Adobe® InDesign® Creative Cloud® Intermediate: Beyond the Basics


Lesson Info


We're gonna jump right in. We've got lots to cover still in these last two segments. So, we're gonna start off with layers. Alright? So we're gonna work with layers. What are layers? Well, if you're used to layers in Photoshop, forget about 'em cuz they're nothing like that. (laughs) Same concept, we've got things layered on top of each other. But different, different reasons for having them. We're not gonna work with transparency and blending 'em and all that. We're just actually might put things on a different layer for different reasons. I have some people that I know that put all their text on one layer, and all their images on another. When we did captions in the previous segment, it asked do we wanna put the captions on a separate layer. And think about is as being able to turn layers on and off. If you had your captions on a separate layer, you could have one version that you print with captions, and one without. Think about teacher manuals, teacher versions of a workbook. You c...

ould have that one that has all the answers on it, and one that doesn't. You don't have to maintain two separate files. Because the core of it might be the same, you've just got something else that either changes or needs to be turned on or off. And layers are a quick way to do that. The other reason I might use it is if I were doing, say, different languages. So maybe I have a flier and it has all the same imagery on it. And the address is the same and the website's the same, and all that information is the same. And, you know, and the big "sale" might be there but it might need to say sale in Spanish, and then sale in French, right? So it might have different information, all the text information changes, but then the core information at the base, stays the same. So instead of, again, having a Spanish version of the file, and an English one and a French one, you have it all in one. And when you decide to change the imagery, you don't have to change it in three different places. You change it in one place and everything updates. So I'm gonna actually open up a document that I have, for some layers. And this is just a cover. So, for instance, let's say I have a book. And it's about wild, the wild photography. I don't know if I have any more pages. Nope, just the cover. So this is just a photo book, of, you know, this company that has different photos that they take and they specialize in a couple different things. Safaris. They go and do a photo safari. And then they also have weddings as their big thing, and travel. So for me, I might have a cover that has, the interior might have everything the same. It has our prices and things like that, but I might have different covers available to that. So, and again, instead of laying this out three times, and then when I decide to change the logo, I've gotta change it in three different places, I can have it all in one file. So what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna open up the layers panel. And right now I have several different layers. (mumbles) I have one that has this base layer, safari layer, a wedding layer, and then top items common. I'm gonna show you why I have that. I'm gonna go over to the little visibility icon first. And by default, when you create a new document, you have a layer. You have one layer. So I'm just gonna do that real quick. I'll create a new document, command or control N to open that. And I see that I have one layer. So by default you have a layer. You just don't know it. You just, when you put stuff. In the intro course we talked about stacking order. When you put things on the page, everything is stacked on top of each other. That's all on one layer. Then I get up another layer that also has it's own set of stacking order. So kind of, again, it's that inception thing, right? We're getting deeper and deeper, we're just going from easier to more complex concepts on that. So I'll go back to this item here and see the layer that I have turned on. So I can turn off the layer visibility by the little icon. So I'm just gonna click the little eyeball icon. And you can see what's on my base layer. So on my base layer, the thing that's common to all the objects, or all the different versions I'm creating, are here on this base layer. The other thing I tend to do when I have a base layer, is come into the second column and click, and that locks it up. So I can't accidentally grab any of these items and move them. Because the whole point is, I want it to be consistent. The worst thing would be to have it move after I've already created a PDF for the cover for the safari one, and I'm ready to do the wedding one. And I moved it and realize now it doesn't even look the same. So I lock that down usually. The other thing I have is this top item. And the reason I did that is I have this green line that I want to go on top of the photos. When I had the safari one open you could see, that it sits kind of on top of those photos, just to kind of give it a finished look. Well I had to put it separately cuz the base layer, I generally want on the bottom. I'm gonna put everything else on top. But that green line needed to go on top. So when we look at things in the layer panel, how they're laid out in the panel, is how they are actually stacked also, on the page. So I have the base layer at the bottom. On top of that is the safari one. On top of that I have a wedding one, but I'm not gonna do the wedding and the safari at the same time. One is off and one is on. If I turn that on, you can see I have that. Now the pictures are covering that, but I also have the word wedding covering the word safari. So obviously I wanna turn one off and one back on. So you can see where I could say "Okay. I'm gonna lay this out." Let's put my green bar back on. And I have that ready to go, and I'm gonna export that to a PDF. Now my cover's ready to go. My wedding cover is there. Then I come back in, turn off the wedding layer, and turn on the safari layer. And now I export that PDF as well. So again, keep in mind, whether it's different versions of something like this, you have different versions of languages that you wanna turn on and off. And again, like I said, there's people that put objects in one, and text on another, just so that they can take the pictures away and just look at the text and focus on that. Even though when they print it or export it, they may be showing all layers, every time. But it's an easy way for them to look at it. Some people put their guides on a separate layer. They might put items that they just don't want moving around ever. You wanna lock those down, put 'em on a locked layer. I put usually, I usually have one that's notes. So we'll add a new one really quick, and then we're gonna add the third one, we'll add the travel one in a minute. So I'm gonna add a layer, so I'm just gonna go over here. I can either choose this from the... What's that? All right, I have no idea what that is about a script. All right. I have some script in there. And apparently it's causing some issue. We're gonna use the button down here instead of the menu, see if we can avoid that. I'm gonna option or alt click on the little new layer menu item down there. And we'll call this notes. And I usually put little things that aren't (mumbles) I then to put 'em in caps, myself. And I'm just saying there's a note that gonna be here. And these are notes I put to myself, or to my client. And I may print them out on a proof, but I make sure I turn that layer off before I print the final version. So again, layers are for whatever reason you feel you need to separate things out. And it could be because the stacking order might drive you crazy. Trying to stack items on top of each other. If you put 'em in a layer, they're easier just to move around sometime as a group. Instead of trying to drill down and find right item, just put 'em on a separate layer and move those layers around. You can choose a color. It automatically assigns one for you. If you don't like the color, change it. Each guide color's gonna change. So we've had all these guides that have been the blue outline the whole time we've been doing this. Well on new layers, the guide colors will change. You can see the base layer always has that light blue, then it's red, so when you select something, you can see what layer that's attached to as well. It's a nice visual cue. So I can choose to show or hide the layer, show guides, lock guides, I can lock the layer. And it says "Yes, print the layer." Now I can turn this off here so that even when I go to print it, it normally sets up so that it doesn't print non-printing layers. So I don't have to remember to turn that layer off, it's already off. And here it says "suppress text wrap when layer is hidden." Remember I said, when we were working with text wrap, you could put it on a hidden layer and use it to wrap text around, but not actually show the item. If that's what we're doing here, if we leave that unchecked, it won't suppress the text wrap. If I put something there, it will be affected by the text wrap, but then I can hide the layer, so you don't actually see the item that's causing the text wrap. So that's an item, the choice is here in the layers. So I'm gonna say okay to that. I'll put this new one called notes. An maybe on here, this is where I just, I might write, you know, "new logo." or something like that. I tend to put my notes in a really large font usually. And, let's come in here. Whoops. It probably has text wrap turned on. So if I have text wrap on this item, you notice this is saying "Oh there's no text wrap here at all." So I'm gonna go into my text options here, and tell it to ignore text wrap. That's not the issue either. You just can't see it. Why? Oh, because it's actually behind my top item. Let's come here. Why do I not see my... I don't see the text at all, do you? It went away. Let's-- Oh, you know what-- It's not too big. Did I delete it somehow? Al right we'll put new, nope. There it is. I have no idea why I couldn't see that. Interesting. Check that out. All right. I have no idea why (laughs) it's doing that. All right. We will come over here maybe and just change the color. It doesn't like the color or something. I don't know. Let me come here to swatches. And I'll do the text. We'll look at text. It says it's black. I have no idea why it's not showing up. That is odd. I have no idea what's going on. All right. You don't hear that very often. (laughs) But I don't. Well, I will put my notes on there. But I was just gonna turn them off anyway after I put a not on there, just to say "I turned this on just so I can see I need a new logo." Hopefully when we create our travel layer we won't have trouble with that. You notice when I turned it off I get this little x through the pen. That's says I can't write to it I can't send anything to it, I can't put anything on it. That's a good thing. I don't want to accidentally put something that I don't want on there. You need to make sure you've selected the layer you wanna be working on. So actually click it. So again, if I wanna put stuff on the wedding layer, I have to turn that back on. You have to have a visible layer turned on for that. But what I really wanna do is create a whole new layer. How did I create these? Well you saw me create the notes one. But I wanna create one based on this, and it has the same sort of objects on it. I'm even gonna turn off the base layer and that top item, so we can see all that's on the safari layer. So I'm gonna grab everything that's on there, I'm just gonna select all of it, and I'm just gonna, I can either copy it and paste it in place, but I'm gonna use the layer panel instead. I'm gonna create a whole new layer. And we're just gonna come down here to the new layer panel. I know why I couldn't see it. Because I set it not printing and I'm in the preview mode. Remember you can, in the preview mode, anything that's not printing, will not show up. So it was there, I cold select it, I couldn't see the text. See? Sorry, I was in lunch coma apparently. All right, so. We're back on. (laughs) All right, so I'm gonna create new layer. I'm gonna come down here to the new layer button, and hold down the option or the alt key, and click on that. And I'm gonna go ahead and call this, we'll call this travel. We'll say okay. Right, now I'm gonna turn on the preview so we can actually see everything there. And what I did is I had selected everything on the safari, and now this one's visible. I'm just gonna go up to this little proxy. This little item turned red. And that means I have an item or more selected on that particular layer. Well, I can just grab that item and drag it up, but if I do that, it moves it to the other layer. I don't really wanna move it, I wanna copy it. I just wanna have the same items there, but I wanna keep them on the safari layer. So to copy it I wanna hold down the option or the alt key, and drag. And when I do that I get the little hand and the little plus that tells me it's copying it. So I'm going to let go, and now I've got items selected on that layer. So, now you notice the guides changed, to green. Let me actually redo that. I hit the wrong keyboard shortcut there. So, now when I turn off the safari layer, all I see is the travel layer. And of course. These are not the right pictures. These are not the right words. So the first thing I wanna do, is is change this, to travel. And then I'm gonna need to bring in some new photos. So I'm just gonna go ahead and replace each of these. Or I can delete these. I'm gonna just delete the items that are here. I'm deleting just the. It should be deleting just the images. Let's make sure I am. And, when I bring in a new image, or I can use the links panel, and relink them that way as well. However I wanna bring them in, let's come in with some new travel ones. And let's say we're gonna travel to Italy. I'm gonna bring in three different items here. Just randomly. I can't see what they are anyway. So bring those in. And I can drop that item in there. And I didn't have these other ones deselected. So let's do that as well. Go back and grab two more. We need two more pictures. We'll do that. And we'll drop that in, and drop that in. And of course it didn't fit exactly right. I don't have the fittings set for that, but that's alright. I'm gonna change this. Just change these up, you know, so I just have these images laid on top of each other. And I can change 'em. Change how they're laid out to fit. Obviously I've got some really wide pictures here. Anyway, I would just set that up, and go back into my preview mode, and I can see the travel one's set. I'm gonna put the base layer back on. So we can see how that looks. And that top item as well. So now I've got my travel one ready to go. Fix the images if I need to. And now I've got that layer as well. So I'm constantly grabbing items from one layer and bringing them that way. Now if I were to select some items. Let's grab this item here, and this one picture. So I just shift selected each of those. And copy those. And I wanna put those in a new document. So I'm gonna create a new document. Same size. It's only got one layer on there. But under the layer panel menu, one of the options here that's usually on by default, is paste remembers layers. So when I paste something, it will remember what layer it was on, even if it was in a different document. And it will recreate the layers if I don't have it. So in this case, I'm ready to create, maybe the back cover or something else. Or a different cover, but I wanna use some of the same pictures. And I'd like the same layers, the travel, the wedding, and the safari. So I said paste remembers layers. I'm gonna go up under the edit menu, and say paste in place, it's gonna put it in exactly the same place. And it also created that travel layer for me. If I don't have that turned on it's gonna paste it on whatever the current layer is. So if I had layer one, it was gonna paste it right there. So by saying that paste remembers layers, it creates it if it's not there. If I already had those three, the travel, safari, and wedding layers, it would automatically put everything exactly where it needs to go. Which is great if I grabbed things from a separate, from separate layers that I have. So in this case, if I unlock the base layer, And I were to grab the logo, and the background, and the word travel. You can see that I have different layers selected. When I copy that, got to a new page, or a new document, and paste remembers layers, I'm gonna paste that in place. It created the base layer and the travel layer for me. Now the colors are different because it automatically does the same rotation of colors, all the way up the layers. So just keep that in mind. But you could go change those if you want. So you can kind of see where layers come in handy. And again, I turn layers on and off all the time when I'm working. Maybe I wanna work with something and I don't wanna see all this other stuff on top. I just wanted to work with the logo and figure out how that fits together. I can turn things off, put things out of the way. The one concept that I think people have trouble with, with layers, the most, is that they're not page dependent. So these layers are here for all the pages in your document. Even if the only place you're using layers is on page one. So if I had this as part of a book, and the cover is the only thing that changes, everything else is the same. I might have all these other pages. I have other pages in our document. Those layers are there, but everything else on those page may all sit on that base layer, right? So it may have everything sitting on layer one. So sometimes you might create a ton of layers, that you're only using on one page. And actually when we get into master pages in just a little while, I'll show you one of that places I use that for. I'll create a whole layer that's only used for one thing. But it needs to be there. Kind of like that line at the top. It has to be at the top. So again, when I was working with the layers, let's go back to the first cover that's here. If I don't like the way things look, like I don't like that top item all the way on top, I can bring this back down so it sits right on top of the base layer. But it means when I turn on one of these other picture layers, That line got over, it's overlapped by those images that are there. So sometimes you can see where just dragging something right up above, makes a big difference. Just as the order of it. Now each of these have a little drill down triangle on the side. When I drill down, I can see all the different items that make up that particular layer. So on the safari I can see, I can turn off individual items as well. So I don't have to do wholesale across one layer, I can turn off the individual items. And that can come in handy as well. Or maybe when I decide, like this safari one I think, wasn't this one. Actually not on the safari. Let's turn off safari and we'll turn back on travel. This one was kind of a wide photo. I can can see how wide that is but it's back behind the other photos. I could grab this photo that's here, let's grab this guy, and I can see that it's that one, because it automatically highlights that. I can tell it that it needs to be somewhere else. And I can just rearrange where it sits in that particular document. Now you notice it's hiding behind that image that's here. I can drag this one back behind here as well. So now it's sort of the back, furthest back image on that layer. So again, I can get into each of the individual items on there. Does that make sense? Moving the individual items around on a layer. All right, any questions on layers, or why we use them everything, kind of, get an idea of where you might need them? And again, this is so you don't duplicate your work. You don't have to maintain separate files, for instance, for all these different covers. And not only is that a pain, you've gotta keep track of 'em, but you're , you know, making your workload even, even larger. And then, things might look different from one to the other. This way we know it's all the same cuz it's all in the same document. Any questions out there on layers? We're good online. Anything from you guys? All good? I missed where you got the paste and place. That was-- The paste and place? It's on the layer panel menu, and it should be on by default, paste remembers layers. So the check is either on or off. And also this is kinda new. Ungroup remembers layers. So when you group items from a separate layers, it used to always group and then it would throw 'em on one layer. Now it will actually put them back on the separate layers that they came from. So that's actually when you ungroup an item. If you group it and you ungroup it you can send it all back to the layers that they were on before, so.

Adobe® InDesign® Creative Cloud® enables you to create rich documents and layouts that combine graphic elements, images, and text. Advance your design skills with Adobe® InDesign® Creative Cloud® Intermediate: Beyond the Basics with Erica Gamet.

In this class, Erica will help you tackle complex design projects and share best practice techniques in Adobe® InDesign® Creative Cloud®

You’ll learn how to:
  • Manage multi-page documents and use master pages
  • Automate your workflow and save time
  • Select character and paragraph styles
You’ll learn about advanced exporting options and she’ll offer tips on taking advantage of the extensive selection of assets in the Creative Cloud® Libraries.

If you’ve mastered the basics are are ready to advance your design skills, don’t miss Adobe® InDesign® Creative Cloud® Intermediate: Beyond the Basics with Erica Gamet.

Level: Intermediate/Advanced. Recommended prerequisite: Adobe® InDesign® Creative Cloud® for Beginners

Software Used: Adobe InDesign CC 2015.1



  • As an absolute beginner to InDesign, I purchased both of Erica's classes and man was she helpful. I highly recommend this course to anyone unfamiliar with the software to give them some great footing. Thank you Erica and thank you Creative Live!
  • I am using Erica's videos to supplement my "Classroom in a book series" on Indesign. The beauty of this is that I can go through the sections of the book and when I get to something, like Master Pages, that I can't quite follow I jump to the video. I gain the understanding I need by listening and watching Erica and then go back to the book and finish the project with a lot more under my belt. The book gives me real examples to complete but does not give me that "personal" touch. Thanks Erica for being my personal coach. This has worked perfectly.
  • This was really helpful, although *very* fast paced! But gave me a lot of great ideas to take my InDesign use to another level. Thanks!