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Discover the InDesign CS5 Panels

In the InDesign Creative Suite 5 workspace, panels are used to control the publication and edit elements on pages. Panels are located (docked) along the right edge of the InDesign window by default.

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  • Docked panels are panels attached to the edge of the user interface. Panels can be maximized and minimized away from the main work area, moved around, or closed altogether.

  • To expand a panel, click the panel name and it automatically expands. Expanded panels automatically collapse when a different panel is selected.

  • If you’d rather work with all panels expanded, simply click the left-facing double arrows on the gray bar above the panels. You can collapse all the panels again by clicking the right-facing double arrows on the gray bar above the expanded panels.

  • Similar panels are grouped together. You can change the groupings by clicking and dragging a panel’s tab into another grouping.

  • Some panels work intelligently when you’re manipulating content on an InDesign page. If you work with a particular element, for example, the associated panel is activated.

Control panel

The Control panel is used to edit just about any element in InDesign. This panel is context sensitive, so it changes depending on which element you’ve selected on a page.

For example, if you have selected text on the page, the Control panel displays options allowing you to edit the text. If you have a shape selected, the Control panel displays options allowing you to modify the shape.

The Control panel, when the Type tool is active.
The Control panel, when the Type tool is active.
The Control panel, when a frame is selected using the Selection tool.
The Control panel, when a frame is selected using the Selection tool.

Pages panel

You can control pages with the Pages panel. This panel allows you to arrange, add, and delete pages in your document. You can also navigate among pages with this panel.

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You can also add and delete pages by choosing Layout→Pages, and even use a keyboard shortcut to add pages, Ctrl+Shift+P (Windows) or Cmd+Shift+P (Mac).

You can hide all open panels (including the Control panel) by pressing the Tab key; press Tab for them to return to view. In InDesign CS5, you can leave tools and panels hidden and access them when you want by moving the cursor to the left or right side of the work area.

Pause when you see a tinted vertical gray bar appear, and the tools or panels (depending on which side of the workspace you’re in) reappear! By the way, they go away again after you leave the area.

You can navigate the document’s pages by using the left and right arrow buttons on either side of the page number in the lower left corner of the document window.

You can also move to a specific page by entering a page number into the page field and pressing Enter or by selecting the page from the drop-down list in the lower left corner of the document window.

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