame containing your display type. Hold the Option/Alt key and choose Type > Create Outlines. This creates a duplicate of the text frame and converts all the text in it to outlines.

3. Place a pattern

Place one of the vector patterns into the text outlines by pressing Command+D/Ctrl+D and then navigating to the location on your computer where you saved the pattern PDFs.

type and create outlines

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InStep: Patterned Shadows

4. Fill the outlines

Make the pattern stretch to fill the outlines by clicking the Control panel button to Fill Frame Proportionally (or pressing Command+Shift+Option+C/Ctrl+Shift+Alt+C).

5. Adjust the appearance

Use the Swatches panel to adjust the stroke and/or fill of the outlines to your liking. You can also use the Control panel to change the scale of the pattern to make it larger or smaller. Just be sure you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t make it so small that it no longer fills all the text outlines.

of the pattern

6. Put the outlines under

Move the outlines under the original text by choosing Object > Arrange > Send to Back.

the original text

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InStep: Patterned Shadows

7. Nudge the outlines into place

With the outlines still selected, use your keyboard arrow keys to nudge them where you want them to be. Hold Shift while you tap an arrow key to move the outlines ten times as far as your normal keyboard increment.

Note: If you want to change the color of the pattern objects, you can open the PDFs in Illustrator and edit them as you would any other vector file. Once you get started with patterned shadows, they might quickly become a regular part of your design repertoire. You can also fill text outlines with patterns you create from regular InDesign objects. Hereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s how to quickly make a set of straight lines for a patterned shadow.

1. Duplicate and outline

Duplicate your display type, and create outlines as described above.

your type

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InStep: Patterned Shadows

2. Draw a line

With the Line tool, hold Shift and drag straight down to create a line to the left of your display type. Make sure that the line is taller than the tallest letter in your type.

3. Add a stroke

Use the Control panel to give the line a stroke of 1 pt.

4. Step and Repeat

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Choose Edit > Step and Repeat. Make sure that Preview is selected and Create as a grid is deselected in the dialog box. Set the vertical offset to zero. Set a small Horizontal offset as a starting value. Then increase the Repeat Count value until you have enough lines to cover your text.

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InStep: Patterned Shadows

Adjust the horizontal offset and repeat count until you’re satisfied with the spacing of the lines. When you’re happy with what you see, click OK.

5. Group all the lines

DOTS WAVES

6. Adjust the lines’ appearance

With the newly-created lines still selected, Shift-click on the original line to select it too. Then press Command+G/Ctrl+G to group all the lines together.

PINSTRIPES If desired, use the Stroke and Swatches panels to adjust the look of your lines. Experiment with different stroke styles like Dotted, Dashed, and Wavy.

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InStep: Patterned Shadows

7. Paste the lines into the

Place the group of lines into the text outlines by cutting the group to your Clipboard and choosing Edit > Paste Into.

8. Move the outlines into

Move the outlines underneath the original text, and use your keyboard arrow keys to nudge them into place as described above.

text outlines

place

PINSTRIPES There you have it—an alternative (actually an abundance of alternatives) to the regular old drop shadow.

n Mike Rankin is Editor in Chief of InDesign Magazine and CreativePro.com, and he’s the author of several lynda.com video training series, including InDesign FX and InDesign CC: Interactive Document Fundamentals.

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By Ilene Strizver

InType: Legibility vs. Readability

Follow these tips for selecting and designing with type to create text that attracts and keeps a reader’s attention. “I can’t read it!” Every designer has heard it, from clients, audience, or even their own mom. And you should pay attention to this concern! After all, it’s crucial that people be able to read the text in your documents, no matter what you’re designing. In the world of typography and design, people often throw about the terms legibility and readability—in fact they’re often even used interchangeably. But they’re not interchangeable; these words actually refer to two different concepts. And though it might seem like splitting typographic hairs, it’s worth understanding the difference in order to make good decisions when selecting and designing with type. In a nutshell: legibility

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is an attribute of a typeface, and readability is an attribute of an arrangement of type.

Legibility In its broadest terms, legibility refers to how easy it is for someone to read a typeface. More specifically, it refers to how easily you can recognize letters and distinguish them from each other. Legibility is the responsibility of the typeface designer, who chooses shapes and design details for each letterform so that they can combine into words and sentences. Legibility is not always a priority when designers craft a typeface. In a “body text” font, it’s essential, of course, as the degree

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InType: Legibility vs. Readability

of legibility contributes directly to holding the reader’s attention for the duration of the copy. However, in a display font,

Figure 1: Not all typefaces are designed with legibility as a priority. These display designs forgo some degree of legibility for a more expressive, demonstrative personality.

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which is generally used for fewer words in larger settings, and where the objective is to be instantly noticeable and to convey a mood or a feeling, legibility might not be as important (Figure 1). When you’re trying to determine the legibility of a font, consider these six characteristics: »» x-Height  A typeface with a tall x-height is generally more legible than one with a shorter waistline, due to its larger, more open shapes and interior spaces in a given cap height (Figure 2).

»» Weight  The most legible typefaces are those with a moderate overall thickness, and are usually identified as book (aptly named!), regular, or occasionally medium weight. When setting a long chunk of text, stick to these weights, saving the light and bold weights for shorter blocks of text (Figure 3, next page). »» Decorative shapes  The more decorative and embellished the characters in a typeface, the more legibility will suffer. The same thing goes for extremely condensed or expanded letterforms. So, when you’re

Figure 2: Type designs with short x-heights, such as Bernhard Modern (left), are not as legible as those with taller x-heights, such as Amasis (right). Excerpt from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, by L. Frank Baum.

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InType: Legibility vs. Readability

Figure 3: The overall weight of a typeface impacts its legibility, as is evident in these three weights of Metro Nova. The regular weight (middle) provides the greatest legibility, especially for lengthy text; save the thin and extra black versions for brief settings.

Figure 4: Open, uncomplicated glyph shapes, such as those exemplified by Trilon (top), are considerably more legible than type designs that are extremely condensed, expanded, or have more unconventional shapes.

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looking for a legible font, look for simple, uncomplicated, and unadorned letterforms (Figure 4). »» Stroke contrast  While low to moderate contrast between the thick and thin strokes of a typeface can contribute to character recognition, extreme contrast such as typestyles with hairline thins combined with bold strokes can result in a loss of legibility (Figure 5). »» Counters  The interior “empty” space of a character—like the hole in the middle of an O or in the loop of a P—is called a

counter, and a font’s counters are just as important to legibility as the surrounding shape. When these interior spaces are very small—such as in some black or ultra weights—legibility suffers (Figure 6). »» Serifs vs. sans  Most designers believe that serif typefaces have a higher degree of legibility than sans serif typefaces (thus their predominance in Englishlanguage books, magazines, and newspapers), but studies on this topic are inconclusive. While it is true that serifs help guide the eye through a word and

Figure 5: A typeface with extreme stroke contrast and ultra thins, such as Modern 216 (top), forgoes a degree of legibility for greater elegance. Adobe Caslon (bottom), with its more moderate stroke contrast, is more of a workhorse, and can be easily read even in a long page of text.

Figure 6: Generous, open counters make for a more comfortable read than ones with small, cramped interior spaces, which are often found in heavy weights, as seen in this setting of Biome light and ultra.

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InType: Legibility vs. Readability

across a line of type, exaggerated serifs actually reduce legi­bility. This is even more true in low-resolution environments (such as desktop printer output) which might not display small or thin serifs clearly.

Readability So if legibility is the purview of the type designer, then whose responsibility is readability? Yours! Readability is all about how easily an arrangement of type can be read, which you determine by how you typeset, or arrange, the text. Of course, readability and legibility can influence each other: a very legible typeface can be made unreadable by how it is set; and the experience of a hard-to-read font can be improved with a clever type treatment. So, since you’re the one setting text on a page, what can you do to maximize readability? Here are ten things you need to consider for every individual block of text:

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Figure 7: Setting type at a large size but with tight line spacing doesn’t always translate into a greater degree of readability, as demonstrated in the setting on the left of ITC Flora—an otherwise highly legible design. When the same typeface is set much smaller but with more generous line spacing, it becomes much more readable.

»» Type size  When it comes to text, you might assume that the larger the type size, the easier it is to read. While this is often the case, too-large text can be just as difficult to read as too small, depending on the page design. Most importantly, remember that type size goes hand in hand with line spacing to create readable type. That’s why type is almost always talked about as “font size on leading,” such as “10 on 12 type” (Figure 7).

»» Line spacing  Adjusting the line spacing—or leading, the distance from one line of text to the next or previous line— in a block of text has a major effect on readability. In general, generous line spacing contributes to better readability. If the line spacing is very tight (as was popular in the ’70s), type can become hard to read, even at generous type sizes. Though, of course too much line spacing can be just as bad! A smaller type size

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InType: Legibility vs. Readability

with larger line spacing tends to be more readable than larger type with tight leading (Figure 8). »» Line length / column width  When you set type, it’s crucial that you pay attention to the width of your column—or, more specifically, how many characters can fit in a line. A general guideline is to stay within 60 to 70 characters per line. Very wide column widths with a large character count reduce readability—especially for lengthy text—due to the large gap the reader’s eye has to cover from the end of

one line to the beginning of the next. Too long lines can cause your readers the frustration of either rereading the same line or skipping a line. Conversely, very narrow columns with numerous hyphenated words are just as bad! »» Alignment  The most readable text alignment in the Western world is flush left, which is also called rag right. Many designers assume they should use justified text, but beware: while it can be as easy to read as flush left copy, this is true only if the column width is large enough

Figure 8: While tight line spacing allows more characters to fit in a given space (left), it considerably reduces readability. Generous line spacing makes text easier to read, providing a greater chance of keeping your reader engaged.

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to maintain the overall word and letter spacing of the font without lots of stretching and squeezing, which disturb the color, texture, and flow. Flush right, centered, and contoured (non-rectangular, such as in text wrap) type certainly have their place when used purposefully and sparingly, but can also make it harder to read for any length of text due to their varied and sometimes unpredictable left edge. »» Letter spacing  Overall letter spacing that is either too tight or too open can impede the ease and rhythm of reading and decrease readability. Many designers assume that a font’s letter spacing is a legibility issue—that is, it’s baked into the font design. To some degree that’s true, but if you use a font that was designed for display (such as Helvetica) for text, it will appear too tight, and need to be opened (given more space between its characters). You can do that with the Tracking feature, or by adjusting the optimum

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InType: Legibility vs. Readability

letter space settings in InDesign’s Justification dialog box. Additionally, when you set text in a very bold weight or in a font intended for display, the letter spacing might need to be opened for a more pleasing, inviting texture. On the other hand, with a typeface intended for text at larger sizes, you should tighten the spacing a bit. Remember, just because the font designer found a particular letter spacing pleasing doesn’t mean you shouldn’t override it if you think you can make it more readable. »» Word spacing  When you’re looking at words all day, it’s easy to overlook something that’s just as important: the space between those words. This seemingly small detail can impede readability when the spaces are either too large (creating a visual interruption) or too tight (making the words appear to run into each other). You’ll often notice this when you set justified type, because word spaces are stretched or squeezed—sometimes even

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noticeably differently within the same paragraph. Similarly, you have to watch out for word spacing issues whenever you use a display typeface for large block of text; these faces are designed with less word spacing than those intended for body copy. InDesign lets you adjust the optimum word spacing in the Justification pane of the paragraph styles dialog box (Figure 9). »» Hyphenation  When you set type in a justified column (or you set any text in a narrow column width), InDesign uses hyphenation to create more pleasing line breaks. Some designers insist that you should never hyphenate left-aligned (ragged right) text, but take that with a grain of salt. More importantly, be aware that too much hyphenation seriously reduces readability as your reader struggles to put the words back together. Two good guidelines are: avoid more than two hyphens in a row, and avoid breaking words after or before only two letters.

Figure 9: Word spacing should not be so tight that the words run into each other (top) nor so open that it becomes challenging to read groups of words (middle). Balanced word spacing that maintains the overall texture of the type, allowing your eyes to glide through the text, is the most readable (bottom).

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InType: Legibility vs. Readability

»» Color and contrast  The most legible typeface, set with readability in mind, can be hard to read without contrast between the color of the type and the background. For example, it’s just asking for trouble to set red type against an orange background or blue type on black. Similarly, placing type on a busy pattern or photograph reduces readability (Figure 10). »» Orientation  Not all type flows from left to right! When type is vertically aligned, set at an angle, or on a curve, it becomes

more difficult to read. There’s no need to avoid these treatments—just be mindful of them, making sure they are appropriate for your audience and objectives, and alter them accordingly to maximize effectiveness and readability (Figure 11). »» Additional considerations Other factors affecting readability of type in print are surface and porosity (paper, glass, plastic, etc.), ink and finish (matte, gloss, or metallic), and viewing distance (signage requires a different type

treatment than a book held at close range). For type on the web or in motion, resolution and speed of motion will greatly affect readability. Clearly, there is a lot to think about when selecting and setting type in order to achieve maximum legibility and readability. The key is to know as much as possible about the project beforehand, and take all the above factors into consideration when selecting and designing with type.

n

Figure 10: Avoid clashing colors of similar values and busy backgrounds, both of which can be hard to read. Maintain a strong, even contrast between type and background for greatest readability.

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Figure 11: Keep in mind that changing the orientation of type to anything other than left to right will reduce readability.

Ilene Strizver, founder of The Type Studio, is a typographic consultant, designer, writer, and educator specializing in all aspects of visual communication, from the aesthetic to the technical. Her book, Type Rules! The designer’s guide to professional typography, 3rd edition (4th in the works), has received numerous accolades from the type and design community. She conducts her widely acclaimed Gourmet Typography Workshops internationally.

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By Anne-Marie Concepción

InReview: Flipick and CircularFLO

InDesign can’t export a fixed-layout EPUB by itself. Fortunately, there are several third-party solutions that can get the job done. Flipick 1.0 flipick.com Software is free, $99 per eBook Mac and Windows, CS5.5 and CS6 Rating: CircularFLO v3.5 circularsoftware.com Software is free, $199 per eBook/full proof Mac only, CS6 and CC Rating:

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One of the more interesting developments in the eBook marketplace is the steadily growing support of fixed-layout EPUBs (FLEs). With their beautiful layouts and enhanced features, they represent a whole new way to engage readers and design eBooks. Luckily for us, third-party developers for InDesign have been paying attention, resulting in a number of competing add-ons that help convert your InDesign layouts to FLEs, ready for distribution. Let’s take a look at two of the standouts, Flipick and CircularFLO, and how they performed with the same InDesign CS6 file. (I’ll cover a few more FLE helpers for InDesign in upcoming issues of the magazine.)

What’s a Fixed-layout EPUB and Why Are They So Hard to Make? Most eBooks you buy or check out of the library are “flowable EPUBs,” meaning the text fills the screen like water fills a vessel. The line lengths change depending on the size of the screen. Change the orientation of your tablet or phone from portrait to landscape, and the text reflows, lines rebreak, to fit the new width. As readers, we’re used to this, but if you’re the eBook designer, it can drive you crazy, because you have so little control over the layout. Page geometry is broken down to one single continuous text flow with

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InReview: Flipick and CircularFLO

anchored objects, which InDesign will do for you when you export a layout to EPUB (File > Export > EPUB). Many designers would love to be able to just export complex layouts as PDFs and sell those as eBooks, but ebook resellers like Apple, Amazon, Kobo, and Google Play won’t carry PDFs in their stores, only EPUBs—or in the case of Kindle Store, EPUBs that have been converted to the flowable Kindle format. Ah, but you can have your cake and eat it too, with fixed-layout EPUBs. These eBooks look like PDFs—with fancy fonts, object wraps, and live text on top of images— because the eBook layout is fixed in place and matches the original layout in InDesign. Nonetheless, FLEs are valid EPUB 3 files, so Apple, Amazon, Kobo, and Google Play will carry them in their stores. Not every mobile device or eReader software can render a fixed-layout EPUB (Adobe Digital Editions for one), but many of the big players do: Apple’s iBooks, later model Kindles, most Kobo Readers, and on the desktop, Google’s

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Chrome browser with the free Readium extension installed.

Why can’t InDesign export fixed-layout EPUBs? One big reason why InDesign can export flowable EPUBs but not fixed-layout ones is that under the hood they’re constructed quite differently. A flowable EPUB is one long text flow with anchored objects where you want images and sidebars to appear. Each version of InDesign since CS3 has been doing a better and better job of this. But a fixed-layout EPUB is a series of HTML pages, one per page of your layout, with all objects absolutely positioned on the page. That means virtually every text frame and image frame needs to have its X position, Y position, width, and for overlaps, its “Z” position (depth, or stacking order) called out in the HTML and CSS, which is the core of any EPUB file. Enter the third-party solutions. Taking a chance that Adobe is not going to add

fixed-layout EPUB export anytime soon, a number of companies have come up with scripts or plug-ins that will painstakingly create an FLE out of your InDesign layout. Many book designers and publishers I’ve talked to have used these solutions to get their FLE eBooks into the marketplace.

Testing and Proofing FLEs There is no way to test or preview the layout or interactivity of a fixed-layout EPUB unless you put it on a device that understands this flavor of EPUBs. None of the solutions comes with its own desktop viewer. (My queendom for a Preview EPUB panel in InDesign!) If you need to proof on the desktop, you could open simple FLEs (without interactivity) in Readium, which is a free extension for the Chrome browser. It does a great job showing the fixed layout, but its ability to preview video and sound is iffy. By far the easiest way to proof FLEs in all their glory is to have an iPad at the ready. Get your FLEs on there by side-loading them with iTunes,

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Flipick

or use Dropbox or Apple’s free Book Proofer app that comes with any iTunes Connect Publisher account.

The Test Document To test each FLE solution, I created a short book layout (12 pages) using my own pictures from a recent trip to Cuba and text from Wikipedia’s “Cuba” entry (Figure 1). I wasn’t that interested in the design so much, as long as it included lots of images and a custom font. But I did take time to include things that would test the mettle of any fixed-layout EPUB converter: »» »» »» »»

Text wrap Text on a path Text on an image A single image covering a two-page spread »» Transparency effects applied to live text »» A video, saved as a standards-compliant .mp4 file

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Figure 1: Simple InDesign layout constructed to test the features of fixed-layout EPUB solutions

Installation is a breeze. After registering on the Flipick.com website and confirming your email, you’ll be able to log in and download their plug-in and documentation. Drag and drop the plug-in into your plug-ins folder in the InDesign application folder, reboot InDesign, and you’re good to go. You could create your FLE right away by packaging your layout file (with the usual File > Package command) and uploading it to Flipick from their website. You don’t even need the plug-in to make the FLE, just an account on Flipick.com. They’ll notify you by email when it’s ready, in about 24 hours. You can view the FLE on their website in their proprietary EPUB 3 web viewer, and if you approve it, pay the $99.00 to download it. The fee includes up to two hours of QA by their team, so if you see a problem, they can fix it and notify you when the new version is ready. But if you just jump straight into packaging your standard InDesign layout and

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InReview: Flipick and CircularFLO

turning it into an FLE, you’d be missing out on some very cool features not found in any other FLE add-on I’ve tried, courtesy of their Widgets plug-in! To examine and add these features, open your InDesign file, and then open the Widgets panel from the Flipick menu that gets added to InDesign’s main menu bar (Figure 2). The Widgets panel lets you add interactivity to your eBook normally reserved for tablet apps, like slideshows, pop-ups, hotspots (via a clever use of hyperlinks to show/hide layers), and image panning. That’s great, but even better, they actually work (on the iPad at least), and they pass EPUB 3 validation! That’s big! Most of these are quite simple to do, such as adding a scrolling text frame to a page in your eBook. Just select a text frame with overset text, and enable the Scrollable Text checkbox in the panel. When readers open the eBook and come upon the scrolling frame, they will be able to swipe through it to read all the text, as though the

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If you’ve imported audio or video clips in the standard eBook-friendly formats, Flipick will bring those along for the ride, too. Not all settings in the Media panel are maintained (such as a poster frame for a movie). And, like every other FLE plug-in I tested, Flipick ignores hyperlinks created with the Hyperlinks panel. URLs that are spelled out completely in the text will be automatically converted into hyperlinks. But you’ll have to re-create any others using the Hyperlinks button in Flipick’s Widgets panel.

Figure 2: Flipick’s Widget panel makes it easy to make your eBooks interactive.

frame were an embedded browser window in the book page. Be sure to read the PDF documentation file to learn how to set up and finesse the other interactive features.

Creating an FLE with Flipick The actual conversion from INDD to FLE is done by Flipick staff, after they receive your zipped-up InDesign package. It used to be automated, in the beta version of Flipick, but I was told there were too many problems with machine-driven output. Now it takes a little longer, but you know that a knowledgeable person did the conversion and checked it before making it available to you on their website.

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InReview: Flipick and CircularFLO

So after you’ve added all your interactivity with the Widgets panel, package the InDesign file, and compress the resulting folder into a .zip file. Then log in to your account on Flipick, and click the Upload a Book button. Here you can enter some minimal metadata about the eBook—metadata you added with File > File Info is ignored— choose the device type you want to target, and upload the book (Figure 3). Flipick can create a fixed-layout eBook for either an iPad-ready EPUB or a Kindle-ready MOBI, but not both at once. You’ll have to upload twice to get both formats. (I have not tested the Kindle rendition, but that sure is one enticing feature, assuming it works!) Within 24 hours (they say) you should receive the cheery email message from Flipick that your eBook is ready. Log on to your Flipick.com dashboard, and preview the book in their proprietary eReader. I didn’t get a chance to test this in time for this review, but I did get a copy of my Cuba book as an FLE using the method they used

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Figure 3: Flipick gives you the ability to target a specific device and add a little metadata when you upload your file.

in their beta, when you could download the EPUB for free from a link in the email. Now that they’re out of beta, they’ve changed the business model. You can access your converted files on the Flipick dashboard and preview them in their proprietary EPUB 3 browser app. But if you want to download your book to test on an iPad or KindleFire, or of course to sell it yourself, you’ll have to purchase it. The charge is $99.00, and you can buy it from within your dashboard (Figure 4, next page). In the beta version of the software I tested, Flipick did a decent job on the FLE targeted for the iPad. The layout was true to the original. Scrolling text within the frame worked just as described, as did panning an image around within the frame. I didn’t like seeing a black box instead of my poster frame for the video, but it played fine, and the audio was great. Text wraps worked as expected, but the text on the path was converted to an image. (I was hoping it’d be converted to SVG with live text.) And as

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InReview: Flipick and CircularFLO

Figure 4: The Flipick dashboard is called “My Library,” where all your converted FLEs are stored. Tip: When exporting proof versions, add the version to the title!

noted their “Known Issues” documentation, effects applied to live text were ignored. Now that actual staff members do the conversion, though, and up to two hours of tweaking are included in the fee, these issues should be eliminated. On the whole, I was impressed, especially considering that I was working with beta software. It was thrilling to see HTML 5-style interactivity embedded in my eBook. Flipick won the IDPF Innovation Award in 2013 at Book Expo America, and I can see why.

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To see Glenn Bailey, VP of Technology at Flipick, talking about winning the award, check out this YouTube video.

files in an InDesign book, you’ll need to create one (File > New > Book) and add your publication to the book, even if the content is completely contained in one INDD file. The cover for your book needs to be in a one-page InDesign file and this file, too, needs to be added as the first document in the INDB file. I wish there was a way to use the first page of your publication as the cover, or point CircularFLO to an external JPEG. Like I said, it’s not hard to create an InDesign cover file, just a little tedious. Oh, and the document name must include FLO_COVER (Figure 5).

CircularFLO This app requires that you spend some time preparing your InDesign file for CircularFLO (CF) conversion. It’s not difficult, but it does dampen the mood a bit. First, CF doesn’t work on InDesign files (INDD), it only works on InDesign Books (INDB). If your publication isn’t already constructed as multiple

Figure 5: CircularFLO requires an InDesign Book file for its source material. Your book will have at least two files—the cover and the book itself.

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InReview: Flipick and CircularFLO

By default, CF converts all your text to JPEGs, but includes the words behind the scenes (within the file) so text is still searchable. This means your eBook looks exactly as it does in InDesign, down to the finest bit of kerning, and you don’t need to worry about font licensing. Still, most eBook designers prefer to have live text that users can select. The latest version of CF can do this too, but you’ll need to move those text frames to a new layer named FLO_LIVE_TEXT. And if you want audio or video, those also need to be moved to special layers. Luckily, CF comes with a FLO TOOLS panel that has buttons—which I think are actually scripts in disguise—for both creating this layer and moving all your text frames to this layer (Figure 6). The developer has thoughtfully added buttons to split (unthread) the text frames and to ungroup any that are currently grouped with other objects, two things you might want to do before moving them to a different layer. Since the FLO TOOLS panel is

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free and works on any InDesign document, you might want to download it to use with all your files (which is fine with the folks at CircularFLO, by the way). Adding hyperlinks is cumbersome. To add one, create a new layer named FLO_LINKS, and drag out a text frame that overlaps the targeted text or object on the layer below. Enter the full URL of the hyperlink in that text frame. The frames you drag out here aren’t included in the output, but the boundaries of the frames are converted to “hot spots.”

Figure 6: The FLO Tools panel has buttons that do all sorts of handy things to an InDesign layout, some of which are useful even if you’re not making an eBook.

Exporting to FLE with CircularFLO The bottom button in the FLO Tools panel (see Figure 6), Create fixed-layout EPUB 3/KF8, is a shortcut to start up the actual CircularFLO application, which was part of the install. If you haven’t purchased a credit for a book yet—$199 US for as many versions of the same book you need, in both KF8 or EPUB 3 format—you can run in Proof Mode, which will output the first 10

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InReview: Flipick and CircularFLO

pages of your file for free, with a watermark (Figure 7). The app is a bit fussy, as it will run only if no InDesign documents are open except for the Book panel with your book files. Once you close any offending InDesign files, the app starts its conversion, which just takes a few minutes. CircularFLO puts the final EPUB in a folder on your hard drive. Since I opted for the default settings (I didn’t bother creating a live text layer), it looks perfect in the eReader (Figure 8). I found that CircularFLO performed as advertised, as long as you followed all the instructions carefully. The developer,

Figure 7: In this dialog box, you can purchase and manage credits required to create a full FLE with CircularFLO.

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Circular Software, has been working on CircularFLO for a few years—note it’s now at version 3.5—which gives me confidence that they’ve figured out most of the major glitches by now. I wouldn’t hesitate to use them for my next fixed-layout EPUB project.

n Anne-Marie “HerGeekness” Concepción owns a busy crossmedia design studio in Chicago and is one of the industry’s best-known Adobe trainers and consultants. She also presents many video tutorials at lynda.com.

Figure 8: A finished conversion to fixed-layout EPUB proof

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InDesigner: The Human Face of Big Data

By Claudia McCue http://humanfaceofbigdata.com

The Human Face of Big Data

There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics. —Mark Twain Lt. Cmdr. Data: “My programming may be inadequate to the task.” Counselor Deanna Troi: “We’re all more than the sum of our parts, Data. You’ll have to be more than the sum of your programming.”

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If you’re a Star Trek fan (and if you aren’t, I don’t want to know), the prospect of the Transporter has always inspired conflicting emotions. On the one hand, the ability to be reduced to ones and zeros and instantly squirted to the planet’s surface is kind of appealing to anybody who (a) has flown cross-country or (b) isn’t wearing a red shirt. On the other hand, the possibility that it could go terribly awry is sobering—losing your luggage is one thing, but your liver… But while the Star Trek transporter isn’t real, information about us and many aspects of our world is rendered as digital data constantly—sometimes without our realizing it. In light of recent

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InDesigner: The Human Face of Big Data

disclosures about the NSA (hi, guys!) this may seem like a bad thing, but analyzing data about everything—from a baseball pitcher’s performance to infection vectors— can provide valuable insights in a way that was impossible just ten years ago. Enter Rick Smolan, a former Time, Life, and National Geographic photographer, as one of the brains behind America 24/7, which engaged 1,000 photojournalists across the United States in 2003 to create a snapshot of American life. The result was a gorgeous book showing cross-sections of the United States, from Minnesota farms to a First Communion in North Carolina. Pop quiz! What do you think is the biggest word on the first page of America 24/7? Not data. Not photographer. No, the biggest word that greets the reader is InDesign. Why? Because our favorite page layout program was the hub of that Herculean effort. While the America 24/7 book was helmed by Rick Smolan and collaborator David Elliot Cohen, the engine for harvesting and

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combining all those images in record time was the powerful InDesign scripting created by the geniuses at Premedia Systems, Jim Birkenseer and Peter Truskier. Fast-forward to 2013, and data itself becomes the subject (how meta is that?) in The Human Face of Big Data. Continuing the “big picture” theme, Smolan and his co-author, Jennifer Erwitt, partnered with Michael Rylander to create a gorgeous book. Then, Marcolina Design used InDesign as the engine to incorporate video and hyperlinks to create an app that brings the concepts of big data to life in a way that the printed book simply couldn’t. As Dan Gardner writes in the introduction to The Human Face of Big Data, “...Big Data is much more than big data. It’s also the ability to extract meaning: to sort through masses of numbers and find the hidden pattern, the unexpected correlation, the surprising connection.” This can translate to improved medical diagnoses, political insights—or tightly-targeted marketing.

Building the App In the interactive version of The Human Face of Big Data (available as an app for both iPad and iPhone), we’re given a compelling view of how data becomes the Big Picture. In one engaging example, tweets from the 2012 Greek elections are displayed as the reader drags through a 24-hour timeline, giving a sense of immediacy that would be hard to convey in a conventional TV news broadcast. Having InDesign as the hub made it easier (well, possibly saner) to create an app from the same content that was used to create the printed book. As Laura Kicey of Marcolina Design points out, “Having existing layouts from the print book already in InDesign, with style sheets and links already in place, helped expedite the groundwork. We used the DPS in both complex and simple ways and pushed the boundaries of the technology to create dramatic, memorable effects that helped tell the story and make the concepts come to life.”

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InDesigner: The Human Face of Big Data

Comparing the digital and print versions of The Human Face Of Big Data iPad Layout: Each red dot triggers the appearance of a targeted state in a 16-state multi-state object. Fifteen of the states contain information panels; the sixteenth state is empty. The empty state appears by default, so the viewer initially sees just the underlying art. When the viewer taps one of the red dots or text labels, the targeted object state appears.

Book Layout: All of the same information is displayed as callouts. While this gives the viewer everything at a glance, the text must be smaller and must fit around the elephantopus artwork. And of course, there’s no video, and no clickable hyperlinks.

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iPad Screen: When the user taps a red dot, the targeted object state appears. The click state of the button is white, helping the viewer associate that button with the displayed information. Each object state contains a button (red-andwhite “X” icon) that redisplays the blank object state, to hide the information.

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InDesigner: The Human Face of Big Data

She adds that the most challenging aspect, from an InDesign perspective, was to “make sure the look and feel of the printed book came through but at the same time keep the interactive intuitive but not intrusive. From a publishing perspective, it was the balance of trying to keep the file size down using external files but keep enough content local so the experience would not be bad without a connection. We think around 400 MB is the tolerable limit.” Laura jokes that they also had to factor in “all the work that needs to be done to get the app through to the iTunes app store. All that copy writing, splash screen prep, and file provisioning you can never forget in prepping a budget.” To bring the rendering of data to life, Marcolina Design used both Photoshop and Illustrator to create custom illustrations for the iPad app, and to modify existing art from the printed book. They also used After Effects for animations and Dreamweaver for HTML code.

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Beyond InDesign As you might expect, capturing the immediacy of Big Data required a few steps beyond the native capabilities of InDesign’s digital publishing features. As Laura Kicey describes it, “There were many places where we integrated mobile HTML5 Get a small taste of how social media energized the Greek elections on June 12, tricks and many After Effects 2012; drag through the timeline to hear the crowds and see a sampling of 24 hours of tweets chronicling the election. motion graphics were involved. An example of the custom code posts, our Tweets, and events we don’t think was used in the article ‘Catching the Next of as data generators—passing through toll Quake,’ which made use of the iPad’s accelbooths, hitting the ATM, sending text meserometer to use readers’ movement to make sages, making phone calls. The Human Face a point within the context of the story.” After of Big Data will make you realize that those Effects was also employed to create the bits and bytes are just the very tip of the big interactive Twitter feed display in the story data iceberg! of the Greek election and the “sliding baseThe Human Face of Big Data app is availball” rendering of the events of one second able for both iPhone and iPad. in a baseball game. Think of all the data being generated every second of every day by our Facebook

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InDesigner: The Human Face of Big Data

Bringing Big Data to Life To show the surprisingly complex story of one second in a Major League Baseball game, the reader can slide a baseball (cute) along a timeline to display the huge amount of data available: 00:00.32: Broadcast engineer oversees acquisition of the HD video feeds plus statistics data feed. On a standard MLB game night, the aggregate inbound/outbound transmission can reach 2GB+/second of combined video and statistical data feeds. Over an evening, approximately 20 terabytes of data (media plus statistics) may be generated!

00:00.49: Home viewers see strike zone and path of the pitch superimposed, thanks to Sportvision’s PITCHf/x technology (sportvision.com/baseball/pitchfx).

00:00:72: A stats operator winnows through data such as home runs, RBIs, and batting averages, and programs the results for display on the Jumbotron and other scoreboard displays in the ballpark.

1:00:00: Fans can consult the Gameday mobile version of the Major League Advanced Media website (mlb.mlb.com), enabling them to track the game from anywhere in the world in real time.

In the printed book, the events of the one-second span are laid out in succession, displaying at a glance the complexity of that short span of time in a deceptively simple game.

But all that game data isn’t just to entertain the fans; it gives scouts and coaches metrics to enable them to find good players— and turn them into great players.

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InDesigner: The Human Face of Big Data

Some words from Michael Rylander, designer of The Human Face of Big Data The Human Face of Big Data is a globally crowdsourced media project focusing on humanity’s new ability to collect, analyze, triangulate, and visualize vast amounts of data in real time. The result of this coordinated effort included a hardcover book, mobile app, “mission control” media event, student curriculum, and an interactive iPad app. In less than 60 days, 3 million people in over 100 countries participated in the The Human Face of Big Data smartphone app. The anonymous data that was compiled is available for educators, data scientists, researchers, and the general public to access as a valuable research tool, in order to conduct further in-depth sifting and sorting of the results, that which may one day be considered an invaluable snapshot of human history.

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What were some of the design challenges you faced in this project? Our “raw materials” were hundreds of different stories, each illustrating a different aspect of how big data affects our lives. Each story had its own visual representation— photography, illustration, video, etc. So the challenge was to bring these wildly different-looking elements together so it felt like a cohesive piece. We developed a bold, clean look that would serve as the glue to hold the elements together. I chose a fluorescent green color for the logo and some iconography, so that they would stand out among the visual clutter, as well as relate to the hightech nature of the project. What was the most fun article to do in Big Data? They were all fun to work with, so picking a favorite is hard! By the time we shipped the

files, I felt like I had taken Big Data 101 at Harvard. What a great learning experience. If I had a water gun to my head, I would have to pick out the articles on Aaron Koblin and A. J. Jacobs. Aaron is hero of mine: an artist manipulating big data to learn more about ourselves. And Jacobs is pushing the envelope on self-quantification: measuring just

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InDesigner: The Human Face of Big Data

about everything you can about yourself. And that’s where we’re headed as a species.

data-hogging files and being creative with how to code it.

What aspects of the production process required (or benefited from) scripting or other forms of automation? We used a number of scripts to extract captions from the data source, and extract credit information at the end. Our secret weapon was Premedia Systems’ PDF Comparator to automate the process of comparing rounds of soft proofs from the printer. This part of the process—proofing and printing—is so critical to the end result. Using this tool made us that much smarter.

Any other observations/anecdotes you’d like to share? I was particularly happy with how the book cover/splash screen turned out. I’ve never been a fan of nepotism, but went all out on this one. My daughter, Annabelle, posed for the cover shoot. Michael Tompert is an amazing digital illustrator. He had a 3D scan made of Annabelle’s face, and then used the data to create the final cover image. I thought the process was fascinating, and the fact that we used loads of data points to create it was apt.

As you planned this project, what kinds of issues did you face because it was destined to be both a book and an app? The biggest challenge we faced was choosing which articles to include [in the app] from such a massive hardcover book. And we always had to be aware of the final size of the app, not loading it up with too many

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where creatives go to know

n Claudia McCue is the author of Real World Print Production with Adobe Creative Suite Applications, and the presenter for a number of print-related lynda.com courses. When not chained to the computer, she can be found riding her motorcycle on country roads; she swears it’s the cure for writer’s block.

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By Jeff Gamet

InBrief: New & Improved Products

InDesign is already great at helping designers do their jobs, but how do you make it even better? By adding useful plug-ins, accessories, and services. This month we take a look at plug-ins and scripts that turn drudgery into simple tasks, a way to get editable text from a printed page into InDesign with your iPhone, and a couple ways to efficiently store your files, too. Drobo 5D Drobo, starting at $849 drobo.com I’ve mentioned Drobo’s network-based data storage systems before, and they’re nice options for group file storage and backup needs. If what you really want is lots of easyto-manage storage just for your projects, Drobo can handle that, too, with its 5D

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series. The 5D includes five hot-swappable hard drive and SSD bays that can hold whatever capacity you like. If you load it up with 3TB drives, for example, you get a 15TB storage system. It includes two Thunderbolt ports for super-fast file transfer speeds, along with a USB 3.0 port. The 5D lets you know when your drives are nearly full or failing so you can swap them out before disaster strikes.

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InBrief: New & Improved Products

Drop Words

GoodSync

DeSoto

In-Tools, $39 in-tools.com

GoodSync, starting at $29.95 goodsync.com

Stephen Rapp, $49/$175 (complete family) fonts.com

If you’re looking for an easy way to create drop words instead of drop caps in your InDesign documents, check out the Drop Words plug-in from In-Tools. The plug-in lets you control how many words to include, set special characters to determine the end of a drop word range, and it supports styles, too. Of course you can manually set drop words, but Drop Words is the better way to go, since it honors existing styles and ensures consistency in your layouts.

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Dropbox is great for file syncing, but it isn’t a full-on automated backup system for your critical files. GoodSync can handle both tasks—no problem—and it’s cross-platform, so it works with your Mac as well as Windows and Linux PCs. You can back up and sync to FTP and WebDAV servers locally or over the Internet, or to local storage devices. GoodSync lets you set your backup and sync preferences on a folder-by-folder basis, control copy speeds to better manage your bandwidth usage, set backup and sync schedules, and even set certain file types to watch or avoid. If your office won’t let you install extra apps on your workstation, that’s OK, because GoodSync can live on your own portable drive and do its thing on lockeddown computers, too.

Stephen Rapp’s DeSoto from his self-named foundry was inspired by a 1958 magazine car advertisement. It’s a serif OpenType font that has a retro feel but still manages to look modern. Available in Regular, Bold, Black, and Engraved, with alternate characters, old style figures, fractions, ligatures, ornaments, swashes, and case sensitive punctuation, it’s flexible enough for a wide range of uses but really shines in titling.

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InBrief: New & Improved Products

InDesign PDF Tooltips

PDFpen Scan+

Ella FY

Kerntiff Publishing, free kerntiff.co.uk

Smile, $4.99 smilesoftware.com

Fontyou, $39/$91 (complete family) fonts.com

InDesign PDF Tooltips is a handy script for InDesign CS5 and higher that lets you add tooltips to PDF documents without paying a visit to Adobe Acrobat. The script automatically adds a tooltip to the text you select, and once it’s built you can edit the tip text and tip button placement. Tooltips make for a professional touch in PDFs where that extra bit of clarity is important to help readers understand exactly what they can do in multimedia and interactive documents.

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If you’ve ever been in a bind and needed to scan text for a project, but don’t have a scanner handy, Smile has you covered—assuming you own an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. PDFpen Scan+ is a slick little app that lets you scan documents with the built-in camera in your iDevice, and then convert the scans into editable text. You can crop and resize your scans, save scans as PDF, send scans to Dropbox, Google Drive, and Evernote, and email scanned text, too. PDFpen Scan+ won’t replace a high-end scanner, but it will make you look like a hero when you need to get text from a printout into InDesign in a pinch.

Ella FY is a fun script with a feel that reminds you of the alphabets found on the walls of elementary school classrooms. It’s an easyto-read OpenType display script designed by Gia Tran and Jason Vandenberg that offers a fresh look without looking too straight-laced or childish. Ella FY is available in Thin, Regular, and Bold, with plenty of alternates to keep your layouts from looking too predictable.

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n

Iskra TypeTogether, $99/$449 (complete family) fonts.com

Jeff Gamet is The Mac Observer’s Managing Editor, contributing editor for Design Tools Monthly, and the author of “The Designer’s Guide to Mac OS X.” You can find him on several podcasts including Apple Context Machine and We Have Communicators, too. For a free issue of Design Tools Monthly, visit design-tools.com.

Iskra is a serious font, but with a healthy dash of whimsy. This sans serif OpenType font was designed by Tim Grace for TypeTogether and it sports sleek curves along with an asymmetric feel that’s easy to read. It works well for body copy, but also holds its own as a headline or callout font. Iskra includes support for more than 75 languages and is available in Ultra Thin, Thin, Light, Regular, Medium, Bold, and Ultra Bold along with matching italics. A Latinbased subset as well as Cyrillic-based subset are also available.

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InDex: Your Key to Our Content

The InDex

Can’t find that article you saw in an earlier issue? Wondering whether we covered that obscure plug-in? Never fear, the InDex is here.

Index for issues 1 through 56, July 2004 through November 2013

MAGAZINE

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The first issue of InDesign Magazine was published in July 2004. Since then, we’ve cranked out thousands of pages on hundreds of related topics. While it’s possible to use Acrobat to simultaneously search all past issues of the magazine for one word or phrase, many readers have clamored for a formal index at the back of each issue. However, with 56 issues to account for, that’s not feasible. Instead, the InDex will live as a PDF you can download for free. If you come across a topic you want to know more about, but it’s in an issue you don’t have, you’re not out of luck. We sell back issues at indesignmag.com.

If the topic you’re looking for isn’t in the InDex, you have one more way to search: that PDF trick we mentioned. To make it work, all of your magazine issue PDFs must be in one folder. Open any issue in Acrobat, and then press Shift+Command+F (Shift+Ctrl+F on Windows). In the Search window that appears, be sure that you click the radio button that says “All PDF Documents in,” and in the dropdown menu below that, choose the folder in which you placed your magazine issues. You’re on your way to finding anything in any PDF!

Click here to download the InDex.

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While this PDF is for your eyes only, you can tell your friends about the great discounts they can enjoy right now: $10 Off a 1-year subscription (coupon code friend) $15 Off a 2-year subscription (coupon code friend2) Send them to indesignmag.com/purchase.php

coming soon… INDESIGN MAGAZINE  56

October | November 2013

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