Dirty Words Design: Episode 0, InDesign CS4 Smart Text Reflow

Here’s Episode 0 of the Dirty Words Design Videocast! This issue tackles InDesign CS4’s new Smart Text Reflow, explains how it works, and then points out a few bugs that you should understand before—if—you start using this feature in a workflow.

Edit: Bob Bringhurst, lead writer for InDesign and InCopy at Adobe posted in the comments section, pointing out that while the documentation is a bit confusing for Smart Text Reflow, one of the behaviors I pointed out as a bug is Adobe’s intended behavior:

This option determines whether facing-page spreads are preserved when text is reflowed in the middle of a document. If this option is selected when text reflows in the middle of the document, a new two-page spread is added. If this option is not selected, a single new page is added, and subsequent pages are “shuffled.”

In other words, this option has no effect when the text reflows at the end of the document.

Thanks for the clarification, Bob!

Bumper music is by Creature.

The Dirty Words Design Videocast is made available under the Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 license.

(Until I can work up a better inline video service, highly recommend you download the full thing instead of watching it in your browser—otherwise you’ll have a hard time seeing any details!)



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  1. Daniel M. Perez 02.02.09 / 9am

    Downloaded and watching. Thanks for this!

  2. colin johnson 01.03.09 / 9pm

    Very nice. I’m still on CS3, but like everyone else, i’ll have to upgrade at some point, and it’s good to learn about flaws and limitations in advance. As yet, I’ve only typeset one book, and I think the overflow feature would have been a great help. In my case, I wasn’t bound to a certain length beyond general symmetry, so the bugs wouldn’t have affected me much.

    Nice site. Thanx for the vids.

    cheerio

  3. Bob Bringhurst 22.04.09 / 4pm

    Interesting feedback. I forwarded this link to members of the InDesign team to look at.

    Two of the bugs you mention seem valid, but the Preserve Facing-Page Spreads option works as designed. It’s just confusing. Here’s the description in Help:

    This option determines whether facing-page spreads are preserved when text is reflowed in the middle of a document. If this option is selected when text reflows in the middle of the document, a new two-page spread is added. If this option is not selected, a single new page is added, and subsequent pages are “shuffled.”

    In other words, this option has no effect when the text reflows at the end of the document.

    Thanks – I hope to see more content. Please feel free to link to your posts in a comment at the bottom of the appropriate Help page, such as Use Smart Text Reflow.

  4. AdamJury 22.04.09 / 5pm

    Thanks for watching, Bob, and for that clarification — that makes sense. It doesn’t produce the behavior I want, obviously, but that’s my mistaken expectations, not your fault. Hopefully that can be worked around in future versions, maybe with an Always Preserve Facing-Page Spreads option in addition to the current ones.