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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.
Finally, it's time to make a new InDesign document. The way to make a new InDesign document is to go to the File menu, go to New submenu and choose Document. Of course, you could also just press Command+N on the Mac or Ctrl+N on Windows or the other thing you could do is here in the welcome screen you could click the Document button under the Create New area. When you do any of those things, up comes the New Document dialog box. At first this dialog box might be a little overwhelming. There are a number of features in here that you probably don't need to pay attention to all the time, but I am going to go through one feature at a time to make sure you know what's what in here.
The very first thing you need to decide is the Intent. The Intent means where this document is going. There are three options here, Print, Web and Digital Publishing and I am going to focus on these second to first. Web is a bit of a misnomer. It doesn't mean web like a web page or an HTML page, it means a document that is going to be delivered on-screen. This really should say on-screen. An example of this might be a document that you are going to be exporting as PDF and it has a movie in it and some buttons, things that you will probably only be seen on screen and then maybe occasionally printed out.
Another example might be a SWF file that has animations built into it. Those are on-screen web documents. Two things happen when you choose Web; first, all your measurements are set to pixels instead of inches or centimeters and second all your colors in your document will be set to RGB. That's appropriate for a web or an on-screen document. The next option Digital Publishing are only for documents that are destined to be used in the Digital Publishing Suite, the DPS suite, and that's for documents that are going to be created as apps on an iPad or an Android device, some sort of tablet.
Here too everything is set to pixels and one of things you'll notice is that Page Size is not really a page it's a device, is this going to an iPad or is it going to a Nook? InDesign is smart enough to know the pixel dimensions of those various devices, but for all the other InDesign documents, really probably 99% of the documents that are created with InDesign, you want to choose Print and Print does not mean only print, it doesn't mean that you're going to necessarily be printing this. If you're making a PDF that you're putting up on your website for somebody to read like a product sheet for some business, you can still use Print.
But for everything else, probably 99% of the documents created in InDesign choose Print. Print is kind of like the catchall for all the other documents that you are going to be creating. When you use Print, your measurements are all set to picas or inches or centimeters or whatever you have chosen, and all your colors are set to CMYK. The next thing you need to decide in the New Document dialog box is whether your document is set up for Facing Pages. Facing Pages should only be used for documents that have a left and a right-hand page, a verso and a recto, kind of like a book or a magazine.
If you're doing a one-page flyer or even a double-sided flyer you want to turn that off. Anything that does not truly have facing pages, turn that off. Primary Text Frame is a way to automatically add a text frame to your Master page and I'll be covering that in a later chapter. For now, I'm just going to tell you that most people can turn that off, leave it off most of the time, it's used for things like books where you have a story that goes from one page to the next over a lot of pages. Couple of other features we can look at quickly, Number of Pages, usually it's set to 1.
If you know what you're creating a document with 16 pages, you can type 16 in here and you'll get that many pages, but it doesn't really matter and honestly I usually just set it to 1 and if I need more pages, I'll add them later in InDesign. Same thing with Start Page, Start Page is something that you can set here if you want to, for example, if you are working on a chapter of a book and you know that chapter starts on page 47, you could set that here. Otherwise, it's easy to change later. Now we get to the real meat and bones of this dialog box, the Page Size.
This is the most important thing that you can choose here. What size should the finished piece be? I am talking about if you're going to be printing this on a commercial printing press what is the final size after it's trimmed down, going to be? Is it letter size? Is it 8x10, is it something smaller? If you're printing a business card, you should choose Business Card out of this popup menu and the Width and Height will update automatically. If you know you are going to be printing on A4 paper, then go ahead and choose A4. In this case, I know that I'm creating a document that's going to be exactly 7 inches x 9 inches.
So I am going to type that in here. I can type my own custom values here by typing 7in for 7 inches, then I'll press Tab and when you press Tab, it will automatically convert the measurement into the current measurement system, which is picas. This is going to be 9 inches tall, so I'll type 9in and then hit Tab again, and it converts it into picas for me. If you want to, you can click on the Orientation buttons over on the right. All that does literally is swap the values in here, doesn't do anything special.
Columns is the next stop. Most documents just have one column, but if you know that you're going to have two or more columns in your document, go ahead and change them here. Also, change your Gutter. The Gutter is the amount of space in between each column in your document and Margins. Margins set up guidelines inside your page so that you know where the edges of let's say the text frame should sit. Margins are just guidelines. There's nothing stopping you from putting objects outside the margins, but they're just helpful reminders of where the appropriate place to put your text frames and graphics should be.
One thing to note here it this button that looks like a little chain, right now if I made a change to any of these fields, they would all change, but if I click on that link button, it unlinks, it decouples all of these frames. So if I want a different margin at the Top, I cap type 6p, for example, and now, I can change that separately from the others. Now this looks like all of the options inside this dialog box, but there is a little bit more, it's hiding from you. Adobe didn't want to freak you out by offering too many options at the same time, but you can see all of your options by clicking on the More Options button, and when you do that, the dialog box gets a little bit bigger and we can see that there is Bleed and Slug settings.
I'm going to be talking about Bleed and Slug settings in a later movie in this chapter, but I just wanted to point out that this is where you can find those settings here in this dialog box. Now the last thing I want to point out is the Save Preset button, because if you create a lot of new documents, some of them are probably going to have the same values. So I can save all the work that I have just done in this dialog box by clicking Save Preset and giving this a name. You can call it anything you want, and then you click OK, and suddenly that preset shows up here in the Document Preset popup menu.
So the next time I need a document that's 7x9 with a 6 pica Top margin, I can just pull that right out of this popup menu. I'll click OK and now I've got my document. If you do create a document and you need to make changes later, don't panic, InDesign is very flexible, very forgiving. In this case, let's say we want to change the size of the page slightly, we'll go to the File menu and choose Document Setup and we can change all kinds of settings here, including the Page Size. For example, let's make this a little bit taller.
I'll just say make this 55 picas instead, click OK and now the document is slightly taller. Making a new document with the proper settings is the first step in creating a strong foundation for your publication.
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