Even though designers don’t have traditional degrees like journalism or business it is still important for us to be able to spot grammatical and commonsense mistakes. It is truly up to us to be 110% positive that we deliver flawless final projects to our clients. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not always the best speller and I don’t always use proper punctuation, and that’s why I am spell checks #1 fan.
I’ve compiled a list of 5 quick tips to makes sure you tie up all your lose ends before finishing your design projects up when working in InDesign.
Extra spaces can cost you
Find/Change is truly one of the simplest InDesign features. There are ways to utitlize Find/ Change so that it benefits you every time you are finishing up a design project. It is very easy to accidentally add extra and unwanted spaces to your document. So, what I like to do is open Find/ Change and tap the spacebar twice into the find field and type one space into the replace field. InDesign will automatically pick up any double spaces that you’ve mistakenly keyed into your document and replace it with a single space.
It can get a little distracting working with your hidden characters turned on but it is good to give your document a couple of final proof reads with them turned on. Hidden characters will help you locate and unwanted paragraph breaks, spaces, tabs, etc.
Before I even think of starting my design project I take the liberty of deleting all of the default color swatches from my library. By doing this I don’t allow myself to mistakenly use any colors besides the ones I manual create. A big no no is sampling colors from other images or elements using the eyedropper tool. When you sample color in InDesign and then use that sampled color it usually samples in RGB and is never an exact match of a chosen color swatch.
Image PPI and color space
Another handy little feature InDesign offers is Preflight. By going to File > Preflight you are presented with a column of preferences to click through. You can check your fonts, links, colors, and a few other elements that are present in your document. By clicking on Links and Images you will be able to scroll through all of the links and images in your document and view what type of element they are, what their effective ppi is (effective ppi is what’s important here not actual ppi) and what color space they are using. This is a fast way to make sure all of your elements are the proper size, type, and using the right color space. (Usually if you’re working in InDesign you want all of your images to be in CMYK given that you are using InDesign for its print purpose.)
Last, but not least, Spell Check
Spell check is very important. Of course spell check doesn’t always offer the right word to change a misspelled word to (if it is even misspelled) nor does it always offer you the correct grammatical suggestions and that is why it is important for you to read over your document as well and not to 100% rely on spell check. Spell check will catch all of your misspelled words and perhaps offer proper grammatical suggestions, but it is up to you to make sure that you use your knowledge to catch anything spell check doesn’t.