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Author David Blatner provides in-depth training on InDesign CS5, the print and interactive page layout application from Adobe, in InDesign CS5 Essential Training. The course shows how to create new documents with strong and flexible master pages, precisely position text and graphics, prepare documents for print, and export designs as interactive PDF or Flash SWF files. Exercise files are included with the course.
You've created this document and then you suddenly realize that you've made it the wrong size. Don't panic, just go to the File menu and choose Document Setup. In here, you can change it to whatever size you want. For example, I'll change this to an A4 size for Europe. Click OK and there you go. The whole page changed. If this had multiple pages in the document, all of them would change to A4, using this method. And all the objects on all the pages get centered on each individual page. Now that's typically what you want in most publications, where every page is the same size.
But it's not always true. In some cases, you want one or more pages to be a different size than the others. For example, let me look at this explore_ California_brochure here from my Exercise Files. In this file, we're creating a trifold. This is actually going to get folded up after it's printed. So this will be the front cover, this will be the back cover, and on the left, this is a panel that's going to be folded inside the other two. Well, if this is going to get folded inside the other two, it must be slightly narrower in order to fit.
Otherwise, this outside edge is going to bump into the inside edge and it's not a good scene it all. So, how do we make this one page, this one panel over on the left, slightly narrower? The trick to changing an individual page size in InDesign is the Page tool, and it's a new feature in InDesign CS5. The Page tool is number three in our Tool panel here, so I'll select that or you could press Shift+P to select it with a keyboard shortcut. And now to use it, I need to click on the page that I want to affect.
In this case, this is a three-page spread that's all been put together. I'll show how to make three-page spreads in a later movie, but for right now, just trust me. This is three separate pages that have been put together in a spread and I'm going to click on the leftmost page. I'm going to adjust its size. Now when I select this with the Page tool, the Control panel up here at the top gives me information about this page. It shows me the X and Y coordinates of the page on the pasteboard and also the width and height of this page in my spread.
So this is pretty cool. I can actually change this height and width to a different value. I can choose any of these default values in here, for example, Letter or A4 or something. But in this case I need a very customized page size and it's going to be the normal width of a page minus just a little bit, maybe four points less. Well, there's a little secret trick in InDesign. You can do math in pretty much every panel or dialog box in the program. So in this case, I want to shave off four points from the width.
All I need to do is type - 4pt, four points in here. But before I do that, I must do one thing first. And that is, pay attention to the Reference Point icon over here in the left. This lets me tell InDesign which edge of my page should stay locked, so the other ones will move around it. In this case, I want the left side to move, but I want the right side, the one that's attached to the rest of the spread, to stay put. So I'm going to click on any of these little nodes on the right side, and that says keep that still. Don't move that.
Move everything around it. Alright, now that I've set that, I can go back here and type what I just said, -4pt, which means -4 points, hit Return or Enter, and hopefully, you could see that it adjusted very slightly, but it's now, just this page, is now four points smaller than the other two pages on this spread. So we are getting exactly what we want. Now, of course, this is one side of the brochure. I need to scroll down to the other side and do exactly the same thing, on this page, which is going to be the outside page, which is going to get folded in.
So here, I want the left side to stay put, so I adjust that here, and then I say this is going to be -4 points to make it exactly the same size. There we go. It moved things over. Let's look at one other example of how to do this. I'm going to switch to the Hansel and Petal bookcover file from the Exercise folder, and I see that this is actually supposed to be a big book cover and this big white space in the middle is supposed to be the spine in between the front and the back cover. Well, that's way, way, way too big for a book spine.
We need to make it much smaller. So, we'll use the same techniques. I'll click with the Page tool in the center page of this spread. I'll go up here and I'll say I want this to be centered. So as it moves, keep the center of the page in the same position. Then change the width to whatever I want it to be. Let's say this is going to be, how about 1-inch wide. Hit Enter and there we go. It's perfect! All the objects center on the page when I move it, so it's still in perfect positioning, right down the middle of the spine. Of course, I probably want to do a little bit more here, like maybe give it a background color.
I'm going to extend this image from the left side over to the right side. I'll extend this one over little bit too, just so we get some color behind on our spine as well. So, those are the basics of the Page tool, let's go ahead and select it one more time. You can click on any page you want to change. You can change the width or height, based on a reference point. You can also do all kinds of other wacky things, like I'll change this one page to be a landscape, instead of portrait. And you can see that now I've got landscape and portrait pages in the same document. It's literally rotating the page itself, not just the view, but the page itself is being rotated.
There are other things too, like I could move the objects with the page, when the page size changes or enable Layout Adjustment. That's a feature that I talked about in an earlier movie. But all of those are applicable here, when I change the page size as well. Okay, I better undo that before I really mess this document up, with a Command+Z or a Ctrl+Z. There we go! Now it's back to the proper three- page spread with the spine in the middle. Now the only thing I really want to warn you about when changing sizes like this, is that if you're going to be sending this to be output, you really need to talk to your printer first.
In fact, talk to them even before you layout the document, if possible, so that you know just what they want, because you can export this file to a PDF with crop marks and fold marks and everything, it works great. But if your printer doesn't realize that different pages are different sizes, you might get a really unhappy surprise when it comes off press.
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