InDesign Basics


Setting Up Documents

Starting a document

  • Welcome screen should appear, if not go to Help and select Welcome Screen
  • Go to New, select Document
  • Two types of documents (can be changed later) – print or web
  • Facing pages check box allows you to create two pages that are bound by a common spine
  • Columns – should be either two or three
  • Save preset if you select these settings commonly

Getting around your document

  • Shows how to open an existing document and how to get around a document by zooming in and out and panning around
  • To open document use ctrl o
  • Greek text is shown as bars but is not how the text will print or export; once you zoom in the text will appear as letters, not Greek
  • zoom in press ctrl +; zoom out press ctrl –
  • zoom tool – press z key
  • to access hand tool for panning around – press and hold spacebar
  • if text is active press and hold the alt key and drag around in order to scroll the document
  • pressing alt and spacebar at the same time, you will always get the hand tool

Working with rulers and guides

  • to change unit of measure on rulers, right click the ruler and choose the desired unit of measure
  • maroon lines show where to include data; purple lines show the column divisions
  • toggle pages press F12
  • every single guide you create can be a custom color
  • to create a guide select Layout then select Create guides

Formatting text

Making text frames

  • shows how to create a text frame, which is a container that holds text inside a document
  • a text object must be active inside a document because InDesign relies on the objects in order to be able to scale every different object
  • to create a new text frame use the rectangle frame tool by pressing the f key
  • to select the type tool press the t key
  • you can also create a text frame directly by using the type tool and then dragging inside the document
  • go to menu and then fill with placeholder text to fill a text frame with text
  • go to object and then select text frame options to align text differently

Formatting type

  • learn how to apply character letter formatting attributes (typeface, style, size etc.) to text inside InDesign
  • leading is the same as line spacing which is the horizontal distance between lines of type
  • ctrl shift > – incrementally increase size of text
  • ctrl shift < – incrementally decrease size of text

Formatting entire paragraphs

  • introduction to paragraph level formatting attributes such as alignment, indent, and paragraph spacing
  • go to type menu and select show invisible characters
  • to distinguish paragraphs use first line indent; usually 1p or 1p6
  • usually either use paragraph spacing or line indent

Color typing

  • shows how to add color to both text and text frames
  • color is a character level formatting attribute
  • click A in top left hand corner

Using Automated Formatting

Creating paragraph styles

  • learn how to work with paragraph styles which rank among the most essential ingredients to successfully laying out pages
  • a paragraph styles enables you to apply entire collections of both character and level formatting attributes
  • go to Essentials button and select Advanced to bring up more panels, then click on the works paragraph styles

Adding bullets and numbers

  • shows how to automate the creation of  bulleted and numbered lists
  • can either choose bulleted or  numbered list; can be changed later
  • to change bullet, go to drop down menu on the top right hand corner and select Bullets and Numbering
  • raise first line indent before you raise left indent

Formatting Pages and Pouring

Navigation pages

  • learn how to navigate between pages and how to add and delete pages
  • toggle pages, press F12
  • to fit the spread in a window, press ctrl + opt + 0
  • move forward 1 page: shift + page down
  • move backward 1 page : shift + page up
  • ctrl j to jump to a specific page
  • to add a page between pages press alt + click

Placing and flowing text

  • shows the manual approach as well as automated tips on how to import text
  • red arrow box shows the error message; double click to open
  • click on cursor sign and then move the text to the next frame
  • clicking and dragging the yellow diamonds curves the top of a text box

Using master pages

  • learn how to exploit master pages which allow you to repeat text and graphic elements over multiple pages inside of a document
  • also allow you to establish footers and folios which include footers
  • go to the pages panel and select A-master
  • to insert a page number go to Type, Insert Special Character, Markets, Current page number or Alt + Shift + Ctrl + N

Adding Photographs and Art

Placing images

  • learn how to import image files; includes any type of image format
  • introduces links panel
  • shows how to place multiple images at the same time
  • go to File, Place or Ctrl + d
  • Links menu keeps track of linked files
  • to import all images in a single operation, drag from one corner to the opposite side of the page
  • to add columns press right arrow key; to remove columns press left arrow key
  • to add rows press up and down arrows

Adjusting display performance

  • shows how to repair a broken link
  • then demonstrates display performance which controls the quality of your image on screen
  • every link needs to be fine in order for the document to print correctly or export correctly
  • red question mark shows that a link needs to be fixed; correct by clicking on broken link button
  • go to View menu, Display performance, High Quality Display – shows how image will really print
  • to override display on a particular, single graphic, right click, select Display Performance and then High Quality Display
  • to get ride of Greeking, to go Edit Menu, Preferences, Display Performance; then reduce Greek Type Below to zero then select Adjust View Settings to High Quality

Adding strokes and fills

  • demonstrates a few uses for fills and strokes
  • the fill is the color inside an object
  • the stroke is the color and style of its outline
  • to fill a shape, go to the control panel and click the arrow next to it
  • go to Window Menu and then stroke panel

Cropping and scaling

  • learn how to crop and scale images
  • to scale press ctrl and drag a handle
  • to preserve the original proportions of an image press ctrl + shift and drag

Combining Type and Graphics

Stacking and layering objects

  • demonstrates concepts of stacking and layering
  • allow you to determine which objects are in front and which objects are in back inside a document
  • swap fill and stroke command is shift + x
  • InDesign will always place images in the foreground
  • to move an object to the bottom of a stack right click then press arrange, then send to back

Wrapping text around a graphic

  • demonstrates how to wrap text around a graphic using the text wrap panel
  • go to Window menu and select Text wrap
  • select ctrl + alt + w to bring up text wrap panel
  • to create a controlled buffer select either offset button and increase or decrease it
  • click the broken chain icon to link all the offsets to link to one another
  • apply the offset to the object itself, not the text

Making a quick logo

  • learn how to create a logo
  • must convert letters to graphics when creating a logo
  • use direct selection tool or select tool

Saving and Printing

Saving your document

  • learn how to save a document

Preparing your document for printing

  • learn how to successfully prepare a document for output
  • learn bleeds and preflighting

Exporting a PDF

  • learn how to commercially reproduce a document
  • before sending the document to a printer, it must be bundled into a PDF document
  • shows how to export a PDF document



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s