Another inconsistency in text editing: Cursor keys with selected text in InDesign

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Macintosh
March 18th, 2004 • 6:19 am

As someone who does a lot of text editing in various applications, I am always frustrated when one application fails to behave like all the other ones do. I’ve already mentioned the problem with apostrophes and word selection.

Here is another one. In InDesign CS, when working on existing blocks of text, I often select words or sentences using the Shift key and the Command key in combination with the cursor keys, so that I don’t have to use the mouse (which is imperfect for this type of task). For example, if the I-beam cursor is located at the beginning of a word, cmd-shift-Right selects the word. One more keystroke and the following word is selected as well. Etc.

This is standard behaviour (although in some applications the Option key is used instead of the Command key, which is another source of frustration). The problem with InDesign is its cursor key behaviour once the text is selected. If you selected a couple of words using the keyboard, and then decide that you don’t want to use this selection and want to go to the next line in the block of text, normally hitting the Down cursor key while the words are selected will automatically deselect the words and move the cursor to the next line down. But in InDesign it doesn’t. Instead, pressing the Down cursor just deselects the word and places the blink I-beam cursor after the words, on the same line. You then have to hit the Down cursor key a second time to take the cursor to the next line down.

As far as I know, there is no other Mac applications that behaves in the same way — except, of course, other Adobe applications such as Photoshop. In Word X, in BBEdit, in Mail, in Safari, etc., if I have some text selected and press the Down key, the text editor deselects and goes down one line. Not in InDesign CS though.

This is a small detail, but it’s immensely frustrating when you are editing a lot of text and are used to one behaviour, which appears to be pretty much the standard everywhere else.

Why on earth did Adobe have to do things differently yet again?

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