InDesign’s humble Info palette may not inspire a lot of interest at first. But take a moment to explore some of the handy details it provides. Once you get used to the variety of information it can display you’ll be heading there all the time.

To show the Info pallette, choose Window > Info from the top menu bar.

The information displayed in this palette changes depending on the object you are working with in InDesign. You can use the Info palette to quickly check the printing resolution of placed graphics, get a quick word count on text, or other handy details.

Check your printing resolution with InDesign’s Info palette.

You’ve placed a 100 ppi TIFF file and resized it down to fit in your InDesign layout. So what resolution will that image be when you printed? Put away the calculator, just go to the Info palette and take a look at that image’s “effective ppi” which shows you the resolution of this image after it has been resized.

Counting words with InDesign’s Info palette.

Place your text insertion point in any text frame and the Info palette gives you a quick and easy word count for that frame.

Highlight some copy with the text tool, and the Info palette counts up only the words and paragraphs in that highlighted selection.

If your text overflows the frame, the Info palette shows you how much extra text you have to deal with. The overflow amounts are displayed as a number with a plus sign.

Tip: Support your copywriter with better word counts.

Once you’ve roughed out a layout, click inside a text box and fill it with placeholder text (Type > Fill with Placeholder Text). Then check the Info palette for the word count results. This should give you more accuracy than a casual guess.

Source: This tip inspired by a recent InDesign Workshop held at Seattle’s School of Visual Concepts for an in-house creative team at Costco. This personalized 1-day workshop was taught by Creativetechs’ newest software trainer Jason Hoppe.