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Tip of the Week: Automatic Article Arrangement

This tip was sent to Tip of the Week email subscribers on July 24, 2014.

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If you use InDesign to create reflowable EPUBs or HTML output, you’re probably familiar with the Articles panel and how incredibly useful it can be. With it, you can easily control which page items make it into your output, and in what order, by drag and dropping frames from the layout into the panel.

And you can make the process even smoother—and save yourself the chore of rearranging items in the Articles panel—by Shift-clicking on objects in your layout in the order you want them to appear in the panel before you drag them.

For example, here I have three numbered text frames. If I want them to appear in the Articles panel in the order 1, 2, 3, I can hold Shift, and click on them in that order: 1, 2, 3, and drag them into the panel.

20140724-totw-1

But if instead I want them to appear in the order 3, 2, 1, I just hold Shift and click on frame 3, then frame 2, then frame 1, and then drag them into the panel.
20140724-totw-3
Ah, but what order do you get if you drag a marquee over several objects to select them at once? In that case, InDesign puts them in the order in which they were added to the spread. In other words, the oldest frame is first, and the youngest frame is last. You can make an old frame “new” (and thus make it appear last in the order) by cutting and pasting it in place before you start Shift-clicking.
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