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Lesson 8 from: Adobe InDesign CC for Beginners

Erica Gamet

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Lesson Info

8. Guides

Next Lesson: Text Frames

Lesson Info


Let's start putting some stuff on the page and look at guides. I'm actually going to look at... Actually we're gonna stick with this plain one that's here right now. And we're going to put some stuff on the page. We're gonna start with guides. So I'm gonna zoom in a little bit. And there are smart guides, which got introduced several versions ago. And so now the other guides, I've relegated to just being dumb guides, I guess. But I still use the dumb guides and smart guides. And we've already created guides, actually. We created Margin and we created Bleed. And those are guides. They're specialized. We can't actually move them or do anything with them. We put that number in when we started the document. We can change them afterwards. I can go into the Layout here and come in to Margins and Columns and I can change the size of the margin. This is the same information we input when we created the file and I can change it here. I can also change the size of the Bleed if I go back to File,...

Document Setup. And I see some of the same information that I put in when I created that document. One of them being Bleed and Slug. And I can change that here. But I can't actually move them. I have to go in, numerically tell them because they're sort of magic guides that InDesign built for us. So I can go ahead and create guides on the page where I want things to line up. And I also want things to snap to the guides, most likely. It should be on by default. But if it's not, you can right click or control + click, just on the page, with nothing selected. Come down to Grids & Guides and make sure that Snap to Guides is turned on. Also, if it's not and you're following along and you want your smart guides turned on. Let's turn those on as well. Those should be on by default but they do get turned off. And I'm gonna show you how those work in conjunction with each other. Alright, so I've got guides here. Got a couple different ways to create guides. And the reason I want to is because I want to be able to bring in items and snap it to the same place on the page. For instance, one of the places you'll use guides a lot, once you get past the basics and move into the beyond the basics and beyond, beyond the basics, we're going to put things on a master page, which basically shows up on every page that... Every document page that's based on that master. We're not gonna do that today but I just want to give you that idea that that's where guides really come in handy. But even on a single page, we might want to make sure that everything on this page that we place is lined up in the same spot to the left. We're gonna have different shapes and we want to make sure they all line up nicely. So I'm going to create a guide that I can snap to. To create a guide in InDesign, you can either grab from the ruler... I want a vertical ruler so I go over here to the... I'm sorry, I want a vertical guide so I go to the vertical ruler and just grab and drag. And I have a guide. And if I'm on the page, my guide only goes to the edge of the page. If I'm off on the pace board, it expands into infinity from there. So just depending on what it is you want to do with that, it's really a personal preference. And let's say I want one at one and a quarter. And I can look in the upper left hand corner, over here. I can't actually point to it because I have my guide here. But in the upper left hand corner, you can see that it's telling me where this guide sits. And it's at one inch. So I'm gonna scroll down a little bit here. So now I have that at one inch exactly. And I can even select that item and I can see that it is at one inch. Now you notice that I only have one direction that it's measuring. That's because guides are infinite, so it's only being able to tell us how far from the left that particular guide is. There's a quicker way to do that, especially if you want to put in a whole bunch. I can just double click on a ruler. And when I double click on the horizontal ruler, it shoots out a vertical guide for me. Now, I double clicked on the two, but if I select this guide I can see that it's not exactly two inches. So it's not really accurate to do it that way unless you hold down the shift key. If I hold down the shift key and get really close to the three inch mark, and the four inch mark, I can come in here and select that guide and I can see that it's exactly at four inches. So, usually I hold down the shift key when I'm doing the shooter guide from the ruler version. And like I said, you can select these items and you can move them. I'm gonna use the arrow keys and just move my guides a little bit off to the side. I can select them individually. I can delete them. I can move them. I can't, obviously, turn them sideways or anything like that but I can come in here and grab them and move them. The only thing I can't do is, if I select guides and an item, it doesn't select the guides. Because the item on the page, you probably wouldn't want to move the item and the guides at the same time, it has to choose and it always chooses an item on the page over the guide that you've used to set that up. So, in this case, I just want to select a couple more. I'm gonna put this in here and I can either move this till it's at two inches or I can come over here. And what I wanted to show you earlier in the new document dollop box, that didn't work with the new version, is whenever you're trying to put information inside a box, if you just click once on the icon or the words that are the label for that box, it automatically selects everything. Just saves you a lot of double clicking. I'm just gonna hit two and hit return. And it automatically sets a guide there at two inches. Now I know that when I bring this item here. I'm just gonna select it using the Selection Tool, the Solid Tool, because I'm working with the frame. Even though the content is coming with it, at this point I'm taking the frame and everything with it. So I'm using the Selection Tool. I'm gonna grab that and drag. And as soon as I get close it kind of snaps it in. Now I know if I have multiples of these, and I'm gonna cheat and just hold down my option, or my alt key, and drag out. And that just duplicates it. So hold down the option and drag it. As I bring this in, I know that each thing I create will actually snap to the guide exactly as I need it. Even if I'm going to snap it to the other side over here. So by having those guides, I know that it's automatically lined up exactly as needed. And again, I can hit my W key, my guides go away. And I also see where that item ends, as far as the page is concerned. Cause it's bleeding off the end. So those are dumb guides, alright? Smart guides are cool because... I'm gonna actually delete these two items and leave this. So the smart guides actually let us line items up together. And let's do something on this document instead. I'm going to use a keyboard shortcut that lets me jump between pages, command or control + J. And I believe it's four... Whoops. Let me see what I actually have for that. Because I have some numbered pages here. Okay. One of the things that I want to do is if I... You notice I have these pages that say section 1:6, 1:7, et cetera, et cetera. What I want to do is, I don't want to jump like that. I need to tell it, "I want it the fourth page in the document." So that gave me a little bit of a clue. It says I can put a plus in the beginning and say four. So, plus four gives me the absolute page number in there. It's because I set it up with numbering that had a lot of extra information. It wanted me to type all that information in and I don't feel like it. I just want to go to the fourth page in the document. So that was a keyboard shortcut. It's what that dialogue box showed me. So this case, all I wanted to do was, say, how to use smart guides with something like this. So I have these three items that are here and I'm just going to steal those and jump to that other document. So I just selected them all, hit command or control + C to copy it. And let's bring it into this page here. And, well let's say they live elsewhere. They're just sort of, spread all over my page. And I want to use smart guides to line those up. So I'm gonna move this item and just bring this in. You notice, guides are popping up everywhere. I've got green guides... Hopefully you can see them. I'll turn on the zoom, maybe you can see them. So there's that. And then I've got one that just briefly shows up here. That shows me that that's the center of my document. And now, when I bring this in line, because they are the same size, if I was creating it I would get the same thing, I get lines showing me that the centers are lined up, the edges are lined up. And now I know they're exactly lined up. I didn't need to draw a guide first. It's just looking at other items on the page and showing you how they relate to those. And if I bring in this, and I'm moving it up and down. Now you can see. Hopefully you can see that there are little green lines here as well. And it shows me that the distance between the second two is the same as the distance between the first two. So I can use all that. If your hand is steady, you can line it up and say, "Okay, now they're spaced exactly the same and they're lined up left to right as well." So now I know those are nice and evenly spaced along the way. I'm gonna turn on my preview mode because I don't want to see these little icons that are here. Every time you have an item selected, you've got a blue square, a yellow square. You may have this little cloud and that just means the graphic I'm using is coming from Creative Cloud. And we'll talk about that when we place images. But it can be kind of distracting. You can turn off those badges individually as well. But in this case, I'm gonna hit W and make everything go away. And the nice thing is, as I'm working, I still can see my smart guides even though I have them turned off. So as I'm laying these out, even if I have everything hidden, I can still come in here and see that these are lined up. And then these are lined up. And also, the distance between each is lined up. So I had to be really steady there with that. Sometimes if you have too many items and it wants to snap also to the smart guides. If you have too many items, it can't decide which one you want to get to. So sometimes, you might want to turn snapping off just briefly and enough time to... So that it isn't trying to overpower you and grab one item and snap to that item as opposed to snapping to the other item. But smart guides are great because it gives you that middle ground between... You want to make sure that your files are set up nicely. You want to make sure that when you do have items lined up, you haven't just eyeballed them. They actually are lined up. So whether you've used an old fashion guide, where you snap it to that guide. Or you've used smart guides. Smart guides actually let you eyeball it, yet it is still lined up beautifully as well. So I like those for that reason. And you can also choose what it does and doesn't show on smart guides. So I'm gonna go into the... I'm sorry, into the preferences. So under the Edit menu on a PC, under the InDesign menu on a MAC, under Preferences and come down to Guides & Pasteboard. And down here, under the Smart Guide Options, you can choose which sort of things it actually shows you because it's a lot of information. So you notice as I dragged them across there was the green guides, there were the magenta guides that were there. And that's because it's telling you when it's aligned to your document as opposed to other objects on the page. But I can turn off align to show the object centers or the edges. We were dealing with basically edges and also the Smart Spacing. And that just told me that the two were distributed. The spacing was distributed evenly. Smart Dimensions, I generally have turned off. And what that does is, as I am creating a shape or doing something like that, it's actually showing me the size of that. And that can get a little distracting. You noticed it showed the measurements as I'm drawing that out. Going to undo that and go back to that Preference. Back down to Guides and Pasteboard. And I'm gonna turn off those Smart Dimensions. I'm gonna turn Object Center back on. But I've turned on smart guides. But you can actually choose which guides, which smart guides are actually being shown for you. I'm gonna say OK. So smart guides are great. They let us play with that. And also, I'm gonna turn off those little badges. It's under Extras. And Hide the Stock Purchase Badge. That's what that... Oops, is it not going to do that? Well, let's come back to View and try this and let's see. I want to turn off everything that's on there but it's not going to let me do that. Show Stock Purchase Badge. I said hide it and they're still showing up. Alright, well Hide Link Badge, let's try that. There we go. That's what I meant. So, now I won't see that little cloud that's there. It's a nice visual if you're trying to see which ones you have connected in the cloud. But if you don't need it, turn that off.

Ratings and Reviews


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.

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