Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member
Before we jump into actually putting text or graphics on the page, we'd better stop and take a look at the various elements of InDesign's application window, because whether you create a new document or open an already created one, you'll see the same things. The first thing we want to look at is the application frame, basically that which contains the entire application. In Windows, there is a thing called an application window. On the Mac, it's an option. And you can get to that option by going to the Window menu and choosing Application Frame on or off. I like having it on, because it puts the entire thing inside of a window.
It sort of contains the entire application. But that's really up to you. I'll click on this Maximize button to fill the whole screen. The other thing you'll find under the Window menu is this item called the application bar. The application bar lives across the top of the Application window and this gives me a bunch of controls, which we'll be covering in future movies. It is an option to turn it on or off, but I leave it on, I like having those features right in front of me all the time when I'm working in InDesign. Now, just below the application bar, there is a panel called the Control panel.
And the Control panel lets you control items on your page. That is another extremely important feature in InDesign. In other applications, it's sometimes called the Inspector panel. But here it's called the Control panel. It gives you information about the objects on the page and it lets you control them. Now just below the Control panel is the document window. Up here in the upper left corner of the document window is the name of this current document, this HanselandPetal_Catalog that I have opened here. You can see that inside the document window, there are rulers that run along the left side and the top of the page.
So, those rulers are attached to this particular document. Now inside the document window, there is an area called the pasteboard. The pasteboard is just a big white area that contains your document pages, which is what we're seeing over here right in the middle of the page. But you can also use the pasteboard to put stuff that you're not currently using. Maybe you have an image that you're not sure what to do with it yet. You can just drag it off and put it on the pasteboard out here and then put it back on your document page when you're ready. So that's what the pasteboard is all about. Now, the document page has this black line around it.
It's a little bit hard to see in this screen, because we have an item, this blue image actually bleeds off the side of the page. So it's extending past the edge of the document page. But if you look closely, you'll see a black line and that black line determines the edge of the actual printed page. So that's an important thing to pay attention to. Now you'll also see a number of colored lines, like this red line around the outside and inside here we have a purple line and a pink line and so on. Those lines are all guides. They don't print.
They're just there to be helpful for you really. The pink guides, this magenta guide along the top, is the top margin. There's also another one at the bottom, the bottom margin, but they're just guides. You can ignore them if you want to. The purple guides that are vertical along here are your column guides. So that will help you place text inside columns. On the left and right side, you'll see that the column guides are actually overlapping the margin guides, which is why you can't see the pink guide underneath there. Just outside the page, you'll see red guides. These red guides are called bleed guides.
They're always on the outside of the document page. And again, they're there just to be helpful, so that you know how far to extend objects off the side of your page to bleed. We'll be covering that in more detail in future movies. Now, there is one other thing that I really have to point out, and that is the Tool panel along the left side of the page. Whenever you're constructing a document, you need tools, right? So this gives you all of the tools that you're going to need to construct your document. That's very important as well. Now, along the top of the Application window, there are menus.
I try and avoid the menus when I can, because I like using keyboard shortcuts, but, of course, the menu items are there until you learn the keyboard shortcuts for each of these features. So obviously, you want to take a little time and look through each of these. Now, if you're used to coming from PageMaker or QuarkXPress, I should point out that these menus are actually very similar to those other programs, but they usually have different names. For example, here the Object menu is very similar to QuarkXPress's Item menu. So, same basic idea, but different name, Object versus Item, you get the idea.
Now there is a couple other windows off on the side which you really need to pay attention to. First, the Window menu. InDesign has a lot of panels and sometimes you're not sure where to find those panels. Well, you can always find them in the Window menu. In the center section here, all of these things are floating panels in InDesign. This is where the majority of InDesign's features live, inside these panels. So, if you're looking for a panel, look here. The Help menu, also very important. If you're trying to find some help on one particular feature, check out the Help menu of course, but there is a couple other things here which I want to point out.
Very important features. For example, Deactivate. Now I mention Deactivate, not because we're going to be using it in this title, but because, this thing always messes me up. Whenever I need to move InDesign from one machine to another machine, I always forget to deactivate it. So I'm warning you now, make sure you deactivate first and then uninstall and then you can move it to a new computer and then activate it on that new computer. It's a little thing, but it can really cause you great headaches if you don't deactivate first. So, just pay attention to that. There is some other stuff here too, Updates, for example.
Adobe is constantly coming out with new updates that fix little bugs and change features for the better and so on. So you want to keep on top of the updates. So every month or two, select updates from here, make sure you have the newest free update for InDesign, just to make sure that you're not running into any problems downstream. There's other stuff here too, like the InDesign Support Center, which will take you to Adobe's site, so you can find technical notes and other help from Adobe, directly. Very handy. Again, once every month or two, definitely check that out. So, now that you know your way around the document page, the document window, the panels and so on, you are all set to move on to the next step, which is to learn about navigation: zooming in and out, changing pages and panning around your document.
Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.Become a member
119 Video lessons · 47420 Viewers
117 Video lessons · 34400 Viewers
113 Video lessons · 80285 Viewers
116 Video lessons · 70204 Viewers