American Lives- InDesign

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Intro to InDesign

InDesign is used to combine text and images in preparation for print.

File Management

Working in InDesign it's important to keep your project file and assets (images, text files) together in the same project folder.

  1. Create a new folder on your desktop or in a documents folder. Name it yourlastname_project.
  2. Copy all images and text files you are going to use in your project into a subfolder (called imports) in this project folder

Creating a Booklet

InDesign supports creating printer spreads for printing booklets. A printer spread refers to two or more pages that fall next to each other on a sheet of paper. For example, if you’re editing an 8-page booklet, the pages appear in sequential order in the layout window. However, in printer spreads, page 2 can be positioned next to page 7, so that when the two pages are printed on the same sheet, 3 folded, and collated, the pages end up in the appropriate order.

The process of creating printer spreads from layout spreads is called impositionIt is generally easier to work in Layout Spread where the pages are ordered sequentially. Converting your project to a printer spread should be done just before you’re ready to print.

Document Setup

These setup instructions walk through creating an 8 page booklet printed doubled sided on 8.5 x 11 in paper. Each "page" will occupy half of the letter size paper.

To start a new booklet:

  1. Choose File > New > Document > Print
  2. Change units to Inches
  3. Choose Letter - Half 5.5 x 8.5 for your Page Size
  4. Type the Number of Pages in your field, in this case 4 for the cover pages and how ever many you need for the inside pages including a title page if you want (we’ll use 2 double sided 1/2 sheets of letter).
  5. Select Facing Pages—gives you left and right-hand pages in your document.
  6. Set orientation to Portrait.
  7. Setting the Margins: choose .5 in all around
  8. Enter 1 as the Number of Columns
  9. Click Create

Save it into your project folder

Margins and Guides

  1. Note the margins of your document. Make sure to keep your text and artwork within this boundary
  2. Add a Guide to help you place and align objects on your document
    • With the black arrow select tool, click and drag from the ruler area into your document

Adding Page numbers

Master Document

To add page numbers to your inDesign document you'll need to work with the Master Document located in the Pages palette. Master Pages work like templates for your document. Any text, objects, or graphics you place on the Master Page will appear on all your pages—for example, Headers and Footers.

Adding page numbers
  1. Double click on the A-Master document in the pages palette
  2. Select the Type tool and create a text box where you'd like the page number to appear
    • If you document has facing pages you will need to add the text box on both pages
  3. With the Type tool selected and active in your newly created text box go Type > Insert Special Characters > Markers > Current Page Number
    • The Letter "A" will appear - this is a place holder and will be replaced with the current page number.
  4. Leave the Master document by double-clicking one of your pages from the pages palette - you should now see page numbers replace the "A"
  5. to delete or edit a page number ctrl shit on the page number and hit delete.
  6. To restart numbering, in the pages panel select the page you want the numbering to start on
  7. Then choose Layout > Numbering & Section Options and select start page numbering at: 1

Adding Text

  1. Select the Text tool and drag diagonally to create a frame on your document, start typing.
    • You can also Copy and Paste text from other applications
  2. Using the black arrow tool select a corner of the bounding box to resize
Text Flow

You can flow text between multiple text boxes

  1. Text boxes that are too small to contain all of the text will have a red + box in the lower right corner
  2. Click this box and the cursor changes to the "Text Loaded" cursor
  3. Click anywhere on your document and a new text box will be created flowing text from the previous text box
  4. Use Guides and your Margins to snap text boxes into alignment
Formatting Text
  1. Select the text you want to format (CTRL A to Select All is a useful shortcut here)
  2. Change your type using the character and paragraph options in the top property bar
Adding Placeholder Text

If you want to work on your layout without the final text you will use, you can add Placeholder Text.

Do this by selecting Type > Fill with Placeholder Text

Add an image

By default, images placed into InDesign are only linked. It is important to have a good file management strategy to keep your images properly linked to your InDesign document.

  1. Make sure nothing is selected in your document before you place your graphics!
  2. Go File > Place to place your image
  3. Locate the image on your local hard drive that you want to place and click Open
  4. Your cursor changes to the "Image Loaded" cursor. Click your cursor where you'd like the image placed.
To resize your image

With the black arrow select tool Indesign-select-tool.png selected

  1. hold down the Control AND Shift key then grab a corner of the bounding box and drag to resize.
    • Note what happens if you forget to hold down these keys...
To crop your image

With the black arrow select tool Indesign-select-tool.png selected

  1. click and drag the bounding box (without holding down CMD+shift).
Move your image
  1. To move a frame together with its content, use the black selection tool Indesign-select-tool.png to click the image outside the content grabber.
  2. To move imported content without moving the frame (that is, to pan content behind its frame), drag the content grabber.
    • You can also use the Direct Selection tool Indesign-direct-select-tool.png to select and drag the image.

Text wrap around an image

  1. Select the image and from the top properties bar and choose the text wrap option you'd like
  2. Move a text box near/over and image to see the text wrap around the object

Wrapping it up

Placed images in InDesign are by default only linked to the original image files. There are advantages to this but it can create problems when moving files around. You must move your graphics and images together (see File Management strategies above).

Finishing your project for print

Your final step is to export your InDesign document. This should be done when you are finished editing your document. This exported PDF document should be uploaded to the Orca File Share Workspace Folder.

  1. Save your work File > Save
  2. Copy the entire project folder containing your InDesign files, texts, and images to your cubby in Orca file share. You can now work on this project for additional sessions.
  3. When you have completed your project and need to ready your file for print, Go File > Export
  4. Rename the file under Save As with your last name
  5. Make sure the Format is Adobe PDF (Print)
  6. Select your desktop folder as the save location
  7. Click Save.
  8. In the Export Adobe dialogue box make sure that Pages - All, Pages, and View PDF after Exporting is selected.
  9. Click Export.
  10. Review your exported folder and make sure that you see all of your pages.
  11. Upload the PDF to the Orca file share in Workspace folder so it can be printed.

Printing Booklets From InDesign

Printing Booklets (Windows) - InDesign

Additional resources