Adobe® InDesign® Creative Cloud® Intermediate: Beyond the Basics


Lesson Info


We're gonna jump back to this page. I wanna put some captions on the page and I will also want to do them I wanna automate the captions that are there, I don't want to put a text frame for everything but what I do want to do is I wanna make sure that I have a text frame object style already set up for captions. So I'm gonna do that. So I'm gonna create a text frame really quick, I'm just gonna draw it somewhere close to the page, not too worried about it right now because it's gonna automate it for me anyway, what I just kinda wanna do is look at what I'm looking at, so we'll call this caption, I'm just gonna write the word Caption and I might style it I would probably create a paragraph style called Caption So I'm gonna just leave that right now as just plain text but what I wanna do is kinda get an idea of what I want my caption frames to look like, and one thing I want is I want them butted up against each other, and actually that's a choice I get to do when I create the captions as...

well. I could create a text frame and say, on the text frame options, let's give it a little bit of breathing room, but I can do that when I automate the captions as well. So I'm just showing you that sometimes I'll set up a style and say, "this is my caption frame style", alright so I'll just do a caption, and it automatically builds it in, remember that space? But one thing I didn't do is tell it that I want it to always be only as tall as the text so it grows with the text frame as well. So I'm gonna make a change after the fact. I'm gonna select this text frame, and even though I've already assigned a style I'm gonna do an override to it, but then I'm gonna tell the style, "Update to accommodate that override". So I'm gonna go back to my text frame options and I'm gonna tell it that I want to auto-size it, height only, so it automatically sticks up to the bottom of the text that's there and I'll say "Okay", and now I have that little plus symbol telling me I have an override. So here's what I can do, I can right-click or control-click on that, if I option-click or alt-click on it it will take away that override, I don't want that, That override I want but I need it to be part of the style. So I'm gonna right-click or control-click on it and I can redefine the style. So here's where I'm talking about you set something up, give it a style, don't worry if it's not perfect we can keep tweaking that style, I do this all day long I'll redefine the style and then later I'm like, "Oh I need to add this" or "Maybe I need to change that" or "Maybe that wasn't quite right", I change it, redefine it, everywhere else I had that assigned also gets updated, ripples down through. So I'm gonna go ahead set that up as a caption. So I can do that but I can also if I don't wanna use the style, and if I wanna make sure all new text frames show that way again, I drag this down. But I wanna actually automate this style and it can work in conjunction with the object style, but they fight with each other a little bit so we'll see that. So what I wanna do is automate these captions. So up under the Object menu I'm gonna come down to Captions and the first thing I need to do is set up the captions, so I need to tell it how these captions are going to be, how they're going to look. And in a caption I can choose from the metadata. So what ever metadata is available in this file, whether I did it in Bridge or in my camera or in Photoshop you can go ahead and put all sorts of information inside a file, so it might have things like, great, Focal Length, that's awesome, I have no idea these were all shot by a friend of mine on his iphone, so I can come in here and say, "What can I put in there?" Well, let's put a name 'cause at least I know that my file names are there. Now I might have something like a description, I think it's what it calls it, Description or Information, I think it says Description, I'll see where it is, but you can put things like the actual caption name you might say, "This is a shot of the so and so monument "in Zion National Park" or whatever, you could put that on there, and that can become your caption. I'm just gonna do Name 'cause I know each one at least has a file name there. I can say some text before or after, maybe this is where we put "Figure", we can't put the automated stuff we could just say "Figure" or whatever, but we could, if we wanted "Figure A" "Figure B" to come in there like we did earlier we could choose a paragraph style that has bullets and numbering, the numbering already set up in there. So again, we can take bullets and numbering, put that into a paragraph style, we can put the paragraph style into this automated caption, it will auto-number it for us, but it's gonna go left to right top to bottom, that's how it reads it so just keep that in mind that your numbering might be off a little. But I can put text before or after, I'm not gonna put anything before or after, I just want the name. I can also hit this little plus and say, maybe I also want it to be what the ISO speed was of that particular item. Each thing will end up on it's own line though so I'm gonna stick with just the one item that's here. And we're also gonna see that it isn't regular text, it's conditional text, and so conditional text is something that it's automatically pulling, the reason we're automating these captions is because if the metadata changes the captions will change as well. If we change the name of the file, we change whatever information we've put in here, it will change, and that's a good thing If we might be changing out the images it will suddenly change and put the new information in there, which is great if you have your descriptions in your Photoshop file of what the caption needs to say, and you switch out the photo well how great would that be if the captions will also switch themselves out. So I'm gonna tell it where it needs to sit. We can do above the image but then we can tell it to offset by a bunch, but we can't just center it, that's the problem, not if we're doing the automatic one, we can move it later, we could manually move them so that's not a big deal. I actually wanna do it below the image and give it just a little bit of an offset. But again, I've told it that my standard frame is that caption frame that already has an amount set up, so here's the thing, if I choose an amount in here it's going to take that over the object style. But if I choose zero but I've already told it that my standard, every time I create a text frame it is the caption frame, that's what I told it, it was the default style, it will use whatever is there. It will not add any here but because I have the object style applied it will add in whatever we've set as the buffer for that. If I want a certain paragraph style I can create it here, or if I already have one created I can add it. If I have one that's set up for captions I would have that but again I already have that built into that object style. The problem is I have it built into the object style but it only wants to take the information from here, so again, they're fighting with each other so I try to stick with one and choose that. So I can tell it also to put it on a new layer if I want. Let's not do that, I'm just gonna say "Okay". Then I want to select all my images and now I need to assign those captions. So I'm gonna go down to Captions and I wanna Generate a Live Caption. So I can do a Static one, a static one will grab that metadata but it won't update if it changes, so that's what I wanna do is, I wanna make sure it's gonna continue to change. So I Generate the Live Caption, and you can see that it did that and it just went ahead and used the built-in type that was here because I didn't assign a paragraph style to it. But you can see that it gave it that little bit of buffer, so it's not sitting on it? But here's what you can do if you want it on top of the photo, you can move this item on top the photo and if I take this, let's actually zoom it in a little bit so we can see the name a little better, if I take this item and I'm gonna put it back where it was, and I'm just gonna use my down arrow key and move it one point off of that you notice there's not intersecting link all of a sudden. Well I told it it's a live caption so it needs to be touching that frame, that's why it automatically puts it against the frame and then we give it that buffer so it doesn't actually run into the frame, but it looks at whatever it's attached to and says, "Oh, okay,"that's Arches", if I put it over here, now it's Arches Storm, if I do that that's Arches Keyhole, come over here that's a different one, multiple intersecting links 'cause I have that frame running across two. Let's just move that there, Okay now it's that one, And now we have Arches Storm Three and then we have Black Canyon over here, so whatever it's touching is what it's going take that information from because it's a live caption. If I changed out the image it will change, if I change the name of the image it will change. I'm just undoing till I get back to here. The other thing I can do though is maybe I do want it to be down a little bit lower, or maybe I want it to be on top and I moved those automatically so I do want it sitting on top of the image. Well, I wanna make sure that it always is connected to that item. If I select both of them, shift selects both of them, and go up under the Object menu and choose Group now it will automatically, even if it's not touching it, if I grab this item and move it down here they're still grouped together so it still knows that that item, that caption is connected to that image. That make sense? So that's one of the options that we had when we created captions, I'm gonna undo till I get rid of all my, hopefully I can, there we go, so I'm gonna come in here and I'm gonna make sure that our captions are set up, Group Caption With Image, so I can group it right away instead of having to group it later. So I can do that so that as soon as I move it if I don't like where it is, I want it maybe off to the side instead of right underneath as it needs to put it I can do that but it's automatically grouped, so when I create that now it's grouped and I don't have to worry about it. So I say Generate Live Captions, they're already grouped together so even if I decide to move this out of the way a little bit it still knows where it's connected to. The other thing I can do at the last minute is I can come in here and I can Generate a Static Caption so I can just create the same thing, but it's static so now if I select this and I move it somewhere else it doesn't change, it's not changing. It took the information and put it on the page and now it's stuck with that information, it's never gonna change. I change out the image, the caption is not going to update, that's a static caption. I can also, after I've used the live captions, let's generate the live captions again, you notice they look a little strange and I'm gonna show you something that happens over here, the other thing I wanna do is just say, I can come in here and I can create a static caption off of the live caption that was here. If you notice one of the reasons I might wanna do that is, see how that looks all kind of bunched together? It's because my font is so large I told you it was conditional text, well conditional text sees all of that information as one character, so it won't wrap around, so if I suddenly make this smaller it's never going to wrap around, it's just going to crunch it all up together, so that's one of the drawbacks of that, but I can create the live caption like this, then I can go ahead and change it to a static caption, if I can remember where it is, there we go, Convert to Static Caption. I can select all of them, obviously and do it this way, but if I convert it, now it's regular text so now the nice thing is it will wrap around. So I often use the live one to generate them and then convert them to a static one so I don't have that weird issue with conditional text.

Adobe® InDesign® Creative Cloud® enables you to create rich documents and layouts that combine graphic elements, images, and text. Advance your design skills with Adobe® InDesign® Creative Cloud® Intermediate: Beyond the Basics with Erica Gamet.

In this class, Erica will help you tackle complex design projects and share best practice techniques in Adobe® InDesign® Creative Cloud®

You’ll learn how to:
  • Manage multi-page documents and use master pages
  • Automate your workflow and save time
  • Select character and paragraph styles
You’ll learn about advanced exporting options and she’ll offer tips on taking advantage of the extensive selection of assets in the Creative Cloud® Libraries.

If you’ve mastered the basics are are ready to advance your design skills, don’t miss Adobe® InDesign® Creative Cloud® Intermediate: Beyond the Basics with Erica Gamet.

Level: Intermediate/Advanced. Recommended prerequisite: Adobe® InDesign® Creative Cloud® for Beginners

Software Used: Adobe InDesign CC 2015.1



  • As an absolute beginner to InDesign, I purchased both of Erica's classes and man was she helpful. I highly recommend this course to anyone unfamiliar with the software to give them some great footing. Thank you Erica and thank you Creative Live!
  • I am using Erica's videos to supplement my "Classroom in a book series" on Indesign. The beauty of this is that I can go through the sections of the book and when I get to something, like Master Pages, that I can't quite follow I jump to the video. I gain the understanding I need by listening and watching Erica and then go back to the book and finish the project with a lot more under my belt. The book gives me real examples to complete but does not give me that "personal" touch. Thanks Erica for being my personal coach. This has worked perfectly.
  • This was really helpful, although *very* fast paced! But gave me a lot of great ideas to take my InDesign use to another level. Thanks!