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Setting up a presentation file with layers

From: InDesign CS6: Interactive Documents

Video: Setting up a presentation file with layers

Clear organization is one of the keys to success with presentations. You can make your presentation files a lot easier to work with and save yourself time and effort by organizing the content into layers. And when it comes to organizing your presentation document, you don't have to go wild creating tons of layers. Just like the design of your presentation, its construction should be as simple and straightforward as you can make it. You can probably set up most presentations with a standard approach to layering that uses just five layers: navigation, text, images, background, and guides.

Setting up a presentation file with layers

Clear organization is one of the keys to success with presentations. You can make your presentation files a lot easier to work with and save yourself time and effort by organizing the content into layers. And when it comes to organizing your presentation document, you don't have to go wild creating tons of layers. Just like the design of your presentation, its construction should be as simple and straightforward as you can make it. You can probably set up most presentations with a standard approach to layering that uses just five layers: navigation, text, images, background, and guides.

If you want to add a layer for media or if you're doing several different versions of a presentation for different audiences, then go ahead and create those layers as needed. So to get started, let's create a new document. And in the dialog box if you're not seeing more options, be sure to select that. I have three choices for Intent: Print, Web, and Digital Publishing. I don't want to choose Print because this is a presentation and it's primarily going to be viewed onscreen. So I want to choose either Web or Digital Publishing. And these are very similar both of them will set my documents measurements in pixels.

They'll use RGB swatches and those are what I want for a presentation. In fact there are only two differences between Web and Digital Publishing. One is page size. If I choose Web, I get a document that's 800 x 600. If I choose Digital Publishing, it's 1024 x 768. Digital Publishing also has a Primary Text Frame selected. Primary Text Frame is a useful feature when you need to switch master pages that are applied to document pages, but it's not usually necessary for a presentation file, and it also might get in your way, since primary text frames are linked by default, so text flows between them.

Typically, that's not something you'd need for a presentation, so I'm going to turn that off. If you know the number of slides you're going to have, you can set the number of pages here, too. Though that's not necessary, you can of course add or remove pages later on. You definitely want Facing Pages to be turned off and Landscape Orientation. For the size of your presentation, you want to select the smallest size you expect to present at. It's better to have a presentation that has to scale up to fit a larger screen than one that has to be scaled down to fit a smaller screen. So typically, you'd choose values like 1024 x 768.

For the Number of Columns, you don't have to add any additional ones, but using them often helps you come up with a better more consistent design in less time. Basically, you use the columns like a standard set of guides on every page to help you set the width of text columns and position other elements. I'm going to divide my space up into 12 columns and give them a little more space in between, say 16 pixels. For the Margins, I can leave the left and right sides alone and keep them at the default of 36 pixels. But I'm going to unclick Make all settings the same and change my top and bottom margins.

The Top I want to increase just so the content isn't starting too high up on the page, so I'll make that 52 pixels. And the bottom I'm going to make even bigger: 80 pixels. This will give me space for navigation buttons, branding, and contact information. I don't need a bleed because this isn't a print project, but I do want a slug area for my presentation notes. I'll make that 300 pixels on the right side, and click OK. Now to set up the layers. We're going to set up those five typical layers that correspond to the different types of content in our presentation.

So from top to bottom, we want navigation, text, images, background, and guides. Guides will be on the bottom, so we'll do that first. I'll click on Layer 1 and rename it Guides. Then I'll Option+Click or Alt+Click on the new layer icon. This way I can create a new layer and name it at the same time. I'll call this one Background and I'll repeat the process for Text, Images, and Navigation.

If you don't like the default colors that came with these layers, you can pick a different one by right-clicking and choosing Layer Options, and then you can pick a different color. You can pick whatever color you want, but just make sure you have a different color for each layer so you can tell them apart easily. I'll also recommend that you go to the Layers Panel menu and choose Paste Remembers Layers. This way when you copy and paste objects, they'll stay on their current layer and you won't accidentally have Text on Images layer and so on.

Taking the time to set up any InDesign document with well-organized layers is really worth it. As you go through your project, you might not even realize how helpful it was to do that because everything is just where you expect it to be. But someday might get a file from elsewhere were all the content is disorganized or all crammed onto one layer, and then you'll quickly see the difference in these approaches and be glad that you got in the habit of using layers.

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This video is part of

Image for InDesign CS6: Interactive Documents
InDesign CS6: Interactive Documents

73 video lessons · 26112 viewers

Mike Rankin
Author

 
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  1. 1m 45s
    1. Welcome
      1m 2s
    2. Using the exercise files and scripts
      43s
  2. 22m 41s
    1. Case study: tomaxxi's InDesign shortcuts guide
      4m 19s
    2. Case study: The Magic of Reality app
      3m 20s
    3. Exploring PDF digital magazines: InDesign Magazine
      2m 45s
    4. Looking at digital newspapers: BostonGlobe.com
      3m 44s
    5. Reviewing digital magazines: National Geographic
      4m 58s
    6. Exploring iamboundless.com
      3m 35s
  3. 21m 56s
    1. Setting preferences for interactive documents
      6m 32s
    2. Customizing the workspace
      5m 48s
    3. Understanding intent and presets
      3m 5s
    4. Working with images and swatches
      5m 2s
    5. Installing scripts
      1m 29s
  4. 37m 24s
    1. Using Liquid Layout
      9m 17s
    2. Creating alternate layouts
      4m 4s
    3. Using primary text frames
      3m 49s
    4. Using the Content Conveyor
      5m 42s
    5. Linking text
      4m 32s
    6. Linking page items
      3m 19s
    7. Fitting frames to content
      3m 33s
    8. Using style mapping
      3m 8s
  5. 49m 48s
    1. Reviewing what we're going to build
      1m 56s
    2. Previewing with the SWF Preview panel
      4m 51s
    3. Presentation design tips
      2m 41s
    4. Setting up a presentation file with layers
      4m 53s
    5. Creating a navigation system
      8m 32s
    6. Creating a title and content slides
      7m 57s
    7. Overriding master page items
      5m 59s
    8. Setting page transitions
      4m 34s
    9. Creating hyperlinks
      3m 40s
    10. Using the slug for notes
      4m 45s
  6. 37m 40s
    1. Understanding what we're going to build
      1m 11s
    2. Building an interactive table of contents
      5m 9s
    3. Building a navigation system
      4m 5s
    4. Creating PDF-only buttons
      3m 33s
    5. Using a SWF slideshow in a PDF
      9m 33s
    6. Placing a video and using the Media panel
      5m 44s
    7. Setting navigation points
      4m 28s
    8. Placing a video from a URL
      1m 21s
    9. Creating hyperlinks from URLs
      2m 36s
  7. 18m 6s
    1. An overview of PDF forms
      2m 6s
    2. Creating text fields and signature fields
      3m 13s
    3. Creating list boxes and combo boxes
      3m 55s
    4. Creating checkboxes and radio buttons
      3m 47s
    5. Creating tab order for PDF forms
      3m 14s
    6. Creating Submit, Print, and Clear Form actions
      1m 51s
  8. 53m 36s
    1. Exploring the Animation Encyclopedia script
      10m 57s
    2. Using the Animation panel
      6m 56s
    3. Animating on a motion path
      3m 57s
    4. Animating a list
      4m 29s
    5. Creating navigation buttons
      5m 15s
    6. Creating a multi-state object
      6m 23s
    7. Creating a page number indicator
      2m 57s
    8. Animating an opening page
      3m 9s
    9. Creating a multi-purpose button
      3m 11s
    10. Exporting your presentation and embedded fonts to SWF
      3m 46s
    11. Working with transitions and animation
      2m 36s
  9. 40m 34s
    1. An overview of the DPS workflow and the publishing process
      4m 31s
    2. Creating hyperlinks
      5m 17s
    3. Creating slideshows
      3m 25s
    4. Using the Image Sequence feature
      4m 58s
    5. Adding audio and video
      5m 6s
    6. Creating panoramas
      4m 21s
    7. Adding web content
      3m 56s
    8. Panning and zooming
      4m 1s
    9. Creating scrollable frames
      4m 59s
  10. 27m 18s
    1. Using the Folio Builder panel
      5m 28s
    2. Creating a folio
      5m 28s
    3. Adding articles to a folio
      5m 47s
    4. Using the Content Viewer to preview a folio
      3m 53s
    5. Using the Folio Producer
      4m 54s
    6. Viewing a folio on an iPad
      1m 48s
  11. 49s
    1. Next steps
      49s

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