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Adobe InDesign CS5 : Customizing Your Workspace & Working with the Tools Panel

10/3/2011 4:52:03 PM
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Customizing Your Workspace

InDesign enables you to save your workspace environment so that you don’t have to spend time repositioning panels on the screen every time you launch the application. You can create and save a custom workspace for every type of layout work you do. For instance, a production-oriented job might require a totally different set of panels than a design-oriented one. No problem! InDesign lets you save a workspace for each.


Saving a Workspace

To save your preferred work environment, follow these steps:

1.
Choose Window, Workspace, New Workspace.

2.
When the New Workspace dialog box appears, enter a name for your workspace and click OK (see Figure 1).



Figure 1. Enter a name for your custom workspace in the Name field of the New Workspace dialog box.


3.
You can now restore your workspace whenever you like by selecting it under the Window, Workspace submenu or from the Workspace drop-down list in the Application Bar (see Figure 2).

Figure 2. You can access your favorite workspace environments quickly and easily from the Application Bar drop-down list.


4.
To save changes made to your custom environment, choose Window, Workspace, New Workspace, and enter the name of the workspace you want to update. Click OK when the dialog box asks whether you want to replace the workspace.

Deleting a Workspace

Custom workspaces are such a cool feature, and so easy to use, that you may find yourself saving dozens of them in no time at all. But after a while, you may realize that you use only a handful of them. No problem. You can always delete a saved workspace by choosing Window, Workspace, Delete Workspace. When the Delete Workspace dialog box appears, select the workspace that you want to delete from the list (you can only delete one at a time) and then click Delete.

Working with the Tools Panel

The Tools panel contains all the tools available to you; each one is represented by a descriptive icon displayed in the panel (see Figure 3). Most of these icons are easy to identify, but if you’re ever unsure what tool you’re viewing, hover the cursor over its icon in the Tools panel and refer to the ToolTip description that appears.

Figure 3. The Tools panel displayed in the default, single column format.


You can display the Tools panel on your screen in three ways. The default preference displays it in single-column format and docked in the left side well. You can change the default display by choosing InDesign, Preferences, Interface (Mac) or Edit, Preferences, Interface (Win) and selecting Double Column (see Figure 4) or Single Row (see Figure 5) from the Floating Tools panel drop-down list.

Figure 4. You can also display the Tools panel in double-column format...


Figure 5. ...or in single row format.


You can activate a tool by clicking its icon or by typing its assigned keyboard shortcut (which is also displayed in the ToolTip). Any icon showing a small arrow in the bottom-right corner indicates an available toolset—more tools are “hidden” under the one shown. Clicking and holding the icon reveals a flyout menu of additional tools.

To display the Tools Panel in a single row, it must remain free floating (not docked in a side well). If you try to dock the single row Tools panel in a side well, InDesign automatically changes the display to double-column format. Note also that the Tools panel cannot be docked at the top or bottom of the screen when displayed in single-row format.


You can also change the Tools panel display by double-clicking the gray title bar or by clicking the Expand Panel button (the arrows) at the top of the panel. When the Tools panel is docked in a side well, double-clicking its title bar or clicking the Expand Panel button only enables you to toggle between single- and double-column displays. Double-clicking its title bar or clicking the Expand Panel button when the panel is free floating enables you to toggle between all three display modes.

 
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