How to Use Adobe InDesign

By Joshua Mcgee

Adobe InDesign is desktop publishing software used to create fliers, posters, books, magazines, and brochures. Adobe created InDesign as a replacement for Pagemaker to better compete with QuarkXpress. InDesign contains many powerful features for designing and layout of professional publications. This tutorial will teach you some of the basic features you will need in order to use InDesign.

Things You'll Need

  • Adobe InDesign CS or greater

Step 1

Select "File>New>Document." In the "New Document" change the document layout. Select a preset page size from the "Page Size" drop-down box or enter a page size in the "Width:" and "Height:" boxes. Press the correct orientation box. Enter the number of columns in the "Number:" box. Set the size of the margins in the appropriate boxes. Note that if the link button is on, then all of the margins will change when you change one margin.

Step 2

Learn the workspace. The most important part of the document is the "Page." This is where you will lay out your document. The area around the pages is called the pasteboard, which provides an area for you to gather resources prior to laying them out on the page. The "Tools" palette contains tools that aid you in your design. Additional palettes are usually located on the right-hand side of he screen and contain many of the formatting and style commands. You can hide and view these windows by selecting them from the "Window" menu. Additional formatting commands are located in the "Options" bar. You can use the rulers to aid you in your document layout or drag guides from the rulers to help you in aligning objects.

Step 3

Edit the master page. Double-click on the "Master Page" in the Master Page (top) portion of the "Pages" palette. Master pages contains elements that are repeated on every page. For example, enter a header of footer on the master page. Every page that has this master page applied to it will contain the header or footer. Add any elements that you want to repeat. Double-click on any normal page in the "Pages" palette to exit the master page.

Step 4

Insert pages. From the master page section of the "Pages" palette, select the master page that you want for your new pages. Drag the master page down into the normal page section. Place the new page after the page it is to follow. To add multiple pages, from the submenu in the "Pages" palette, select "Insert Pages..." Enter the number of pages and press "OK."

Step 5

Insert text. Select the "Type" tool from the "Tools" palette. Place the cursor inside the page in the location where you want you text to begin. Draw a box that will contain the text. Click inside the box and begin typing. Alternatively, you can place text that was written in a different program such as Word or Notepad. Select "File>Place" and navigate to the document. Click inside the text box or draw a new text box. If the document contains more than one page, hold down the "Shift" key when you click to automatically create new text boxes for the entire document. Select the formatting for the text and paragraph from the "Character" and "Paragraph" palettes.

Step 6

Insert Images. Select a "Frame" tool from the "Tools" palette. Place the cursor inside the page and draw a box for that will contain the image. Select "File>Place" and navigate to the image. Right click on the image and select "Fitting>Fit Contents to Frame." Select "Wrap around object shape" from the "Text Wrap" palette.

Step 7

Edit the layout. Use the "Selection" tool to move entire elements. Use the "Direct Selection" tool to move individual items. For example, the "Selection" tool will move the image to a new location while the "Direct Selection" tool will move the image inside image frame. With these few tools you can create some stunning documents. However, InDesign contains many powerful document layout tools such as transformation, styles and colors. Experiment with these features to even more stunning designs.