New Window Command in InDesign to See the Same Document in Two Windows One Next to Another

New Window Command in InDesign to See the Same Document in Two Windows One Next to Another
Image downloaded from Adobe Stock.

Adobe InDesign has one very useful but lesser known command which can display the same document in two windows one next to another. This feature can be useful in many situations like when changing text/text color or design elements or to compare for duplicates if you are creating a catalog with products.

In this tutorial, I will explain to you when, why and how to use New Window command in Adobe InDesign.

Why and how to use New Window command

Command New Window for [document name] is located under Window > Arrange sub-menu. This command will create a new window by cloning the existing one and divide/split document window into half. The first document window on the left side will display [:1] as an addition at the end of the document name in the document tab title bar. The second or cloned instance will display [:2] as an addition at the end of the document name in the document tab title bar.

You will know which window is active by looking at document tab title bar. Active document has lighter font color.
Active document window in InDesign has lighter font color in the document tab title bar
You can recognize which window is active by looking at document tab title bar. Active window is displaying document name with lighter font color.


Now comes the question: why and when to use new window command? There are many scenarios where New Window can be useful, I will mention a few of them:

  • When you want to change color for selected text, for example, a new window will immediately display text with new color applied without distracting highlight. As you already know, the text will be highlighted when selected. The next step after changing color is to deselect text so you can see changes in context. When using New Window command text color change will immediately reflect in the second window which won't be affected with highlight behind selected text because in that window nothing was selected. 
  • Change font color and see immediately change in new window
  • When you are working with an article which is split across multiple pages you can watch how changes affect connected frame(s). Any change will affect connected text frames but you cannot see them all in one window. Let's say that you want to delete some text or to move, resize and reposition design element which will affect text flow. You can see changes on the same page/frame but not how that change will affect text in the connected frame.
  • When designing catalogs, for example, you can check for duplicates. It happens sometimes to use the same product image twice without to realize that. With a new window, you can quickly check for suspicious duplicates and compare them side by side.
  • Compare pages for duplicates in InDesign


Product used in this tutorial:
Adobe Indesign CC 14.0.2


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