InDesign is OK (Set your InDesign Preferences)

The most important thing when approaching a program you aren’t familiar with is to show it who is boss. Today Hoppe ran through the basics of InDesign showing firstly that you must set your preferences in the program to give yourself more control over what you are doing: change the defaults. Set your workspace to [advanced] — welcome to the club.

The cursor key: .003″

Kerning/Tracking: 10/1000em

Rulers: inches

Keyboard increments: 1pt

*added 10-4-12 Indesign->Preferences->File Handling->Snippet Import set at original location

I learned that a slug (when referring to this program) is an extra part in the unprinted area of an art board for information such as your contact or ad specs.

It’s very informative having a seasoned program veteran to give you the scoop on a program. Manuals won’t tell you how useless some of the components are. Hoppe went down rows of tools describing their function and when he got to the rectangle frame tool and the rectangle tool, he said to use either. Very much like the identical definitions of flammable and inflammable. Hoppe said (in his thinly veiled New Yorker confidence) “Notes tool. Yeah, right. Uh-huh.” A few tools got that response. Stretching, skewing and type on a path styles (such as gravity and staircase) and using several initial caps are now classified as fruit not worth picking. Unless you really, I mean really know what you are doing with these cheesy effects, it’s best to assume they are mirages of buttons to give the illusion of a program with more doodads.

The best advice I received today is to keep your containers tight with your text (by clicking on the corners of the container– pretty smooth). The second good tidbit is the option return option. This allows you to duplicate guides (this is when your cursor is in the proper axis box and your guide is selected). And another good thing is the magic of linking via text threads. You can play with your layout and your copy is preserved as long as you have one container for the copy to rest in.

I have to give it to Hoppe. He reminds me of a choreographer, the kind that are telling you to do moves never tried before, because he ends up describing the strangest things to get the point across. I am referring to how he uses weird visual objects to describe what the various icons we need to press. He calls those menu buttons (that indicate drop down menus) cheese graters. We were looking through the text wrap options and he described a square sun with the blinds closed, blinds open, s’more and s’more with no pants on. I think it’s going to be a very long quarter.


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