Organizing Print Presets
I love having Print Presets in InDesign so I don’t have to enter all the information every time I print.
The problem is, I have so many and there seems to be no way to put them in any order other than the order I created them in.
Do you know any solutions?
It’s aggravating not being able to drag and drop the Presets (in the File > Print Presets > Define dialog box) in the order that you prefer, such as alphabetically. This is true for all the presets, not just the Print ones. Here are two solutions.
Alphabetizing Print Presets On the Fly
One thing you can do is to use the keyboard shortcut for forcing InDesign menu items to appear in alphabetical order. Hold Command+Option+Shift (Ctrl+Alt+Shift on Windows) while you choose File > Print Presets. This will make all menu items, including the presets, appear in alphabetical order.
Here’s a before-and-after of my Print Presets menu to show how it looks normally (top) and with the keys held down (bottom):
Just select the Print Preset you want from this list and the Print dialog box opens up with that preset active.
Unfortunately the trick doesn’t work with menus in dialog boxes, so you have to remember to do this instead of choosing File > Print (or pressing Command/Ctrl+P).
Save and Reload Presets in the Desired Order
Got an extra twenty minutes or so? You can export and reload your presets so that they appear in any order you desire, in all menu and dialog boxes.
We’ll use my five custom print presets as an example, though this works with any presets in InDesign.
First, open the Preset’s Define dialog box from the File menu, and export each custom preset to the desktop or other convenient location. Just select a preset name in the dialog box, click the Save button, and rename the preset from the default “Saved Presets.prst” filename to the name of the selected preset. It doesn’t have to be an exact match (the actual Preset name is saved inside the .prst file).
Here I’m saving my “Canon draft proofs” preset as “canon draft”:
After you’ve exported each custom preset, Shift-click them all (except [Default]) in the dialog box and click the Delete button.
Now click the Load button and navigate to where you saved your .prst files. Select the one that you want to appear first in the list. InDesign imports that preset and you’ll see its full name appear under the Default preset. Continue Loading the other presets, one-by-one in the order you want them to appear.
Here’s my Print Presets dialog box, after I’ve loaded all my presets in alphabetical order:
This way I don’t have to hold down any special keys and my presets are shown in this order everywhere, including the Print dialog box.
Organizing a List of Presets with Separator Bars
Here’s the Print Preset menu in my Print dialog box. Notice the separator bar?
Here’s how I added it. When I was done loading all my individual presets, I kept the Define dialog box open and added a new preset by clicking the New button. I named it as a series of dashes so it’d look like a separator bar. Since I’d never actually choose this preset — I just wanted the separator bar — I didn’t bother checking the settings for it.
Now when I save more presets they’ll appear below the separator bar. It just helps me to remember “the ones above the line are in alpha order, the ones below the line are not,” making it easier to quickly find the preset that I want.
Originally published August 7, 2007