I just got back from Syracuse, NY where I taught a class of book compositors InDesign. There were a few interesting things I learned from the experience. (Book compositors are the slaves who pour in the formatted manuscripts, apply styles and masters, and then make corrections and make sure the pages look good.)
#1: Designers don’t know nuttin’ about creating clean templates with efficient master pages and styles. For instance, a designer would think nothing of simply moving the text frame on a chapter opener page down a few picas. (The technical term for this is called a “sink.”) Compositors need to learn how to adjust the margins to allow the text frame to automatically move down when the new master is applied.
#2: Adobe hasn’t done enough to publicize the “master-based-on-a-master” feature of InDesign. Without exception every compositor in the class was excited about the possibilities of using this feature. And none of them knew about it!
#3: All the compositors thought the only way to release master page items was with the “Override All Master Page Items” command from the Pages palette. None of them, even a guy who had been working with ID since version 1, knew about Cmd/Ctrl-Shift-click on the item you want to override. There should be some way of letting users know about this command.
#4: No one understood the difference between a master page item that was overriden versus one that was detatched. I’ve been meaning to assemble a list of what things you can do to a master page item that won’t destroy the links to other features of the item. For instance, if you override a folio item to change its text, that item will still follow the master page item if you move it.
#5: Everyone was really psyched about the ability to reveal where custom kerning and tracking was applied. But they wanted a way to apply a keyboard shortcut to the preference. Anyone know if a script could be created to do that “on the fly”?