Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Caution, Warning, and Danger Styles

In my work as a technical publisher, my documents use quite a few "Cautions." I see requests on the Adobe forums about this from time to time, so I thought I would share my method for formatting these styles.

There are a number of ways to set these up, including tables, but I have found that tables can prove a bit cumbersome. I've decided to incorporate the use of InDesign Paragraph Shading and Paragraph border settings. Disclaimer: These features were introduced in InDesign CC 2018. If you open this file in an earlier version of InDesign, it will not behave as expected.

Because I like my manuals to have plenty of white space, with nice wide margins, these styles are set up to have a large left indent. Here are some of the features of these styles:

  • Both Warning and Danger styles are set up based on Caution, so if you need to make any adjustments for the spacing or font, you just have to do it in one place.
  • The CAUTION, WARNING, and DANGER text auto-populates (they utilize the bullet feature to accomplish this).
  • The little triangle dings are vector anchored objects, so they are easily editable. 
  • The dings each have their own object style, so they sit in the correct spot based on which paragraph style uses them. "WARNING" is  longer than "DANGER", so the triangle ding sits a little farther to the left.
  • The CAUTION TEXT is set up as a "Next style".
  • Caution Text displays borders even when over over threaded frames.
  • All styles auto fit the width of the frame.

Download the IDML file here.

Caution Styles

Caution: Paragraph Shading

Caution: Paragraph Borders

Caution Text: Paragraph Borders
Caution Text works over threaded frames and auto resizes to frame width

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Compare and Contrast: Page Thumbnails vs. Organize Pages Tool

With the release of Acrobat DC, a number of the longstanding functions of Acrobat were duplicated into new tools. What’s not readily apparent is that the a number of the old methods were left in place. I wrote about one of those (the Properties Bar) here. In today's article, I’ll be discussing another one of the deprecated tools: Page Thumbnails.

The Page Thumbnails are located in the left-hand pane of Acrobat DC. If your left-hand pane isn't open, simply click on the triangle in the left-hand side of the UI, and the pane will pop open. To view the various buttons, right click anywhere in the pane.

Navigation Page Buttons

Once the Page Thumbnails are open, click on the Options button to reveal various functions.

Page Thumbnails Options

Most of the functions that exist in the Page Thumbnails were duplicated in Acrobat DC's "Organize Pages" tool.

"Organize Page" Tool
The Organize Pages tool has the options listed across the top, in a graphical format, rather than in a singular dropdown list. Some of the functions have additional options, which are listed in either dropdowns or secondary dialog boxes. 

Split Files: Output Options

Split Files: Split By options

Compare and Contrast: Page Thumbnails vs. Organize Pages Tool

Acrobat Function
Page Thumbnails
Organize Pages Tool
Drag and Drop page insertion
Delete pages
Insert pages from blank file
Non sequential page extraction
(Only through drag and drop to the desktop, not through the menus)
Split Pages
Bates Numbering
Set Page Boxes
(Labeled in the menu as “Crop Pages”
Page Labels (formerly "Page Numbering")
Page Transitions
Page Templates
Set Page Properties
Rotate Pages
View thumbnails while concurrently viewing full size document

So why do I prefer using Page Thumbnails?

Since most of the functions are duplicated in both tools, which tool I use depends upon which functions I use the most. For my work, much of what I do in Acrobat involves printing double sided documents. Page Thumbnails allow me to view thumbnails while concurrently viewing the full size document. That feature helps me to spot errors when printing. The one and only function that is missing from the Organize Pages Tool is the very reason that I prefer the Page Thumbnails tool.

Page Thumbnails

My work does not require the use of:
  • Split Pages
  • Bates Numbering
  • Page Templates
Those are the three functions that are in the Organize Pages tool but not in the Page Thumbnails tool.

Which method do you prefer when viewing thumbnails?

Edit: 9-14-18
I learned to day that the Organize Pages tool has another unique capability that does not exist in the Page Thumbnails tooL; You can drag in images and drop them into the Organize Pages pane and it will automatically convert the images to pages, and add them into the PDF. It do so in one batch, alphabetically.