The 7 Hidden Secrets of InDesign

InDesign has some hiden secrets that prove to be extremely useful when you're looking to improve your productivity. Read 7 secrets of InDesign here!

Tackling the tools or instruments you work with is a very important first step in improving your productivity. Some tools prove to be complicated and others only work smoothly when you’ve had enough experience working with them. Programs such as InDesign can be pretty intimidating for a beginner. That’s why we’ve compiled this list with 7 secrets of InDesign.

1. Similar fonts

You’re probably pretty familiar with the next situation sketch: you’re busy creating and you’re on the search for the perfect font. You implement your selected font but unfortunately, it doesn’t have the effect you were hoping for. Fear not, because InDesign has got you covered.

One of the program’s latest features is the button “Show similar fonts”. This button, located in the font menu top right, is marked by an icon of two waves. If you click this button, InDesign will then only show a selection of fonts that are similar to the one you just picked. A useful tool and one of the secrets of InDesign that will quickly help you when time is of the essence.

Similar fonts, one of the newest features of Adobe, is one of the latest secrets of InDesign we uncovered. It proves to be extremely useful when you're on the hunt for similar looking fonts!
Similar fonts prove to be extremely useful when you’re on the hunt for similar looking fonts!
No more time spent trying out hundreds of fonts!

2. Drop Caps

Creating an impact in a design can easily be done by drop caps. Adding one of those big letters at the beginning of a paragraph is a fun twist and breaks text-heavy pages apart. You too can create one in InDesign: just follow the next steps!

Start off by simply dropping your Type Tool cursor in the desired paragraph. Then, you need to increase the Drop Cap Number of Lines by clicking “Paragraph”, under the submenu “Type & Tables”. And that’s that: fancy design in just a few clicks! You can make your design even more interesting by filling the drop cap with texture or an image.

The feature Drop Caps is the ideal way to make a statement. And they're easy to make as well! Fill the character with an eye-catching color or add some texture. It's all up to you!
The feature Drop Caps is the ideal way to make a statement. And they’re easy to make as well!
Fill the character with an eye-catching color or add some texture. It’s all up to you!

3. Color filter

It might happen that you’re busy editing your design and that you still want to edit an image in your design. Let’s say you want to add a filter to an image. Why would you go to Photoshop to do so? InDesign can also help you add that extra color: just use the shape tools and the “Effects” panel.

Firstly, select one of the shape tools to create your desired shape over top of the image. Then, choose a color with the “Swatches” panel (you can find it under the submenu “Color” in the menu “Window”). After you’ve done that, go to Objects > Effects > Transparency. The only thing you still need to do is to set the mode to “Multiply” and to alter the opacity level until you’re satisfied with what you’re seeing. Your handmade Instagram-filter is ready!

4. Publish Online

With this function of InDesign, you can easily reuse your printed documents online. Moreover, you can even offer your customers an interactive and fun experience. Where do I sign up for this service, you might think? Well, you don’t even need to install a plugin to take a flying start with Publish Online!

First of all, you simply need the latest version of InDesign to get started. When you’re done editing your document, you simply click “Publish” and you’ll immediately see the dialog box of the Publish Online tool. You then get the option to share the URL on Facebook, Twitter or via email. If you click the tab “Overview”, you get to see how many people have read your document. In addition, you can examine the average time they spent reading your document. So, lots of insights to help you improve!

Easily reuse your printed documents with Publish Online. You can even make your creations interactive to enhance the customer's experience! Fun, right?
Easily reuse your printed documents with Publish Online.
You can even make your creations interactive to enhance the customer’s experience!

One of the last secrets of InDesign Publish Online? Its interactivity. You can add page and image transitions, or you can let your text float into the screen. Besides, you can include short movies to make your customers experience something unique. Convinced of the power of Publish Online?

5. Corner options

If you’re implementing text areas, there’s no need to choose a simple square shape. Another one of the secrets of InDesign is a feature that lets you choose the corners of your shape. You can create beveled edges, rounded edges and many more and that in just a few clicks.

In order to do so, you’ll simply need to open the submenu “Corner Options” (under the menu “Objects”) while the item with its corners that you want to adjust is selected. You then decide how you want your object to look: squared, rounded, or another shape? In addition, you can see the changes live on your shape with the Preview checkmark; that way, you are immediately able to witness what your design will look like.

6. Liquid Layout function

When you’re working with an international team, standards can differ worldwide and that can vastly impact the way you work. Let’s for example take resizing: there’s a difference between US Letter and European A4 size, meaning you’re about to spend a lot of time resizing your file. A tough challenge.

However, with InDesign’s Liquid Layout function, resizing pages or rescaling content has become a lot easier. Choose the “Liquid Page Rule” drop-down menu from the top controls panel. Then, use your mouse to drag the corner of the page in order to rescale it. Finally, hold down “Alt” (Windows) or “Option” (Mac) while you’re scaling the page to preserve the final size. And voilà, resizing made easy!

One of our favorite secrets of InDesign? The Liquid Layout function! No more messing around trying to rescale your documents.
One of our favorite secrets of InDesign? The Liquid Layout function!
No more messing around trying to rescale your documents.

However, if you want to get out more of Liquid Layout, we can help. Here, at 2imagine, we extend your possibilities working with this InDesign feature. With our handy tools, you have more control over your designs. Besides, you can even make your text bigger or smaller (which isn’t possible in InDesign itself). Our little secret?

7. Import PDF comments

In order to help us work faster, InDesign provided us with the possibility to import PDF comments. This means that whenever you send a rough draft to your colleague in PDF, you can import the comments they made into InDesign. Say hello to managing feedback easily!

First off, you’ll need to open the InDesign document for which you want to import comments. Then, you click “File” and go to “Import PDF comments”. Just select the document you need, and the Comments panel will display the comments, so you can start managing your received feedback! To make it even easier, the comment will include the name of the reviewer as well as the date. When you’re done making adjustments, you can mark the comment as resolved to keep a clear overview.

Designing made easy!

InDesign’s latest additions to their product are a bull’s-eye. You no longer have to be a full-time designer to make stunning creations. With just some little guidance, from Adobe and from us with this helpful list of tips and tricks, you too are able to create intriguing designs. If you want to keep up with the latest evolutions of InDesign’s tools, don’t forget to check out their Features page!

Did we forget other secrets of InDesign we all can use? Don’t forget to share it with us in the comments!