8 March 2019
How to make InDesign centre on selection with a keystroke
Maybe it’s a throwback to when PC-XT keyboards had function keys down the left-hand side rather than across the top, and you could do everything in WordPerfect 4.2 with just one hand, but I’ve always preferred to type keystrokes instead of using the mouse, not least because it’s quicker and you don’t have to look at what you’re doing.
So having started a search in InDesign, I’d much rather use the
Find Next keystroke (on a Mac,
cmd-alt-F) than keep clicking the
Find button on the
Find/Change panel. This is especially the case when I have no particular search-and-replace in mind, for example when simply checking italics at the start of a typesetting job.
InDesign only presents a search result in the middle of the active window when it has to redraw the page. Otherwise, if the next search result is already in view, it merely moves the selection highlight across the screen.
However, when that comes right at the bottom of the screen, and especially at the end of a line as here, I need more context to ensure I’m evaluating the search result properly:
Unfortunately, there’s no command in InDesign to just move the focus of your attention to the centre of the screen, like this:
Sure, you can scroll with the mouse, or pan around with the Hand Tool, but that’s a woefully inefficient loss of focus if the aim is to remain keyboard-centric.
One way to centre the selection in the middle of the screen is to zoom in or out, but that still means zooming the other way to return to your original zoom setting. Even then, that’s only practical if you’re already working at one of InDesign’s pre-set zoom increments, such as 150% or 200%.
It’s also two keystrokes (
⌘–) not one, and the constant resizing is hardly soothing on the eyes after prolonged usage.
However, there is a way to invoke the zoom centring behaviour, without changing the zoom resolution, by means of an InDesign script.
tell application "Adobe InDesign CC 2019" set current_zoom to zoom percentage of active window set zoom percentage of active window to current_zoom end tell
To save this and use it (on a Mac):
- Highlight and copy the script code above
- Open Script Editor (
Applications > Utilities > Script Editor.app)
- Make a new file, if one hasn’t been started on opening Script Editor
- Paste the script code into the new file
- Save the file in your InDesign user scripts folder
- Assign the script an InDesign keyboard shortcut
I’ve set my keyboard shortcut to
cmd-alt-9), so when I’m repeatedly keying
Find Next and need to centre the highlight, my left hand stays put and it’s just my right forefinger moving between
You may think this is all a bit obsessive but, believe me, on a 500-page, 600,000-word book such as the one shown here, with over 26,000 instances of italics to check, and more than 15,000 instances of bold, the time savings quickly add up!
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