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  • Writer's pictureKatarzyna Hasnik

Notessss from Design - useful shortcuts - Adobe InDesign, Illustrator, Acrobat, Mac and more.

Updated: Feb 17, 2023

To not forget and to share =) Not in order, directly from sticky notes.

Shortcuts for Macs only

Acrobat - Cmd+E - change fonts size in annotations

Arabic language - InDesign - Right to Left - Cmd+Opt+A

Character Directions in Character to swap characters if not set up correctly by default

Cmd+Alt+Shift - when error shows in Adobe (reset al settings to be aloud to open cracked file)

Select Text and Highlight Object

Cmd+H - transfer handles

Cmd+Shift+B - when transfer handles (points) disappear


F - full screen

Shift + Cmd + O - Overprint lines


Cmd + Shift + 4 - Print Screen

Cmd+Option(Alt)+Esc - Force Quit Applications

Cmd+Tab - shift between icons of programs to be switch

Acrobat - Zoom in / Zoom out

1/ spacebar+Cmd - zoom in

2/ spacebar+Cmd+Alt - zoom out

Cmd+Shift+L - doc separate

Cmd + f1 - find

Cmd+D - Documents Properties to check font size and names etc.

Cmd+R - Ruler/Guides for Trim Box


Cmd+Shift+T - Tabs

Cmd+Alt+J - Paragraph Rule

Cmd+Alt+J - Hidden/Chow characters

Cmd+B - Text Box, columns measurements, justify, top etc.

Cmd+`~ (next to Z) - switch windows between projects

Cmd+; - show/hide guides

Alt+Cmd+; - lock/unlock guides

Shift+Cmd+T - Tabs+Enter 3, 4 depends

Cmd+F - Place exactly as in the previous file / Find

Shift+Cmd+V - Place in Place

Backspace - ^- - Columns Breaks

Shift Return and Soft Return

Cmd+B - Text Frame Options

Find/Change - breaking words with hyphen

Option(Alt)+Cmd+ - Not breaking or _ #

- normal hyphen

`~ - not breaking hyphen

InDesign - place in place - Cmd+Option (Alt)+Shift+V (as Cmd+F in Illustrator)

InDesign - Shift+Alt+T = infinity symbol

Shift+Cmd+T - Tabs

Cmd+; - date place automatically / Google spreed sheet

InDesign - to scale object

To scale - object - transform - scale

First - object - select - first object above

Display Desktop Windows Mac

Cmd+Tab - between all various windows, which are fully open not minimise

Cmd+~` (key next to z) - between windows only in 1 open program

Cmd+F3 - show desktop

Alt(Option)+Shift+8 - rounded, black bullet point (or on the other keyboard preferences in the right upper corner)

Cmd+Y - lines

Cmd+I - default

Cmd+"' (key 2nd right from L) - grid/chess lines - InDesign

Cmd+G - join the point of deleted line between selected before shape


When Technical Specification are signed and not be able to be open, go to PDF, open in Acrobat and on the left toolbar - choose icon (square shape with angle line), after Rev 2 (open black pointing down triangle icon) - click to view this version, it is open to sign/with signature, go to pages, extra pages from 1 to 1 (or 2) depends, ok, save.

If not show Rev 2, go to the signature box and go there to open PDF as Validate to display extra pages.


When I need to add extra symbols in various project (digital repetition of symbols, UI, artistic, technical, labels, glass, blisters, foils, etc.)

Object - Expand Appearance - expand size to actual size of all object

Object - Create - Trim Marks - Change for having new extra display of repetitive shape ( wireframe label, blister, technical cut, architecture drawing, etc.)


CMYK * - go for Book Colours and after to CMYK, check proper & of colour values (going to only CMYK with no step to Book Colours first, will show the CMYK values of & which might be different and will not have the same print effect)

LAB - change LAB to CMYK

Illustrator - Scripts

Script to Check Minimum Font Size

Select all live text (all all artwork including outline text), create new document, paste but delete, the object is not relative to take into account (codes, pharma, bar codes, Matrix Code, QR etc., component numbers, number of legend) and than go to File -> Scripts -> Smallest Font Size

The Script font size shows the smallest font size but doesn't indicate where. Check manually. Do not save it.


Cutting - Wireframes


Text/Object Free (iOS-Android free space)

Accessibility/Voice Recognition/Braille - Hot Spots

Technical - (Tech Spec, Codes, Pharma, QR, Matrix, Bar, Crop, Edge Marks)

Artwork - Visual Branding, Graphics, UI Design

Background - only background

Text - actual text

Legend - Legend information - DevOps/Agency/Clients etc.

Magic in Mac

Shift+Right Arrow (Open) or + Left Arrow (Close) - Open/Close All list of files in folder

Fake Italic for text fonts without, appears as text angle or object angle

Skew in InDesign

Shear in Illustrator

PDF - Acrobat

Object -> Effects -> Transparency

Place -> PDF -> Show Options - use/add/display number of page


To release what is not grouped but it's impossible to modified even in clipping mask

Object -> Paths -> Release Compound Path - Option(Alt)+Shift+Cmd+*

Tip for perfect Horizontal/Vertical - Alignment to the Centre

Select first horizontal and after one more time the one which needs to be aligned to centre


Select -> Text Objects -> Ligatures Untick (not to be blocked)

Window - open type paragraph style

Certain fonts might not work


Creating Proof 1 (first document, ready to be iterated if needed)

Manuscript in PDF - Use as native file for all components signed off/approved

PDF to release if everything is on 1 layer

Select -> Object -> Clipping Mask -> Release -> Right Click release clipping mask

Repeat few times if there is anything hidden still

Make new Layer in template

Place the manuscript

Set up Layer to Dim (transparency/opacity)

Accessibility - Hot Spots for Braille 28.35 pt - Points to be converted to Pixels

Increase only few mm the size but not the distance as it will change the meaning, do not modify the high between words/digits, slight improvement on the width

Module width - 0.500 mm

Use templates approved by Accessibility UX/UI Team


Choose a point which you are sure about, what wasn't changed at all

Switch orientation - view both - high differences

Copy files to WebCentre folder to compare in WebCentre on PC vs Mac

Actions -> Compare in Viewer - Red ti Blue comparison - Old/New doesn't matter

Ignore register and crop marks changes in graphics

Measure Ruler and draw arrow to the correct one

Establish the Alignment from the Ruler and change to Black only to display what was change


To show tolerance of program mistake

Right upper corner -> channels -> view both (select various e.g. double diamonds/squares icons)

1/ Show Difference Adjustment

2/ Hide Difference Adjustment

Set up to maximum 15%


Ctrl + S - Switch

Cmd + Zooming

Preflights - Acrobat

Normal Profiles Preflights

Go to Overprint

If there it's Pantone - Set up for Overprint

Use Plugins

OK - place PDF

Line with Show Important Options, Tick page, replace, create, use preps + Trim (option to crop)

Text PDF in margins outside wouldn't pass the preflight - check Trim Box

Acrobat Properties Tool

Cmd+D - Font as would not read outline text in inDesign

All Fonts into Legend even if outline

If the component number is cover by small part of the text in PDF it can be removed from the first page and left on the last one (the most important

Check with clients technical specification / DevOps requests / Project Management Team

That's it for now. :)

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