Join David Blatner for an in-depth discussion in this video Understanding the Application window, part of InDesign CS4 Essential Training.
Before we jump in to actually to 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 will see the same things. For example, every application has menus and InDesign is no exception. All these menus live along the top of the application, up here. InDesign also has lots of lots of panels; some people call them palettes. For example, we can see this bar along the top here. There is another panel right next to it. This is called the Control panel. The Control panel is probably the most important panel in InDesign. So, you'll always want to pay attention to that.
Next down along the left edge, is the Tool panel and along the right side there are a bunch of panels likes the Pages panel and Links panels and so on. And if you click on one of those it opens it. Click on it again, and it closes. We will be talking a lot more about all of these panels and how to use them, how to open them, close them, navigate around them in a later movie. But for right now, I just wanted to point out where they are. Now I do want to point out that, obviously, I'm using the Mac OS version of InDesign, but the Windows version of InDesign is almost exactly the same. There are a few little changes, but very, very minor. Now one of the changes is that on Windows the entire application is living inside of an application frame, sort of, a window within Windows. On the Mac, traditionally, the application, kind of, floats above the background any other applications we could actually see here like the OS Finder, the Mac Finder is sitting here so that's why I can see that folder sitting there.
Now in InDesign CS4, Adobe has given us Mac users the ability to see an application frame and hide all of the other applications behind it. And the way you do that on the Mac is you'll go to the Window menu and you choose Application Frame. That turns on the application frame and the entire application lives inside that frame and some people like this; some people hate it. You don't have to use it if you don't want to, but let me to show you what's going on here. The Application Bar that we saw before it used to be, kind of, a floating palette.
Now is the Title bar for this application frame and I can click on it and drag the whole window around. I can even resize this by clicking on the edges of it to make the application window smaller or bigger and all the other panels and document window resize accordingly. If I want to fill the entire screen with this application window, I click on the green plus button, this maximize button and now this fills the entire screen. This is useful if you have multiple monitors and you want InDesign to take up like a whole monitor and only be in that monitor, the application frame might be useful for that, but to be honest, I usually leave it turned Off. I like the normal version of the Mac OS without the application frame, but its up to you, I just want to point out that you can have it On or turn it Off.
Now inside the application, there is, of course, a big document window. When you have a document open, the document window shows you the document in here and let me just tell you a little bit about what we are looking at here. We see one page and the edge of the page is this black line around here. The objects on this page actually go out beyond the edge of the document page in this particular document, you don't have to do that, but that's what's going on here. But this black line is the edge of the page itself. Now inside the edge of the page we see these pink and purple lines and those are the guides, the Margin Guides. The pink line is the Margin Guide and the purple line is a Column Guide and there is actually a Column Guide sitting on top of the right edge Margin Guide here, so that's why you can't see the pink line on the side, but I'm going to be going into a lot more detail about Margin Guides and Column Guides and all of that in a later movie. For now I just wanted to point out what all of these things we are seeing are about.
Now outside the document page is this white area, let me zoom back on this so we can see more of that. I'll be talking about zooming later on in this chapter, but for now I'll tell you that if you press Command+Minus or Ctrl+Minus on Windows, it zooms back. So, I'm going to zoom back a couple of times by pressing that keyboard shortcut and we can see that there is this big white area outside the document page or the document spread and that is the pasteboard. The pasteboard is just an area where you can keep scraps of images or text or whatever; things that you are not ready to use quite yet. This is just, sort of, a storage area for your document. So that's what was going on there and each page or each spread has its own pasteboard. That's different than a program like PageMaker, if you used to use PageMaker. In PageMaker, the pasteboard is the same for all of your spreads, but in InDesign it works more like Quark Express every spread has its own pasteboard.
Just a few more things here, I mentioned panels earlier and InDesign has a lot of panels. We can only see a few of them open here, but there are like 40 different panels that we are going to be using throughout this title. I want to point out that you can find all of those panels here under the Window menu. That's what all of these things are and some of them are actually hiding inside submenu. So there are a lot of panels that we are going to be covering through this title, but that's where they all live. If you are ever looking for a panel, go to the Window menu.
Now the last thing I want to point out is the Help menu. And the Help menu is very cool, it's funny, but a lot of InDesign users just never get up to look at that Help menu, but there are really important things here. First of all, InDesign Help, of course, if you are ever trying to figure out how to do something, just go straight to InDesign Help, it's a surprisingly good help system that Adobe has created there and you can search for things very quickly. So I just want to point out that's the fastest way to get InDesign to help. If I click on that you see that it brings up this Welcome Screen here and this shows recently opened documents, it lets me create new documents, and my favorite part about it, is it gives me links to great websites. So, for example, the InDesign User Group. You can get lots of good information from InDesign User Group website and that's a nice quick way to link right to it.
Let's go ahead and close this window. And just a couple of more things here, Updates; a really good idea to make sure that InDesign is updated. Adobe is constantly releasing small little mini updates to the programs. So, every month or so, you should click on Updates and make sure that you are up to date. Oh! Right above that is deactivate and this is an interesting one. If you are ever going to take your version of InDesign off of this computer and put it on a different computer then you should deactivate first. A lot of people don't realize that and get themselves in trouble, because you are only allowed two activations per copy of InDesign.
So, you could have one, for example, on your desktop machine and another one on the laptop, but if you ever need to take it off the laptop and put in on a different laptop, let's say, make sure you deactivate that laptop first, then uninstall, and then install on a new machine. So, that's an important one. So, there are all kinds of good stuffs in here, there is even a link here, an online support feature that launches your web browser and it takes you right to Adobe's Technical Support web page and the information changes on the website from time-to-time. I found it really helpful to check. Again, every month or two, go check that stuff out.
So, now you know your way around the document page, the document windows, the panels, and so on. Now it's time to learn about navigation, zooming in and out, changing pages, panning around your document, and that's just what we are going to cover in the next couple of movies.
- 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.