Monday, January 09, 2006

Object Styles and Groups

I'm running into a number of problems with Object Styles applied to groups that warrant further exploration when time permits:
  • Applying a style to a group affects all the members of the group. This is by design, but it makes object styles for groups a bit useless for most things except anchored object settings and text wrap.
  • If you have text frames inside your group, you need to make sure they're set to ignore text wrap -- while such text frames are immune to the effects of the wrap at the group level, the wraps on other members of the group will affect them.
  • Applying an object style to a group that includes a text frame resets the text frame's first line baseline offset to Ascent even though the style has Text Frame options disabled.
  • Applying an object style to the selected group changes the selection to the last member of the group.
I've verified that all these issues exist in version 4.0.2. I've had to write scripts to deal with the wrap and baseline issues.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Shadows Against Paper

I'm working a project where some art is being provided in the form of page-size Photoshop files that are largely transparent. There is a significant shadow on one of the elements. I have been surprised by the perceived change in the intensity of the shadow when the image is placed into InDesign.

Here's what I'm talking about in pictures:


These are two pictures of the same shadow. On the left, you can see how it looks in Photoshop against a transparent background. On the right, is the same shadow placed on a "white" page in InDesign (actually, it looks exactly the same as it does in Photoshop when a white background layer is activated behind the shadow -- this is actually what I did to capture this image).

I'm not quite sure where I'm going with this! The questions I'm grappling with are:
  1. If I place the transparent image in InDesign, does the document benefit given that doing so results in a much larger document that takes considerably longer to process, thereby slowing down my InDesign activities.
  2. If I place a flattened version of this in InDesign, should the image occupy the full page or should I size it to eliminate the tracts of white that cover most of the page?
I'm leaning towards flattening but retaining the full-page coverage. During earlier work where I had optimized the size of the image, I had some problems with other shadows that crossed the boundary.

I'm going to come back to this article with examples of those issues, but for now, I'm moving forward with flattened, full page images.

Getting Started

I've decided to make a new blog for non-scripting tid-bits about InDesign so I can keep them in a convenient place. This temporary first post will help be get the formatting sorted. Pressure of real work might result in the formatting taking a few weeks.