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Palette management

The palettes in QuarkXPress are both a blessing and a curse. They make frequently used controls readily available while cluttering your screen and obscuring your layouts. Having a second monitor for storing palettes is handy, but it does put them a little out of reach. To get control of palettes and keep them close by, you can open, close, and resize them; group them; and save palette configurations as sets to show and hide together.

Palette overview

Palettes are small floating windows that condense a lot of related features into a little space. All the QuarkXPress palettes are listed in the Window menu. In general, you will have at least the Tools palette and the Measurements palette open, along with possibly the Page Layout, Colors, and Style Sheets palettes. Palettes work as follows:

  • Open: Choose a palette name from the Window menu to open it.
  • Close: Click the close button in the upper-left corner or choose a palette name from the Window menu to close it.
  • Resize: Drag the lower-left corner of the palette to resize it. (Some palettes are a fixed size.) Click the arrow next to the palette’s name to shrink the palette to just its title bar.
  • Palette menus: Click the menu icon in the upper-right corner of a palette’s title bar to display a menu of options specific to the palette (Figure 2.15).
  • Figure 2.15: Palette menus let you edit the contents of a palette and perform related tasks. For example, the Colors palette menu lets you create, edit, duplicate, and delete colors and convert the selected color from Spot to Process and vice versa.

Creating palette groups

QuarkXPress lets you group palettes vertically so they travel together. To group palettes, Control+click (Mac) or right+click (Windows) the title bar of any palette (Figure 2.16). From the context menu, choose a palette to add it to the current palette or group. You can also detach palettes from a group and close palettes from this context menu.

Figure 2.16: Control+click/right+click a palette's title bar to make changes to the palette's group.

Saving palette sets

Once you create a palette configuration that you like—including which palettes are open, how they are grouped, and where they are—you can save the configuration as a palette set. You can create multiple palette sets for different purposes, such as editing text or working with color and pictures. To create a palette set, first set up your palettes the way you want them. Then, choose Window > Palette Sets > Save Palette Set As. Give the palette set a descriptive name and specify a keyboard shortcut for it if you want (Figure 2.17). To display a palette set, choose it from the Window > Palette Sets submenu or press its keyboard shortcut.

Figure 2.17: Palette sets save a palette configuration, including the open palettes, the palette groups, and their locations.

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