By Jennifer Smith, Christopher Smith, Fred Gerantabee

The Adobe InDesign Creative Suite 5 workspace, or user interface, is efficiently and intuitively designed. Like the other CS5 applications, InDesign has a standardized layout.


The InDesign CS5workspace shown here is as it looks on a Macintosh. The Windows workspace is slightly different from the Macintosh version. You’ll notice a difference in the main menu bar.

In InDesign, you’ll use several panels over and over again, so keep them accessible. Many of these panels are already docked to the right in the default user workspace. Using panels that can be docked and a single-row Tools panel, you can keep much more space open in your work area.

There are other elements in the InDesign workspace as well.

  • Page: The main area of the InDesign workspace is a page. It’s the area that’s printed or exported when you finish making a layout.

  • Master page: You can define how certain text elements and graphics appear in an entire document (or just portions of it) by using a master page. It’s much like a template for your document because you can reuse elements throughout the pages.

    For example, if you have an element you want on each page (such as page numbering), you can create it on the master page. If you need to change an element on the master page, you can change it at any time and your changes are reflected on every page that the master page is applied to.

  • Spread: A spread refers to a set of two or more pages that will be printed side-by-side. You usually see spreads in magazines and books when you open them.

  • Pasteboard: The pasteboard is the area around the edge of a page. You can use the pasteboard to store objects until you’re ready to put them into your layout.

    Pasteboards aren’t shared between pages or spreads. For example, if you have certain elements placed on a pasteboard for pages 4 and 5, you can’t access these elements when you’re working on pages 8 and 9 — so each page or spread has its own pasteboard.