Join David Blatner for an in-depth discussion in this video Getting started, part of Getting Started with InDesign (2014).
Everyone knows how to create a new file. You go to the File menu and then choose New. But in InDesign, it gives you three different options. In this case, we want to choose New Document. The New Document dialog box has a lot of options, but for right now, the first thing you need to think about is, does your document have facing pages? That is, does it have a left hand and a right hand page, like a book or a magazine? If it doesn't, then turn off the Facing Pages checkbox. Next, you want to choose a page size from the Page Size pop-up menu or type in a value, here.
This is the final size, what's called the trim size of your document. Down at the bottom of the panel, we see the margins. These just add margin guides. They're just guidelines. You can ignore them if you want. Now, I'll click OK, and InDesign creates a nice, new, clean document for me. Now, you could start with an empty InDesign document like this if you want, but I find it's usually easier to start with a template, something that's partially created, and then change the text and graphics as I work. Now, I have a template to work with in my exercise files folder, so I'm going to switch to that and open it.
Here it is, brochure_intro.indd. It's inside this exercise file's folder, and I can open it simply by double-clicking on it. Of course, you could also go to the File menu and choose Open. There's the file. I also want to mention that this Open dialog box lets' me open Quark Express and PageMaker files. I'm talking about the old QuarkXPress 3 and 4 files and also PageMaker 6.5 or 7 files. If you have one of those files, just select it in the Open dialog box and click Open and InDesign will translate it.
It'll convert it into an InDesign file. Now, if you have a QuarkXPress document created in a later version, like maybe QuarkXPress 5, 6, 7, 8, or 9, you could still open those, but you need a plugin from a company called Markzware, and the plugin is called QX2ID. Markzware also sells another plugin that lets you open Microsoft Publisher files in InDesign. That's cool. But, in this case, I'm going to click Cancel because I already have my document open. There's the template that I'm going to use. In the next few movies, I'll be filling this out by adding text and graphics.
Now, this template comes with the exercise files, but there are lots of InDesign templates available on the web, including dozens of free ones on the site that I run with Anne-Marie Concepcion called InDesignSecrets. Here on this page, there are dozens of free templates that you can download and use, including ones that create books, brochures, menus, and more. Just download them, open them in design, and you're good to go. Of course, getting your document open is just the first step on the adventure called InDesign. Next, we're going to learn how to get text in there and make it look the way you want.
Want to learn more? Check out InDesign CC Essential Training and InDesign Insider Training: Beyond the Essentials for more in-depth tutorials.