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Tip of the Week: Finding Hidden Items With Preflight Profiles

This tip was sent to Tip of the Week email subscribers on June 12, 2014.

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Normally, once you hide an object in an InDesign document (via Object > Hide, pressing Command+3/Ctrl+3, or clicking the object’s Show/Hide button in the Layers panel), it leaves few traces of its presence. Hidden objects aren’t printed or exported, and they won’t show up in a Find/Change. They can, however, still affect other objects with text wrap.

But if you really want to give these objects nowhere to hide, use a preflight profile to reveal them.

From the Preflight Panel menu, choose Define Profiles. Click the + (plus) button to create a new preflight profile. Give your new profile a name, and in the IMAGES and OBJECTS options, select Hidden Page Items (plus whatever other conditions you want InDesign to check for).

Finding hidden items with preflight profiles

Click OK, and then select your new profile from the panel menu. If there are any hidden objects, they will be listed as errors and you can double-click them in the panel to jump to their location in the document.

Finding hidden items with preflight profiles
But you still won’t see them until you show them (by pressing Command+Option+3/Ctrl+Alt+3, or choosing Object > Show All on Spread, or clicking the object’s Show/Hide button in the Layers panel).
With tools like these you can be the World Champion of Hide and Seek!
Well, at least inside InDesign.
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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3 Comments on “Tip of the Week: Finding Hidden Items With Preflight Profiles

  1. Hmmm actually is something I don’t really use – hidden layers, or hidden items on a page.

    Probably a good idea to help clean up the pasteboard without actually removing anything – but then I’ll have to remember that I’ve used hidden layers…

    Nice tip all the same.

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