CMN 448: InDesign page layout introduction

By | March 6, 2020

InDesign to create a mood board

InDesign is a publishing software used to create layouts of posters, brochures, magazines, flyers, etc.

Specific use:

  • Use to arrange and layout your assets/content
  • Do not use to create logos, illustrations or edit photos

Software Overview

This is an introductory workshop for InDesign. You will learn how to create a mood board, save your work and export a PDF. While working on the mood board, you will get around the workspace, work with the basic 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.
  • Each category shows various sizes and document options.
  • For this project, we are going to select a print document and to use a size of 11×17 inches, Horizontal orientation. We are going to set a bleed of 0.125

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.

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.

Setting up our canvas

Using guides

  • 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 a spread
  • If you want to view a preview of your document, press W.

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 placing images/text to InDesign.

  • The tools used to create Frames are located in the toolbox and are:
    • Type tool: That contains text and connects text frames together so text can flow from one frame to another.
    • Frame tools: used to mask parts of the image. 
    • Shape tools: used for shapes that can be filled with colours.
  • You create Frames to be used as placeholders (a frame without content).

Create a layout with the Frame Tool, shape tool and Type Tool

  • For this project, we will design the layout of our mood board with placeholder frames first.
  • Please go to InDesign>Preferences>General and check to Make content-aware fit.

Creating our Mood Board

Place images into our mood board layout

  • Once you have your layout ready, click the independent parts and type cmnd+D
  • Go to the folder where you collect your images and select the desired image
  • Click open
  • Repeat for each image
  • For more options, go to properties panel>frame fitting

Add text with the Type tool

  • Select the Type tool in the toolbox.
  • With the text cursor in the text frame, type your text. The text will wrap once it reaches the right edge of the text frame. 
  • To add placeholder text Choose Type > Fill With Placeholder Text 
  • 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, use the options in the Properties panel.

Connect text frames

  • Overset text: when the text doesn’t fit in the frame. A red plus will appear in the out port.
  • Threading text: Text frames have an in port and out port that is used to connect text frames so that text flows between them. 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.

Exporting our Mood Board

  • First, save your InDesign file by typing Cmnd+S
  • Choose File > Export to export a pdf version of the file.
  • Be sure you are exporting to the correct folder.