Indesign – It is more than a decade since Adobe InDesign has entered the publishing arena and it is not hard to believe that InDesign is leading the markets right from the day it struck the world. InDesign is much better and extended version of Adobe’s previous counterpart Pagemaker. But the later took the publishing to the next level providing features, tools and additions that added more value to the publishing Industry.
InDesign is comprehensive software that is made to design requirements for diverse domains of Multimedia Industry. InDesign’s well structured and handy features can come to use for newspapers, books, newsletters, magazines, advertisements and the best for the publishing industry. In its recent versions, the software took a giant leap in accommodating layouts for new age technologies such as smartphones, tablets and iPads.
Through this article, “A beginner’s guide to InDesign”, we aim to provide sophisticated information about the InDesign software that helps those who are fairly new to the field.
Creating a new document and print settings
To create a new document, open Adobe InDesign. As soon as the software is loaded, the introduction window pops up, through which you can access existing files or recently closed files. However, you can also create new documents and access Adobe’s help files from the bottom left of the window.
Creating a new document according to our print requirement is not available by default, so you should find your way through. InDesign allows you to work in points, millimeters, inches and more units as per your convenience. In this case, I want to work in inches, and I will prepare the document.
Edit > Preferences > Units & Increments
Under Units & Increments – Select Rulers and Units – Change the Horizontal and Vertical fields as per your requirement. Here, I am changing them into Inches.
You can now start creating a new document in two ways
- You can use the shortcut keys by typing Ctrl+N
- You may click on the Document link on the ID Introduction window
You will now find in the window the units are displayed in the Inches as we already made the adjustments to the document.
You can never master InDesign without understanding the workflow of the Adobe’s most famous Layers palette. In the recent versions, InDesign Layers palettes are added with valuable changes, mostly borrowed from the Vector software Adobe Illustrator. In case you have previous knowledge of Illustrator, it will sure help you understand the part easily.
Open an existing Indesign document. To open the Layers palette,
Click F7 or Window > Layers
The layers palette pops up, and you will notice the drop down arrow on layer 1. When you click on the arrow, the layers palette opens to arrays of sub-layers that are predefined with individual item as text, shape and imported graphics.
Change layer name
To change the name of the layer, double click on the existing layer name. You will find the cursor arrow changing into a finger cursor, and the text is selected in Blue. Type the name you want to give the layer.
Lock the Layer
Just as in any every other Adobe layers palette, the lock and visibility icons are seen arranged just before the layers palette. You may click on the lock symbol to activate the layers lock, so you will not disturb the contents of the layers. You can also hide the layers content by disabling the eye symbol and place it in the hidden mode.
In case you want to group the content in two or more layers you may choose to place required layers and create a group. It allows to move, hide and lock a set of layers together saving your time working on them.
By default, InDesign will name the Group as Group1, Group2. You may choose to rename groups in the same way as mentioned in the Layers column.
Rulers and Guidelines
In every part of the Designing world, precision perfection is essential. When it comes to publishing the need is more intense. And the best way to achieve is by using the Rulers and Guides to arrange the elements of your design in a perfect alignment.
Turn Rulers on & off
By default, InDesign opens a document with the rulers turned on. But working with rulers on is not always comfortable and not essential when you are not working with them. You can turn rulers on and off in the following ways
- Toggle between Rulers on & off options by using Ctrl + R shortcut
- You can manually do the same by
View > Show Rulers
View > Hide Rulers
It is essential to change the units of your ruler as per your requirement, especially when you are working for print-based job or publishing jobs.
To change the units of the rulers choose one of the following methods
Right click on the rulers bar – You can see a pop-up window with the list of the units mentioned in it – Click on the required unit to change the rulers as per your requirement. Do not forget to change the units of both horizontal and vertical ruler individually, as changing the units of one ruler is not applied to the other.
Edit > Preferences > Units & Increments >
It will take you to the Preferences window. Under the Ruler Units > Change the Horizontal and Vertical unit.
By default, the 0 point on the ruler is arranged to the top left of the document. InDesign perceives that your document starts the top left side, and it is where the ruler should start counting the width and height.
In case you want to set your preferences of where to start counting the documents follow the below methods
Click on the top left corner, where both horizontal and vertical rulers intersect and drag the rulers to the point where you want the units to start.
If you have an idea of Photoshop or Illustrator, there is not much to know about the Guidelines, as they work much like the same in every software.
Guidelines are used to align objects precisely in your work area. With the help of guidelines text, objects and every other element can be placed uniformly maintaining the coherency within the design.
To show the guidelines click on the ruler and drag it onto the required area. A horizontal ruler sends out a horizontal guideline, and a vertical ruler sends a vertical guideline.
To know the X & Y coordinate values of the document while adjusting the guidelines, press ctrl/cmd and drag the lines to see the unit values of the guide position.
If you are working with the facing pages in InDesign, your guideline will cut through both the pages. Some designers do not like it as guidelines can obstruct designers works diverting their concentration. In such cases, you can limit the guidelines to one page where you intend and use for both pages where it is required.
Setting the guidelines is very simple task
To set a guideline across the facing pages, click and drag the guide outside the document.
To set a guideline on a single page, click and drag the guide inside the document area.
Importing type content is never seen as a complex matter. In fact, the text is the only object that can easily flow from one platform to another without any obstruction. Simply copying and pasting the text is one step everyone knows and saves ample time. However, it is not the only way to copy the text in InDesign. It opens more possibilities with import options through which the user can have total control over type.
Importing a text document
If you already have your typo readily from a word doc file, you may choose to place it directly into your InDesign document.
Follow the process to copy a word doc typo
File > Place
Start navigating towards the word file you want to place.
Before opening the word file in your document, select the file to activate the show import options. Check the box and click open. A new window appears on your screen with a variety of importing options mainly divided into three parts.
It shows the options what parts of the word document do you want to include in your InDesign document.
Checking the box will allow the curly quotation marks in with the typo
It is common to format your word documents in various styles. Importing the document as it is may cause several obstructions in the typo, especially in the places where there is formatting that InDesign may not decode.
In case you want the clear text to be read, deselect the tick options and gain total control over the text.
Once you passed through this stage, you are ready to import the type into your document with a single click. You can already observe the change in your cursor as you find it much sharper with few lines beside it. Click on the area where you want to place your type and start adjusting it as per your requirement.
Indesign can open all popular formats of images as JPEG, TIFF, EPS, PDF and every Adobe format. But what you think you are importing and showing on your document is not a copy of the image you created, but it is only a preview that is taken from the link you obtained from.
Importing Images is a different process in InDesign compared to Photoshop and Illustrator. We will discuss few of the methods you will use to import images.
Before you start creating a document, you should remember that Adobe InDesign is software used for publication, typesetting and layout designing and it is not possible to create professional graphics in this software. Whatever be the image of graphic you want to input into the layout should be prepared in other software like Photoshop, Illustrator or Coreldraw and brought into InDesign readily. So keep your images and graphics ready before you reach the layout stage.
You can places an image by using the shortcut Ctrl + D or by following through
File > Place and navigate the folder where you graphic is located.
You will see the cursor changed into the face of the graphic. Click the icon where you want to place it and adjust the size.
You place the image directly to the size you want to obtain. Click and drag the image in the layout as much as you want. This avoids the burden of resizing your image in the case of larger image sizes.
Threading Text in InDesign
Before InDesign introduced the Threading Text feature, playing with text is a huge task which needs numerous type frames. With threading text, Indesign links text frames and allows the text to flow from one frame to another as soon as the former frame is filled. The process is controlled manually by drawing the following text frames in the shapes and sizes as required by the designer.
Create a new document and draw an empty text frame.
Go to Type > Fill with Placeholder Text
Shrink the text frame to half its size
You will immediately observe a red box on the lower right corner of the text frame. It indicates that there is more text to be displayed and overflowing out of the text frame.
Click on the red box and observe the change in the cursor. You will see the cursor changed into a paragraph. Click and drag the cursor where you want the remaining text to appear.
InDesign is a comprehensive software with a whole bunch of important elements that you can use at every corner. It is not possible to define and fit the best tools in a single post. This is an attempt to give the fundamental information, which is required for every fresher to start with. We hope you find the article helpful and start your InDesign with the tools mentioned above.
Here are some articles that will help you to get more detail about the How To Use Indesign so just go through the link