Often, users simply launch an application from an alias or shortcut and never even look in the application folder. This is just fine, until it comes time to install a new plug-in or share important information with other users. Familiarizing yourself with the basic contents helps you be sure you're not throwing away anything important and that you're working with the correct files and folders.
If you locate the InDesign application folder on your hard drive and open it, you'll see it's chock-full of stuff you may not even recognize. The three things you need to know about in this folder are the Presets folder, the Plug-ins folder, and the Required folder.
The Presets folder contains three kinds of standards: shortcut sets, color swatch libraries, and workspaces. InDesign lets you create shortcut sets, so different users can have their own shortcut definitions; these preferences are stored in the InDesign Shortcut Sets folder in the Presets folder. The Swatch Libraries folder contains color -swatch libraries ‚ both those that come with InDesign and any you might add yourself. Finally, the Workspaces folder contains workspace definitions; a workspace is a set of palettes and palette positions that you can save (for example, you can have all text-editing palettes appear when you're working on text).
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I cover shortcut sets and workspaces in Chapter 3. I cover swatch libraries in Chapter 8.
The Plug-ins folder in the InDesign folder contains small software modules, called plug-ins, that add both core features and additional, optional features to InDesign. The Plug-ins folder contains a variety of subfolders such as Dictionaries, Filters, and Graphics, which make locating files easy.
To install additional plug-ins from Adobe or other companies, add them to the Plug-ins folder. Follow the instructions provided by each vendor ‚ some have an installation program, while others have you copy the plug-in file to the Plug-ins folder.
To remove a plug-in, simply drag it out of the subfolder of the Plug-ins folder and store it someplace else or delete it.
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To keep track of required files and plug-ins versus optional ones, you may want to create an Optional Plug-ins folder and install any optional plug-ins there rather than in the existing folders in the Plug-ins folder.
You also use the Plug-ins folder to get access to any customizations you make to the spelling or hyphenation dictionaries in InDesign. These custom settings are saved in the files inside the Dictionaries folder. If you're in a workgroup, the only way to ensure that everyone is working with the same spelling and hyphenation standards ‚ so that text flows the same way on everyone's computer ‚ is to share the dictionary files.
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See Chapter 35 for more information on maintaining standards across workgroups. See Chapter 36 for details on managing plug-ins.
The Required folder is similar to the Plug-ins folder in that it contains components of InDesign. The difference is that the components in the Required folder are necessary for InDesign to function, so you should not modify this folder or its contents.