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Don’t Like All Caps in the Interface? Try This For Some Relief.

I just got back from the New York City InDesign User Group meeting where I had the pleasure of joining Sandee Cohen and Dan Rodney in presenting some of the new features of InDesign CS4.

There’s usually some kind of little secret or trick revealed at these meeting but Dan came up with the coolest one of all. It was so cool that Sandee and I argued over who would get to post this. Guess who won? :)

No, it’s not a new feature, but sort of an Easter Egg and a way to get rid of the all caps in the panel labels:

panel labels are all uppercase

Good-Bye Upper Case
Here’s the trick that Dan demonstrated. Close InDesign and create a new folder in the InDesign application folder called noallcaps.

Just add a new folder and call it noallcaps

When you restart InDesign you’ll have a brand new look:

The Caps are gone!

This won’t work in the other Creative Suite applications but at least you’ll get some relief from the caps in InDesign.

Bob Levine

Bob Levine

Bob Levine is a graphic designer and a consultant focused on providing InDesign training and guidance in developing efficient, collaborative workflows to those moving from QuarkXPress or PageMaker. An Adobe Certified Expert in both InDesign and InCopy, Bob has written articles for InDesign Magazine and is an Adobe User to User forums host. He has more than 15 years of industry experience and has been using InDesign since version 1.0. For more background, visit his website, or his blog,
Bob Levine

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27 Comments on “Don’t Like All Caps in the Interface? Try This For Some Relief.

  1. Very cool tip. And it not only gets rid of the ALL CAPS from the panel names but also in the names of the workspaces on the Application Bar.

    This assumes, of course, that you have the Application Bar turned on. The Application Bar can be turned off if you’ve turned off the Application Frame.

  2. Ah, that does look better. What person decided on all caps anyway? Well that’s one workaround I’ll have to remember when CS4 finally lands our shores, or at least on my desk.

  3. This is magical. Amazing what you can get when you just know how to ask.

    I’m gonna add a folder called “bettergradientpanel” and see what happens. It’s worth a shot.

  4. That is a neat trick indeed, but my question is why did Adobe hide it like that instead of just making it a simple preference setting that anyone could find on their own?

    To me, it is an example of the developers just trying to be cute. Make it functional instead and keep the Easter eggs to things like the belching cat!

  5. Dan,

    I suspect that you are maligning an engineer in the InDesign team who took one look at the horrendous all-caps panel labels and said, well those other applications might be able to live with that but InDesign users will hate it and so rescued us from a user interface mandate from hell.


  6. RELIEF! I’ve griped to John Nack about this dreadful all-caps matter in the CS4 apps ever since I saw the betas this spring. It’s a great shame this neat UI trick will only work in ID and not the other apps, but still, thanks, Bob, for posting on this.

  7. @Dave Saunders:

    I’m not maligning anyone, but if that one engineer saw it as a problem, it should have found its way into the preferences as a setting so that anyone could find it easily without having do do a “hack”.

    I am in favor of the ability to change it from All Caps, I simply disagree with the implementation.

  8. While I would have loved to see this as a preference (or even better yet the default look!) in all the CS4 apps, not just a trick for InDesign, the problem Adobe has is fighting bloat. If they make everything a preference to appease all people, the Preferences window would become so overwhelming that people get lost. That makes the app worse overall. Just take a look at Quark 8’s Preference window. The list of sections is so long you must scroll! That makes it time consuming and hard to find what you need. I am not apologizing for Adobe, just pointing out that great software design is hard and I bet there are many prefs people would like to be added.

    I was disappointed that the trick doesn’t work in all the apps. At least we know someone working on the InDesign team appreciates good typography :)

    • For those of us with less than perfect eyesight, my preference in terms of clarity IS to have the panel titles in all capitals, so I was disappointed, on looking at ID CS6, that lower case titles are now the standard.

      SO, is there any way to put them back to all capitals?

      (I tried putting a folder titled ‘allcaps’ into the application folder, but that wild guess did nothing!)

  9. I was chatting with an Adobe associate I know and I was complaining about the all cap names. Then they told me about this trick. It pays to have connections on the inside! Not that I have deep connections. I think this time I was just lucky enough to say the right thing to the right person.

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