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InDesign CS4 Foundation Guide


About InDesign CS4 InDesign CS4 is the latest software available to simplify the process of creating multiple paged documents such as: programs, newspapers, magazines, books, etc. InDesign features a similar interface like other programs in the Adobe Suite and offers simple to advance ways to enhance your project. Some new features of InDesign include: Smart Alignment, More Informative Links panel, Spread Rotation, Live Preflight, Animated Page Transitions, Flash interactivity and Export.

About the Guide This guide is used with the Digital Aquarium’s InDesign Workshop but also serves as a supplement for reference and self paced study. InDesign is a dynamic tool and this guide is not an all-inclusive explanation for the software program. The content of this guide presents: suggestions for best practice, presentation of basic interface, overview of basic tools, adding text, placing pictures, and general information needed to create and complete your project with a Macintosh computer. Taking the Photoshop and Illustrator workshop prior to learning InDesign will help you comprehend the program more efficiently.

Step 1: Open the Program To open the program, launch InDesign from the Application Dock on your desktop which is also called the Finder (Fig.1) . You may also open the program from the Applications folder.

After opening the program, the WELCOME window along with the InDesign interface will appear on your screen (Fig.2). The WELCOME window may not appear on some workstations due to a previous preference not to show this window. If you would like to change this preference, select Welcome Screen from the HELP menu. Nevertheless, to minimize complications, go to the InDesign PREFERENCE window to set specific preferences for your workflow before choosing to create a project. Document choices from the NEW DOCUMENT window will be discussed in Step 3.

Fig. 1

Fig. 2


Step 2: SET Preferences From the InDesign PREFERENCE window (Fig. 3), you can customize so many aspects of your project workflow. Some choices are obvious. This section will explain some uncommon preference choices for novices.

Fig. 3

General absolute numbering: A function that labels pages by section, as specified in the Section Options dialog box. When printing, absolute numbering represents the page's position in the current document. section numbering: A function that labels pages with consecutive numbers, starting at the first page of the document. When printing, section numbering represents the section and page numbers assigned to the page.

Fig. 4

INTERFACE Scripting: A script is any collection of data that, when executed by a programming language such as Visual Basic causes a corresponding action or series of actions within Adobe InDesign. Story Editor: Special window that displays text in order to make editing text in table easier. You can edit text in the STORY EDITOR window (Fig. 4) by choosing “Edit In Story Editor” from the edit menu. You can also enable Story Editor by going to “Type” in the PREFERENCES window.


Step 2: SET Preferences TYPE Leading: Space added between lines of type. Named after the strips of lead that use to be inserted between lines of metal type. In specifying type, lines of 12-pt type separated by a 14-pt space are abbreviated "12/14," or "twelve over fourteen." Optical Size: Customized font families comprised of a series of point sizes for a particular type style in order to form a cohesive range of type sizes. InDesign optical fonts include: Minion, Cronos, Chaparral, Adobe Jenson, Utopia, Brioso,Kepler, Warnock, Sanvito, Garamond Premier, and Arno. Smart Text Reflow: A function of InDesign that allows the addition or removal of pages automatically whenever type is entered or changed in the Story Editor window. When text is entered at the end of a threaded text frame on a master page, a new page is automatically added. You can select options for Smart Text Reflow by going to “Type” in the PREFERENCES window. Typographer’s Quotes: Typography is the art and process of placing, arranging, and formatting type in a design. For example a smart quote is the curly quotation marks used by typographers, as opposed to the straight marks on the typewriter. You can select this option by going to “Type” in the PREFERENCES window. COMPOSITION Justify Text: The alignment of text with both edges and insets of a text frame. Text can be aligned: left, center, right, towards the spine, last line left, last line centered,justify all lines, and away from the spine. Keep Violations: User preference for using on screen highlighting to identify compositional problems. Kerning: The process of adding or subtracting space between specific pairs of characters. H& J Violations: User preference for using on screen highlighting to identify hyphenation and justification problems. Tracking: The process of loosening or tightening a block of text. UNITS & INCREMENTS Gutter: The space between the column guides when you have more that one column on a page. 4

Step 2: SET Preferences Spine: The binding edge that joins two pages of a spread. Units: A quantity chosen as a standard in terms of which other quantities may be expressed. InDesign gives you a choice of using: Inches, Decimal, Millimeters, Centimeters, Ciceros, Agates, or Custom. GRIDS Threshold: The specified value assigned to the magnification below which the document grid does not appear. Go to “Grids” in the PREFERENCES window to increase the threshold value to prevent crowed or invisible grid lines at lower magnifications. GUIDES & PASTEBOARD Bleed: Area of a page or spread that contains page data extending beyond the defined page size. A bleed area is necessary to prevent image “cut off", if certain objects/graphics are placed on the edge of page margins. Columns: A series of cells arranged vertically. Text frames and objects are placed within the specified columns that are set up in the NEW DOCUMENT window. To change columns, go to the LAYOUT window and select “Margins and Columns”. 5 Margins: The non-printing areas of a page, or the line at which text starts or stops. You can choose the color of your margins by going to “Guides and Pasteboard” in the PREFERENCES window. Slug: Designated area of a page or spread specifically for listing printing information about the document. This area can be trimmed from the document after it is printed. Smart Guides: The default layout feature that makes the process of aligning or snapping objects easier. When you drag or create an object, these guides will appear to show that the object is aligned with the center of the page or another item on the page. You can choose the color of your smart guides by going to “Guides and Pasteboard” in the PREFERENCES window. Pasteboard: An area comprised of the entire space within the active image are of the InDesign document file. The default color is white but will change to the background preference color in preview mode.


Step 2: SET Preferences Preview background: An color used for the background area of a page in Preview, Bleed, and Slug mode. You can define the color of the preview background by going to “Guides & Pasteboard” in the PREFERENCES window. SPELLING Dynamic Spelling: A function that will underline misspelled words as they are typed. You can enable this feature by going to “Spelling” in the PREFERENCES window. STORY EDITOR DISPLAY Anti-aliasing: a function that will smooth the jagged edges of type and bitmap images by softening the color transition between edge pixels and background pixels. DISPLAY PERFORMANCE Greeking: A placeholder function that will show areas of grey bars on screen whenever the font size is too small to be displayed by InDesign. APPEARANCE OF BLACK Overprint: the process of printing over a previously printed image. FILE HANDLING Document Recovery Data: A function that changes the location of recovered documents. You can change this option by going to “File Handling” in the PREFERENCES window. Snippet: A file that contains objects and describes their locations relative to one another on a page or spread. To create a "Snippet" file: select the object or objects on a page and choose export from the FILE menu; then choose “InDesign Snippet” as your format. Snippet Import: A preference function that will control of how objects from graphics are positioned on a page. You can select this option by going to “File Handling” in the PREFERENCES window. CLIPBOARD HANDLING Clipboard: The portion of computer memory that holds data that has been cut or copied. The next item cut or copied replaces the data already in the clipboard.


Step 3: Create A New Project InDesign offers choices for working on a recent document, creating a document from a template, creating a book, and creating a library for text and objects. This guide will present the steps for creating a new document with or without a Master Text Frame. After designating your preferences, close the PREFERENCES window and do one of the following:

Fig. 5

1. Return to the WELCOME window (Fig. 5) and choose Document. 2. Go to New on the FILE menu (Fig. 6) and choose Document. The NEW DOCUMENT window (Fig. 7) will open. In the window you will see the following:

Fig. 6

Document Preset: The “Default” message will automatically change to “Custom” when changes are made to the width, height, columns, margins, bleed, and slug area. You can save the name of your customized Document Preset by mouse clicking "Save Preset..". Page Size: Click the drop down menu to choose page sizes: custom, letter, legal, tabloid, letter half, legal half, A4, A3, A5, B5, Compact Disc, 600 x 300, 640 x 480, 760 x 420, 800 x 600,984 x 588, 1024 x 768, 1240 x 620, and 1280 x 800. You can highlight the number and renter a number with the abbreviated measurement.

Fig. 7


Step 3: Create A New Project Orientation: The default page and spread orientations are vertical and horizontal. Number of Pages: Choose a number of pages for you document. Additional pages can be added or deleted from the PAGES panel. If you are creating a newspaper spread you can later rotate the orientation (90° Clock Wise, 90° Counter Clock Wise, or 180°) by choosing rotate spread view from the PAGES panel. Facing Pages: Select this option if you want your document to have a spine with pages that face each other in a spread such as a “left to right” two paged magazine advertisement. Do not select this option if you want to print single pages. Master Text Frame: Do not select this option if you want to have various page sized text frames and various margin guides and column settings. Select the “Master Text Frame” box to allow specific page sized text frames (within the margin guides and specified column settings) into which text can be entered. Columns: Enter the number of columns you want included on each page or spread. Gutter : Enter a number for the amount of space between multiple columns . Bleed: Click the link box to enter the same measurement area. Unlink this box to enter different values. Click Fewer Options to hide and More Options to reveal. Slug: Click the link box to enter the same measurement area. Unlink this box to enter different values. Each spread has its own pasteboard. The pasteboard is the area outside where you can store text, pictures, and objects. Unless you are including a bleed or slug area, this pasteboard area is for preview only and will not print as it does not really belong to the page.


Workspace Overview

1 2 3

4 5

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1. Main Menu Bar

10. Margin guide

2. Work Space Switcher

11. live Preflight feedback

3. Document File name

12. Page Menu

4. Control Panel

13. Ruler

5. Text Wrap Panel

14. Page controls

6. Layers panel

15. Preflight panel

7. Pages Panel

16. Effects panel

10 12


8. Paste Board area

17. swatches panel

9. Links Panel

18. Tool bar



Workspace Overview You can customize your workspace by stacking, adding, and closing panels. The Workspace Switcher (Fig. 8) on the APPLICATION bar offers various default panels from the workspace drop down menu. To view additional panels go to the WINDOW menu. Organizing your text and images on pages is simplified with the Layers window (Fig. 9). It is similar to using the layers palette in Illustrator. The Pages panel (Fig. 10) allows you to quickly navigate the pages and spreads of your entire InDesign file. The panel contains thumbnail images of your pages and spreads. The number of pages and spreads are located on the bottom of the panel. You can add new pages, delete pages, and rearrange the order of pages of the entire InDesign document there too. The Pages panel offers additional options (Fig. 11) by selecting the downward triangle located at the top right corner of the panel such as Rotate Spread View and the Page Transitions panel. The Page Transitions (Fig.1 2) feature allows you to apply animated page transitions to spreads when you export your project as a SWF or PDF file.

Fig. 8

Fig. 9

Fig. 10

Fig. 11 Fig. 12


The Tool Palette The bottom right triangle on many of the boxes indicates that a number of tools are grouped together within the same box. Click on the black triangle located on the bottom right corner of the box to switch between tools. You can learn the name of each tool through the “tool tips”. To view a “tool tip”, hold the mouse pointer over the tool and the tool tip will appear under the pointer. Below is the Tools Panel Overview from (


Text When you need to enter text on a page, you must select the text tool first. Then click and drag the mouse over the area in which you wish your text to appear. The Control panel reveals the Character Formatting controls as well as other options. To change the font or character style after you have entered your text, highlight the desired text and pick another style either from Character Formatting within the CONTROL panel drop down menu, or from the CHARACTER panel. To change the text color, highlight the desired text and do one of the following: 1. Double click the text fill box located near the end of the tool bar. The text fill box has a bold and capital “T” inside a square. A color picker box will appear, which will allow you to choose a different color for your selected text. 2. Choose a color from the SWATCHES panel. 3. Double click the “T” in the COLOR panel. A color picker box will appear allowing you to choose a different color for your selected text. Threaded Frames Threading is a function that allows paragraphs to continue from one text frame to another. A frame will have a red plus sign inside a box on the right side indicating that the text needs more room but has no other text frame to continue in. The unseen remaining text is called overset text. A frame will have an arrow inside a box on the right side indicating it is linked to another frame. To make the text frame’s plus and arrow signs visible, you must select “Show Text Threads” from the VIEW window. MASTER PAGES A dotted border surrounds master items that appear on document pages. To change a master page or a master item on a document page, you must have “Allow Master Item Overrides On Selection” selected in the PAGES panel menu. Then do one of the following: 1. Click the item while pressing the command and shift button. Then make your changes. 2. Select the spread in the PAGES panel and choose “Override All Master Page Items” in the PAGES panel menu. Then you can select and change any or all Master items in that spread. The dotted border will change to a solid line when any master item is overridden. When threaded text frames are overridden, all visible frames in the thread are overridden even if the frames appears on separate pages. 12

images Fig. 13

To "link" your images, save all images in the same folder as your InDesign document file. All linked images will appear in the LINKS panel (Fig. 13). It is good practice to edit images in Photoshop or Illustrator before placing them in your InDesign document. PSD and PNG files work best for placing in your document. To add an image to your layout, go to the FILE menu and choose Place. A browser window will appear so that you can locate the file and “place� it on the current page. Adjusting the outline boxes of the image with the selection tool will either add more space or crop the image. Click the edges of the image with the selection tool and go to the OBJECT menu to scale, arrange or group images. To wrap images with text using the TEXT WRAP panel (Fig. 14), follow the steps bellow: 1. Place an image over text with the Selection tool.

2.Go to the TEXT WRAP panel from the WINDOW menu. 3. Choose a text wrap option and offset measurements.

Fig. 14


Keyboard Shortcuts

Some tasks may be redundant depending on how often they are used. InDesign provides shortcuts for common tasks chosen from the main menu bar. For your convenience,the keyboard shortcuts are listed below: 1. New Document: Command+ N

2. Place (text or image): Command + D 3. Export: Command + E

4. General Preferences: Command + K 5. Add Page : Command + Shift + P

6. Paste Without Formatting: Command + Shift + V 7. Paste Into: Command + Option+ V

8. Paste in Place: Command + Option + Shift + V 9. Select All: Command + A

10. Deselect: Command + Shift + A 11. Undo: Command + Z

12. Redo : Command +Shift + Z

13. Show/Hide all panels: Tab

14. Jump to Control panel: Command + 6

15. Toggle character and paragraph formatting in Control panel: Command + Option + 7 16. Selection tool (applies only when editing text in a frame): Esc

17. Selection tool (applies only when not editing text in a text frame): V 18. Text Frame Options : Command + B 19. Story Editor: Command + Y

20. Toggle Normal and Preview Mode: W 21. Quick Apply: Command + Return

22. Fit Page in Window: Command + 0

23. Fit Spread In Window: Command + Option + 0

24. Show Hidden Characters: Command + Option + 0 25. Temporary Hand tool: Option + spacebar-drag 26. Preflight Panel: Command + Option + Shift + F 27. Text Wrap Window: Command + Option + W


Final Steps

On the bottom of the page or spread is the Preflight indicator. A green light (Fig. 15) means that there are no problems with your document. A red light (Fig. 16) indicates that there is a problem with your document that needs fixing before exporting and printing your document. To access and fix the problem, follow the steps below:

Fig. 15

1. Click on the right arrow next to the error message to display the Preflight panel (Fig. 17). 2. Select the error layer and read the information to see what’s wrong.

Fig. 16

3. Double click the layer to go directly to the problem area within your document. After corrections are made, the Preflight light indicator will be green. To preview your document before printing or exporting as a PDF or SWF, go to the Tool bar and select Preview or go to the VIEW menu and choose Preview from the Screen Mode sub menu. The Preview will hide non printing page elements such as guides, pasteboard, and frame edges. To print your document, go to the FILE menu and choose Print. Select options from the Marks and Bleed section in the Print Dialogue (Fig. 18) box to accommodate a bleed or slug area.

Fig. 17

Fig. 18

To export your document, go to the FILE menu and choose Export. The Export window (Fig. 19) will appear with choices to export all, ranges, and spreads with additional specifications. Fig. 19 15

Additional Resources Adobe Creative Suite 4 Learning Center. September 9, 2009. Adobe InDesign CS4 Conversion Guide. August 27, 2009 InDesign Glossary. October 22, 2009 Using Adobe InDesign CS4. October 15, 2009


InDesign CS4 software