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InDesign is an essential tool for design firms, ad agencies, magazines, newspapers, book publishers, and freelance designers around the world. This course presents the core features and techniques that make this powerful page layout application fun and easy to use. Author David Blatner shows how to navigate and customize the workspace, manage documents and pages, work with text frames and graphics, export and print finished documents, explore creating interactive documents, and much more. He also covers popular topics such as EPUBs and long documents and includes advice on working with overset text, unnamed colors, and other troublesome issues that may arise for first-time designers.
It's easy to get graphics into InDesign, and you may be tempted to copy them out of one program and paste them in here. But don't do it. Resist the urge. Instead, you want to place them, that is go to the File menu and choose Place. When you choose Place InDesign gives you a list of all the different files that you can place inside this document. In this case, I'm going to place the logo file, this .AI or Adobe Illustrator file, and when I click Open, InDesign loads that graphic up into the Place cursor sometimes called the Place Gun.
The Place cursor let's me insert or place this graphic inside of a frame that I already have, or it will create a frame for me. But it's important to pay attention to the Place cursor icon. In this case, you'll see that the icon has a sharp edge on it, and that means it's going to create a new frame. If I move on top of this empty graphic frame on the right side of the page, you'll notice that the cursor changes slightly to rounded corners, kind of like parenthesis. That means that the image is going to be placed inside this frame.
I'm going to comeback here and click in this blank area where there are no frames, and when I click, InDesign creates a frame and places the graphic into it. Let's go ahead and get another graphic. I'll go to the File menu, choose Place or you could press Command+D or Ctrl+D on Windows, and I'll choose this spirals image. Click Open, and you'll see that the image is placed inside that same graphic frame that I had selected. That's actually not what I intended to do. I wanted to put those spirals over here inside this frame.
By default, InDesign will replace one graphic with another, when you use the Place command. If that's not what you intended, like here, you can undo that by going to the Edit menu and choosing Undo, or in this case, I'll just press Command+Z or Ctrl+Z on Windows. That undoes the Place, but it loads the Place cursor and you can see that now this graphic is on my Place cursor icon. I'll come over here, click, and that graphic goes inside this frame. The graphic is too large for the frame, but I'll deal with that later.
I'm going to bring in a couple of more graphics, but I'm going to deselect this graphic frame by clicking in this area off on the right where there are no frames, that deselects it. That way my new image won't go into that same frame. Now I'll go back to the Place dialog box by pressing Command+D or Ctrl+D on Windows, and I want my graphic here, this logo to go at the bottom part of this page. But I can see by looking at that icon, that if I click it's going to go inside of a frame. The frame is that big, black box behind the page.
I don't want it to do that. I want to make a new frame, so instead of clicking I'm going to click and drag, and when I click and drag, InDesign makes a frame exactly that size, places the graphic into it and scales it to fit that frame. Okay, let's go ahead and grab the last image. I'll click out here, go back to my Place dialog box, choose this Photoshop file, click Open, and then I'm going to simply click out here to place that graphic inside my document. Again, InDesign makes a frame, and places the picture into it.
You'll notice that InDesign honors the transparency from this Photoshop file, that is, where there is checkerboard background in Photoshop, is transparent here in InDesign. So I can see right through that background area. But there's something else here, that you don't see and that is, that InDesign is linking to the file on disk. Every time you place an image in InDesign, it doesn't actually embed the image into the InDesign document. It links to it. It creates a link between the InDesign document and the high-resolution file on disk.
And you can see that link by going to the Links panel. Over on the right side of your page in what's called the dock, I'll click on Links. That open the Links panel and we can see that because the image is selected on the page it's also highlighted here in the Links panel. There's my Photoshop file and we can see that this image is linked to, that Photoshop file on disk. There's much more to say about pictures and graphics and links, and I'm going to cover all of that in detail in a later chapter. For now, we finally have a document that has text and graphics, but it's definitely far from finished.
Next, I'm going to show you how to move these objects around, to get just the look that you want.
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