Adobe Creative Suite: Getting Started with InDesign cs

InDesign CS is similar to other Adobe products when it comes to workspace layout and functionality. InDesign works with graphics and word processing programs so that you can use content that's created in a different piece of software and integrate it with InDesign to create a publication.

You can use InDesign to create a newsletter, brochure, advertisement, or even a book. These layouts might be for print, or you may want to keep them electronic and distribute your pages online. InDesign enables you to easily accomplish any of these tasks.

InDesign documents are saved as .indd files on your hard drive, which are native InDesign documents. After you double-click an .indd document, the InDesign application starts and opens the selected file.

Opening InDesign

You can open InDesign in several different ways. Choose one of the following ways to open InDesign:

  • Double-click the InDesign icon on your desktop.
  • Choose Start --> All Programs --> Adobe InDesign CS (Windows XP) or double-click the InDesign CS icon in your Applications folder (Mac).
  • Find an InDesign document (.indd) on your hard drive and double-click the document's title or icon. InDesign starts up automatically and opens the document you chose.

Creating a new publication

When you open InDesign for the first time, you need to create a new InDesign document (also referred to as a publication). Just follow these steps to create a new publication:

1. Choose File --> New --> Document.

The New Document dialog box opens.

2. Enter a value for the number of pages for the document in the Number of Pages text field.

This value can be between 1 and 9999. If you want a text frame on the master page, select the Master Text Frame check box.

3. Select the Facing Pages check box if you want the pages arranged as spreads.

With this option checked, the pages in your document are arranged in pairs, so you have spreads, which are facing or adjacent pages in a layout. For example, you would select this option if you're creating a publication that will be arranged like a book. If you deselect this option, pages are arranged individually.

4. Choose a page size for the document from the Page Size drop-down list.

Set the page size to the size of the paper you intend to print on or to the desired display size. The Width and Height values below this drop-down list change, depending on the size you choose.

5. Choose Portrait (vertical) or Landscape (horizontal) orientation for the orientation of the pages throughout the document.

Click the button on the left for Portrait, or the button on the right for Landscape. A portrait layout is narrow and tall, while a landscape layout is short and wide.

6. Choose a number for the columns on the page.

This sets guides for columns that you might put text into. You can also enter a value in the Gutter field (the gutter is the space in between each of the columns).

7. Choose values for the page margins.

Notice the Make All Settings the Same button in the middle of the four text fields where you enter the margin values. Click this button to set all margins to the same value.

If you see Top, Bottom, Inside, and Outside, you are specifying margins for a page layout that has facing pages (the Facing Pages check box is selected in the dialog box). If you see Top, Bottom, Left, and Right, you are creating a page layout without facing pages. The inside margins refer to the margins at the middle of the spread, and the outside margins refer to the outer left and right margins. The Inside setting can be set to accommodate the binding of a book.

8. When you're finished, click OK.

If you're going to use the same settings over and over, saving those settings as a preset is a good idea. Click the Save Preset button in the New Document dialog box after making your settings. Enter a name for the preset, and then click OK. After you save your settings, you can select the settings from the Document Preset drop-down list whenever you create a new document.

After you click OK in the New Document dialog box, the new document is created with the settings you just specified.

Opening an existing publication

You might have InDesign files on your hard drive that you created or have saved from another source. To open existing InDesign documents (*.indd), follow these steps:

1. Choose File --> Open.

The Open dialog box appears.

2. Browse through your hard drive and select a file to open.

Select a file by clicking the document's title. To select more than one document, press Ctrl (the Command key on the Mac) while you click the filename.

3. Click the Open button to open the file.

The file opens in the workspace.

Looking at the document setup

If you need to change the size of your pages or the number of pages in a document that is already open in the workspace, you can make those changes in the Document Setup dialog box. To access and modify settings in the Document Setup dialog box, follow these steps:

1. Choose File --> Document Setup.

The Document Setup dialog box opens.

2. Change the value in the Number of Pages text field if you need the number of pages in your document to be greater or less than the current value.

The number of pages in your document updates after you close this dialog box.

3. Change the size of the page by selecting a new option from the Page Size drop-down list, or manually enter values into the Width and Height text fields.

You can also click the up and down arrows in the Width and Height text fields to choose a new value.

4. Change the page orientation by clicking the Portrait or the Landscape button.

The page orientation updates in the workspace after you exit this dialog box.

5. Click OK when you're finished changing your document setup.

The modifications are applied to the currently open document.

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