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Adding an area to your presentation documents for Notes is easy and it can be a real convenience for the person presenting the slides and the audience. So let's go ahead and out of place for notes to our file. When I first created this presentation document I included a large 300-pixel- wide slug area on the right-hand side, and the reason I did that was to give me a space where I could include notes for both myself and my audience, if they want to print pages out. Now let's set up that notes area. The first thing I need to do is to go to my Layers panel and add two more layers to this document.
So I'll Option+Click or Alt+Click on the New Layer button, and the first one I'll call Presenter Notes. Click OK, and again Option+Click or Alt+Click, and I'll call this one Audience Notes. I'll move these to the top so they are above the Navigation layer, and I'll go to my Pages panel and double-click on N- Nav to go to my navigation master page. I'll slide this over and I'll press the W key on my keyboard to get out of Preview mode so you can see that slug area.
What I want to do here is add a text frame on both of the new layers. So first, I'll do the Audience Notes. Go to my Layers panel, make sure I'm targeting the Audience Notes layer, press the T key on the keyboard to get my Type tool, and click and drag out a text frame. Make sure it fits inside that slug area, and I'll just press the Return key on my keyboard a bunch of times to create several paragraphs. I'll press Command+A or Ctrl+A to select all those paragraphs and from the control panel menu, I'll choose Paragraph Rules and I'll turn on Rule Below. I'll preview and there they are. I'll click OK.
Now I want to spread these out a little bit more to just give people more room in between each line to write. So I'll go to the Paragraph Controls in the control panel and I'll add more space after until it looks right. That's pretty good, and deselect. Now I'll go back to the Layers panel and hide the Audience Notes layer. And I'll work on the Presenter Notes now. Still with my Type tool, I'll click and drag a new text frame. And in this case I've prepared an object style ahead of time that will format the text frame and the text the way that I want it.
So I'll open my object styles by choosing Window > Styles > Object Styles. I'll select the frame with my Selection tool and also at the Presenter Note object style. This object style will apply paragraph style, also called Presenter Notes, that'll make the text large, so I can read it at a distance and it puts rules above and below each paragraph to set my notes apart from each other. If you're not familiar with setting up object styles, please see Michael Murphy's InDesign Styles in Depth in the lynda.com online training library.
I'm not going to add any text here since I'm still on the master page, and that would make the text appear in every presenter note. So I'll navigate to the first page of my document and I can see my presenter note, but I can't type in it now, because it's a master page item. So I need to overwrite it. I'll press Command+Shift or Ctrl+Shift on the PC and click on it. And I can double-click to enter my cursor in the frame, and I can just type a note myself. And you can see the text is nice and big and it's set off, so if I hit a paragraph return, I start entering another note.
Now the purpose of these notes is to be used in a printout of the slides, so let's see how to print them out. Before I print the document, I need to set up the correct visibility of the layers. So if I wanted to print out the Presenter Notes, I'd have to go to my Layers panel and make sure that the Presenter Notes was visible. And if I wanted to print out the Audience Notes, I'd have to make them visible and hide the Presenter Notes. So in this case I'll print the Presenter Notes, I'll press Command+P or Ctrl+P to bring up the Print dialog box and I'll go to Setup, choose Scale To Fit, and in Marks and Bleed I'll choose Include Slug Area.
And now I can see from the preview here that the slug area will be included in the printout. I'll go back to Setup, and one thing to watch out for here is when you include the slug area, everything has to be scaled down pretty far to fit everything on a letter-sized page. I am actually below 50% scaling right here. So if that's a problem, you can decrease the width of your slug area or just use a bigger size paper for your printouts. In any case, it's worth doing some test printouts, especially with your audience notes, because you don't want to print out hundreds of pages and then realize that the write-on lines are too small for people to use.
But with a little care and testing, you should be able to get a good-looking printout with a Notes area. Adding presenter or audience notes to your presentation files is an easy way to make your slides more usable for you and more handy for your audience. It can help create a more successful presentation for everyone involved.
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