Every project poses new challenges to solve problems while maintaining a level of efficiency. InDesign has a wealth of capabilities. Here are some of my recent favorites:

Mary's clock image

“Photo, Tell Me Your Name” 

InDesign’s auto-captioning feature has many uses, none of which I ever needed until recently. I had to import multiple headshots into a document and keep track of who’s who. Fortunately, my very savvy editor had labeled all of the files with each person’s name. I used the captioning feature (Object>Caption>Caption Setup) to create a style sheet for the image file name. I knew I’d be deleting these captions later; I just needed a reference to get the images on the page in the right order. So I built a style sheet that placed the file name in a bright yellow band smacked right on top of the photo and specified that it be grouped with the image. I imported the images in batches to my document pasteboard. After selecting an image or an entire group, it was a simple matter of again navigating to the Object menu and selecting Caption>Create Static Caption. Instant name references at a glance. Brilliant.

Build Templates That Love You Back

A well-built template is a joy to work with, and well worth the time invested. A template that’s poorly constructed, or constructed in a way that you don’t understand, can cause frustrating, mysterious results as you shuffle pages in your document. Here’s an excellent framework for creating templates that make your job easier, from my colleagues here at Technology for Publishing:


Grids Within Grids

You’ve built your template with a baseline grid that’s keeping all your body copy in perfect alignment. But now you want to add a complex element with a baseline grid of its own. Can you? Oh, yes, you can!


Power Wash Your Text

Working with text from a new client is always an exciting adventure. Extra spaces, extra returns, funky dashes… Did you know InDesign has some fast, predefined searches for text cleanup?


Spanx for Text Boxes

I love working with type for headlines and logos, and I always end up pasting the words into individual text boxes so that I can play with positioning and styling on the fly. All those overlapping text boxes can get messy. Here’s a fast way to shrink those boxes so they’re only as big as they need to be:


So tell me…
What have you been doing with InDesign lately?

Image: Mary Lester

Posted by: Mary Lester

Contributing author Mary Lester leverages her deep experience with storytelling, design excellence, multi-platform publishing, and technology-focused content to help leading-edge businesses meet the challenges of today's rapidly changing media industry.