InDesign is no doubt one of the most popular desktop publishing software programs on the market. The software contains a wide variety of elements and functions for graphic design and page layout. InDesign takes time and practice to get comfortable using, and a lot of the super helpful and time-saving tools remain unknown because of that. As Design Manager for Ooligan Press, I come across this a lot. It’s time to point the spotlight on a few unknown tips and tricks that will save you time, energy, and frustration when designing.

Publish Online. The “Publish Online” feature is familiar if you use InDesign, yet a lot of designers don’t know exactly what it does or why it’s so helpful. It lets you remodel a print document for the web. Documents intended for print have requirements entirely different from web documents. Instead of having to completely recreate the print document to be formatted for the web, you can just employ the “Publish Online” function to switch the document from print to web just like that. It saves a lot of time and includes other features like interactivity, shareability, and the ability to see views wherever it is posted.

Content Aware Fit. “Content Aware Fit” is a newer feature in InDesign that saves a lot of time placing images by using AI to intelligently place an image into a frame based on its subject. It differs from the “Fill Frame Proportionally” feature because it actually finds the subject of the photo and places it where it should be in the frame. An even easier way to utilize this feature is by going to the “Preferences” menu, selecting “General,” and clicking the box under “Content Aware Fit,” which makes it the default frame-fitting option. Now, every time you place an image, the subject will automatically be in the frame. This tip saves a lot of energy placing images and is highly useful when you are working with many images in one project.

Document History. The “Document History” feature is probably one of the most unknown and sneaky features available in InDesign. If you hold down the “Ctrl” button (“command” for Mac) and click the “About InDesign” menu, a document history dialog box will appear. This box tells us a lot of information we would not usually need to know about a document. For example, it shows if there are any plug-ins being used, how many times that document has been saved, and if it is the most recent save, among many other things. This is mostly helpful when you are collaborating with another designer on one document, or when you are receiving documents from others. It is not always useful, but when it is, you are glad you have it.

Liquid Layout. The “Liquid Layout” function is so much fun, but most new designers are not aware of it. You use it to easily adapt page contents and objects to other document sizes. This function can save an enormous amount of time when you realize you need to change the dimensions of your page after you’ve already started designing it. Having to restart a design because you are using the wrong dimensions is a terrible waste of time, but using the “Liquid Layout” function saves you from that frustration.

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