20 Replies Latest reply: Aug 14, 2012 10:07 AM by Mike Gondek2 RSS

    Group Hidden Elements after using show all

    Mike Gondek2 MVP

      In Illustrator to build files with clean grouping, you can:

      1. hide various elements
      2. show all hidden elements
      3. group them


      In InDesign after you show all hidden elements, the items are not selected.


      Illustrator and InDesign should have a simialr interface, and can see no harm, and only a huge benefit to revising how InDesign works.


      Posted this on the InDesgin forums, and nobody had a solution. As unbelievable as this sounds, appears this has been overlooked by the Adobe beta and development team.





        • 1. Re: Group Hidden Elements after using show all
          Peter Spier ACP/MVPs

          As unbelievable as it seems, this is the first time I've ever seen a request like this, which makes me think it isn't somthing a lot of users have a need for.

          • 2. Re: Group Hidden Elements after using show all
            Mike Gondek2 MVP

            The importance of this request has little to do with how many times someone has seen this, and more to do with synergy between the creative suite, and what people really need.


            People who work on complex documents and catalogs could use this to help group elements better and quicker, rather than trying to use the CMD key sifting through overlapping elements. Try this on a complex document in both Illustrator and InDesign, before you attempt to shoot down this request, and you may realize something you are missing.

            • 3. Re: Group Hidden Elements after using show all
              Peter Spier ACP/MVPs

              You missed the point here.


              YOU find this a useful request, and can't believe the development and beta teams missed it. In fact, new features are basically driven by user request, with time and money allocated to those features that would help the largest numbers of users. This is usually diven by both the quantity of requests, and the presnetation of a good busiiness case why such a feature would be of benefit. I'm not saying what you propose has no value, just that in ten years you are the only user who has brought it up, and that leads me to suspect that it would have little support in the broader user community at large, especially if it meant some other features, like improvements to footnotes and indexing that are requested here hundreds of times a year, were to be put off because of it.


              All of us have a tendency to see things from our own vantage point or frame of reference, and we tend to forget that frame of reference may be entirely unique to us. I assure you that the beta testers include users from many different types of users, including those that deal with large quantities of very complex documents and catalogs, and the ID engineering team is responsive to suggestions from these people far more than you would expect.  It was your choice of saying that the lack of this feature was essentially unbelievable that set me off.


              Frankly, I don't see a lot of difference between selecting a multitude of objects to hide them and selecting them to group, but if you can make a good case for it, please do. the official request form is at  Adobe - Feature Request/Bug Report Form

              • 4. Re: Group Hidden Elements after using show all
                Mike Gondek2 MVP

                Yes I find this a useful request, and that is why I posted this here.  You have a right to disagree and I welcome that, but please make some point alteast.  That I set you off, you may need to deal with that before posting on the forums.


                Advantages to this method:

                1. Consistency between Illustrator & InDesign
                2. Ensurance that no wrong elements are added a group
                3. Ensurance that no elements are missed when making a group (EG: ®, ™, ©)
                4. Great way to work with sandwiched elements
                5. Confirm exisiting groups are accuarate, and add to them as needed
                6. Cleanup of duplicate elements left by others
                7. The end result is quick & better grouping.


                As mentioned before to you, please stop providing the link to the bug request forum, I know where that is.

                • 5. Re: Group Hidden Elements after using show all
                  Peter Spier ACP/MVPs



                  I read and answer dozens of posts a day as amoderator of these forums. I can't keep track of the details of every post that is made. And even if I did remember that you've posted that you know where the wish form is located, frankly, I don't care. These are public forums that are viewed by other people, many of whom don't know that link.


                  This particular forum is not a line to make a request, though it is commonly mistaken for that. The ONLY place that is monitored by Adobe employees for feature requests is the online for in the link. The purpose of this forum is to discuss the merits of a proposal.


                  So far you haven't shown me anything that establishes this as paricularly useful other than possibly the consitency argument, but I suspect that at least half of all ID users never open Illustrator or know it well enough to use your technique.

                  • 6. Re: Group Hidden Elements after using show all
                    Mike Gondek2 MVP

                    For what reason do you attempt to dismerit my feature request? Do you have a specific reason for wanting hidden elements to stay deselected after they are shown?

                    • 7. Re: Group Hidden Elements after using show all
                      Peter Spier ACP/MVPs

                      I'm saying I have no reason to want them selected (I often hide many things that should not be grouped together, or even selected when shown again), and I've never heard of anyone but you who does, so this doesn't appear to me to be the fundamentally obvious missing feature you seem to think it is. I'll repeat what I asked earlier: How is this fundamentally easier or better than simply grouping objects before you hide them? To hide them you have to identify them, so there's no big problem selecting them at the same time.


                      For those of us who are unfamiliar with how this works in Illustrator, would you mind providing some step by step instructions? I'm not seeing any way to select hidden objects in Illustrator at all, but I'm among those ID users who are not Illy power users.

                      • 8. Re: Group Hidden Elements after using show all
                        Peter Spier ACP/MVPs

                        Finally found it in the Help file. Object > Show all... and indeed it does select them. I personally find this somewhat frightening, but if you like it, great. I suppose it might be useful for quickly selecting and deleting objects that no longer belong in a drawing, but as a method for selecting things to group I think it leaves too much to chance (and gains nothing for speed).

                        • 9. Re: Group Hidden Elements after using show all
                          Mike Gondek2 MVP

                          Illustrator step by step process.

                          1. Open up an existing document the more complex the better the example
                          2. Decide on what you want to group (eg: a logo lockup, or a background with plenty of loose elements)
                          3. Begin by hiding (CMD 3)the elements you want in your grou (, you may not be able to select all in one pass no worries that is why this process exists)
                          4. Keep hiding until all elements are you desire in group are hidden
                          5. (OPT CMD 3) to unhide
                          6. CMD G to group


                          I proof alot of work on the job. When I use this technique, I routinely find junk underneath that leaks or does not even print, or missing elements like a product code. I get called over to computers to answer questions and see my best people take advantage of this, since even before InDesign was around. This is one of those things that every Adobe CS user could take adavantage of, but the importance is not realized until you have found the beauty of this, and how this helps you clean up sloppy documents with ease, and keep your own work tidy and professional. 

                          • 10. Re: Group Hidden Elements after using show all
                            Peter Spier ACP/MVPs

                            Do you select with the mouse and use a shorcut to hide, or use the layers panel? In the layers panel I can select a collection of objects that cannot be easily marqueed as fast as I can hide them, probably faster than I can click on them and then hide.


                            Evidently you use this as a proofing techinique, and hiding objects can certainly be valid for that. I'm still not clear why there is value in having the objects unhidden and then immediately grouped? Are you saying something has changed about them that they should now be grouped when they should not have been previously? Users I know are in the habit of grouping as they work when it makes structural sense to do so, so there is no reason to need to group again.


                            If this were to be added as a feature, I wouldn't want to see it as a default, but perahps a preference item.

                            • 11. Re: Group Hidden Elements after using show all
                              Mike Gondek2 MVP

                              You select using the direct & select tool, and usng shift to add to selection, and CMD click to select items underneath others.


                              I use this as a proofing | production | designing technique, this is something that can be used by every Adobe CS user, ubfortuanlty you lose all the work of slecting in InDesign, cause the development team of InDesign were missing the expereince of a seasoned Illustrator user.


                              After particpating on these beta's in the past I know that the average level of people are not what they used to be when they used to send you the software fedex to be on the beta team. They just have too many people on the beta team rather than when they had a smaller group of certified expert users/authors, so working on basic stuff like this becomes a battle of a long explanation and losing people, and they go off topic often.


                              After unhiding in Illustrator the items are selected, so you can either group them, or just move on and deselect them.


                              You still are not grasping this, I may have to make a video.

                              • 12. Re: Group Hidden Elements after using show all
                                Peter Spier ACP/MVPs

                                No, I do grasp this. And I believe you find it useful, and it may well be in a power-user Illustrator scenario.


                                I've been using InDesign since it was realeased, and switched from Quark to ID to make my living at version 2.0. I've been involved with the development team, and I am considered to be an expert in ID, and I can tell you that in all of the time I've worked with ID, I've never missed this feature, and I've never seen anyone, including any Illustrator power user, other than yourself, suggest that it would help them.


                                Your other thread in the ID general discussions has received no comments at all after four days, a rarity on the ID forum, and I seem to be the only person other than you with anything more than passing interest in this thread. There are currently 147 views, some of which are you and I, but msot of those are probably unique visits. Does it say anything to you that none of those people has said "gee, I think that's a good idea, too, and I wish it was an InDesign feature"?


                                Go ahead and submit the request. You never know. My experience debating the merits of propsed new features tells me that you'll need more than you've presented to get it implemented, though.

                                • 13. Re: Group Hidden Elements after using show all
                                  Mike Gondek2 MVP

                                  Yes there were many views to the post and no response, and I have questioned that maybe this is not important to InDesign users. I do not believe that to be the case though, as I have asked a few other people and everyone of of them thought this was a great request and were as disapointed as I am that this exists. "Glad I am not working in InDesign then", "I requested that years ago myself",  "that is why I rarely use hide in InDesign" are responses I had.


                                  Out of curiosity why would you want items to be unselected, after you do show all? What benefit do you get with that being the default? Why would you want to lose that slection, where you could group, move, send to another layer, transform.

                                  • 14. Re: Group Hidden Elements after using show all
                                    Peter Spier ACP/MVPs

                                    I hide things becasue I DON'T want them accidentally selected, or because I just don't want to see them. I have no reason to want to have them suddenly selected every time they are shown again so I have to wast effort to deselect.


                                    I think there are some fundamental differences between the kinds of things that typically are done in Illustrator, where you work with myriad small objects that get in each other's way to make a larger illustration, and in ID where you mostly are dealing with aranging text and linked graphical elements (somtimes from Illustrator) on a page.

                                    • 15. Re: Group Hidden Elements after using show all
                                      Laubender MVP

                                      @Mike – I rarely missed that feature the last years, but that's because I am using Illustrator not that often. If I think about it more deeply, I could imagine that such a feature would be valuable for InDesign, too…


                                      What would help you is a script, that can do what you want. Just written one and tested. But before posting code, let's discuss the functionality a bit more:


                                      What is possible:


                                      1. A script that addresses all hidden page items (provided they are not locked) on the current spread, pasteboard included, unhide them, group them and selecting the group.


                                      2. A script that addresses all hidden page items (provided they are not locked) on the current spread, pasteboard included, deselect all currently selected page items, unhide the hidden ones and select them.
                                      That's all. No grouping…


                                      I find the second approach more valuable, because  you have the choice what you can do with the selection: delete it, group it, move it around on the spread, move it to another layer etc.pp.


                                      Also: how about locked page items that are hidden?
                                      Would it be good to change the document preferences (if needed) so that you could select locked obejects?
                                      How about a message in case the script detects locked and hidden page items that let you choose:


                                      [ ] include locked and hidden page items



                                      My script is in development, so I want to discuss the above points, before proceeding.
                                      It's written in JavaScript (ExtendScript) so that it can be used on Mac OS or Windows OS.

                                      And: you could assign a keyboard shortcut to the script…



                                      • 16. Re: Group Hidden Elements after using show all
                                        Mike Gondek2 MVP

                                        Thank you for working on a script! Yes  #2 is defintley better IMO.


                                        So we are understanding each other. You cannot lock an item that is hidden. You can though have a hidden locked item if:

                                        • The entire page is locked after items were hidden
                                        • The item is hidden on a master page (InDesign should really give you a warning syaing "you have hidden itmes on a master page, do yo wish to reveal them and continue or delete them")
                                        • anything else I am missing?


                                        Unlocking items already works this way as your #2. An you hit it on the nose by deciding to do this by spread as lock does.


                                        Being able to use a keyboard shortuct will be important, thank you! I would edit my exisitng keyboard shortcut for opt cmd 3.


                                        Does not matter to me about the warning of hidden locked items, won't really run into that as don't have a reason to hidden locked items.


                                        I am working on a >1100 page catalog, with 4 - 9  products per page. So being able to group will be great so we can fit each product into 1, 1.5, or 2 colums. Each product possibly has a logo, product number, icons for , callout text violator, various icons representing claims, specifications table. So being able to group all these per all 6000 products will make shuffling around and resizing easier.  In many cases I can drag a selection frame and group, but missing one small icon or product number is frustrating, adn being able to add hide as a checkpoint really helps us out.

                                        • 17. Re: Group Hidden Elements after using show all
                                          Laubender MVP

                                          anything else I am missing?


                                          @Mike – unfortunately, yes!


                                          You can change the preferences for locked objects, so that you can select them.

                                          Therefore it's possible to generate single objects that are locked AND hidden.


                                          And a script should deal with that case. Maybe not now, but in the future you are changing your habbits and working with different preferences and objects that are locked and hidden ;-)


                                          Ok. I will expand the script in the next days so that it could detect hidden and locked objects, and if so, and only then, will ask the user, if thiese objects should be made visible and selected too…


                                          That brings me to my final question: what version of InDesign do you use on what OS platform?



                                          • 18. Re: Group Hidden Elements after using show all
                                            Mike Gondek2 MVP

                                            Will look into that prefernces for making locked and hidden objects. Do not see a use at the moment for that, but you never know what you can discover with an open mind.


                                            Mac platform. 


                                            Thank you again, and no hurry I get paid by the hour on this job.

                                            • 19. Re: Group Hidden Elements after using show all
                                              Peter Spier ACP/MVPs

                                              Prior to the improved layers panel in CS5 Locked objects could always be selected. With the changed panel came a behavior change to not being able to selct locked objects (as in Illustrator), but during testing I raised the issue that this broke many tempaltes and workflows where a placeholder frame would be locked for position. If you can't select it you can't place content into it or edit the content, so it was made a preference item.