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Harry Potter and the secret of InDesign

Harry Potter and the secret of InDesign

In the Harry Potter series of young adult novels, the villain, the dark wizard Voldemort, is so evil that the characters will not speak his name. Instead, they say “You Know Who” when they refer to him. This reminds me of one of my favorite features in Adobe® InDesign®, “You Know What.” Unlike Voldemort, this feature isn’t evil. It’s just misunderstood.

“You Know What” is a great feature, and has the ability to make virtually everything about working with InDesign easier, faster, and better. In fact, your copy of InDesign comes with a set of useful features implemented using “You Know What” that you probably don’t even know you have. You don’t even have to know anything about “You Know What” to use these features—once you’ve installed them, they work just like any other feature in InDesign.

“You Know What,” of course, is InDesign scripting. If you learn one thing from this article, it should be: You do not need to know how to write scripts to be able to run scripts. This is a misunderstanding that prevents many people from even trying scripting, even though existing scripts might save them enormous amounts of time and trouble. You can find hundreds of InDesign scripts online—most are available for download for free—and it’s easy to install them.

For that matter, chances are quite good that you can find someone who will write scripts for you, and would be willing to do so for the occasional expression of admiration or a small fee.