A Pages Panel Mystery Solved

Hey InDesign users, how do you view pages in the Pages panel? Specifically, I mean which of the three choices in the Pages panel menu do you use most often: Horizontally, Vertically, or By Alternate Layout?

 

I posed the question to our InDesignSecrets Facebook group a little while back. I also asked folks if they’d ever encountered a situation where it seemed like InDesign changed the setting on its own.

I got a lot of responses. Over 100 people chimed in, and the strong majority leave the View Pages setting at the default (Vertically), and have not seen the panel change the pages display without them asking.

To be honest, my second question was a little bit disingenuous. I didn’t really think that InDesign did things without you asking for them. What I really wanted to see was if people noticed a pretty subtle thing: that the View Pages setting is recorded as part of a workspace. So if you set it to Horizontally and create a new workspace, InDesign will remember that. Then, if you switch back to any of the default workspaces, the display will go back to Vertical. So if you didn’t know that the setting was recorded you might be mystified, thinking that it was changing on its own.

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Interestingly, there is one situation where the View Pages setting will change automatically. But it is in response to you doing something related. If you create a new document with the Mobile intent the Pages panel will automatically switch to By Alternate Layout, which makes sense if you’re designing a document to be viewed on screens of various sizes.

Unfortunately, View Pages is an application-level setting, so it will stay the same as you switch between multiple open documents. It would be a lot cooler if InDesign kept track of it at a document level. But at least now you know how to control it as part of a workspace.

If you want to be really slick, edit your keyboard shortcuts and assign ones to your go-to workspaces, so you can switch between them with the flick of a finger. There doesn’t seem to be a way to assign keyboard shortcuts to the View Pages settings directly.