Common question asked What is Indesign?
Why a Macintosh platform?
Indesign is a design program, which creates files to be used in print production. It also has the capacity to create a wide range of output formats such as PDF and HTML.
A Macintosh computer configured for specific performance, such as design and pre-press, has superior computing and outputting capabilities than IBM PC’s, particularly in the area of print media. Macintosh computers interface smoothly with many external devices needed for professional printing, such as RIP’s and Imagesetters.
What exactly does Indesign do? It allows design layouts to be created by placing items such as images or vector art into the document where text, line, shape and gradient can then be added. Within the Indesign program a designer can create colour, text, lines, shapes, transparency and masks, all without leaving the program. These items can also incorporate files from programs such as photoshop and illustrator in their native formats e.g. PSD (photoshop documents) and AI (Adobe Illustrator). Indesign documents can be prepared to particular output specifications, including the setting of output resolutions, separations, impositions, registration etc. indesign also has the ability to export PDF’s directly thus improving workflow.
Is Indesign easy to master? Indesign is a complex program that has many tools and therefore requires considerable practice in order to gain proficiency in its use. Arranging items on a page is relatively easy to do; having effectively used Indesign to problem-free output is another matter. ‘Gun’ operators are able to apply knowledge and skills from other fields to achieve optimum performance, such as Typography, Print Methods, Graphic Design etc. Practice makes perfect.
Is Indesign a design program? Through Indesign, designers are able to create, modify and edit a range of items and objects. These may be important design features, but computers and software are slaves… they cannot design. They can only do what we instruct them to do!
How can I build speed? Use short-cut key commands!
Why is Indesign preferred in the design industry?
Short-cut key commands enable users to execute commands much faster than using the mouse and menu items. Also, using the keys allow a controlling hand to remain on the mouse. A short-cut key command is displayed next to each menu item that has a short cut available. Graphic Designers are expected to be adept at using Indesign with speed and accuracy. Speed is also important as design is a deadline driven industry and the use of shortcuts makes a designer more productive hence saving time.
Indesign was designed specifically to handle electronic publishing, and therefore is able to quickly and accurately handle all facets of pre-press production. It also has a user interface that is very similar to Photoshop and Illustrator which makes transferring between the programs less daunting for designers. Many design features such as drop shadows and transparency are also available via palettes in Indesign which is not available in other publishing software.
Can I transfer Indesign knowledge to other programs? Professional pagination or publishing programs essentially do the same things as Indesign, but the layout, tools and commands used in Indesign are not universal and therefore may not be available in other programs. You can however set your Indesign shortcuts to match those of other pagination programs such as Quark to make the transition smoother.
The screen size, ambient light conditions, and the cleanliness of the screen also influence the quality of the screen image. Some items used may appear all right on the screen, but may be unable to be printed because of postscript errors, missing font elements etc. These postscript problems may only become known when output is attempted. ‘Pre-flight’ document checks may indicate possible conflict in achieving WYSIWYG.
Some short-cut key commands used in Indesign also work with PhotoShop and Illustrator, such as Command + Shift + <or> for resizing text. Knowledge from other programs can be used to advantage in Indesign, for example, saving images in certain formates allows additional options to be applied in Indesign (Indesign can change the colour of Bitmap TIF files).
If you are wishing to see how your inks are overprinting etc Indesign has an overprint preview function which maybe enabled to take a small amount of the guess work out.
Does WYSIWYG apply?
Do I need to know anything be fore I use Indesign?
What You See Is What You Get. The image you see on the screen is merely a ‘screen rendition’. The colours, for example, may vary when a document is output, as determined by the actual type and capability of the destination device (eg. postscript printer); the defined resolution; the scale of the document and/or contents and items; postscript font compatibility; stock quality and size etc.
Yes, here are some of the basics that you need to know ...
r ut e y p m vel i o t c hc ff e s e o t rs cin ou l a o c a M use e us nd t ell to ate a w men w e t e i o r m m e ti • h y to c com g t a n n ency te it a t l s i e i s p m b n m e co n a ow to e co v v a l e i o ch • h ay inv ave to a t m n •h e g ) rnin mitm a m e typing l o ( c d t r t a a o en • th a keyb rsist e s e u p o t and • how ee from errors fr is t a th y p co • how to write • how to format text • basic prin t and pre-pre ss knowledg e • how to des ign
O B J
l a i t n e sic s Es Ba ick s u Q ey nd k a m m co
E C T E D I T I N G
E Clear – Delete D I Duplicate T Edit In Story Editor M E N U
Find Next Find/Change… Paste In Place Paste Into Step And Repeat…
Cmd+I Cmd+Delete, Del, Cmd+Del Opt+Shift+Cmd+D Cmd+Y Opt+Cmd+F Cmd+F Opt+Shift+Cmd+V Opt+Cmd+V Shift+Cmd+V
O B J E C T
L A Y O U T
First Page Go Back Go Forward Last Page Next Page Next Spread Previous Page Previous Spread
Shift+Cmd+PgUp Cmd+PgUp Cmd+PgDown Shift+Cmd+PgDown Shift+PgDown Opt+PgDown Shift+PgUp Opt+PgUp
M E N U
Decrease Size / Scale By 5% Increase Size / Scale By 5% Nudge Down Nudge Down 1/10 Nudge Down 1/10 Duplicate Nudge Down Duplicate Nudge Down x 10 Nudge Down x 10 Duplicate Nudge Left Nudge Left 1/10 Nudge Left 1/10 Duplicate Nudge Left Duplicate Nudge Left x 10 Nudge Left x 10 Duplicate Nudge Right Nudge Right 1/10 Nudge Right 1/10 Duplicate Nudge Right Duplicate Nudge Right x 10 Nudge Right x 10 Duplicate Nudge Up Nudge Up 1/10 Nudge Up 1/10 Duplicate Nudge Up Duplicate Nudge Up x 10 Nudge Up x 10 Duplicate Select All Guides
Opt+Cmd+, Opt+Cmd+. Down Arrow Shift+Cmd+Down Arrow Opt+Shift+Cmd+Down Arrow Opt+Down Arrow Shift+Down Arrow Opt+Shift+Down Arrow Left Arrow Shift+Cmd+Left Arrow Opt+Shift+Cmd+Left Arrow Opt+Left Arrow Shift+Left Arrow Opt+Shift+Left Arrow Right Arrow Shift+Cmd+Right Arrow Opt+Shift+Cmd+Right Arrow Opt+Right Arrow Shift+Right Arrow Opt+Shift+Right Arrow Up Arrow Shift+Cmd+Up Arrow Opt+Shift+Cmd+Up Arrow Opt+Up Arrow Shift+Up Arrow Opt+Shift+Up Arrow Opt+Cmd+G
Arrange: Bring Forward Arrange: Bring to Front Arrange: Send Backward Arrange: Send To Back Clipping Path… Compound: Make Drop Shadow… Fitting: Centre Content Fitting: Fit Content Proportionally Fitting: Fit Content To Frame Fitting: Fit Frame To Content Group Lock Position Select: First Object Above Select: Last Object Below Select: Next Object Above Select: Next Object Below Text Frame Options… Transform: Move… Ungroup Unlock Position
Cmd+] Shift+Cmd+] Cmd+[ Shift+Cmd+[ Opt+Shift+Cmd+K Cmd+8 Opt+Cmd+M Shift+Cmd+E Opt+Shift+Cmd+E Opt+Cmd+E Opt+Cmd+C Cmd+G Cmd+L Opt+Shift+Cmd+] Opt+Shift+Cmd+[ Opt+Cmd+] Opt+Cmd+[ Cmd+B Shift+Cmd+M Shift+Cmd+G Opt+Cmd+L