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Now, before we setup our preferences in InDesign, there is one very important thing that we need to bear in mind. Preferences can be setup either application wide or on a document by document basis. Now, this can be a very, very handy thing allowing you to change things per document as you worked through them. It is also important that when we setup these preferences here, we do want them to apply for everything we do from this point on.
So just a highlight exactly what I am saying there, what am I going to ask you to do is very simply press Ctrl N or command N on the MAC to bring out the new document dialog box and just simply hit return on N to the say okay. I am not worried about any of the settings in there. I just want you to open a blank document and then what we will do is go up to the edit menu or on the MAC it will actually be under the application menu on the top left hand side. Go all the way down to the bottom, and choose preferences and choose the first option, which is general. Now, the shortcut for this is Ctrl K on the PC or command K on the MAC and we can use that in the future.
Just to bring up the default preferences for a second, we will make one very obvious change here. On the list on the left hand side, go to where it says units and increments, select that and we will change our horizontal and vertical rulers from the picas that it sets to currently to maybe Ciceros. The European measurement that hardly anyone uses these days but, it is just something we will try out for now, go ahead and choose Ciceros on both of those options then again hit return or N to the say okay.
Now, what will happen is the rulers across the top of the page will now show different measurements. This is in fact now measuring in Ciceros. You can always double check that by right clicking in one of those rulers and it will tell you exactly what it said to. And also, as you can see with the language to choose and now the value.
But just to highlight the fact that, that has now been changed. Now, what we do there very importantly, we will change the preferences in this document only so if you press control W or command W on the MAC to close that file, and by all means hit “no” to say do not save. If you now press control K or command K again to bring up the preferences and go straight back to units and increments, you will see that it no longer says Ciceros that has going back to default of picas. That is because we only change the preferences and the document we currently had available.
So, everything that we do from this point on in terms of setting up the preferences and everything else is going to be done with no documents open after all. So, everything here will be an original preference that is then applied to every new document that we create from here on in. If we open an existing document, it can also have its own preferences so that may change back to picas or to inches or something like that, but every new file that we create is going to use the preferences we are now going to setup.