branding contact sheets

transition to a nicer contact sheet

Adobe gives you all the tools to make your contact sheets pretty

I held a 2-hour presentation last week based on InDesign tips and tricks. My audience was an exclusive group from RGD. They were rather attentive (either that or they were bored to sleep) and many asked where they could get some of the files I showed during the session. I, of course, highlighted the keyboard shortcuts file, providing all the rationale behind the changes. I also showed some of the custom templates and settings that I use for the InDesign contact sheets that are initiated through Bridge.

Bridge is the launching pad for many script-based routines triggering other Adobe applications. Photoshop and InDesign both have contact sheets, but I find InDesign’s implementation to be much more flexible. The basic template used by the script is meant to be a starting point. The idea is for the user to make adjustments to all aspects — objects styles, paragraph styles, colours, margins, etc. Once the user has created their own template, they can replace the generic look with their own brand. keep reading

developing a plug-in or script

As some of you know, the shortcut files are based from the raw text file generated when selecting “show set” from the Keyboard Shortcuts dialog. I’ve re-worked, re-organized, and formatted the text into a more readable format.

I provide an interactive PDF, as well as the native editable InDesign document. This allows folks to make changes once they’ve come up with their own modified shortcuts. It’s not much to go through and make the changes manually but wouldn’t it be nice if a script or plug-in could generate the new file automagically (I love that word)?

The InDesign document could act as a template and have the automation feed it the changes. I had a very brief conversation with a good ol’ InDesign celeb. I hope to connect with them again in the near future because I would love to provide users with that ability.

In the meantime, if there are any serious souls out there willing to partake in working on a solution drop me a line.

shortcut files for all of CS3/CS4

Since I’ve started making these shortcut files I’ve had the occasional request for Photoshop and Illustrator. It’s quite a bit of work but I’d be willing to consider producing similar files for the other Adobe applications.

I’d appreciate any feedback on the topic. Let me know peoples… ;)

mirroring the posts on

We are in the process of updating Loop’s website. It has been due for an overhaul for quite some time. Part of those changes will include adding a proper blog complete with posts from various team members including fellow trainer Charles Rouleau.

We are starting the transition by duplicating this blog, which can be found at Eventually it will start to fill up with many resources, including tips and tricks, short video clips, reference materials mentioned in our seminars and training sessions, and more.

That being said, this will remain homebase for the InDesign shortcuts. So make sure to swing by Loop’s site to see the progress. By the way, to access the blog you’ll need to plug in yourself as there isn’t any navigation from the existing site.

cs • switching tools within text frames

cs = customized shortcut

In hopes of keeping this silly l’il blog worth coming to, I’ve decided to make mention of the various custom shortcuts I’ve added over time. This will give all of you an idea of what and why I made the changes I did.

First stop, switching tools while still within a text frame. This was one of the very first amendments I made to my list of customized shortcuts. How many times have you been editing text and wanted to quickly switch to the Preview screen mode? Yes, I realize moving your mouse over to the Screen Mode button on the bottom of the Tools panel isn’t exactly stressful. However, being able to hit a quick shortcut to toggle saves me the grief.

I work predominantly with Mac OS X, and so I have a whole modifier key to my disposal — the Ctrl key (expecting the responses from Windows users to come in). With the Ctrl key in hand I gladly append new shortcuts to all my Tools. All of the Tools use a single character shortcut, i.e. the letter T for the Type Tool, this makes it difficult to switch out to another tool while sitting inside a text frame editing text… keep reading

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