Adobe InDesign CS6 has become the industry standard programme for desktop publishing. The majority of people working in publishing will come across it during their careers, and people working in editorial or design and production will most likely become very familiar with it. It may be used to produce layouts in publishing houses that are then sent to printers or converted into ebooks or by editors who are working on text corrections or proofreading.
Many people who don’t have a design background however, can get very nervous about working with InDesign. This is why I am going to be working on a blog series on the basics of the programme showing you how to create simple document layouts; how to place text and work with images
InDesign is fairly intuitive and easy to pick up and I hope these brief introductions are helpful to those in publishing who want to improve their design knowledge – or at least have some sense of what the production department is talking about!
To practice these steps you will need to download a 30 day trial of the software from: https://www.adobe.com/cfusion/tdrc/index.cfm?product=indesign_server
There are also many useful websites to gain much more information listed below:
Adobe Community: http://forums.adobe.com/index.jspa
Adobe InDesign Help and Support: https://helpx.adobe.com/indesign.html
Adobe TV: http://tv.adobe.com/
Adobe Design Centre http://blogs.adobe.com/designcenter/
Creative Bloq: http://www.creativebloq.com/graphic-design-tips/indesign-tutorials-1232639
A typical InDesign workspace looks like this
The first screen that you will come to when you open up a blank InDesign document is your workspace. The workspace has the following features:
• Menu Bar
• Application Bar
• Control Panel
• Tools Panel
• Pasteboard and pages
It will also have selection tools in the left hand corner such as the Type Tool for inserting text into frames and the Rectangle Frame Tool which is used for creating image frames. To move around inside your workspace use the Hand Tool and to selection items the Selection Tool. To move between pages double click on the relevant page icon within the Pages Panel.
InDesign has a selection of pre-set workspaces for different purposes e.g. Typography, Digital Publishing, Printing and Proofing. If you want to save your own customised workspace for future use just go to Window > Workspace > New Workspace and in the dialogue box enter the name e.g. magazine1 and if necessary tick Panel Locations and Menu Customization.
New Document Settings dialogue box
To open a new document in InDesign go to File > New Document and click OK.
With InDesign you can set up a document to:
• have a certain number of pages
• have pages of different sizes a set number of columns
• specified margins
and so on.
To do this go to File > Document Presets and in the dialogue box enter your chosen values.
From now on you will only have to select these premade settings for every similar document you wish to make.
When you enter values for your Margins be careful to select or deselect the Make All Settings the Same icon in the centre of these settings depending on whether you want your inside, outside, bottom and top margins to be the same.
When testing your document to see if it is ready to be outputted e.g. the colour settings are appropriate for its purpose, you can double click the Preflight button in the bottom left hand corner of the document window.
This button will display as a red warning sign while you work so that you can rectify any errors as they happen. To get more information about an error double click on it. Typical problems include overset text which will be discussed later on.
The Preflight view detects errors to be fixed before outputting
To rearrange pages in the Page panel select them by double clicking and push them upwards or down depending on your design. Note that different layouts may then be applied depending on the relationship between the previous page and its Master page (more on that later). To delete pages select them and then the trash icon at the bottom of the panel.
To switch between two or more open documents in your workspace go to Window and a list of currently open documents will be displayed. Select the one you would like to bring to the front.
A typical Pages panel view with an A-Master page
When you are working on a typical InDesign document you may have many pages but the same basic layout on each which helps to keep the design coherent. Master pages save you time by allowing you to apply one layout onto many Document pages in your Pages panel. To do this click and drag your Master page icon across the Document pages or choose Apply Master from the Panel Menu and click OK.
Your document may eventually contain many Master pages so to avoid confusion rename them by going to Window > Pages and confirm that the Masters page in question is still open. Then type in a name e.g. four column layout and click OK.
To override a Master page item on a Document page press Shift + Ctrl (Windows) or Shift + Command (Mac OS) and click on the object to select it. You can now delete or manipulate the object as you wish.
To be continued …