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Author David Blatner provides in-depth training on InDesign CS5, Adobe's print and interactive page layout application, 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.
Finally, it's time to make a new InDesign document. The way to do that is to go to the File menu and choose from the New submenu. You'll see that you have three options here: Document, Book, and Library. But we're going to be focusing on making a new document in this movie, so that's what I'll choose. Notice that there's a keyboard shortcut to get to this faster, which is Command+N on Mac, or Ctrl+N on Windows, and either of those open up the New Document dialog box. Now there's a lot of information here in this New Document dialog box so, let's take it systematically. I am going to start by skipping the Preset however, and jump right to Intent.
Now, the Intent means where are you intending this document to go? Is it supposed to be a print document, or is it supposed to be an on-screen document? Adobe calls this Web, but it's not like you're making an HTML page, so I really wish they had chosen to call this on-screen instead of Web. Web makes no sense to me. Anyway, for on-screen documents, let's say you're making an interactive PDF, or a SWF file or something, that is when you choose Web, and if you do that all of your page sizes change to pixels, your measurements change to pixels, everything gets set to RGB in your document, and so on.
It's just a convenience for when you are making those interactive kind of documents with InDesign. I'll be talking about interactive documents in a later chapter. Right now, I'm going to stick with a basic print document just like we're used to, and we'll move on. You can see that the measurements are all set to your default measurement system which I talked about in an earlier chapter. In this case, it's set to picas, and we can change the Page Size right here. Now there's a lot of default sizes built in, Letter size pages, Legal size pages, A4 pages and so on. I'll choose A4.
That's a nice size for Europe. For all of those of you in Europe, you know A4 quite well. Now, the key here is you want to choose a Page Size, which is your final output. Don't try and take into account Crop Marks, or Registration Marks, or any of those other things you might add outside your page, just the final printed size of your document. So, if you're printing on A4 paper, then choose A4 here. Now, if you're printing on a custom size, feel free to dial that in here, you can just type whatever values you want into these settings. For example, if you're doing a 7"x 9" document, you can just type those in there.
Notice that I typed it in inches with the "in" marker, and it automatically converted that to picas, just a little convenience that it is doing on the fly here. You can also change the Orientation. In other words, do you want it to be taller than it is wide, or wider than it is tall? That's Landscape versus Portrait. Let's go ahead and change this to Landscape, and you can adjust the number of Columns and Margins. Now these simply add guides on your page. We looked at the Column guides and Margin guides in an earlier chapter. You don't have to dial these in.
You don't have to choose the number of columns right now if you don't want to. It's just a convenience to set up your document from the beginning, the way you might want to set it up later, but you can change all these values later. That said, if you're trying to be efficient, if you're trying to create a template, let's say, it is a good idea to specify exactly what you want here to save yourself time in the future. Now there is one more set of options down here that's missing from this dialog box. Adobe is hiding this from you, and it's hiding these features from you because they think it might overwhelm you to have too much in this dialog box, but I want all the features right in front of me.
So, I'm going to unhide them by clicking on the More Options button, and when I click More Options, you can see there we go, we get Bleed and Slug options down at the bottom. This is another ability to add guides outside the document page area, and I'll be covering those in a later chapter, but for right now, I just wanted you to know, those options are inside this dialog box. So check them out. Now, let's go ahead and jump to the top of the dialog box here, and look at Number of Pages, and Start Page. The Number of Pages, always start off with one page, but if you know it's going to be an 8-page document, go ahead and dial that in here. That's up to you.
If you know that your document is going to start on page 16, you can go ahead and type that here if you want. You should tell InDesign, whether this document is a Facing Pages document, or a Single-sided document. For example, if you're making a book that has a left-hand page, and a right-hand page, then you probably want to have Facing Pages turned on; magazines, anything that has a left- and right-hand page where they're facing each other, you probably want that turned on. If you're just making one-page ads, something like that, then go ahead and leave that turned off. In this case, I'm going to leave it turned on, and I'm also going to leave off the Master text frame checkbox.
The Master text frame checkbox is kind of a hold-over from the Old QuarkXPress days. QuarkXPress had a feature called Automatic Text Box. InDesign wanted to make something similar, and so Adobe added this feature called Master text frame, and all it does is it adds text frame to your master pages automatically for you. And in InDesign, you typically don't need that. I'll be covering master pages, and text frames in a later chapter, but trust me, for now, you typically do not need InDesign to add these for you automatically. So, I usually leave that turned off.
I'm going to set this back to 1, starting on Page 1, and just a one page document. If I need to add pages, I can add them later. And I wanted to point out that if you've spent more than 30 seconds on this dialog box, getting the measurements just right, setting it up just the way you want, and so on, well, you're probably going to want to do another document in the future, which is similar to this or the same is this, so it's a good idea to take just a moment and save this as a Preset. Just click the Save Preset button, and give it a name. I'll call this David's 7 x 9 doc. You can call it anything you want.
I'll click OK, and you can see that it shows up here in the Document Preset popup menu right at the top. In fact, let's go ahead and cancel this and say we're starting over from scratch, a couple of days from now, we're going to go to File menu, choose New, choose Document, up comes the New Document dialog box, and you can see that there's my Preset from the Document Preset popup menu. I can select that, and it fills out all of the rest of this. So, I don't have to worry about it. I don't need to go in there, and make sure it's correct. I know it's correct, because it was when I made my Preset. So that's very, very handy. Now, I'll click OK, and you can see that the document is just dandy.
It's just what the doctor ordered, but you know, sometimes you'll do that. You'll set up a new document, you'll create it, and then you'll look at it and you'll say that's not what I wanted. I wanted this to be Portrait, not Landscape. Well, don't panic. It's not the end of the world. All the changes that you've made inside that New Document dialog box can be updated, they can be changed in an already existing document. For example, if I did want to change this to Portrait instead, I would go to the File menu, and choose Document Setup. Document Setup lets me change a lot of those features that were in the New Document dialog box.
Note that it will not let me change the Document Intent. It's still set to Print. It will not let me automatically add a new Master text frame. I don't care. I'm not going to use one anyway. But it will let me change things like the Page Size, and the Orientation. Let's go ahead and change that to Portrait instead. It'll also let me change my Bleed and Slug settings, which again I'll cover in a later chapter. You'll notice that it does not show me the Column and Margin guides. That's interesting. You can still change those, you just don't do it in this dialog box. You do it in a different dialog box and I'll cover that in a movie later in this chapter as well.
But in general, you get the idea here that you can change all these values right in here. Let's go ahead and click OK, and you can see that I've changed this already existing document to Portrait instead. You know making a new document with the proper settings is the first step in creating a strong foundation for your publication. In the next few movies, I'll cover many other settings that you should pay attention to when building your documents.
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