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Create Form Fields in InDesign! (written for CS5)

(UPDATE: As I was going through old posts I found this one. InDesign CS6 finally added the capability of creating form fields in InDesign, rendering this post obsolete. So if you stumble across this post looking for a way to create form fields in InDesign, the best answer, now, is to upgrade to at least […]

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Page Numbering Tricks

InDesign’s automatic page numbers work well enough, but what about special cases? Some documents require pages to be omitted from total page counts. Other documents use several different systems. Sometimes section numbers or special codes must be included. Well, don’t start typing in those numbers manually, because InDesign can handle it—and quite gracefully, too. Every Page […]

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Converting colors in PDFs

Hypothetical yet common scenario: you’ve received a PDF from a client that contains graphics to be placed into your InDesign layout. Unfortunately the graphics are in a colorspace not allowed by your job specs. What do you do? Often, if the PDF was exported from Word or some other MS Office application, it will include […]

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Using IDX / IDML for Troubleshooting Corrupt Documents

Yesterday’s post addressed backward compatibility in InDesign with the IDX/IDML file formats. This followup post addresses how these file formats are used in troubleshooting corrupt documents. Documents sometimes get corrupted. While InDesign is much more stable than PageMaker ever was, document corruption still happens from time to time. Corrupted documents may fail to open, or […]

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Interactive InDesign

I’m presenting on the topic of “Interactive InDesign” at tonight’s IDUG meeting. The content of this post is taken from the handout I’ve written for the meeting. The handout is available on downloads page, along with other informative and useful files. But first, a simple SWF animation I designed entirely in InDesign to open the […]

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Charts & Graphics from MS Office to InDesign

I am often asked, “What is the best way to import charts and graphs from Excel or other MS Office products into InDesign?” The short answer is PDF. However, there is a bit more to it than that. This article offers some tips and tricks for getting the graphic just right for print production. Vector […]

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XML vs. XHTML in InDesign?

I just wrote a response to a question on LinkedIn concerning XML and XHTML in InDesign. The main point of the question was, “Are you inclined to rant against or cheerfully accept HTML with styles in place of XML?” Adobe has really been adding to InDesign’s XTML features and hasn’t done much to improve XML […]

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Stop Those Stray w’s! Use a Custom Keyboard Shortcut

I frequently switch between InDesign’s Preview and Normal display modes. In Normal mode I prefer to have my hidden characters, frame edges, text threads, guides, and even sometimes baseline grids all visible. They all go away simply by switching to Preview mode, so I don’t have to turn them off individually. The bottommost button of the […]

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The “FIXIT” Swatch

When designing books I often come across items that need to be addressed by the author or that I will need to come back to and fix later. I mark these with a special color swatch, usually bright red, that I’ve named “FIXIT.” I’ve also made a character style with the same name that will […]

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