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Tip of the Week: Making Find/Change Settings Stick

This InDesign tip on making Find/Change settings stick was sent to Tip of the Week email subscribers on July 14, 2017.

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Find/Change is one of the most powerful (and often overlooked) features in InDesign. For this reason, we devoted an InDesign Magazine feature article to Find/Change a few issues back to give it some love.

But Find/Change does have a few quirks. One of them is the fact that the scope of the search doesn’t always stay the way you set it. For example, if you only want to perform a Find/Change on the current story, you can choose Story from the Search pop-up menu.

But as soon as you click outside a text frame with any tool, the Search setting defaults to Document.

I suppose InDesign is trying to be helpful because there is no current story when you click away. Still, I wish the setting would stay the way I left it and buttons like Find Next, Change, etc. just got grayed out until I clicked in another story.

At least there’s a simple fix. Just press Ctrl/Command+F to close the Find/Change window before clicking outside of the text frame. Then the next time you open Find/Change it will be ready to just search the current story.


Mike Rankin

Mike Rankin

Editor in Chief of, InDesign Magazine, and Author of courses on InDesign and Illustrator. Husband. Dad. Dog walker.
Mike Rankin

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2 Comments on “Tip of the Week: Making Find/Change Settings Stick

  1. My pet peeve with the Find/Change dialog: you can cycle through the different modes (Text, Grep, …) using cmd+1, cmd+2, … But these shortcuts of course conflict with other shortcuts, which means they will do different things, depending on whether the Find/Change dialog has focus or not. Very confusing and endlessly annoying…

    If only there was a way to change these shortcuts!

  2. Wouldn’t it be nice if Abode added a little lock symbol next to that box so you could lock it down?

    I often use copy/paste for search, and every time I do it switches to “selection” instead of “story” which is kind of annoying. Changing based on where the cursor is can be helpful sometimes, but it would be nice to just lock it.

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