In this introductory workshop for InDesign, you will learn how to create and save your work, get around the workspace, work with the essential tools, set guides, work with frames, use text, and place images.
Make a new document
The Start screen will welcome you when you open the InDesign application. There you will find a list of your recent files.
- Go to Create New and select the best preset for your project.
- Each category shows various sizes and document options.
If you are already working on a document but want to create a new one:
- Choose File > New > Document.
Saving your document
We need to keep all our files and versions organized to be able to access them quickly later:
- Choose File > Save
- Click the arrow that appears next to the bar that reads “Save As”
- Click New Folder to create a folder to contain your file
- Save in InDesign (INDD) format to retain layers, type, and other editable InDesign content.
There are other options for saving your file, here is a quick explanation:
- Choose File > Save As and choose IDML to save your project as a file that is backwards-compatible with previous versions of Adobe InDesign.
- Choose File > Export to export a pdf version
- Choose File > Save As and get familiar with versioning
The InDesign workspace
- Document window (in the middle) displays the file you’re currently working on. Open documents will appear as tabs in the Document window.
- Menu bar (at the very top) gives you access to a variety of commands
- Toolbox (on the left) contains tools for creating and editing artwork. Similar tools are grouped together. You can access them by clicking and holding a tool in the toolbox.
- Panels (on the right) Contain a variety of controls. You can find a full list of panels under the Window menu.
The selection tool
- V – Selects and moves content. The panels change according to what is selected with the selection tool. Be sure of work around your document with the selection tool.
- Window: Shows all the tools and panels. The ones that are checked are showing. You can check new panels and customize your workspace. When you select one is a free standing panel, you can move it and dock it wherever you want. To dock, drag the panel by the TAB
- You can create guides by dragging them out of the rulers
- You can move them manually or by Right Click > Move guides
- If you want to erase all your guides go to View > Grids & Guides > Delete all guides on spread
Working with frames
Text and images in InDesign reside within a frame. You can create frames to place your text / images within or let a frame to be created automatically when place images / text to InDesign.
- The tools used to create Frames are located in the toolbox and are:
- Type tool
- Frame tools
- Shape tools
- You create Frames to be used as placeholders (a frame without content).
- The frame for text has two small boxes: one in the lower-right corner and another in the upper-left. They are used to connect frames together so text can flow from one frame to another.
- The frame for images is used to mask parts of the image.
Add text with the Type tool
- Select the Type tool in the toolbox.
- Create a frame by dragging it in the document. If you already had a frame, just click on it.
- With the text cursor in the text frame, type your text. Text will wrap once it reaches the right edge of the text frame.
- To add placeholder text Choose Type > Fill With Placeholder Text
- Modifying the Text Frame will wrap the text within it. A red plus will appear in the lower-right corner of the frame if the text doesn’t fit because the frame is too small.
- To format the text you use the options in the Properties panel.
- You can also import text from an outside source, such as .DOC, .RTF, or .TXT. Text can be pasted, dragged, or placed into an InDesign document.
- Import text by choosing File > Place (cmnd +d)
- Click to place text in an existing text frame, or click (or click and drag) to have InDesign create a text frame.
- You can see the document without guides by selecting the Screen Mode button at the bottom of the toolbox and going to Preview.
- Click the same button to choose Normal.
Connect text frames
- Threading text: Text frames have an in port and an out port that are used to connect text frames so that text flows between them.
- Overset text: when the text doesn’t fit in the frame. A red plus will appear in the out port.
Create columns of text
- With the Type Tool selected, type your text in the text frame.
- Choose Object > Text Frame Options. Set the number of columns to 2 and select Balance Columns to balance the paragraphs of text.
- You can modify the separation between the columns using the gutter
To thread text:
- Click on the text frame and then click the out port to load a text cursor.
- You will have a loaded text now.
- You can place the loaded text within an existing text frame or drag to create a new text frame.
- To view the threads between the frames, go to View > Extras > Show Text Threads.