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Before you start creating documents in InDesign, there are a few things you might want to change. For example, I like to change the Essentials workspace to the Advanced workspace. You get more panels that you use all the time. It gives little bit of a head start. Now let's take a look at Preferences. On the Mac, it's going to be under InDesign; on Windows, it's going to be under the Edit menu. When I go to Preferences, most of them I tend to leave alone and there a lot of them you can think about, but here are a few that I like to change. Under Interface, down here where it says Live Screen Drawing Delayed, now that's the default in CS6.
In earlier versions, the default was Immediate. That means, immediately when you move something, you get that redraw. That sounds great. But you're going to find that with great big Illustrator files and great big images that Immediate Redraw can slow down your performance. I like the Delayed setting. If you like the Immediate setting, this is where you could change it. Under Units & Increments, if you think you in picas, leave it at picas. But most folks think in inches or other measurement systems, so I always like to change mine to inches. Now here's something to keep in mind.
I have no document open, so what this is going to affect is every new document I make, now every new document is going to think in inches. But if I open up a file that somebody has created while they were using the picas measurement system, for example, that document is still going to use picas. Reason we do this with no document is to affect all future documents. Under Display Performance, if you're zoomed way out, your text looks like little gray strips that seems to drive people crazy, so most folks like to change that 7 point to 0 point.
And there's one more thing that I like to change; this is optional for you, Appearance of Black, On Screen and Printing/ Exporting and notice that there's a big difference. Black ink by itself is a little bit anemic; that's why we create rich blacks, so this is what a rich black would look like. Well, you can kind of get misled on screen. Here's what I like to do. I say Display All Blacks Accurately, so my plain old 100K blacks will look a little bit anemic. That's going to help me determine whether I need to make a rich black and it'll let me compare whether I've made a rich black or not.
On Printing/Exporting, it's going to print nice solid black. It'll look a little anemic on screen, but it'll look just fine when you go to print. So now that I've set up my preferences, now I'm going to make a new document. When I choose File > New > Document, I have some choices to make. Do I want Facing Pages or not? If I know I'm going to create something like a publication that's going to print on both sides of the paper, I'm going to have a left page and a right page, then I choose Facing Pages. If I'm going to print something that's going to get punched and put in a binder, probably not going to print on the back, then I'll create nonfacing pages.
For this document, I'll create facing pages. And then of course, I have to choose my dimensions. Here's something I want to call your attention to and that's the Primary Text Frame. Now that's a new feature in InDesign CS6. We're really talking about printing here, we're not talking about design, so I'm going to kind of gloss over it. I will say that I love the Primary Text Frame and I like it better than the old master text frame. You have some presets for your page size and so forth, but I want to show you something else. Under Intent, you have some interesting options, Web or Digital Publishing.
InDesign is not a web design program, but if you're using some of the animation features in InDesign and you're going to export to SWF, S-W-F, when you choose Web, you'll see that your page aize choices now reflect web-appropriate sizes. And if you choose Digital Publishing, you'll see that your choices are iPad, iPhone, Kindle Fire, and Android. If you need to make another size because you're headed to a digital publishing, of course, you can use Custom. But we're heading to print, so I'm going to go back to choose Print. Letter size is going to work just fine for me.
If I want to set up some columns as a way to sort of serve as a guidance system for content I put in the page, I can do that here, and I'm going to set my margins: Top, Bottom, Inside, and Outside. Notice Inside and Outside; if I uncheck Facing Pages, then it's Left and Right, which kind of makes sense. If you want the same value all around, you leave this little guy checked in the middle. If you want to change one of them, for instance, I want to make the bottom margin higher so that I can have room for a page number, then you unlink them. And finally, of course, I want bleed, so I'll just click in the Bleed field.
If I hit my up arrow once because that's way more fun than typing, that's a sixteenth of an inch. Click that arrow one more time, now I have an eighth of an inch. Now the slug is a nonprinting area outside the page. You can think of it sort of like bleed. It's a staked-out territory, not a container, but you can put content in. Some people like to put job information for advertisements like what the run date is and what the publication is that it's going to print in. It's just a way to store information and not have it infringe on the page. If you're going to make pages over and over again with these same parameters, it's a good idea to save a preset.
So when I click Save Preset, I could name this my Flyer preset. Click OK and now that's always going to be available to me in InDesign. The next user is going to have a little head start because you did a little work for them. So always remember to pay good attention to all these little fields because this is sort of like building a house for your document. You want the get the best start possible. Now when you're ready, you can click OK.
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