Join David Blatner for an in-depth discussion in this video InDesign workflow overview, part of InDesign CS4 Essential Training.
Let's take a quick look at how you can use InDesign's fundamental features to lay out a whole page and get it ready to print. This is just a quick overview, so you can see a typical InDesign workflow. So, I'm not going to stop and explain each feature and how to use it. That's what all the other movies in the title are for. To start with I have got some raw materials here in my Exercises folder. I'll launch InDesign and create a New Document. I'm going to leave all of these settings just the way they are because it matches what I'm trying to create. I'll click OK.
Now I have got a Blank document and I need to start adding stuff to my page. I'll open my Pages panel and double click on my Master Page to add some items on to my Master Page. These items are going to show up on all my document pages that I create. I'll go ahead and get a rectangular frame and draw it outside the page margins here a little bit. That looks pretty good, somewhere right in there, and now I need to stroke that. It currently has 1 point black stroke. I'm going to make it a little bit thicker, may be a 2 point, Oh! Let's make it a wavy stroke, that's kind of nice. We can now change the color of this from a straight black to maybe a little bit lighter, how about a 40% black.
Now I'm going to put a new frame on my page, somewhere around here, and I'll fill that with a red color. Right now, I'm going to take off the strokes, set the Stroke to None and fill it with a dark red. I don't have a dark red in my swatches panel. So, I better create one. Go to New Color Swatch, type in my CMYK values; let's make this little lighter, around 15% Black and then may be 20% of Cyan, 100% Magenta, and 50% Yellow. That looks pretty good. I'll go ahead and click OK and it automatically fills this object with that color, looking very pretty indeed.
Now I'm going to deselect everything by clicking out where there are no objects in my page and I'm going to place one of my graphics. In this case, it will be this Bliss Logo. I'm going to import this PDF file on to my page. I'll click Open and then just click where I want to put that. I'll put that right about up here on this page. I can move it into position by dragging it over into the upper left corner and then I'm going to resize this until it snaps against that object there, it looks pretty good.
That logo looks a little bit rough; it's just kind of low resolution. So, I can improve the Screen View by going to the View menu, Display Performance, High Quality Display; yeah that looks good, much better. Let's go look at our document page, go back to the Pages panel, double click on Page 1, and now I better import some text. So, I'll go to the File menu, choose Place, select the text file that I want to import. This is an RTF file from Microsoft Word, click Open and then I'll just drag out the area on my page that I want it to fill. So it creates a text frame and drops it right there. Why don't I make that a little bit smaller on the page? That's good. Just put it right down there.
Okay, let's go get some more graphics, why don't we -- I could use the Place command to do that, but in this case I'm going to use the application switcher, which is Command+Tab on the Mac or Alt+ Tab on Windows. Go back to the Finder and I'm going to just select the images that I want. That baking chocolate one, I'll hold down the Shift key to grab those other ones on the Mac. On the windows, I would hold down Ctrl to select all of those and when I drag them in, I switch back to InDesign with the application switcher, I can see that the place cursor is loaded; that is, I have four images in the place cursor that I can put anywhere on my page I want.
I don't have to make a graphic frame first if I don't want to, I could simply drag out an area and it just drops it right in. So that's pretty cool, or I can just click if I want to and it makes it for me. So there are three of the images and why don't I put the fourth one down here. Now I can start placing them where I want. InDesign CS4's Smart Guides makes it really easy to align all of these. So I'm going to put that one there, drop this one here, and I'll make this a little bit smaller using the keyboard shortcut, align this one, make it smaller. I've a lot of control here over how all of these objects lay out on the page, and I can very quickly drop them into position and make them look great. Now I'll select all three of those and move them down to give myself a little bit more room, looking pretty good, and let's put some more text on the page.
Now I have a Snippet File in that folder as well. So, I'm going to place that Snippet File file. Snippets are great ways to reuse frequently used items. So I made a Snippet File with some text in it that I can place on my page and it is all of these separate objects. It's not just one text file, but it's all of these objects and now I can drag them around on my page right where I want them. I'll select both of those or all three of those drop them into place, drop this into place; again, using the Smart Guides to center this object on the other object behind it. So that's a very fast way to align things on the page.
I'll close my Pages panel here, and this is starting to look pretty good and a little bit more room at the top here. So why don't I move these down. I can select all of those and move them down; obviously, I'm moving quickly here, but you get the idea that I'm laying out the page in a hurry. I'm going to use the Type tool to draw out a new frame right at the top here and put some text into it. I'll just type Our Products, I'll select that with Command+A or Ctrl+A on Windows; jump up to the Control panel, and I'll change this font to let's say Myriad Pro and I want this to be Bold. I need a really bold face here, let's make it bigger, so we can really see it. Let's change its color to fill with that same red that same red dark color, there we go, that's nice and why don't I space it out. I want to put extra space between each of those characters. I don't see the tracking command up here because I'm in the Essentials workspace I better switch over to the Typography workspace and that gives me a lot more Typographic controls.
Now I can come in here and add a whole bunch of tracking to add spacing between each one of those characters. That is looking really pretty good, but you know there is something missing here. A drop shadow. That's what I need. I love drop shadows, I love just putting drop shadows on everything. So how would I get a drop shadow on this document? I'll select this text frame, I'll go over to the Effects panel, and I'll select the Drop Shadow from the Effects pop-up menu. That opens the Effects dialog box and I can set this up with whatever settings I want; may be make it a little bit smaller, this is by default too large. I can turn the Preview checkbox On and see what's going on while I'm working that's always helpful. Let me make this a little bit smaller and a little bit closer. I'm using the Tab key or Shift+Tab to move back and forth among all of these fields in this dialog box. Click OK and now that is really looking just right or I'll press W to go into Preview Mode and we can see that the page is laid out. It's not perfect. I probably want to do more fine tuning to get it just right and increase the design integrity of the page.
This is a really quick overview for all the different things that you can do in InDesign. Adding effects, placing graphics and text on your page. I'm going to be covering all of these things in more detail later in the title, but I just wanted to give you a quick sense now of the workflow that you are going to be going through.
- Adjusting layouts and master pages
- Working with InDesign CS3 files and snippets
- Formatting objects, characters, and paragraphs
- Using the Story Editor
- Learning keystroke commands for important actions
- Understanding color and separations
- Using the Preflight and Package features to ensure successful printing
Skill Level Beginner
Q: Is it possible to load or import pages from one document to another in InDesign CS4?
A: Pages cannot be “loaded”, but they canned be "pushed" from one document to another by choosing Layout > Pages > Move Pages.
Q: When I place an image in InDesign, it is distorted or pixilated to the point of not being usable. I can place or open those same images in Photoshop or Illustrator CS3 and they are fine. What is causing the issue in InDesign?
A: You are likely seeing the low-resolution preview. To see high resolution or vector artwork, choose View > Display Performance > High Quality.
Q: I'm looking for a tutorial that will allow me to use InDesign to create files that can be emailed. They have to be converted to HTML first. Is that possible in InDesign?
A: If you mean making an HTML email, then InDesign really isn't the tool for you. It's HTML abilities are extremely limited. I'd look toward Dreamweaver for that.
Q: Since I upgraded to the new version of InDesign, when I click the "edit original" button in the Links panel, the pictures open in Preview instead of Photoshop
Q: I cannot see files on the desktop when in InDesign.
A: If you are using the Mac OS, you may need to turn off Window > Application Frame in order to see files behind InDesign (such as those on the Finder Desktop). If you are on Windows, you are seeing a difference between Mac and Windows. In Windows, the application is always living inside the application frame. If you un-maximize the windows frame, you can drag it smaller so you see the desktop and drag to or from it.
Q: I am currently working on an InDesign document originally created in Spanish. I am translating it to English and I need to change the language preference to be able to use the spell check in English. I have changed it in Preferences, but when I go to do the spell check on the document it is still in Spanish. There has to be a way. Can you please help me?
A: Changing the language in preferences does not change the document or text language. You need to change the langauge in the paragraph style, or the character style in the Character panel or the Control panel (select the text first).
Q: When I create a text box on the master page, it manifests in red and leaves behind a red number sign (#), not a blue number sign as in the video. What is causing this, and does the color of the number sign affect my document?
A: The reason the text frame is in red instead of blue is that you most likely have a red layer selected in the Layers panel. Just click on a different layer in the Layers panel to switch. The color of the frame and the number symbol is based on the layer color. The color has no effect on how it prints; it's just for document organization purposes.