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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.
You can't play football or baseball if you don't know your way around the field, and you can't be efficient in InDesign until you're comfortable with the application window. Because whether you create a new document, or open an already created one, you'll see the same things. The first thing you see in InDesign when you launch it is this giant welcome window that's right in the middle of the screen. This welcome window is great because it gives you a list of all your recently opened InDesign files, and it also lets you create new files. For example, I'll just click Create New Document.
Up comes a New Document dialog box and I'm just going to go with the default settings here, click OK and we can see a fresh new InDesign document right in the middle of the screen. In Windows, InDesign lives inside what's call the application frame. On the Mac, we don't have a frame by default, so we can actually see behind InDesign, in this case back to that blue Desktop. Or if there's other applications running, we could see those applications back there. To me that's really distracting. So I like to turn on the Application Frame and on the Mac you can do that by going to the Window menu and choosing Application Frame.
This puts InDesign into an Application Frame which can take up a portion of the window, or the entire window. I typically wanted to fill the window. So, I'll go up to the green maximize button, click that and now it fills the window. Again, you don't need to do that on Windows because the Application Frame is always on there. Now let's take a look at what we're seeing here. At the top of course there's all the menus- File, Edit, Layout and so on, and this controls many of the features that we'll be using throughout this title, to talk about how to create InDesign documents.
Just below the menu is what's called the Application bar. The Application bar gives us a few features that let's us control how we're seeing our document. For example, this first pop down menu let's you control whether the Rulers should be turned on or off, whether they're visible or invisible around your document page. I'll be talking about all of that later in this chapter. Next, down in the screen we see the Control panel and the Control panel is probably the most important panel inside of InDesign. This let's you not only get information about the objects on your page, but to control their formatting.
It let's you control the Fill and Stroke of an object. It let's you control the formatting of your text. The Control panel is extremely important, that's why they put it right there at the top. However, if you don't want it at the top of the screen, you can actually move it someplace else. You can do that by dragging this little gray bar on the left edge. As I drag that out, it becomes a Floating panel. I could even drag this down to the bottom of my screen, until I see a little blue bar area show up and when I do that it docs it to the bottom of the screen.
Some people like it down there more, because they find it more efficient to look down. In this case, I'm going to drag it back up to the top, and again I'll drag it until I see a little blue area, little blue bar, let go and it docks up there. I'm going to leave it there because that's the way it'll be on most of your machines. Right now, I have a brand-new document open and it's called Untitled-1. I can tell that by looking up here in the tab. This tab area shows all the documents I have open right now. For example, if I go to the File menu and choose New > Document and click OK, you'll see that now we have a second document open.
Two different tabs, in both cases the documents are empty. So they look the same but believe me there really are two different documents open right now. The document page itself is centered in the window, and the edge of the page is this black line. That's the edge of the page that's going to get printed, or if it's an on-screen interactive document that's going to the edge of the screen. Inside the page there are these guides, these pink and purple guidelines. They're just guidelines. They won't print out. The pink one or magenta one is the Margin Guide.
That's where the edge of the margin is inside the page. The purple ones are the Column Guides. In this case there's only one column on the page, so it takes up the entire width from one margin to the next. On the outside of the page is an area, called the Pasteboard. The Pasteboard is very useful for storing objects that you're not sure if you're going to use them or not. For example, you might have an image that you may want to use, you may not, no problem just hold it out there on the Pasteboard for little while, and then you can move it onto the page if you need to.
Now as you're constructing your document in InDesign, you're going to need tools and all the tools live over here in the tool panel along the left side of the screen. There's a Selection tool, a Page tool, Type tool, and so on. And I'm going to be covering all of those tools in later movies. The counterpart to the tools, are panels. panels give you a lot of control over how objects look or how they behave on the page, and the panels typically live over here on the right side in what's called the Dock. For example, we have the Pages panel, the Layers panel, and so on.
I'm simply clicking on the name and up pops the panel. You can find more panels here in the Window menu. The Window menu shows you all the panels in InDesign. The last thing I want to point out here is the Help menu, which you might be tempted to just to skip over or ignore. But there's, a few items in here which you should definitely know about. For example, the Welcome Screen. The Welcome Screen is that screen that we saw at the beginning of this movie. That window you see where no documents are open. Sometimes it's helpful to open that even when you have a document open.
So there it is if you want to open it again. Deactivate looks really obscure, but it turns out to be really important. Because Adobe pays attention to how many copies of InDesign you're running at the same time. You're only supposed to have two copies of InDesign running, perhaps one on your Desktop and one on your laptop. If you ever need to uninstall InDesign and install it onto a different machine, don't forget to deactivate it first, because Adobe is paying attention. Deactivate, then uninstall and then move it to the other machine, and finally Updates.
It's really worth choosing updates every so often, maybe once a month. Make sure your copy of InDesign is up-to-date because Adobe keeps releasing little mini upgrades. They fix bugs. They make things work more smoothly, more quickly, and so on. You definitely want to make sure you have the newest free update for your copy of InDesign. Now that you know your way around the document page, the document window, the panels and so on, it's time to learn about navigation. Zooming in and out, changing pages and panning around your document.
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