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Using Quick Apply for Menu Commands


Did you know that InDesign has exactly 714 menu commands? OK, I totally made that up. I have no idea how many menu commands it has. You could probably figure it out, but please don’t do that, life is too short. Instead, let’s just go with 714, or feel free to substitute any large number of your choice.

The point is, InDesign has a lot of commands. And it can be hard to remember which menu a particular command resides in. And even if you do remember where everything is, you may spend a good deal of time spelunking through submenus. Have fun digging a nonbreaking hyphen out of Type > Insert Special Character > Hyphens and Dashes.

Keyboard shortcuts can help, but then you have another thing to memorize/forget. And not all commands even have shortcuts by default. But there is another way to get at all 714ish commands: Quick Apply. Trigger Quick Apply by pressing Command+Return/Ctrl+Enter. Make sure that the option for Menu Commands is selected in the pop-up menu.

There’s also an option to show hidden menu commands if you’ve customized your menus.

Then you can just start typing the name of the command you want to trigger.

If you want to filter the results to show only menu commands, type m: first.

Then, when the command you want to use is highlighted just press Return or Enter to apply it.

And as a bonus, the same command will already be highlighted the next time you invoke Quick Apply for even faster results.

Also, note that context matters. Any command that would be grayed out in a menu will likewise be unavailable in Quick Apply. For example, if you don’t have your cursor in a text frame, you won’t be able to invoke commands for inserting special characters. That may seem obvious, but it trips us all up sooner or later.

And just think, with all the time you save, you could count up all the menu commands and be a true InDesign alpha geek.

As for me, I prefer more direct methods of inquiry.

Editor in Chief of CreativePro. Instructor at LinkedIn Learning with courses on InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, GIMP, Inkscape, and Affinity Publisher. Co-author of The Photoshop Visual Quickstart Guide with Nigel French.
  • Nancy Williams says:

    You taught me something! Good to know, I can’t wait to try it, thank you.

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