Adobe InDesign has a feature called Quick Apply, which has a shortcut to end all shortcuts. But did you know that there are shortcuts within shortcuts?
The Quick Apply feature is one of the most useful production techniques but is often overlooked. Open the Quick Apply dialog box by choosing Edit > Quick Apply, or by pressing Cmd/Ctrl+Return/Enter, or by clicking the lightning bolt icon on the right side of the Control Panel, or in any of the five Styles panels. When you invoke Quick Apply, you start typing the names of things like styles, commands, preferences, and scripts, to locate and apply them. It is like a universal shortcut. Try these 12 tips for working with Quick Apply.
1. Pre-limit search choices: To use Quick Apply to only style text with paragraph and character styles, you could turn off the other options in the menu drop-down. For example, leave a check mark only on Paragraph and Character Styles.
2. Use short style names: Quick Apply is better than giving keyboard shortcuts to text styles, since each character in the name of a style becomes its keyboard shortcut. So, if you name your styles with short names (“Head”, “Sub”, Body, ...) you can invoke a style by typing one key, or just a few keys.
3. Menu commands like Preferences: Quick Apply can search and access InDesign’s preferences (Cmd/Ctrl+K). Make sure you have Include Menu Commands checkmark selected in the Quick Apply menu drop-down to search preferences. Also, checkmark on Show Hidden Menu Commands if you have previously suppressed some menu commands by customizing your menus (Edit > Menus > Menu Customization).
4. Conditional Text: Apply conditions to text with Quick Apply. Just have Include Conditions selected in the Quick Apply menu drop-down.
5. Run Scripts: You don’t have to go to the Scripts panel open to run a script. Open Quick Apply and start typing the script name. Again, make sure to have Include Scripts checked in the menu drop-down.
To see a list of all your scripts, type “scripts” in the Quick Apply dialog box.
6. Type Prefixes: Instead of turning off some searchable features in the drow-down menu, you can force Quick Apply to search only a single category by typing a prefix at the beginning of the search. For example, type “p:” to tell Quick Apply you want to choose a paragraph style.
Notice all the prefixes you can use in the Quick Apply menu drop-down are listed in parentheses listed in the drop-down menu:
7. Remove Overrides: To remove text attribute overrides (that + sign) when you apply a paragraph style with Quick Apply, press Opt/Alt+Return/Enter when you apply the style. To remove overrides and character styles applied to the text, press Shift+Opt/Alt+Return/Enter.
8. Style Sequences: Remember that if a paragraph style has a Next Style sequence defined into it, Quick Apply can dress a number of selected paragraphs all at once.
9. Apply a Different Style: If you’re trying different styles, you can apply one and keep the Quick Apply dialog box open by pressing Shift+Return/Enter.
10. Edit a Style: Having found the style, and you want to now also edit that style, press Cmd/Ctrl+Enter/Return to open the style options dialog box.
11. Select with Arrow keys: Once you can see the item you want in the Quick Apply list, it might be faster to use arrow keys to select, rather than continuing to type the name.
12. Dismiss Quick Apply: To dismiss Quick Apply without applying any item from the list, press the ESC escape key or click the lightning bolt icon on the Quick Apply dialog box, or just click anywhere else in the document window.
So there you have it: by using the universal Quick Apply shortcut (Cmd/Ctrl + Return/Enter), you can use it for almost any other menu command, feature, style, or script within InDesign. And by using the shortcuts within Quick Apply, you can apply a lot of productivity.
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