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 apply a thick red underline, which looks like a highlight, to my type. In older versions of InDesign, I could just do a search for my “FIXIT” color as part of my final check to make sure I didn’t miss anything.

Since CS4 and the introduction of realtime preflight it’s even easier! If you’ve not used InDesign’s realtime preflight, you’re really missing out. Look for that green or red light icon at the bottom of your document window. Click the arrow button to the right of it for options. You can open up the Preflight Panel and make profiles perfectly tailored to the projects you do. Any time you do something that doesn’t meet your print specs you’ll get a red light and an error count at the bottom of your screen. Your prepress person will love you for using this.

I set up a Preflight Profile that only allows the correct color spaces into my document. Then I set my “FIXIT” swatch to use a color that is not allowed, like an RGB spot color, so that each instance of my “FIXIT” swatch is marked as an error in the realtime preflight. The preflight panel even lists them all for me so that I can find them quickly and easily.

Here is a screenshot of my “FIXIT” character style in use, along with the preflight panel showing the error it causes:

Notice the red light at the bottom of the document window listing the 1 error. This reminds me that there is something I need to fix. When I open the Preflight panel, as shown in the snapshot, it will show me the location of the fixit color, and even provide a link to the page for quick access.

, , , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply