The Page Tool in InDesign is your go-to for your layout needs and customizations. You can control things like the page size, count, order and create Master Pages. There are so many options, it often takes months to really grasp everything the Page Tool can do. No matter your familiarity with InDesign, you’ll need to use the Page Tool for something. I can’t give you a definitive guide on the Page Tool in this article, but I can give you an easy way to access it. You’ll have to do some independent studying for the shortcuts to all the specific options found within the Page Tool.

1. Shortcuts For Accessing The Page Tool

  • Mac: Shift + P
  • Windows: Shift + P

2. Placing Objects

You can create most of the text and graphics that you need from within InDesign, but at its core, InDesign in a layout application. InDesign is the best way to organize and arrange long form content like books and magazines. Typically, you’ll do most of your design work in Illustrator or Photoshop. Once you have the designs finalized, you’ll want to import them into InDesign. This is where the Place command become priceless. InDesign supports most of the major formats for graphics and other objects.

Shortcuts For Accessing The Place Command

  • Mac: Cmd + D
  • Windows: Ctrl + D

 

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3. The Rectangle And Rectangle Frame Tool

If you’re an InDesign novice, you might be tempted to use the Rectangle and Rectangle Frame tools interchangeably. These tools serve different purposes. The Rectangle Tool creates your basic rectangle. You can change the color, size and dimensions of the standard rectangle. The Rectangle Frame Tool creates rectangular content frames. Objects in InDesign are nested within frames. Frames and the objects nested within them can be edited separately. So, that means you can change the size of an image without changing the size of the frame and visa versa.

Shortcuts For Accessing The Rectangle And Rectangle Frame Tools

Rectangle Tool:

  • Mac: M
  • Windows: M

Rectangle Frame Tool:

  • Mac: F
  • Windows: F

 

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4. Move, Scale, Rotate & Transform

Manipulating objects is important for any graphics-based application. InDesign has dedicated tools to move objects around and get them to the exact size you need. InDesign operates a little differently than some of the other Adobe applications, but once you understand the basics of navigating the interfaces and moving objects around the page, you’ll feel right at home.

Shortcuts For Accessing The Move, Scale, Rotate and Transform Tools

Move Tool:

  • Mac: V
  • Windows: V

Scale Tool:

  • Mac: S
  • Windows: S

Rotate Tool:

  • Mac: R
  • Windows: R

Free Transform Tool:

  • Mac: E
  • Windows: E

 

5. Gradient Tool

Gradients can add a lot of depth and sophistication to your design. They can also make your design look tacky. Take some color theory classes, and approach with caution before creating professional gradients!

Shortcuts for Accessing The Gradient Tool

  • Mac: G
  • Windows: G

 

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6. Selecting And Duplicating Objects

Selecting objects in InDesign works similarly to selecting objects in other Adobe applications. This is also true for duplicating a selected item. Having these commands work universally across several programs makes it a lot easier to master the entire suite of Adobe applications. It also makes sense to keep the basic functions of moving objects around as simple as possible because this will be one of your most performed tasks. In addition to moving objects around, duplicating objects is also fairly easy in InDesign. Here are some keyboard shortcuts for moving and duplicating objects.

Shortcuts For Moving And Duplicating Objects

Accessing The Move Too:

  • Mac: V
  • Windows: V

Accessing The Move Tool While Leaving The Current Tool Active:

  • Mac: Cmd
  • Windows: Ctrl

Duplicating Objects

  • Mac: Click and drag the selected object + Option
  • Windows: Click and drag the selected object + Alt

7. Navigating Tables

Tables are one of the things that InDesign does very well. InDesign provides a lot of control over the design elements and information input. You can import your table’s date from a variety of places including spreadsheets and even text documents. There are nearly limitless possibilities for graphical data presentation. InDesign comes with several keyboard shortcuts for managing tables, but the most basic shortcuts to learn are the ones relating to navigating through your tables quickly.

Shortcuts For Navigating Tables

Move To The Next Cell

  • Mac: Tab
  • Windows: Tab

Move To The Previous Cell

  • Mac: Shift + Tab
  • Windows: Shift + Tab

Move Up A Cell

  • Mac: Up Arrow
  • Windows: Up Arrow

Move Down A Cell

  • Mac: Down Arrow
  • Windows: Down Arrow

 

About Eryn Stubblefield

Eryn Stubblefield is a visually impaired freelance graphic designer and writer. She achieved her goal of obtaining her Bachelor’s of Art in English, and motivates and encourages other blind and visually impaired individuals to follow their dreams.

To learn more, visit http://www.erynrochelle.com/

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