InDesign CS6 Essential Training
Illustration by John Hersey

Exploring the application window


InDesign CS6 Essential Training

with David Blatner

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Video: Exploring the application window

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.
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  1. 1m 23s
    1. What is InDesign?
      1m 23s
  2. 2m 38s
    1. Welcome
      1m 0s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 38s
  3. 21m 19s
    1. Getting started
      3m 33s
    2. Adding or editing text
      3m 23s
    3. Adding or replacing graphics
      4m 31s
    4. Moving objects around
      4m 55s
    5. Printing and creating a PDF
      4m 57s
  4. 26m 6s
    1. Exploring the application window
      6m 25s
    2. Navigating and magnifying pages and objects
      6m 24s
    3. Setting rulers and measurements
      2m 35s
    4. Working with panels
      3m 58s
    5. Setting the view quality of artwork
      2m 31s
    6. Adjusting view and preview settings
      4m 13s
  5. 27m 52s
    1. Creating new documents
      7m 39s
    2. Saving and reverting documents
      4m 2s
    3. Saving for CS4 and CS5 with IDML
      2m 24s
    4. Setting the margin and column guides
      4m 29s
    5. Putting ruler guides on the page
      5m 7s
    6. Bleeding colors or images off the side of the page
      4m 11s
  6. 23m 37s
    1. Inserting, deleting, and moving pages
      4m 32s
    2. Changing page size
      4m 38s
    3. Creating and applying master pages
      5m 18s
    4. Overriding master page items
      2m 43s
    5. Adding page numbering
      2m 22s
    6. Changing page numbering with sections
      4m 4s
  7. 52m 48s
    1. Understanding text frames
      3m 38s
    2. Typing and editing text
      4m 48s
    3. Inserting special characters
      4m 1s
    4. Importing text
      3m 47s
    5. Threading text frames
      3m 12s
    6. Setting text frame columns
      4m 31s
    7. Setting text inset and vertical justification options
      3m 48s
    8. Allowing text frames to grow and shrink
      4m 5s
    9. Putting text on a path
      5m 51s
    10. Using the Story Editor
      5m 10s
    11. Checking spelling
      5m 12s
    12. Using Find/Change
      4m 45s
  8. 28m 19s
    1. Importing graphics
      8m 20s
    2. Using the Links panel
      7m 17s
    3. Editing graphics in their original app
      3m 10s
    4. Fitting graphics to the frame
      5m 1s
    5. Taking advantage of image transparency and clipping paths
      4m 31s
  9. 35m 49s
    1. Selecting objects
      5m 2s
    2. Applying basic strokes and fills
      5m 6s
    3. Colorizing images
      1m 59s
    4. Adjusting transparency
      4m 4s
    5. Adding drop shadows
      3m 33s
    6. Using other transparency effects
      5m 15s
    7. Copying and formatting with the Eyedropper tool
      5m 59s
    8. Finding and changing object formatting
      4m 51s
  10. 18m 34s
    1. Creating color swatches
      4m 33s
    2. Understanding the danger and power of unnamed colors
      5m 46s
    3. Creating gradient swatches
      3m 53s
    4. Applying gradients
      4m 22s
  11. 15m 27s
    1. Editing frame and path shapes
      5m 8s
    2. Adding rounded corners and other corner options
      4m 8s
    3. Making polygons and starbursts
      1m 59s
    4. Creating text outlines
      4m 12s
  12. 37m 56s
    1. Positioning objects with the Gap tool
      3m 54s
    2. Stacking objects
      2m 5s
    3. Creating and controlling layers
      5m 27s
    4. Managing objects in the Layers panel
      3m 33s
    5. Grouping and locking objects
      3m 10s
    6. Nesting objects
      3m 23s
    7. Aligning and distributing objects
      4m 20s
    8. Understanding text wrap
      5m 51s
    9. Using anchored objects
      6m 13s
  13. 26m 17s
    1. Duplicating objects
      5m 37s
    2. Collecting, conveying, and placing content
      8m 58s
    3. Rotating objects
      2m 22s
    4. Scaling objects
      4m 21s
    5. Skewing objects
      1m 9s
    6. Mirroring objects
      3m 50s
  14. 24m 19s
    1. Applying basic character styling
      7m 31s
    2. Applying advanced character formatting
      4m 28s
    3. Changing case
      3m 23s
    4. Using Find/Change for text formatting
      5m 3s
    5. Using Find Font
      3m 54s
  15. 33m 11s
    1. Applying formatting to a paragraph
      4m 5s
    2. Spanning a paragraph across multiple columns
      2m 10s
    3. Splitting a paragraph into multiple columns
      1m 52s
    4. Using drop caps
      3m 26s
    5. Setting tabs
      7m 55s
    6. Adding rules (lines) above or below a paragraph
      3m 23s
    7. Adding automatic bullets
      4m 10s
    8. Numbering paragraphs
      6m 10s
  16. 19m 47s
    1. Creating and applying paragraph styles
      6m 10s
    2. Using character styles
      4m 45s
    3. Editing and redefining styles
      2m 20s
    4. Using object styles
      2m 47s
    5. Applying styles with Quick Apply
      3m 45s
  17. 39m 59s
    1. Creating a table
      4m 29s
    2. Adjusting rows and columns
      4m 36s
    3. Adding and deleting rows and columns
      3m 0s
    4. Formatting a table
      4m 32s
    5. Formatting cells
      6m 2s
    6. Applying table styles
      5m 33s
    7. Placing graphics in cells
      3m 1s
    8. Importing Microsoft Word and Excel tables
      8m 46s
  18. 16m 45s
    1. Building a multi-document book
      7m 27s
    2. Creating "continued on..." jump lines
      3m 51s
    3. Constructing a table of contents (TOC)
      5m 27s
  19. 23m 8s
    1. Exporting EPUBs
      6m 12s
    2. Creating an interactive PDF
      12m 49s
    3. Building a Flash SWF
      4m 7s
  20. 28m 1s
    1. Checking a document with the Preflight panel
      5m 26s
    2. Packaging for output
      3m 34s
    3. Using the Print dialog box
      4m 52s
    4. Printing a small booklet
      2m 46s
    5. Exporting a PDF
      7m 56s
    6. Exporting text
      3m 27s
  21. 1m 25s
    1. Next steps
      1m 25s

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Watch the Online Video Course InDesign CS6 Essential Training
8h 24m Beginner May 07, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Getting started in just 30 minutes: the quick start guide to InDesign
  • Understanding your workspace
  • Creating and setting up new documents
  • Creating and applying master pages
  • Entering and editing text
  • Placing graphics
  • Working with color and gradients
  • Editing frame and path shapes
  • Working with layers, objects, and groups
  • Rotating and scaling objects
  • Applying character and paragraph formatting
  • Using styles
  • Creating and formatting tables
  • Exporting to EPUB and interactive PDF
  • Packaging, printing, and exporting your final document
David Blatner

Exploring the application window

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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