Mastering the Basics: Indesign part 1 of 3

Ryazan, Russia - July 11, 2018: Adobe InDesign, software logo on the official website of Adobe.

Adobe Indesign is a software created for multi page layout purpose(s). Hence all tools and panels within are exclusively there to ease the workflow of that medium.

This blog will deal with starting a new document, navigation through the workspace, basic vector shapes and basic text creation and modification.

Starting a new document:

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- File/New document or ctrl + n (MS Windows), cmd + n (IOS)

- A Panel will appear, on top shows Print if the purpose is a CMYK ink based medium or Web and Mobile if the purpose is RGB based screen only content.For the CMYK, the default unit system is in millimeters since the content will be measured using metric rulers; as for RGB, the default unit system is in pixels, will be measured on screen. So choose whatever preference and modify page size by inputting custom sizes or selecting an already existing preset.

Page orientation is also a preference, either keep it as default portrait or switch to landscape. This is dependant on your layout preference so use what suits.

Page count is for the number of pages you wish to contain within the document; this can be modified later on at anytime.

Facing pages, if you want to have the final layout saddle stitched as any current book.Facing pages off, if the preference is single Independent pages. The latter though is recommended for book or booklet publication.

Columns, are very important to make use of. Having two columns divides virtually a single page into two, three columns three pages, etc ... the main use of dividing is controlling the visual workflow that help at building consistency in a generally big multipage document.

- Properties Panel will be of reach whenever editing latter attributes is needed. All panels can be accessed in Window menu.


- Spacebar + Left mouse button to pan through the workspace- Ctrl and + for zooming in, Ctrl and - for zooming out; Alt and mouse scroll works as well- Ctrl and 0, To fit selected page within workspace

Do note that Ctrl works in MS Windows mode, whereas Cmd works in IOS mode

Using Tools Panel: (basic rectangle)

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- Select Rectangle Tool then Press and Drag on a selected page to draw a rectangle, add (Shift) with left mouse press to create a square or simple click on the page to assign exact measurements for it.

- You can scale, translate or rotate using Selection Tool. Select bounding box from either sides, press left mouse then drag. To rotate step further from one of the corners when rotation icon appears, press and drag to rotate.

- Any basic shape, including rectangle, can be used as a container for images or simply as part of the design with preferred fill and stroke.

Using Tools Panel: (basic text)

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- Select Type Tool, then press within a page and drag to create a text box, do note that if you wish to scale the text box, text won't be scaled, instead only the text box will scale.

- Character Panel can be accessed using Ctrl + T, if not already visible. Size, Typeface, Style(s) can be altered/changed to achieve required purpose.

Pages Panel and Master Page(s):

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- One of the most important panel in Indesign is the Pages Panel. It is used for easy navigation through pages and to control sections (will be covered in part 2)

- As for Master Page, it is meant to control all pages that follow. So, if you place a circle on A Master, all pages that follow will have this circle on. Either on the left or the right page, depending on actual placement on the Master page (page numbering and section markers will be covered in part 2)

This concludes part 1

Part 2 will include:

- Pages Panel: Page Numbering and Section Markers

- Character Styles

- Placeholder text

- Tabs

- Importing pictures/images

Photo credits: Ghassan Safi, Sharaf Maksumov.

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