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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.
An InDesign document by itself is fun to look at. But it's not very practical out in the real world. Instead, you are going to want to print this puppy or export it out as a PDF so that other people can view it or print it. No problem. But before we go there, let's go ahead and save this. I will go to the File menu and choose Save As. I will go ahead and choose where I want to save the file, change its name and then come down here and make sure that InDesign document is saved in the Format pop-up menu. Note that you can also save this as an InDesign CS4 or later file, also called an IDML file.
This is how you back save your file, in case you needed to open this in InDesign CS5 or CS4. But in this case, we are just going to save this as a regular CS6 document. Now everyone knows that to print, you go to the File menu and you choose Print. But there are couple of gotchas here in this dialog box that you should be aware of. This dialog box looks different than the Print dialog box in most other programs. But most of it, is pretty self-explanatory. You change the number of copies that you want, what pages you want to print, and so on.
Notice that we have a list of panes down here on the left side of the dialog box. I am going to choose the Setup Pane and it's crucial that I choose the right paper size for the printer that I am printing to. In this case it's regular US Letter. Note that because this document is wider than it is tall, InDesign is indicating that it is going to print sideways on my page. So that it fits the page best. If I change the Orientation to Portrait by clicking this first icon, you'll see that there's a mismatch between the InDesign page, that's the one that has a big P on it, and the Printer page that's the white page behind it.
So in this case, I am going to go back and click on the second icon, so that it rotates the page and it prints properly. Now there are some features that you maybe used to that you will not be able to find here in this Print dialog box. For example, if you have a double-sided printer, a duplex printer, you won't be able to find those printer specific features inside this dialog box. Instead, you need to go to the Printer Driver dialog box and you get there by clicking Printer down here at the bottom of the dialog box. Now InDesign will warn you that many of the features in the Printer Driver dialog box are overwritten by the ones in InDesign's own dialog box. But that's okay.
We will click OK and up comes the Printer Driver dialog box. If this were a double-sided or duplex printer, we would be able to turn that feature on inside this dialog box here. So you use this Printer Driver dialog box to set up all your printer specific settings. Then go ahead and click Print and it returns you to InDesign's dialog box. When you are ready to print, go ahead and click Print here. In this case, I am going to click Cancel because I don't really want to print this. I want to make a PDF.
Now back in the 20th Century the old days, the way people usually made PDFs is by printing PostScript to disk, and then using Acrobat Distiller to turn those poster files into PDF's. You don't want to do that. Instead InDesign lets you export PDF directly right out of the program. To do that you go to the File menu, choose Export and then choose PDF from the Format pop-up menu. You'll notice that there are two different PDFs to choose from. If your document contains buttons and movies and other interactive objects that we will talk about in a later chapter, then you'll choose Interactive.
But in most cases you're just going to choose Adobe PDF (Print). I will click Save and up comes the Export Adobe PDF dialog box. This is very similar to the PDF dialog box that you'll see in most of the other Adobe Creative Suite applications. For example, you can choose any of your standard Adobe PDF presets. If you're sending this to a commercial printer, you will probably choose PDF/X-1a or PDF/X-3, but check with your printer first to be sure. If you are going to put your PDF on your website for somebody to download and view, you probably start with high quality print, and then you might make a few changes.
For example, I turn on View PDF after Exporting because I like to see my PDF after it's done. I am going to go to the Compression pane and change the Resolution for all color and gray scale image to 150 because I don't need really high resolution images for this PDF that I'm putting on my website. I'm also going to change the Image Quality down to Medium because I don't need that super high quality either. In the later chapter, I go into far more detail about the options in the Export PDF dialog box as well as ways to export your InDesign documents to other useful file formats.
But from now, I'm just going to export this PDF, and wait for it to appear. There we go, it opened the PDF and I can see that it's looking great. So that's it for our first section. I hope you've enjoyed this very fast overview. By now you know the basics enough at least to make a simple document, maybe get yourself into a little trouble. Now that we've scratched the surface though, it's time to really go ahead and learn InDesign.
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