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M A G A Z I N E 88 August 2016

> Excel and XML: A Powerful Duo > Meet the InDesign Scripters > Ebook Design

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The InDesign Script-o-pedia


InSide: Table of Contents  5

The InDesign Script-o-pedia Erica Gamet brings together a collection of some of the coolest and most useful InDesign scripts.

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Scripting Stories David Blatner got five of the world’s top InDesign scripters to tell how they got started.

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InStep: Excel to InDesign Via XML Chad Chelius shows how to maximize your design options when using Excel data in your layouts. GREP of the Month: Negation Bart Van de Wiele shows how to exclude one or more characters in your GREP expressions. InDesigner: Brady Type Anne-Marie Concepción provides a close-up glimpse of Laura Brady’s ebook design and development work.

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Best of the Blog  A collection of the most important and informative articles from InDesignSecrets 46

Three More Great Ways to Add Colors to InDesign Documents

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Six Tips to Speed Up InDesign

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Lining Up Baselines Across Frames without Baseline Grid

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InDesign Basics: Working With Layers

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GPU Support and Animated Zoom Arrives (for the Mac)

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Mystery of the Absent Artwork Contest and Winner!

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InDex to All Past Issues

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MAGAZINE

From the Editor in Chief PUBLISHERS David Blatner, Anne-Marie Concepción EDITORIAL Editor in Chief Mike Rankin, mike@indesignmag.com Managing Editor Wendy Katz, wendy@indesignmag.com Contributing Writers Erica Gamet, Chad Chelius, Bart Van de Wiele, Steve Werner DESIGN Rufus Deuchler rufus.deuchler.net BUSINESS Contact Information http://indesignsecrets.com/contact Subscription Information indesignsecrets.com/issues Published by InDesignSecrets.com, a division of The Creative Publishing Network, Inc. Copyright 2016 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 pages 1 and 25 courtesy of Fotolia.com ISSN 2379-1403

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Ever wonder how we get our ideas for articles here at InDesign Magazine? We have monthly brainstorming meetings in which we ask ourselves: what would best serve the InDesign community, what topics and stories need to be explored, and what would we like to read?! And in every case, we strive to produce content you can use to improve your productivity, broaden your abilites, and get more enjoyment out of using InDesign. So I am thrilled about this month’s feature article by Erica Gamet, The InDesign Script-o-pedia, because it touches all those bases. This article is the seed from which we plan to grow an indispensable resource for InDesignSecrets Premium members: the most complete and up-to-date catalog of InDesign scripts on the planet. Building and maintaining it will be an ongoing effort, and Erica’s article is an exciting preview of where we’re headed, as well as a great resource in its own right. We’d also love to hear your thoughts about this project!

Continuing the theme of automation, we have a fascinating article by David Blatner in which he interviews several of the top InDesign scripters to find out how they got started the realm of automating InDesign. Chad Chelius’ InStep shows how to harness the power of XML to build InDesign layouts from Excel data—and automate the process of updating those layouts when the Excel data changes. Very cool stuff! Bart Van de Wiele is back with another GREP of the Month, in which he shows how to use negation in your GREP expressions to exclude one or more characters. Anne-Marie Concepción profiles the wonderful ebook design and production work of Laura Brady. The Best of the Blog highlights top new content from InDesignSecrets. Enjoy!

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The Essential Event for InDesign Users

GRAPHICS • GREP • HTML5 • TYPOGRAPHY • PRINT • EPUB • APPS • ACCESSIBILITY • PDF • STYLES COLOR • TABLES • LONG DOCUMENTS • SCRIPTS • WORKFLOW • LAYOUT • IDML • PREFLIGHT TROUBLESHOOTING • INCOPY • PRINT • BLEED • INTERACTIVE • FORMS • DATA • PUBLISH ONLINE LAYERS • LINKING ANIMATION • LINKS • TIPS & TRICKS • DATA • FONTS • COLOR MANAGEMENT Conference INDESIGN MAGAZINE  88

August 2016

NOVEMBER 7–9, 2016 WASHINGTON DC 4


The InDesign Script-o-pedia This is the start of something big: The ultimate guide to InDesign scripts By Erica Gamet

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InDesign Script-o-pedia you spend any time reading InDesign Magazine, visiting InDesignSecrets, or attending live events like The InDesign Conference, you’ll quickly notice how many folks consider scripts to be indispensable tools in their workflows. But if you’ve never actually used scripts, you might wonder what all the fuss is about. Can scripts really make that much of a difference? Can you use scripts without knowing how to script? Can you actually find scripts for the specific tasks that you need to accomplish? My short answer: yes, yes, and yes! But if you still think, “Meh, scripts aren’t for me,” consider the following: »» If you find yourself repeatedly choosing the same menu functions in InDesign over and over…you might need a script. »» If you constantly enter the same values in a dialog box…you might need a script. »» If you need to access some obscure functionality in InDesign… you might need a script. »» If you just want to get your work done faster…you really ought to use a script. Truly, any time you need to automate some task in InDesign (or if InDesign doesn’t natively offer a function you need) someone might have already written a script that will get the job done for you. But where do you go to find InDesign scripts? Of course, you can Google the phrase of whatever you’re hoping to accomplish plus the

If

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words “InDesign script,” and you might get lucky. Or you might end up spending a lot of time poking around various sites before you find what you’re looking for. But the whole idea of using scripts is to stop you from fumbling around and wasting time. That’s why the editors of this magazine came up with the idea to create an amazing new resource: the most complete and up-to-date reference guide to InDesign scripts in the world! They call it The InDesign Script-o-pedia, and this eponymous article is the first step in the effort to build out that amazing resource, which will be available at InDesignSecrets. While this list of scripts (organized into nine categories) barely scratches the surface of what The InDesign Script-o-pedia will ultimately become, it’s a solid foundation, as well as an eye-opening testament to what you can achieve when you harness the power of scripts in InDesign.

Scripts for fees and scripts for free Most scripts listed in this article are free to download, but please consider using the Donate buttons on the developers’ websites if you find their scripts useful. It’s not only good karma, it also encourages those folks to continue cranking out great tools for us all. Commercial scripts are marked with . Scripts marked with come with InDesign.

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InDesign Script-o-pedia Text and Styles The following scripts will help you be more efficient when editing and formatting text. »» The SetVisualCharStyle script lets you set your type to an exact size based on a specific character. For example, if you know the x-height needs to be exactly 1/2 inch, you need only to enter the “x” character and .5 in. to make that happen. »» If you need to change numerical data across the board in your document—for example, increasing all prices in an ad or catalog by 10%—check out Number Adjuster. You can apply the mathematical function to numbers within a selection, story, or across an entire document.

Number Adjuster

»» Word stacks—identical words that sit on top of each other in a paragraph—can be visually distracting. The SmokeWordStacks script finds those annoying word stacks. When the script finds a stacked word, it applies a character style with a red underline.

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Either use the styling to visually spot the words, or use the Find/ Change dialog box, and then manually adjust the location. »» Ever need to make type look a bit less flawless and more of the “touched by human hands” variety? The HumaneType script delivers with uneven baselines and even allows for text along a curved path.

HumaneType

»» To change numbers expressed by digits into their written word counterparts, you can use InDesign’s built-in Find/ChangeByList script. You’ll need to make some adjustments to the supporting text file, which you can read all about here.  »» The PerfectPrepText script assigns character styles to locally formatted text, even if paragraph styles have been applied to the text. There are three scripts that come with the PerfectPrep set, but using the PerfectPrepText_Do is the safest route. (Read more about the scripts and their history here).

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InDesign Script-o-pedia »» The Search in Styles script lets you perform searches across all styles—or selected ones—at once. Putting style attribute criteria into the Find/Change dialog box allows the script to find styles that have those attributes applied. You can then make changes to any of the styles as needed.  »» Sometimes you’ve manually styled a lot of text before you think to use styles. The Auto Create Paragraph and Character Styles script builds styles based on already-formatted text. Each time the script is run, it compares styled text to existing styles and assigns them, or creates a new style. »» Entering characters with diacritics—especially for a language that your keyboard is not set to—is made somewhat simpler by Peter Kahrel’s Compose script. To get the proper glyph, either enter one of the pre-assigned mnemonic codes or the unicode, if applicable. If there is no actual glyph in your chosen font, the script will even attempt to build one out of the base character and diacritic. »» If you need line numbering—as opposed to paragraph numbering—InDesign’s built-in tools will leave you out in the cold. The Number Lines by Style script from In-Tools closes this gap by creating numbers that sit in anchored text frames next to each line. Object styles are assigned, so updating the individual line numbers is a snap.

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Number Lines by Style

Just a Bunch of Text? Sometimes you have to take a couple of extra steps to get a script ready to use. If you’ve clicked on a link and see a screen full of text—or someone has provided only the raw text in a forum post—you’ll need to put that text into a wrapper that InDesign can understand. If the script has been written in JavaScript (a majority of scripts are, since it’s cross-platform), simply copy the text and paste it into a text editor. Make sure the text is in plain text format, and then save that file with the .jsx extension. Also, you may encounter files that have both .jsx and .txt extensions. In that case, just remove the .txt extension before attempting to use the script.

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InDesign Script-o-pedia »» Introduced at PePcon 2014, the oddly-named Swimmer script swaps out words with inline graphics and vice versa. Just set the keywords to search for and the necessary graphics, and the Swimmer script does the rest. »» Anyone who works with footnotes in InDesign knows how woefully inadequate they are. Lucky for those folks, Peter Kahrel knows, too, and has created a collection of scripts to deal with the native shortcomings. The scripts include solutions for converting footnotes to endnotes or margin notes, converting static endnotes to dynamic ones, adjusting the footnote spacing, and setting multiple notes on one line. »» StyleLighter allows you to view text styles and overrides in your document. Each style is displayed in a unique color, giving immediate feedback as to which text has and hasn’t been styled. »» The ShowFonts script restores functionality that has been stripped from the Find Font dialog box in more recent versions of InDesign. The script displays information for each font, including font name, type, style, and status. »» When a table of contents is updated, any manual text formatted is lost. The LiveTOC script holds on to that formatting, even as the TOC is revised.  »» If your favorite typeface is lacking the euro symbol or you wish you could replace its ampersand, there’s a script for that! FontMixer lets you borrow characters from one typeface and

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place them into another, creating a hybrid font containing the best (at least in your opinion!) of each typeface.

FontMixer

»» WidowFixer is a one-trick wonder with its simple-yet-powerful function. The script adds a specific GREP expression to select paragraph styles that prevents single-word lines at the end of paragraphs from ever happening.  »» The Smart Title Case script very simply converts selected text— frames or a text selection—to title case. The script rightfully ignores words like “a” and “the,” but delivers uneven results depending on if a frame or specific text is first selected. »» Fractions (especially uncommon ones) can be tricky to craft at times, even when using OpenType fonts. The Proper Fractions

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InDesign Script-o-pedia scripts format all fractions, and can even ignore number sets (like dates) it sees as “non-fractions.”  »» The SortParagraphs script—which ships with InDesign—can sort selected paragraphs alphabetically. Looks like laying out that membership directory just got a whole lot easier, thanks to this timesaver.  »» The GREP window in the Find/Change dialog box and within GREP styles is painfully small. The GREP Editor script offers a larger window to work with these complex—and often quite long—expressions. You can also load existing GREP queries from and send new expressions back to the Find/Change dialog box.

GREP Editor

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»» Issues with double spaces, em and en dashes, and justification are easily fixed with the Detail Typesetting script. This script is part of the larger InDesign Toolbox, which includes scripts for layout and text handling.

Installing and Using Scripts Installing InDesign scripts is super easy. Once you’ve downloaded—or created—the script file, it’s a matter of drag and drop. Most scripts live in the Scripts panel within the InDesign application folder (Adobe InDesign > Scripts > Scripts Panel), though some need to be placed in the Startup Scripts panel in that same Scripts folder. Once installed, scripts are accessible right away; no need to restart InDesign (though startup scripts will require a restart). The scripts are then accessed by double-clicking them in the Scripts panel (Window > Utilities > Scripts). Depending on the script, you may have to have selected a frame or text for it to run properly. InDesign comes with several scripts already set up, which are inside the Samples folder in the Scripts panel. You can further organize the scripts by creating subfolders in the Scripts Panel folder in the Finder/Explorer and arranging them as necessary.

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InDesign Script-o-pedia Layout These scripts ease problems and speed the process of crafting page layouts. »» The Columns2Frames script does just what you might think. It takes a multi-column text frame and splits it into individual, threaded text frames. »» When you use the Duplicate Spread option from the Pages panel menu, the duplicated spread is placed at the end of the document. This script lets you place the duplicate immediately after the original page (or spread). You can make quick work of this task on many spreads by using Page Up and Page Down to navigate through the pages, and assigning the script a keyboard shortcut. »» Dave Saunders’ WrapNudger picks up where InDesign’s imperfect text wrap leaves off. The script can move the wrapped object while leaving the text as is or adjust where the text wraps, leaving the object in place. »» The SplitStory script breaks all links between frames in the selected story, leaving all text in position within each frame. BreakFrame removes only the selected text frame from a text thread, without affecting the contents—or flow—of the frames. Both of these scripts come with InDesign. 

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WrapNudger

»» Layout Zone is a startup script that creates a separate InDesign file from selected objects in a current document. The newlycreated file can then be inserted into another InDesign file or back into the original file. That incoming file can even replace the separate page elements that were used to create it(self ). »» InDesign’s built-in data merge accommodates only one data record per frame. The Inline Merge script allows multiple records to be combined into a single text frame, making it perfect for creating directories and other long lists of records from a data file.

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InDesign Script-o-pedia »» Merge Text Frames combines multiple text frames into one allencompassing frame. The script’s options let you choose in what order the frames are merged, if the text is separated by paragraph returns or tabs, and what size the final merged text frame should be. »» InGutter places vertical rules between columns within a text frame. Those rules extend or shrink as the text frame is resized. The script gives you control over changing the number of columns, background color, and attributes of the rules themselves.

InGutter

»» Selecting any frame in InDesign and running the built-in Make Grid script splits the frame into the chosen number of rows and

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columns. Options include whether or not to retain the original frame and if the frame’s content remains.  »» The Adjust Layout script moves objects on a page—or range of pages—a defined amount. Set the vertical and/or horizontal values to move the items, and indicate for the changes to occur on odd and/or even pages.

Tables These scripts can take the time and torment out of working with tables. »» This clever table cell script is totally worth it, but you have to enter info into the text file each time you change parameters. It assigns a cell style to any table cells containing specific text. In a text editor, you’ll have to assign what that text is and what style to apply. Create and name a new version of the script for each search you might want to re-use, and assign a keyboard shortcut for fast implementation. »» This script is similar to the previous one, but it assigns a table style instead of a cell style. Again, you’ll have to enter the style you want to apply and set the parameters for each search you need the script to perform. »» Table styles in InDesign are a great way to format table content, but they are lacking in the table structure department. The

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InDesign Script-o-pedia Tables Sized to Frame script picks up that slack by automatically adjusting the table width to the width of the enclosing text frame. You can also assign an amount for row setting (Exactly or At Least) and row height.

Before using Tables Sized to Frame

After using Tables Sized to Frame

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»» When information is copied and pasted from one table to another in InDesign, the formatting is stripped out. PopTabUnleashed retains the text formatting upon paste and even includes an undo feature. »» The TableSort script brings the ability to sort table columns to InDesign. The sorting is limited to only three columns, but you can sort across an entire table, or sort only selected rows. »» InDesign’s Table Merge feature merges all selected cells without regard to columns and rows. Smart Cell Merge lets you select multiple cells and merge across columns or rows separately.

Documents The following scripts can supercharge your abilities to manipulate documents, pages, and layers. »» Extract Pages brings some Acrobat-like page manipulation to InDesign. The script lets you select and extract individual pages from an InDesign document­­—as single pages or as a group—and can even create a new InDesign document from the extracted pages. »» Calendar Wizard automatically creates calendars in InDesign. The script lets you customize the starting day of the week, number of months to display, page orientation, and language. Each element is further customizable via text styles, and resizing the calendars

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InDesign Script-o-pedia is a snap. The newest version introduces customizable holidays, savable presets, and three different styles of calendars. 

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Calendar Wizard

»» The aptly-named PasteboardExpander script expands your pasteboard. If your off-page items are falling off into the void, this script dynamically increases the pasteboard size to accommodate those wayward items. The pasteboard is only expanded—to precisely fit the pasteboard items—on spreads that need to be. »» When exporting an InDesign book (.indb) file to PDF, one file is created comprising all the selected document files. The PDF to Individual Pages script lets you create separate PDF files for each

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book document. Further options include creating separate PDFs for each individual page or section. »» MasterMatic is a script that automatically assigns a specific master page to your document, based on styles. Create pairs of paragraph or object styles and the masters that should be assigned to the pages that contain those styles. If content moves to a new page, the masters are automatically assigned to that new page.  »» The History scripts from In-Tools gives InDesign the same functionality that the History panel does in Photoshop. The scripts let you undo or redo actions directly, instead of having to step through each action successively (using the built-in Undo and Redo actions).

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A picture’s worth a thousand words, and these scripts can save a thousand clicks when working with placed images. »» If you placed an image in InDesign without having the Show Import Options turned on, you’re out of luck if you realize you wanted to control the incoming crop or which pages of a PDF to import. Your choices at this point are to re-import the image (with the Show Import Options checked) or use the rePlace script,

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InDesign Script-o-pedia which gives you access to the import options without having to go through the process of re-importing the image. »» The PDF Options Editor script does basically the same thing as the rePlace script, but deals strictly with the import options pertaining to PDF files. The linked page is in French, but the red download button is obvious, and then you choose Extract PDFOptions Editor in the resulting PDF’s Bookmarks panel. »» The CaptionsAlt script from Peter Kahrel performs a simple task that could be quite time-consuming in a file with many images. It simply applies any text from an image’s caption—select the text frame and image so it pairs up the right caption—to the Alt Text section of the Object Export Options dialog box. »» Keith Gilbert’s Export to JPEG set of scripts lets you export from InDesign to exact pixel dimensions, as opposed to a set resolution. There are three scripts in the bundle: one each for exporting the current selection, the entire document, or a range of pages or spreads.

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Export to JPEG

»» The Folder2CSV script creates a .csv file listing all images in a specified folder. Even though the script is run from InDesign, the images don’t have to be in any InDesign document. Where InDesign comes back into play is if you use the Data Merge feature along with that .csv file to lay out those images quickly in your document. This process makes it easy to create a contact sheet or place a single image per page automatically.

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InDesign Script-o-pedia »» The DeleteAllImages script will delete the image content of frames, leaving each frame itself in place. Select one or more frames and run the script to delete those images, or select nothing to have it delete all images in your document. »» The ImageCatalog script—which comes with InDesign—arranges all images from a specified folder into a contact sheet layout on the page. When creating the layout, choose whether or not to use the images’ metadata to generate static captions.  »» Releasing an anchored object is easy, but not so much with an inline object. The ReleaseAnyAnchor script fixes that problem by detaching an inline object from its text frame while leaving the object sitting in the same position on the page.

Colors and Swatches RGB? CMYK? LAB? You can handle them all PDQ with the help of these scripts. »» This simple script removes an image frame’s fill color while leaving the image intact. It works on any shape of image frame and only removes the fill from shapes that actually contain an image. »» A user-submitted script does the grunt work in tidying up an InDesign document’s swatches. Scroll to the end of the forum thread to get the script that removes all unused swatches, adds

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any used—but unnamed—colors to the Swatches panel, and converts the swatches to CMYK process. »» SwatchWatch is a script that creates sample swatches for each color in your Swatches panel. It places those swatches at the end of your document and indicates the swatch name and color values. The script will even create swatches for spot colors in placed images, and can be rerun as colors are altered, added to, or deleted from your document.

SwatchWatch

Interactive These scripts can help you make quick work of hyperlinks, multi-state objects, forms, and more. »» If you work with a lot of hyperlinks in your InDesign documents, you probably spend a lot of time cleaning up and shortening the visible URLs. While it’s a good idea to use the full URL in the Hyperlinks panel, you may want your reader to see a considerably

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InDesign Script-o-pedia smaller one (perhaps even leaving off the www). The Paste And Format URL script automates the process, leaving the hyperlink intact while displaying only the part of the URL you need to see. »» Entering information into a combo box or list box when working with interactive forms in InDesign involves listing each item separately. However, the free ComboMambo script lets you import the contents of an existing plain text (TXT) file to populate the list field. »» Creating a cross-reference involves referencing either a target text anchor—which you first have to insert—or a specified paragraph style, and then creating the cross-ref. The QuickReference script lets you work in reverse! First select the text for your cross-ref, and then run the script, which will find all the occurrences of that same text. »» The Digital Publishing Pack contains seven scripts that make working with multi-state objects (MSOs) in InDesign easier. The scripts automate adding an item to all object states, automatically creating hide and reveal buttons, and quickly creating the MSO with a visible and hidden state upon creation. 

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Output PDF, PSD, PNG, and a plethora of other outputs will be easy as peach pie with the help of these scripts. »» Colin Flashman’s Data Merge to Unique Names script lets you export directly to PDF files (and to individual InDesign files) from a data merge operation. Those individual files can also be uniquely named, automatically, from within the script’s interface. Bonus deal: You can convert any generated InDesign files to other formats using the Batch Convert script below. »» The Batch Convert script lets you, well, batch convert multiple InDesign files (within a given folder) to a variety of file formats. Choose from PDF, IDML, PNG, JPG, XML, and more as the final output file type. There is also an option to choose a preset, depending on the chosen output file type. »» Use the PageToPSLayers script to effectively export a layered InDesign file to a layered Photoshop file. All layers—including hidden, locked, and empty ones—get exported, and layer names are maintained. On export, choose whether to import the layers as smart objects or as rasterized images.

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InDesign Script-o-pedia Fun With these scripts, you can add fun to your work with cool design effects; there’s even a game you can play in InDesign! »» SiliconPublishing has a collection of fun drawing scripts as part of their publishing scripts collection. Fractalize creates fractal patterns from a shape, while Explode breaks out individual paths from a shape. MysticRose and NINA create shapes that mimic string art and spirographs, respectively. »» The Wordalizer script generates a word cloud from text in a frame, book, document, or clipboard contents. You can choose from the included themes or create and save custom settings. Wordalizer also gives you control over the size and positioning of each word in the finished word cloud. 

»» The built-in PathEffects script gives you object effect options similar to Illustrator’s Distort & Transform. Options include punk, bloat, and twirl, and all effects are completely editable.  »» Sometimes you need a break from actual work in InDesign. InTetris puts the classic arcade game right inside InDesign for those times when you need a moment away from work. While not as robust as the full arcade version (why is there no “next object” preview?), InTetris is a fun diversion.

InTetris

»» The Scribbler script randomly shifts text off the baseline to give it a bit of an uneven feel. While I wouldn’t recommend using it on the text of your next novel, it can be used effectively on informal or lighthearted text and content designed for children.

Wordalizer

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InDesign Script-o-pedia »» Using the Speeech (not a typo) script is the easiest way to create a cartoonish speech bubble. Simply create a frame with a connector line, and the script does the rest.

Stick to the Scripts So there you have it: a wide-ranging, inspiration-bringing sample of the most essential, useful, and cool InDesign scripts. Just remember, any time you’re struggling with a repetitive, time-consuming task in InDesign, there’s probably a script that can help, and The InDesign Script-o-pedia will be the place to find it.

n Erica Gamet is a speaker, writer, and trainer, focusing on Adobe InDesign and Illustrator, Apple Keynote and iBooks Author, and other production-related topics. With over 25 years experience in the graphics industry, she is a regular contributor to CreativePro.com. After living as a nomad, she recently put down roots in El Paso, Texas, where she hikes and bikes every chance she gets.

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Resources There are hundreds of other InDesign scripts available on the Web. Until we can get our own InDesignSecrets online database of scripts fully up and running, here are some web sites that you should definitely check out for more scripting goodness. Creative Cloud Add-Ons Zevrix Software In-Tools Teacup Software Rorohiko (Lightning Brain) InDesignSecrets Indiscripts Creative Scripting Peter Kahrel Silicon Publishing Ctrl Publishing Ajar Productions Gluon Software Gilbert Consulting Loic Aigon’s scripts Colin Flashman

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Compiled by David Blatner

Scripting Stories

We asked five of the world’s top InDesign scripters how they got started. “What first brought you to scripting InDesign? Were you a programmer first or a designer?”

Justin Putney

Justin Putney

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Ajarproductions.com I was a designer first. I was aiming for multimedia and animation but started my career in a small market in the Midwest, where there was only about one job posting per month for a graphic designer. Each opportunity was very competitive, so I had to know all types of graphic design, including print. At the time, InDesign was about neck-and-neck with QuarkXPress, but I decided to go all-in on InDesign. I got a job that was very heavy on print production, but after a year they allowed me to take

on Flash projects. The team appreciated my coding skills, so I kept learning more. I never wanted to be a coder. (I avoided Computer Science like the plague in school… but I did take Logic classes in the Philosophy department.? But Adobe Flash tricked has me into learning little bits of code at a time by marrying ActionScript with visual design. Then I started creating Flash extensions to speed up my animation work, and that scripting expanded to other applications like InDesign—especially when Flash dropped away around 2011! I think my designer background helps me empathize with designers and work closely with them.

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Feature: Scripting Stories

Gavriel “Harbs” Harbater In-Tools.com / PrintUI.com I’ve always been a “problem solver.” I got into layout because my wife was a designer and I started with helping her with her work. There was too much tedium in some layout tasks, and I found the InDesign scripting forum, so I started asking there about automating some things. Dave Saunders pretty much wrote my first scripts for me. I

didn’t even know what a variable was, and the only programming I had ever done was in Basic when I was in school, with some goto statements that printed out some lines on the screen. I couldn’t keep asking the scripters on the forum to do everything for me, so I slowly learned the basics of scripting, and I never looked back. Now I learn about new programming languages in my spare time for fun! Kris Coppieters (left) and Gavriel Harbater (right)

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Kris Coppieters Rorohiko.com / System-designers.com I’ve always been fascinated by computers. The only reason I got a mathematics degree (at the University of Ghent, Belgium) was because as a maths student at university, I was allowed to use the university mainframe. Of course, there were no personal computers or video terminals in that day and age—we had punch cards and line printers. By the late 1980s, after being firmly entrenched in developing for Unix, I was looking for something new to do. A friend of mine had started a successful AppleCentre, called “Logic,” which worked with banks, newspapers, and so on. He suggested I come work for him—which I thought was crazy, as I did not consider the Apple Mac a “real” computer. But suffice it to say that I’m still using a Mac. One of my colleagues at Logic was Dirk Noppe, who had grown up a printer’s son, and he knew everything about ink, paper,

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Feature: Scripting Stories

imagesetters, and so on. He understood the design and printing side, I understood the software design and coding side, and we made an unbeatable team, known for being able to do the impossible. That was the time of QuarkXPress 3.x—I wrote a lot of XTensions, automated catalogues, and fun stuff. I loved working for Logic, but I really wanted to go live in New Zealand. So I burned my bridges, took a 50% reduction in income, and moved to the place I really wanted to be, taking my wife and three kids with me. In 1995—the very early days of the internet!—we arrived in New Zealand. A few weeks after arriving, I got an email from Ron Crandall from Markzware. Ron wrote the first version of FlightCheck, the preflighting software. He had seen a QuarkXTension I wrote called CollectHTML, and told me I needed to come work for Markzware in California. I told him I was very sorry, but I just went through a lot of

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trouble to get to New Zealand, and I was not keen to move to the USA. So after a bit of back and forth, I started working remotely from New Zealand, and was their chief-engineer-in-residence-yet-absent for almost ten years.

We had something even Adobe did not have: a formal description of their file format. At Markzware, I rewrote FlightCheck from the ground up, which included reverse engineering various native files. File formats like PostScript or Illustrator were easy, as those were documented. But a lot of file formats were undocumented or “secret”. We’d dissect native files in all kinds of formats (Quark, Corel, Adobe PageMaker), figured out how they worked, and then used that info to do preflighting on these files.

Then, around 2000, Ron and I figured out how to read native InDesign files. That took us eight months or so, but we pulled it off, after which we had something even Adobe did not have: a formal description of their file format. At some point in time, I decided I wanted to be my own boss, and started Rorohiko. (initially with Martinho Da Gloria, though after a while we went our separate ways). At Rorohiko, my main source of income has been automating workflows around InDesign, Photoshop, and Illustrator. Initially, I wrote plug-ins. But in InDesign CS there was this scripting language which let me do 90% of what I could do with a plug-in, with much less effort. And it was surprisingly fast: for most automation tasks that I encountered, there was no practical difference between a scripted solution and a plug-in solution. Of course, Adobe’s ExtendScript had some things missing, so I wrote a “bag of tricks” plug-in to add whatever features

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Feature: Scripting Stories

I needed at the time. That bag of tricks became the APID ToolAssistant, which is still very much alive today, and powers quite a number well-known, popular, and useful plug-ins/ExtendScripts.

could book 20-minute slots at the faculty computer, so it took most of us a semester to get a single program running.

Peter Kahrel Typefi.com / kahrel.plus.com I was neither a programmer nor a designer. I’m a linguist by training, and drifted into copyediting, typesetting, and indexing! What brought me to scripting InDesign was the tedium of typesetting linguistic texts. In the early 1980s, the linguistics department at Amsterdam University (where I was a student) organized a Pascal course. I knew nothing about computers, hadn’t even been near any, and I couldn’t have written a line of code if my life depended on it. But it seemed like good fun. That was my first encounter with computers. We had to communicate with the computer using punch cards, so writing, running, and debugging was a lengthy process. You

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Peter Kahrel

The first time I felt I needed a script was when I started writing papers on the first computer I owned. That was an Amstrad Joyce, popular in the UK at the time. Checking references in an academic paper is very tedious, so armed with the knowledge acquired during that Pascal course, and full of bravura, I started writing a script in

Basic—the only programming language available on the Joyce. Once I got to grips with Basic (rather a shock compared with Pascal), I got a script running that flagged text references that weren’t cited in the bibliography, and bibliography entries that weren’t referenced in the text. The PC arrived not much later, and I discovered WordPerfect’s scripting language, which was quite good. By then, I was already drifting into copyediting and typesetting, and wrote a lot of scripts to automate just about everything that could be scripted. When InDesign came round in 1999, I, like so many people, waited for the first usable version, which was 1.5 or 2. But the problem was that I had to use Visual Basic, which I wasn’t very fond of (or good at). Fortunately, with Olav Kvern’s help in Adobe’s scripting forum, I got my first InDesign script together. (It was the script to compose accented characters.) Then, when JavaScript came around—with InDesign CS, I think—I was in my element computationally and rewrote

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Feature: Scripting Stories

many of the Turbo-Pascal scripts I had done earlier. The time I spent figuring out how to script inDesign was well spent. Not only did I think it great fun, but in the end I could work quicker and enjoyed the work better. In addition, I was able to do some very big jobs that could really be done only when the work could be automated. Can you imagine creating 2,500 margin notes, extracting marked text from the main text, creating an anchor, and pasting the text? The script took about an hour to write and a few seconds to run.

something called “storage tube terminals” by Tektronix, which were vector-based (there were no raster displays in those days), and I was pretty much the only person who knew how to program them (because other people thought they were just toys). Anyway, I fell in love with computer graphics.

Chuck Weger Elara.com Like Kris, I started out life as a programmer (we didn’t call them “developers” in those days), using punched cards on an IBM 360/91—a big mainframe. My first job was working for the Columbia University Computer Center, where I was in charge of computer graphics for the campus. We had

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Chuck Weger

Fast forward many decades—past writing device drivers for graphics cards, working at NASA doing spacecraft ground control systems, and later to Australia to write

graphical apps for biochemists at a hospital. I got into consulting, and I had a client—a large prepress shop that had about 80 offset strippers working in shifts, and a system called a “Hell Cromacom,” which was essentially like a $700,000 Macintosh. Pretty primitive stuff, I thought. I wrote some job-tracking database stuff for them. I had decided to get a “real” job and was talking with NASA about being a project manager for the space station. But the prepress house called me, offered me a job in Washington, DC, and I took it. So that was my introduction to graphic arts. I bought a bunch of Macs, installed one of the first Linotronic imagesetters in the DC area, and started producing work that the high-end Hell and Scitex systems were too busy for. We had a lot of errors, so I came up with something that I called “PostScript Preflight.” Although I moved on and kind of ignored preflight after that, it went on to become kind of a Big Thing (you’re welcome, Kris).

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Feature: Scripting Stories

I was on various advisory boards at Aldus, Adobe, and Quark, and, well, I’ve spoken too long already. I did a lot of QuarkXPress scripting, and then started automating InDesign at the request of Ole Kvern, who asked me to write some Windows scripts to include on the distribution discs. One thing led to another, and now here I am, working in a company whose primary product is based on automated InDesign workflows. Actually, I can trim that down to two sentences: I’ve always liked computers, and have been working with them for longer than most people have been alive. InDesign came along, and it seemed like a fun thing to be working with, so I started scripting it.

Olav Kvern Interview Want to learn more about the scripters who make InDesign users’ lives easier? Read the interview with Olav Martin Kvern, who wrote most of the scripts that ship with InDesign and developed InDesign’s IDML format in InDesign Magazine Issue 4.

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By Chad Chelius

InStep: Excel to InDesign Via XML

Excel is a great application for capturing and managing data. But for maximum flexibility, XML is often a more robust choice for InDesign workflows.

Most InDesign users know that Excel to achieve the desired result. But that still spreadsheets can be placed into an left me with a lot of manual formatting InDesign document, and rendered as native to do. I love nested styles in InDesign, but InDesign tables. This is an excellent solution they require very consistent content, with when you want a table-based structure in “triggers” that allow me to determine how your final design. But what if you don’t want content within a paragraph is formatted. If to mimic a spreadsheet? you don’t have consistent content from one Recently I was creating a directory paragraph to the next, nested styles just of information based on data from a don’t work. spreadsheet, and the client wanted the Now you might say that Data Merge information to “flow” in a layout, instead would be a logical choice, and it works well of being listed as a table. In the past, I’ve for some projects. But Data Merge alone saved Excel files as .csv or tab-delimited files, doesn’t allow you to create flowing text, and and then run some creative GREP searches it requires each field to be a separate text

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InStep: Excel to InDesign via XML

frame. Loic Aigon wrote a handy script called InlineMerge to overcome this limitation, but I still wanted a bit more control. XML gives me the ability to import content into InDesign in a story format, and provides the control that I need to style content based on tags in the XML file, instead of specific characters in the content. The first challenge is getting clean XML out of Microsoft Excel. Excel has a format in the Save As dialog box called XML Spreadsheet. However, when you open this XML file, you’ll notice that it doesn’t contain clean code. To get clean XML code from your spreadsheet, you’ll need to tag the content in Excel, using a specific process. Don’t worry; we’re going to walk through each step to show how this works. Disclaimer: This process relies on the Windows version of Excel. For whatever reason, Microsoft omitted this (and other <?xml version=”1.0” encoding=”UTF-8” standalone=”yes”?> features) from the Mac version. <Restaurants xmlns:xsi=”http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance”>

1. Create an XML schema

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You’ll need a sample XML schema file that replicates the XML tags you’ll be using to represent the data in the Excel spreadsheet. In a plain text file, create a few records to indicate the structure and tags for the XML you will bring into InDesign. Note that you need more than a single record in order for this schema to work. Make sure that the root element is named the same as the Excel file that

<listing> <restaurant>data1</restaurant> <cuisine>data1</cuisine> <city>data1</city> <state>data1</state> <description>data1</description> <price>data1</price> </listing> <listing> <restaurant>data2</restaurant> <cuisine>data2</cuisine> <city>data2</city> <state>data2</state> <description>data2</description> <price>data2</price> </listing> <listing> <restaurant>data3</restaurant> <cuisine>data3</cuisine> <city>data3</city> <state>data3</state> <description>data3</description> <price>data3</price> </listing> </Restaurants>

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InStep: Excel to InDesign via XML

you’ll be using. Aside from that, you can name the tags whatever you wish. I named the elements the same as my column headers to make things easy, and then saved the file as Schema.xml. See the figure on the previous page for the schema that I created. I should also point out that this is less of an actual schema like you might see in other workflows, and more of a prototype of what you want your resulting XML file to look like.

2. Load the schema in Excel

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In the Windows version of Excel, enable the Developer tab in the Ribbon. Next, click the Source button in the Developer tab to display the XML Source task pane. Click the XML Maps button at the bottom of the XML Source task pane to display the XML Maps dialog box. Click the Add button, and select the Schema file that you created in step 1. Excel may display a message indicating that it will create a schema file based on the XML file that you selected. You may also see a confusing message pop up, but simply click OK to dismiss it, and then OK again to close the dialog box. With the source defined, you’ll see all of the tags that you created in the XML file listed in the XML Source task pane.

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InStep: Excel to InDesign via XML

3. Tag the Excel content with XML tags

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Next, you’ll tag the Excel content using the tags in the XML Source pane by either rightclicking on an element in the XML Source pane, choosing Map Element, and defining the header cell; or simply dragging and dropping the element from the XML Source pane to the column header. As you tag the content, you’ll see the entire column change color, indicating that the XML tag has been applied. Repeat this for as many tags as you want to apply to the content in Excel.

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InStep: Excel to InDesign via XML

4. Export XML from Microsoft Excel

Before exporting the XML, feel free to sort your information as desired. It’s not imperative that the sorting be done at this step; it could have been done earlier in the process. Do understand, though, that the way the Excel data is sorted—as well as the order of the columns—will determine the order of the elements in the final XML file. In the Developer tab, click the Export button, and provide a name and destination for the XML file. Then click OK. The resulting XML file is a very clean, organized file with the content tagged using the settings defined in Excel, ready for import into InDesign. <?xml version=”1.0” encoding=”UTF-8” standalone=”yes”?> <Restaurants xmlns:xsi=”http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance”> <listing> <restaurant>ABC Brewing Company</restaurant> <cuisine>American</cuisine> <city>Harrisburg</city> <state>PA</state> <description>Wide open space, nice variety of beer, and great burgers.</description> <price>$$</price> </listing> <listing> <restaurant>Barley Mow</restaurant> <cuisine>Beer</cuisine> <city>West Reading</city> <state>PA</state> <description>Friendly staff and a wide selection of brews. They don’t serve food but you can bring your own!</description> <price>$$</price> </listing> </Restaurants>

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InStep: Excel to InDesign via XML

5. Load tags into the

InDesign document

6. Set the root element

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Now that we have a clean XML file with the content that we want to use in our layout, it’s time to set up the InDesign document in preparation for XML import. Start by opening up the Tags panel in InDesign (Window > Utilities > Tags). Click on the panel menu, and choose Load Tags. Select the XML file that you exported from Excel, and click OK. This loads all of the tags contained in the XML file into the Tags panel.

Next, open the Structure pane (View > Structure > Show Structure). You’ll see an item in there called Root. If you’re not familiar with what the root element is, it’s the element in the XML file that contains all other elements (the outermost element). Every XML document needs a root element; InDesign creates one automatically called Root.

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InStep: Excel to InDesign via XML

To replace the generic Root element, click the Root element in the Structure pane, and then click on the name of the root element in the Tags pane that represents the root element of your XML data.

7. Tag a text frame with the root element

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Drag the root element from the Structure pane on top of the text frame in your document to tag it with that root element. You may not see much of a change at first, so make sure to choose View > Structure > Show Tag Markers and View > Structure > Show Tagged Frames. As long as you’re not currently in preview mode, the selected frame should now be filled with a color and contain a colored stroke (border). Don’t worry, this doesn’t print in the final product.

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InStep: Excel to InDesign via XML

8. Add placeholder information

9. Tag the text

Next, enter placeholder information in the text frame for one of the records, and format it the way you’d like it to look. It’s not mandatory that you create paragraph and character styles for the text, but it helps if you want to tweak the formatting later on. The information you enter doesn’t have to be real data—you can make it up, but it should represent the elements of the content that you’ll be importing. Now, tag the text within the frame. The way you tag the text should mimic how the XML file is structured. In my example, I have a <listing> tag that contains all of the data for each record, so I’ll begin by selecting all of my text, including the return at the end of the paragraph, and then clicking the <listing> tag in the Tags panel. You’ll notice brackets [ and ] appear around the tagged text. This is how InDesign lets you know how text in your document is tagged.

Keep tagging the individual elements of the paragraph using the tags that represent the data that you typed. Leave any characters untagged that you are using to separate

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InStep: Excel to InDesign via XML

content in the paragraph, such as spaces, commas, returns, parentheses, and so forth. You want them to appear in each record that you import, so it’s important that those items remain untagged. The Story Editor in InDesign is really useful for tagging text and seeing how text is tagged. In the Structure pane, you’ll now be able to see the content that you tagged in the InDesign document. You may need to open the disclosure triangles to see all of the tagged content. Tip: Hold Option (Mac) or Alt (Windows) and click on the topmost disclosure triangle to expand all of the nested structure.

10. Import the XML

Editor’s note: See issues 23 and 24 for a full rundown of XML workflows.

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Click on an empty area within the Structure pane to make sure that none of the tagged content is highlighted; otherwise InDesign will try to import the XML data into that element, which is not what we want here. Choose File > Import XML, and navigate to the XML file that you created in step 3. Select the XML file, and make sure that the Show XML Import Options checkbox and the Merge Content option are selected. Click Open. The XML Import Options dialog box displays with a plethora of options that may seem daunting at first. You may be inclined to just leave the settings at their defaults and click OK, but if you do that, you may be disappointed with the results. I won’t go over each option in detail here, but the one option that is critical for our content is the one labeled Clone Repeating Text Elements.

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InStep: Excel to InDesign via XML

If you recall back in step 9 when we were tagging the content, I said to not tag the characters that you used to separate the information. I said that because the Clone Repeating Text Elements option will replicate all of those characters in each imported record, providing an incredibly powerful way to format your incoming XML data. The other option that you’ll likely want to choose is the Do Not Import Contents Of Whitespace-Only Elements. Although spaces are ignored in XML, that is not the case in InDesign. Enabling this option stops the importing of whitespace that was used to indent the XML structure for easy viewing in an XML or text editor. Click OK, and you’ll see your content imported into the text frame, consistently formatted the way that you defined it. If you see any formatting errors, simply undo and make an adjustment to the formatting, and then re-import the XML file. Depending on your setup and the appearance of the XML you’re importing, you may need to enable some of the other import options. In the figure at right, you can see the content imported with the tagged frame and tag markers displayed, and then the content in preview mode showing how the final file will appear. There may be some minor adjustments required, such as line breaks, depending on the length of each record, but for the most part, the imported content is ready to go.

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InStep: Excel to InDesign via XML

11. Wrapping Up

It’s quite possible to get clean XML out of Microsoft Excel, and doing so gives you an efficient way to import content into InDesign on a repeating basis. The idea behind this project is that each month, new restaurant listings are provided that need to appear in a publication with the same formatting. By using XML, you can create the next issue’s listings by choosing File > Import XML, and you’re done. If you’d like to learn more about using XML in InDesign, check out my Lynda.com course on Creating an InDesign Booklet Using XML, where I walk you through the process step-by-step and go over many of the options in detail.

n Chad Chelius is an Adobe Certified Instructor, author, and consultant in the Philly area and is the Managing Editor of incopysecrets.com. He has authored several titles for lynda. com including his most recent titles, Creating Accessible PDFs with Acrobat DC, Advanced Accessible PDFs, and Creating an InDesign Booklet Using XML. You can follow him on twitter @chadchelius and you can reach him at chad@ cheliusgraphicservices.com.

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GREP of the Month

[^ ] and \D Negating characters in a GREP search

that’s not a space. For example, this is especially useful when searching for words that aren’t capitalized, but should be.

usual character range expression (such as [^0-6]) to exclude all numbers from 0 to 6. Here’s a more complex example. The expression [^42]\d{5} will find a six-digit number. The first character can be anything as long as it isn’t 4 or 2, followed by any five regular digits. Below, you can see the found entries in cyan.

Negating specific characters  You can also negate certain characters in your search by using the [^] pattern. To use it, type all the characters you want to be excluded after the ^ symbol without spaces. Don’t worry, InDesign will treat all characters as individual entries and not as one combined search. For example, you can use the expression [^abc] to find any character except for a, b, and c. If you need to negate a range of characters, you can use the

Be sure to experiment with this technique; it’s too powerful not to use! —Bart Van de Wiele

Learn how to exclude a single character (or a range of them) with these handy expressions. GREP Level: Easy Learning how to use the absence or negation of a certain character as a search criterion will give you a powerful way of finding what you want. And you can use two different expressions for this for maximum flexibility. Negating character classes  The first expression is really simple to use. Capitalize the common character classes like \d (any digit), \u (uppercase), or \s (space) to invert their effect. Thus, \D will find everything that’s not a digit, and \S will find anything

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By Anne-Marie Concepción www.bradytypesetting.com

Artistry and Code

Laura Brady’s ebooks are beautiful inside and out

Laura won the annual Digital Book Award for Ebook— Fixed Format/Enhanced: Children for this children’s book at the F&W Digital Book World Conference last year. She customized the Kindle’s pop-up text (the green-background caption) to more closely match the book’s aesthetic.

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Is it hard to make an ebook from InDesign? Not really—until you’re handed a layout that uses runs of spaces and tabs instead of indents, or has dozens of highly-formatted tables, or full-bleed images that must remain full-bleed (even though there’s no such thing in a reflowable ebook), or handdrawn lettering, or any number of other non-standard elements that the client is expecting to see intact in an ebook… Laura Brady takes these challenges in stride, for the most part, as a result of years of experience that few of her peers can match. Founder of Toronto-based Brady Type, Laura started designing and developing ebooks back in 2009, a year before the debut of the Apple iPad, the

iBooks app, and the iBookstore. She caught the big wave in a publishing sea change and has been riding it ever since. What’s more important here, though, is that Laura came to ebook conversion and design only after fifteen years of hard work laying out and typesetting trade print books. That background instilled in her the expectation of getting the same quality, readability, and elegance in the ebooks her company produces for their clients.

Ebook Challenges with InDesign Let’s imagine a scenario in which Laura is handed a beautifully-designed InDesign layout of a simple, text-heavy book with

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InDesigner: Brady Type

a few images. And let’s go further, and assume that the client who created that file did so properly, applying paragraph, character, and object styles consistently throughout, using OpenType fonts, highres images, even anchoring the images in the text flow so they’d appear in the correct location when the book was exported to EPUB (Reflowable) from the File > Export dialog box. Does that mean all she has to do is export the thing and send an invoice? Many designers would—maybe after doing some basic tweaks and testing—but not Laura. Before she exports, for example, she always combs through the layout and sets accessibility attributes in Object > Object Export Options for stories and images, such as semantic tags and ALT text. This makes the ebook ready to work with assistive devices like screen readers. Laura says, “I think InDesign’s accessibility features could be dramatically improved, though. It needs default Section and Aside tags, for

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example. Not just for accessibility, but also for rendering [in an eReader].” Even after that and other preparatory tasks are done, she’s seldom satisfied with the resulting EPUB export. Laura will always open the EPUB in an HTML editor to clean up the code (the HTML and CSS markup) that InDesign creates. “InDesign adds a lot of unnecessary code, which makes it difficult to edit. But I can clean up much of that with a few RegEx (GREP Find/Change) in a text editor,” she says. Laura likes to use her own CSS file whenever possible, linking the HTML to it in the EPUB Export Options dialog box. “The CSS that ID gives you doesn’t cascade at all. And the style sheet that gets used so often, paragraph body, is put at the bottom of the CSS file. It should be at the top!” Nevertheless, InDesign is the central hub for Brady Type’s ebook work, even if a manuscript comes in as a Word file. “I love that landmarks [a usability feature in modern EPUBs] is built in. I love that you

can group boxes, manipulate them, and have them rasterize on export,” she says. Laura pointed out, “Most advanced EPUB developers just use HTML, but that file is hard to update for most people. When the ID file is really well constructed, that’s your archive. It’s agile and ready to update for the next edition or version.”

Leading the Way for Her EPUB Colleagues In recent years, Laura has taken on leadership and mentoring roles in the EPUB community. She speaks at industry conferences like our own PePcon and BookNet Canada’s ebookcraft (which she organizes as well). She also pens blog posts about ebooks on publishing portals, presents workshops, and helps run the vibrant #eprdctn community on Twitter. Through it all, she’s always learning, and as her home page says, she’s “committed to the art of type—in print or digital format.”

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InDesigner: Brady Type

Above and right: Laura created the ebook version of noted fine art photographer Snygg Mas’s Just Another Day. This book is a series of “Flows” where the photographer stands in one place and takes a series of shots of passersby over the span of hours. It’s a fixed-layout ebook with numerous two-page spreads to showcase the photography. Below: Spread from a cookbook Laura laid out as a reflowable ebook, so it’s readable on any size screen.

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Laura is adept at creating children’s books as fixed-layout EPUBs for the iPad, Kobo, and Kindle platforms. Above is a spread for Little Bear’s Day, which includes read-aloud interactivity (note the highlighted word). The book is designed to help children learn the Cree language, which appears in syllabic and phonetic forms beneath the English text. Below is a spread from the illustrated ebook Windblown, also showing a word changing color as it’s being read aloud. Creating read-aloud functionality is all done manually in the HTML files; InDesign doesn’t offer it.

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InDesigner: Brady Type

Even though she’s an expert at the fixed-layout format, Laura says, “I spend a great deal of time trying to convince people who want fixed-layout that it might not be the best format for their content.” The client/author for this project was adamant that it maintain the print design in the ebook, so Laura created it in iBooks Author (left, top and bottom). Later, the client requested a reflowable EPUB version of the same (above), and that’s the one his Colour Theory students turn to most often.

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InDesigner: Brady Type

One of the challenges when creating reflowable ebooks is making reflowable tables. When Laura works on the Akamai Connectivity Reports, she knows she’ll have to ensure that the numerous tables contained in the ebook will not only reflect the formatting of the printed version, but will be readable on a wide range of screen sizes. In other words, she ensures that the tables are responsive and reflow to fit without sacrificing design or readability. On the next page, you can see what one of the tables looks like in the InDesign file, and how Laura’s HTML cleanup work helped make this happen.

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InDesigner: Brady Type

Left: One of the tables in the INDD file for the publication Akamai Connectivity Reports. Note that all the text, cells, and the table itself have been formatted with styles. After exporting the INDD file to EPUB, Laura opened the component files in a text editor. Lower left: The original HTML output from InDesign, which Laura terms “overburdened.” Below: The same table after she stripped the markup to the essentials, resulting in the clean, responsive tables show on the previous page.

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InDesigner: Brady Type

Spreads from the textbook Calm, Alert, and Learning, published by Pearson Canada.

Laura has a special affinity for replicating complex print layouts as reflowable EPUBs. Reflowable ebooks, as compared to fixed-layout ones, have a much wider distribution channel (because so many eReaders can access them) and can be made accessible. Here you see an example of a complex textbook with sidebars, sections, lists, and deep navigation in the TOC. These screen captures are from Adobe Digital Editions, and you know if it looks good in ADE, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll look good anywhere.

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InDesigner: Brady Type

Setting poetry in reflowable ebooks is especially challenging, as the line indents and breaks carry almost as much meaning as the words. The only way to do it right is to create individual paragraph styles for practically every line so they convert to matching CSS classes (right). Above left is how the InDesign file was originally formatted with space and tab runs, to the right of that is how it looked after Laura cleaned it up. And the final result, as seen in iBooks at far right, shows why all that work was worth it.

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n Anne-Marie Concepcion (@amarie), co-publisher of InDesign Magazine, is a Chicago-based publication designer, workflow consultant, and Adobe Certified Instructor in InDesign. She is the author of numerous Lynda.com courses in creating reflowable and fixed-layout EPUBs from InDesign. Her studio, Seneca Design & Training, provides ebook conversion and training services to clients worldwide.

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Best of the Blog

Best of the Blog

A collection of the most important and informative articles from InDesignSecrets. If you want to add comments or ask questions, just click the title of the article to view the original post in your web browser. Three More Great Ways to Add Colors to InDesign Documents Erica Gamet | June 23, 2016

theme’s components, choose Save. Just as with the Capture app, you can assign the theme a name, send it to a CC Library, add tags, and choose Publish This Theme To Explore (make it public).

Editor’s note: This post is a follow-up to Erica’s earlier article on how to add colors to InDesign documents using Adobe Capture. How to Add Colors to InDesign Documents With Adobe Color Adobe Color—which is what the late, great Kuler eventually morphed into—is the online home of all your color themes. If you created a theme in Adobe Capture, you can access it from the Colors site. Not only can you access themes, but you can also manipulate them, or create new ones as needed. Select the Create tab to create a color theme from scratch, choosing from the color rules at the left side. Drag the selection around the color wheel, and individually adjust each color’s mode and value sliders. You can also click the camera icon in the upper right if you want to use a source image to create the theme. When you’ve perfected your

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The second option, if you don’t want to create a theme from scratch, is Explore. Selecting this tab lets you browse public themes. You can view them in random order or by popularity. The great thing is, once you find a theme you like, you can choose to edit a copy of it. Rolling over a theme gives you that option, as well as the choice to appreciate, share, and save. When you save a public

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theme, again, you’ll have to choose which Creative Cloud library to save it to.

Using InDesign’s Color Theme Tool Introduced in InDesign CC 2014, the Color Theme tool gives you the opportunity to capture color directly from elements in your InDesign document. First, make sure you have the tool configured to your liking by double-clicking the tool’s icon (which occupies the same square as the Eyedropper in the Tools panel). Options include whether or not to ignore opacity and effects when sampling color, and choosing how to handle the color mode. By default, the colors are added—and converted, if necessary—in the color mode that matches the intent set up when the document was created.

The last main tab on the Color page is My Themes. This is where themes you’ve created live. View your theme collection all together or by individual library. Clicking on the info icon for any theme brings up not only information on that theme, but the chance to make it public, if it isn’t already. Use Edit Copy to make changes at any time, including the theme’s name, by clicking the blue pencil icon next to the name.

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Once you’ve set the options, sampling colors is easy. Select the tool, and either drag across items on the page or click on an image. Clicking an image will sample up to five colors from the image, but you can focus the selection by dragging across only a portion of the image. When you’ve got a palette you like, you’ll want to save it somewhere. You can click the Add to Swatches icon (it looks like a palette with a plus sign) to add the entire theme as a color group. If you want just a single color to be added, Option/Alt-click the same icon. You can also choose variations of the theme, such as Bright, Dark, or Muted before saving. If you want to have the theme available outside of InDesign—or in other InDesign documents— click the Add to Library icon (the cloud with the arrow). Note that this saves the theme to your currently selected CC Library, so make sure to select your library first in the CC Libraries panel.

can rename the theme, and move or copy a theme to another library. I prefer to manage my color themes this way, so that I get an overview of my assets outside of the confines of any app, but you can organize library assets from the CC Libraries panel within InDesign as well. Once everything is organized neatly in libraries, it’s time to head back to InDesign to use these colors.

Working With Colors in Creative Cloud Libraries No matter where you’ve created your colors, there’s a common thread running through each method: Creative Cloud Libraries. Not only is the Creative Cloud the place to store all of your assets, color and otherwise, but it’s the easiest way to be assured you’re using the same defined colors throughout your apps. You can view colors stored in libraries from within InDesign, or you can head over to assets.adobe.com and click on libraries. Clicking on a specific library will display all of its assets, including color themes. From here, you

Bringing It All Together In InDesign, it’s easy to access the colors you’ve captured and saved. If you created them with InDesign’s Color Theme tool and saved them to a document’s swatches, you can either open that document, or load swatches from that document. Otherwise, you will probably select them from a Creative Cloud library. With the CC Libraries panel open in InDesign (Window > CC Libraries), choose the library where your desired color theme lives. Once you’ve scrolled to the desired theme, right-click or Control-click on the

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theme to bring up the contextual menu. Choosing Add Theme to Swatches puts the entire theme into the Swatches panel as a color group, while choosing Add to Swatches will add only the exact swatch your cursor is hitting, so point and click carefully.

There is yet another way to access colors stored in CC Libraries, and that’s by using the Color Themes panel (Window > Color > Adobe Color Themes). This panel is like a mini portal to the Adobe Color web page, in that you can create new color themes, explore others’ themes, and access your existing themes. I’ve had issues

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with this panel since it was introduced, namely that the scroll bars are nonexistent, so I can only view the first eight or so themes in each library (which I’m sure is a bug and not a feature). If you are able to view the theme you want, either click once on a specific color to add it to your swatches, or use the Action menu below each theme to add the entire theme.

Color Yourself Informed There are many ways to get that perfect color—arranged in harmonious themes—into InDesign. The uniting power of Creative Cloud Libraries makes the transition between apps

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fairly foolproof. The handoff—from capturing colors to editing them to putting them to work in InDesign—is precisely the kind of seamless operation that Adobe’s Creative Cloud was created for. And anything that makes my life easier is something I think is worth embracing.

Six Tips to Speed Up InDesign Erica Gamet | June 29, 2016

Preferences > Display Performance) renders the images at a screen-friendly resolution. This has been InDesign’s default setting for viewing images onscreen for ages. However, with the latest release (or maybe even earlier and I just didn’t notice it), the default seems to be High Quality. Even with the default set to high, you can right-click or Control-click on a document page to set the display performance for the current document, or right-/Control-click on an image to change the setting for just that image.

Sometimes things just don’t run as smoothly or as quickly as we’d like. Even our ever-faithful companion, InDesign, is not free from frustrating slowdowns and inexplicable quirks. Some people are quick to jump on the “trash your preferences” bandwagon, but I almost never have to resort to that. If you’ve done some troubleshooting and are quite certain it’s not a particular file—or an asset within that file—causing you grief, there are a few things you can try to speed up InDesign. If you know your computer is normally up to handling your intense workflow, then maybe one— or three—of the following issues and settings within InDesign is what’s bringing it to its knees. Set InDesign’s Display Performance to Typical Viewing images at high resolution forces InDesign to constantly redraw elements as you move around the document, eating up processor oomph. Setting the default to Typical (InDesign/Edit >

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Turn off Live Drawing Turn off InDesign’s Live Screen Drawing—or at least set it to Delayed—in the Interface pane of your Preferences to speed things up a notch. The delayed option means that when you click on an item, such as an image, and then wait a split second to move or transform it, you’ll get a live preview of the transformation as you perform it. If this option is set to immediate, InDesign has to display every step of the process for every transformation. That’s a lot of processing. Minimize Live Preflight Live Preflight works in the background to make sure your document falls within the parameters you’ve set for the specific output. If you’re not working, it probably is. You can limit which pages it’s checking by opening the Preflight panel. To do that, either click the Preflight menu to the right of the red or green dot at the bottom of the document frame, or choose Window > Output > Preflight. At the bottom of the panel, select the radio button to the right of All, and choose a page (or alternate layout). Now the preflighting is being conducted only on that particular page. Better

yet, turn it off altogether by deselecting the On checkbox until you’re ready to preflight.

Turn Off Page Thumbnails If you have a lot of pages in your document, and those pages have a lot of items on them, your Pages panel thumbnails are working really hard to keep up with you. One place I notice a lag in redraw is those pesky little page thumbnails. Most of the time, the page icons are so small that the thumbnails—even if they ARE redrawing— aren’t very helpful. Go to the Pages panel menu, choose Panel Options, and then deselect the Show Thumbnails option for both Pages and Masters. Turn Off Hyperlink Verification A tip I learned at PePcon 2016 from a newly-informed Anne-Marie Concepción was that InDesign is very fastidious about checking

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hyperlinks. One might even say it’s “hyper” about it (if one were into such easily uttered puns). InDesign constantly checks the validity of URLs in hyperlinks, which can really slow down a file containing a lot of hyperlinks. Turn off the obsessive checking by deselecting “Auto Update URL Status” in the Hyperlinks panel menu.

turn the option off completely. At the very least, you could limit the preview pages to just the first one or two pages in the document, or reduce the dimensions of the preview itself.

Lining Up Baselines Across Frames without Baseline Grid David Blatner | July 11, 2016

You have text in two frames, one positioned above the other, and you want to ensure the space from one text baseline to the next is consistent. How do you place the text frames properly?

Turn Off Save Preview Images InDesign gives you the option of including a preview image when saving your documents, which happens to be the default behavior. This is another item that constantly updates as you work. To make changes to this option, head to Preferences, and go to the File Handling pane. You can deselect Always Save Preview Images to

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Well, you may know that InDesign has a Baseline Grid feature, and if you locked the baselines to that underlying grid, it would be pretty easy. But there are times you may not want to have the constraints of the baseline grid. (Honestly, I hardly ever use a baseline grid, as I generally find it frustrates me more than it helps. But I know many people who love the grid thing.) So here’s the trick: First, select the second frame (or both of them), choose Object > Text Frame Options, click the Baseline Options tab, and set the First Baseline Offset pop-up menu to Leading:

Then drag the bottom frame up until it snaps against the bottom of the top frame. You can use Smart Guides to ensure that it is in the correct position:

Next, double-click the bottom edge handle of the top frame so that it snugs up against the last baseline of the text frame. (That’s basically the same as choosing Object > Fitting > Fit Frame to Content.)

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When you let go, the two frames will be next to each other, and because the First Baseline Offset is set to Leading, it will be in exactly the right place:

Of course, this relies on the leading (the space from one baseline to the next) being consistent; so you want to ensure that you have the same leading throughout the paragraph. Here’s another article on why that First Baseline Offset is so important to pay attention to.

InDesign Basics: Working With Layers Chad Chelius | July 13, 2016

InDesign Basics is a series of articles for new InDesign users, highlighting basic information and techniques. We all had to start somewhere, so why not start right here! One of the InDesign features that provides users with the level of design control that they need to create visually rich layouts is

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layering. Often when the topic of layers is brought up to InDesign users, they’ll say that they don’t use layers. Well, they’re lying! Not intentionally of course, but whether they realize it or not, they’re always working with at least one layer in every InDesign document that they create.

Open up the Layers panel in any InDesign document and you’ll see at the very least one layer, which is most likely called Layer 1. This layer is created by default in every InDesign document. Many InDesign users understand layering in InDesign to the extent that they can use the Object > Arrange > Bring to Front command, which moves an object in front of everything else on that layer, and the Object > Arrange > Send to Back command, which moves an object behind everything else on that layer. You may also have used the Bring Forward and Send Backward commands in that same Arrange submenu, to move selected objects in front of or behind the next closest object on that layer.

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The term I stress here is on that layer. You’ll notice that those four commands to adjust the stacking order of objects occur only within a layer, and will never traverse to other layers. The other thing you’ll notice when you open the Layers panel is that if you click the disclosure triangle to the left of a layer name, it will reveal every single object on the page or spread that is contained on that layer.

Why Use Layers in InDesign? Layers provide an enhanced level of control over the objects in a document by allowing you to subdivide a number of objects into logical or functional pieces. Simply put, the more complex a layout is, the more difficult and time-consuming it is to work with. This complexity can be reduced when you organize objects onto layers, because you can hide or lock objects to avoid accidentally selecting or moving them while working in a document. There’s no right or wrong way to use layers, nor is there any limitation to how you can take advantage of them. One common configuration is to put all of the graphics on a layer and all of

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the text on a different layer. I’ve created projects that had two versions of text for different customers but with common graphics. In a case such as this, I had two different text layers and one common graphics layer. This allowed me to hide different layers to quickly produce a new version of my design. Another powerful configuration is to create a Master Items layer and put all of the objects on a master page on a separate layer above all other layers in a document. This ensures that the master page items always appear on top of objects on each page of a document. How To Take Advantage of Layers To create a new layer, click the Create New Layer button located at the bottom of the Layers panel. This adds a new layer to the Layers panel, named Layer 2 by default. You can double-click on a layer to display the Layer Options dialog box where you can give the layer a more appropriate name, hide or show the layer, lock the layer, and determine whether the layer will print, as well as several other options. You can even change the color of the layer, meaning the color of the bounding box of selected artwork. To save time, you can hold down the Option (Mac) or Alt (Windows) key when clicking the Create New Layer button to automatically display the

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Layer Options dialog box so you can give each layer an appropriate name straight away.

When you click on a layer to make it the active layer (indicated by a pen icon to the right of the layer name), anything you place, draw, or create will go on the active layer. That doesn’t mean that you can’t move objects from one layer to another. Doing so is actually quite easy. When you select an object in an InDesign document and open the Layers panel, you’ll notice a small square icon to the far right of the layer name. This icon indicates that the selected object(s) are located on that layer.

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If you drag that square to another layer in the Layers panel, you’ll move the selected object(s) to that layer, while keeping the artwork at the same page location. Add the Option (Mac) or Alt (Windows) key while you drag, and you’ll make a copy of the selected object(s) to that layer. You can also click on that square icon on any layer to select that object in your document, providing an easy way to see, via the Layers panel, where an item is located in your document. Are you seeing how powerful Layers are yet?

Visual Stacking Order Just as objects within a layer have a stacking order, so too do the layers themselves. Anything that’s on a layer located at the top of the Layers panel will appear above everything else that is on any layer below it. To rearrange the stacking order of the layers, simply drag one layer above, below, or in between other layers to change how layer content is displayed. Object stacking order within a layer also becomes easier to visualize and manipulate when you open the disclosure triangle

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for a layer. You can see how objects are stacked in relation to one another because every object on that layer is represented from the top down. When trying to fine-tune stacking order, you can simply drag objects up or down within a layer to precisely adjust the stacking order of objects in your design. Naming Objects in the Layers Panel You’ve already seen how you can provide appropriate names to the top-level layers in your document. Although objects that you draw, place, or create in InDesign are automatically named by default with appropriate names like polygon, rectangle, and text frame, you can easily rename the individual objects within a layer to identify them when trying to manipulate objects. Select the object, and then click its name in the panel to change it. Wrapping Up Although it’s possible to work in InDesign without ever opening the Layers panel, hopefully you are able to see the power and flexibility that using layers in InDesign has to offer. Give them a try, and I think you’ll agree that they are worth taking advantage of.

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GPU Support and Animated Zoom Arrives (for the Mac) Steve Werner | July 18, 2016

Following the lead of Photoshop CC and Illustrator CC, the InDesign CC 2015.4 update finally added GPU support— beginning with Macintosh computers. We covered an overview of 2015.4 features here, but we’ll give more details and shortcuts in this posting. As Retina and HiDPI monitors are becoming the standard, applications have to “push” more pixels around. Relying only on the CPU can slow down screen rendering. GPU Support for Macintosh Here are the requirements for Macintoshes to use their GPU in InDesign CC 2015.4: »» The computer must have at least 1 Gb of dedicated VRAM (2 Gb recommended) and it must support OpenGL version 4.0 and greater; AND »» The computer must have a native Retina display (e.g., MacBook Pro, iMac 4K, iMac 5K, etc.). For computers like a Mac Pro or Mac Mini, they have to be connected to a HiDPI (Retina) monitor.

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If your computer meets these requirements, you’ll see a choice like this in a new GPU Performance preference:

By default, GPU acceleration will be turned on for all documents. This will speed your computer operation during scrolling, zooming, panning, moving objects between pages, and so on. You have the option to turn off GPU acceleration in GPU preferences. You can also toggle it on and off for an individual document by choosing View > GPU Preview or Preview on CPU. The shortcut to toggle is Shift+E. You can have both GPU and CPU windows open at the same time, as shown below:

GPU vs CPU Windows

GPU Performance Preference

Otherwise, you’ll see the message “Compatible GPU and monitor not detected.” A new “rocket” icon will appear in the Application Bar (a similar icon appears in Illustrator CC 2015), and clicking it will take you to the GPU Preferences:

When you’re doing complex layouts with transparency, overprinting, and so on, check your display when using the GPU. Since this is the first version of this display software, there could be unexpected bugs or glitches. If that’s the case, just switch back to the CPU. Display Performance in the View menu is independent of GPU or CPU settings. If your system has a compatible GPU card, the Display Performance is set by default to High Quality. For other systems, it’s still Typical Quality.

Rocket icon

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Animated Zoom Illustrator CC and Photoshop CC have had another style of zooming, called Animated Zoom, powered by a GPU that the application recognizes. InDesign CC 2015.4 also adds this new feature, and turns it on by default with a computer that meets the requirements listed above. If you switch to CPU mode (Shift+E) or Overprint Preview mode, Animated Zoom doesn’t work, and you’ll see only the Marquee Zoom behavior you’re used to. Marquee zooming is still the default if you don’t have hardware that meets the specifications for GPU Performance. There are two ways to invoke Animated Zoom: »» With the Zoom tool selected, clicking and holding your mouse zooms in continuously until you reach the maximum zoom level (4000%). This allows you to zoom in at the exact center of your cursor. Press the Option/Alt key and press to zoom out. »» Click the Zoom tool, and scrub right to zoom in. Click and scrub left to zoom out. (Photoshop CC calls this Scrubby Zoom.) InDesign, unlike Photoshop and Illustrator, lets you disable this behavior with a modifier key. Pressing the Shift key returns you to the previous default, the Marquee Zoom. And if you don’t want Animated Zoom at all, you can turn it off in GPU Performance preferences.

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If you have a qualifying computer, try out this new behavior and let us know what you think.

Mystery of the Absent Artwork Contest and Winner! Mike Rankin | July 21, 2016

It’s time to reveal the solution—and the winner—for this month’s InDesignSecrets contest, the Mystery of the Absent Artwork! Here’s the scenario: You’ve prepared a full-color ad that will be printed in a magazine. In your InDesign file, there are just two items: a background photo saved as a JPG and a vector logo saved as a PDF.

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Both are embedded in the InDesign file.

They send a proof back to you, and to your dismay the vector logo is missing. This proof is accurate, and if the ad is printed as is, the logo will not appear.

You output a PDF. At a glance, it looks good, so you send it to the magazineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s production department.

Why does the logo disappear in the PDF?

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The answer is that the logo was filled with white and set to overprint.

When an object is set to overprint, it will not knock out any underlying items. And since the logo was filled with white, it won’t be using any of the inks in the print job. That’s why it disappeared in the proof, and why it won’t appear in the printed output unless it is fixed by changing the overprint setting.

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In this case, the logo was a PDF embedded in the InDesign file. So to remove the overprint, you would first unembed the logo in the Links panel.

Then open it in Illustrator, and use the Attributes panel to remove the overprint.

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Note that InDesign has its own Attributes panel (Window > Output > Attributes) that you’d use to set or remove overprinting of native objects. And the winner of this contest is…Shane Smith Shane wins license for FlexDoc, a cool plug-in for setting up documents with folds and die-cuts. You can use it to make anything from a simple three-panel brochure to complex packaging. Thanks to everyone who entered, and be on the lookout for another contest with a new great prize next month!

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The InDex: InDex Your Key to Our Content 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. 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 88 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 indesignsecrets.com.

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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 just for you, you can tell your friends about this great discount: $10 off a 1-year membership Use coupon code: friend at indesignsecrets.com/issues Coming Soon!

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