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Adobe InDesign CC for Beginners

Lesson 2 of 34

Document Set-Up


Adobe InDesign CC for Beginners

Lesson 2 of 34

Document Set-Up


Lesson Info

Document Set-Up

The first thing I'm gonna do, I already have it open, I'm gonna hide that. I want to pretend it wasn't open at all. And I just want to show you how we get into the application. So most people know if you're on a Mac we can come down to the dock and launch it from down below, if we want. But what I really want to concentrate on is I want you to be able to see what the icons look like. Now I'm using 2018, they did change the icons recently so it's going to be similar but we really want to look at is the extension. And I actually am going to open up one thing here. I want to open up a little zoom tool that I have here just that we can actually see what's going on. And I can zoom in on that we can look and see that the extension on an InDesign document, which is basically mostly what we'll be working with in this course. There are some other specialized versions of InDesign files that have other extensions. But an InDesign file is a .INDD extension. So that's an InDesign document. So if yo...

u see something like this we can double click on it and we'll go ahead and launch the application. So when I launch that or double click on that it launches this particular document that we have open. But if we don't have that open at all and we just want to create a new document from scratch or we want to open up one, we can for a new one I'm gonna go ahead and do file, new, and choose document. And from here we're gonna start setting in, putting in all the parameters that we need to create a new document. And I know a lot of people just create new document, hit OK, and to go and that's great if you create the same sorts of documents over and over again but chances are at some point you're going to want a different sort of document. And we need to know where it's going from the very beginning we need to know where it's going to end up at the end because that's one of the first questions it's going to ask us. Because InDesign can be used for print and digital and web, mobile, and that's sort of a sort of morphing and it's basically print and then this whole Digital Ecosystem over here, which encompasses a lot of different things. So when we start out we sort of need to know where this document is going and that's the first thing it's going to ask us, when we create a new document. Now if you have been using other versions and this is not your first version this new document dialog box might seem a little overwhelming. It doesn't look like the old ones. Or maybe you used InDesign several years ago and you're coming back to it and this does not look familiar at all. I'm gonna show you a little trick really quick to turn on that old new document dialog box just in case you want to be able to set it up like like it used to look. So I'm actually going to close this really quick we're gonna come right back to it in just a minute. If you go up under the InDesign menu on a Mac or under the edit menu on a PC and choose preferences, under general, one of our first options that we have is we have "use legacy new document dialog." So when I click that and I actually use this one I just find it loads a little quicker. But for this course I'm going to keep the standard one open. But in this case I'm gonna say okay and now when I create a new document that's a command or control N if you want to use keyboard shortcut. This may be more like what you're used to seeing. So that is the legacy new document dialog box and you can choose to use that or not. I'm going to cancel out of that and go back to what the default is. But I just didn't anybody to freak out if they'd seen the old one. So command or control N, whoops. Let's actually go back to our preferences and change that back to the standard. You notice the keyboard shortcut for that was command K on a Mac, it's control K on a PC and I'm going to deselect that. So now when I do command or control n for new document, I do get this new document dialog box and the nice thing is this does have sort of a visual representation although it just has this generic icon so I think it takes up a little bit too much room for what it actually gives you. But what we see up top are things like, recent. So the nice thing is the last thing I chose is sitting here ready for me to use. And we're going to see presets throughout InDesign whether it's this course or future course that you take. InDesign is great for any time you input information like this we can save that preset so that we don't have to enter all this information again and again. I can come in here to saved and see ones that I've created and if I don't see all of them, I have this view all presets button. I can click on that and see even more. And down at the bottom I also have templates and because InDesign is part of the Creative Cloud, it allows us to have these templates that Adobe has put in there for us to use for free. That involves clicking on that and actually downloading that template to our to our machine. We're not going to deal with any of the presets today, or any of the templates, excuse me. But I did want you to know that they're there. But what I need to focus on like I said is where is this going. Is it going to print, is it going to web, or some sort of mobile device? So if we're going to print I'm gonna click print and what that does is it sets a few things. First of all, all the presets that show up are generic preset, I'm sorry generic print sizes, things like letter size, or A4 A3, if those are the the sizes that you use, tabloid, half a letter sheet, half a tabloid sheet. But also what it does is it gives us different options over here on the right and what this does over here on the right is it says what size do we want this to be and because we chose print, it automatically assumes we're working either in inches or it may show up as points that by default is on the picas and points. It may be set up as centimeters and I'll show you in just a minute how we can actually change that. Especially if it's in picas and points and you don't work in picas and points and you want to switch that to inches, we'll set that up as well. But because we're working in print it knows we're working in these sort of linear measurements, inches, centimeters etc. If I switch to web we get a different sort of set of parameters to work with. We're working in pixels, it automatically assumes we want to work in pixels because we're going to save that to the web and the standard sizes over here become standard web size documents as well, 800 by 600 etc. So I'm going to switch this back to print oh and actually I should show you mobile first. Mobile also works in pixels but it sets it up for individual devices that may or may not be there. Let's jump back to print. So back in this dialog box I need to tell it what size my document is. And that's sort of tricky if you when you start working beyond a simple one-page document. For instance you might have an image that takes up your entire document and you want to do what's called bleed, do you need to bleed it off the page? Because remember we're going to print and whether that's printing on a inkjet printer in your office or a laser printer or you're actually going to a print shop and having that printed offset or even through a digital press. When you print something all the way to the edge of your paper it really can't print to the edge of your paper. It has to bleed off meaning we have to expand the image past our page and then we usually need to print it on a larger size sheet as well, to take into account the machinery that needs to pull the paper through and a lot of other things we're not going to worry about today. But keep in mind if we want eight and half by 11 final size but we want this bleed, we're going to have to set up for the bleed. Also maybe you might be doing a folded sheet maybe like a greeting card, and you want to create it to the size of your actual piece of paper that it will be printed on. So for folding say we want an eight and half by five-and-a-half little folded card we want to set that up as a letter size to start with because we're going to fold that one sheet of paper. So always be thinking that way. Now if some of this is confusing there's a lot of resources you can check out online. And if you are going to a print shop they're the best person to talk to about how they need it set up. But I want you to be thinking in those terms what is my final document size? So in this case we're just going to keep it simple we're going to work with a letter size sheet in this example and we're also going to assume that it's going to print. So eight-and-a-half by eleven I can change that. I can either type inside there if I want or I can use the up and down arrow keys. And here's a little keyboard shortcut if you click on on the width or unit, it should actually it's not doable, it's not selecting anymore you usually can double click on here and have this actually select for you. And that is something that works well in the legacy layout. It's obviously not working in the newer layout here. But I just want to give you a way to not have to select across all that text but you can also triple click inside there and select that and put in whatever size you need. But again like I said we're gonna keep it simple and keep it letter. I also can tell it what the orientation is. Is it portrait or is it landscape? So we'll keep it portrait. And facing pages is something you may or may not want to work with and this is something that's just going to come and become like a habit to you once you start working with InDesign more. For right now I'm going to turn off facing pages and basically what facing pages are used for is if you're doing books and you're going to put two pages side by side and need to see how they sit side by side and also if you have items running across those pages. And then it assumes you're working in groups of two and in this case we might be working with just one single page. So I'm going to turn facing pages off. I can tell it how many pages are in my document as well, to start. Now we're gonna start with one, we're gonna add pages as we go. So don't even worry about that unless you know for a fact you have 12 pages you're going to work with, you can put it in there. Make sure your primary text frame is off for now. That's a little bit more of an advanced feature and you can tell it where to start the numbering and again we can change any of this later on. I'm gonna leave the column set as one. We're not going to worry about column to text but we do want to come down if we can't see everything we want to scroll down. You might also have your items sort of closed up. This is probably what you see when you first jump in there. We want to make sure that we click the little triangle and open those up as well. So in this case I want to choose my margins and this is how much space from the edge of the page inward. I want a little border around there that tells me don't put anything past these guides that are there. And that's because we don't want anything coming right to the edge of the page unless like I said it's going to bleed off the page entirely. But we don't want say a column of text sitting very close to the edge. We want to give that a buffer and one of the reasons is once we print something especially the closer it is, the more obvious things that go through the machine wrong. Whether it's printing or cutting if it's off just a little bit. But if it's super close to the edge it's going to be noticeable. So in the margins we want to go ahead and tell it how much margins on top, bottom, left and right and they can be different all the way around. But by default this is on we can roll over this and it says make all settings the same. So when it's on when it's the linked icon that's here that means all settings are the same. If I change it in one it changes in all the fields. If I deselect that then I can have different settings for the different sides. So in this case on a margin, I'm going to put 0.3125 and say okay. So I've got a smaller margin than what I had. I had it set up as a half an inch. And again if you don't know what margin size works, if you're taking it to a print shop ask them what's a good margin for the document that you're creating. And if it's something you're creating in-house on your inkjet printer, just play around and see what looks good when it comes out of the machine. So we want to give that a little bit of offset, that margin. And bleed, although it's bleed and slug we're not gonna work with slug at all. So bleed is again that amount that comes off the edge of the page. So if I have a full image which we're going to see in the sample document that I have open. We have images that take up the entire document all the way to the edge and we have to extend that beyond to make sure that we have enough image if things bounce a little bit through the Machine and don't print exactly straight. We need to make sure that we have that extra space allowed there and again if we're going to a commercial print shop, ask them what a good bleed size is. I'm going to go ahead and keep it 1/8 of an inch and I'm gonna do it all the way around. So we do 0.125 and hit tab and now all of the sides have that same amount of bleed. And the reason we want to set this is that it's going to give us guides that we can see. So we make sure nothing goes beyond the margin. Or if we do have a bleed we want to make sure that everything that needs to hit the edge of the page actually bleeds off the edge all the way to the bleed mark that we're creating with these numbers that we're putting in right here. So once that's all done we can go ahead and save this preset so that we don't have do that again. So in coming here to this little download icon here and just click save document preset. I'll just put "New Letter." I will say save preset. So now when I come in to here and choose either the saved ones or when I'm in print it will show me here's the New Letter. I don't have to worry about putting in that information again and again. It's already there in that document for me. So I'm gonna go ahead and do that. We'll choose that one we just created and just click create. So now we have this blank document staring at us. So what does some of this stuff mean? I'm going to go ahead and zoom in a little bit and I'm in the upper left hand corner of the document here and I can see a purple margin and that margin is the the margin amount that we set when we said we wanted to have it be 5/16 I think it was, 0.3125 from the edge of the page. So I want to make sure that nothing I put on that page goes past the purple lines that are there. So anything from this black line which is the edge of the page into the purple line needs to be kept clear. Sometimes that's called a safe area. especially if you've used some of the online printing items that are out there, the online printing services. So you might have a safe area. It might tell you what your margins need to be what your safe area is and also your bleed. So now you know what to do with those numbers that they give you with those online services, where to put those in InDesign so that you have the document set up. So that when you export and upload your document looks great for them. Alright so the red line is the bleed line. So it's beyond the black line of the page. And that says anytime I want something to come to the edge of the page I have to actually extend it all the way to that red line so that it bleeds off the size of the page, all right? So those are the lines that we have here. If we had chosen columns we would have had column guides running down the middle as well. All right so we've got that all set. We haven't done much of anything, we haven't put anything on the page. But now we know that we're ready and we know where things can sit, where things can live as well.

Class Description

Learn Basic Design Skills.

Adobe® InDesign CC® is the industry's go-to tool making for layouts that combine images and text. Learn the most efficient way to work with this indispensable software in Adobe InDesign CC for Beginners with Erica Gamet.

In this beginner-friendly class you’ll learn how to:

  • Navigate the Adobe InDesign CC workspace
  • Work with text, images, and color
  • Export and Print

Erica will show you how to execute layouts that include text, graphic elements, and images. You’ll learn basic design skills you can use to create professional-looking magazine layouts, newsletters, flyers and more.

If you want to take charge of your graphic design, Adobe InDesign CC for Beginners with Erica Gamet will get you started.

Level: Beginner, No prior Adobe InDesign experience required.

Don't have Adobe Creative Cloud yet? Get it now and save 20% so you can follow along with the course!


Adobe InDesign CC 2018



Fantastic course. I have used Illustrator and photoshop, but learned when under tight deadlines. We are going to begin using inDesign to publish a more extensive multipage newsletter, and I wanted to build a better knowledge foundation of this tool, rather than just diving in. The course was comprehensive and I feel that I'll be able to make a better product after taking the course.


Have loved Erica since I was a baby designer. She is a great educator, and even though I have been using ID for about 8 years, I just changed from CS6 to CC. This was a great refresher as well as a mental upgrade to new options and effects.

Gilbert Beltran

I enjoyed these classes. Learned the Indesign toolbox and picked up a few smart tricks. Erica is great at keeping up the pace and being very clear and easy to follow.