InDesign Question (Any pros around?)

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by srobert, Jun 7, 2007.

  1. srobert macrumors 68020

    srobert

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2002
    #1
    Good day.

    My company is starting to move our production from Quark to InDesign. I found the learning curve to be not that bad. (Took a two-day crash course and learning the rest by myself)

    One apparently insignificant little behavior that's different from Quark to InDesign is starting to cost me a lot of time: Selecting a number with a decimal point.

    To select a complete number in Quark, I could simply double-click it (Decimal point or no decimal point). In InDesign, if the number has a decimal point, double-clicking the number will only select part of it (what comes before or after said decimal point depending on where I clicked).

    Right now, to select a number with a decimal point in InDesign, I have to click before the number, and Command-shift-Arrow 3 times! (1st time selects what comes before the decimal point, second time adds decimal point to selection, 3rd time adds what comes after the decimal point to the selection).

    Those extra 2 or 3 seconds it takes me to select a number in InDesign will add up pretty fast on large scale projects.

    Anybody has an idea on how to quickly select a decimal number in InDesign? Is there something I can change in the preferences so I can select a whole number in 2 clicks? Is there a better way to go around this?

    Thanks for any advice
     
  2. AdeFowler macrumors 68020

    AdeFowler

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2004
    Location:
    England
    #2
    Frustrating isn't it?

    Triple clicking works but I generally click in the box before the one I need, then tab once to select the entire field of the next box. Having said that I try to avoid clicking by learning the keyboard shortcuts to get to the first field.
     
  3. srobert thread starter macrumors 68020

    srobert

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2002
    #3
    Very frustrating ^_^

    Selecting a whole field will not work in my case. The data is in a regular text box and looks like this:

    Code:
    Foreign bonds & debentures ........ 32.3
    Canadian – Foreign pay bonds ..... 30.5
    Corporate bonds – Canadian ....... 14.1
    Cash & short-term investments ... 13.5
    Convertible debentures .............. 6.7
    Common stocks – Canadian ........ 2.3
    Preferred stocks – Canadian ....... 0.6
    I have to manually update the numbers on the right. Numbers are separated from the text on the left by a tab.
     
  4. AdeFowler macrumors 68020

    AdeFowler

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2004
    Location:
    England
    #4
    Sorry, I completely misunderstood the problem; I thought you meant decimals within the Control Panel etc. :eek:

    I can only suggest (with insertion point before the number):

    Command>Shift>End (on a full size keyboard)

    If there's ever a chance to redesign the document tables would help.
     
  5. macfaninpdx macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2007
    #5
    I don't have InDesign so I cannot test this :eek: , but in case it helps...

    Try a double-click and drag. Double-click the number to the left of the decimal and it should select the whole number. While the button is still down from the second click, drag to the right over the decimal and fraction. Since you're in double-click mode, it should select whole "words" at a time.

    It might save you some time.
     
  6. snickelfritz macrumors 65816

    snickelfritz

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2003
    Location:
    Tucson AZ
    #6
    Have you considered using a table for the layout?
    Triple-clicking in the cell would select the contents of the cell, regardless of the decimal point.
    You'll have to insert a special character>tab to create the leaders.
     
  7. srobert thread starter macrumors 68020

    srobert

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2002
    #7
    Shift>End? Yeah. That helps a little. Unfortunaletly, I have to use the mouse again for every line. In Quark I was able to do it all very fast with only the keyboard:

    Insertion point after first number. Command-Shift-Left. Type new number. Down arrow. Command-Shift-Left. Type new number. Down arrow. Etc…

    I was hoping to find soemthing as fast for InDesign.

    Tables work but I weighted against it when designing the original template. I often have to copy that data from an excel file and I would have to hide a bunch of columns in the excel file manually before pasting in InDesign. All around I would save some time to selecting the numbers but add lot more time to importing the text. Also, the number and order of rows changes every month. No easy way out :)

    Maybe there just isn't as fast a way for this in InDesign.

    Thanks for all the help, insights and pointers given so far by the way.
     
  8. AdeFowler macrumors 68020

    AdeFowler

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2004
    Location:
    England
  9. srobert thread starter macrumors 68020

    srobert

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2002
    #9
    No worries. It's very possible that there is no easy solution to my "problem".

    I tried here first because I like you guys better ;)

    I'll give the Adobe furums a shot.

    Thanks
     
  10. iMeowbot macrumors G3

    iMeowbot

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2003
    #10
    ID has some really advanced selection and search capabilities, but they are a little geeky. Still, for the job you're describing, this may do the job. (I'm looking at CS3 while writing down the steps, FWIW.)

    The first thing to make this livable: Under Edit->Keyboard Shortcuts, pick Text and Tables from the Product Area menu. Scroll down and find GREP Find Next, and assign a keystroke (I happen to have Opt+Shift+G). It will ask you to name the key set if you don't have your own yet.

    Next, go to the beginning of your Block-O-Text, do a regular Cmd+F find, click the GREP tab, enter \d+\.\d+ in the search field, pick End of Story from the menu below that, and whack the find button. You can lose the search box now. This should leave the first decimal number selected. Change it, then use Opt+Shift+G (or whatever you chose) to go to the next one. Another useful grep expression is \S+ which will find the next word (as in, any text between whitespace, punctuation be damned).

    You can get fancier with automagical things, but hopefully that's enough to get over the hump.
     
  11. srobert thread starter macrumors 68020

    srobert

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2002
    #11
    Sounds clever. Can you explain to me what "GREP" means? I can't seem to find any mention of it in InDesign. (I'm using CS2 by the way).
     
  12. iMeowbot macrumors G3

    iMeowbot

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2003
    #12
    It's from the Unix search program of the same name, which uses the same weird syntax (called regular expressions). Teh Wiki has a long-winded explanation of how the name came to be.

    ED: Oh, CS2? I don't think it's available to you then :(
     
  13. srobert thread starter macrumors 68020

    srobert

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2002
    #13
    Thanks nonetheless. This as been a very instructive day.

    We'll be upgrading our workstations very soon. (CS3 included). I'll do it the old fashion way in the meantime. By the way, you certainly seem to know your InDesign in and out.

    Edit: I've serched for more information about GREP tab metacharacters and I can't wait to upgrade to CS3. Very powerful tool. Thanks.
     
  14. snickelfritz macrumors 65816

    snickelfritz

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2003
    Location:
    Tucson AZ
    #14
    You might want to investigate CS2 Data Merge in the mean time.

    GL
     
  15. macstudent macrumors 6502

    macstudent

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2002
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    #15
    You might want to try double clicking to select part of the number and then hold shift and hit left arrow to select that area.
     

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