InDesign

New in InDesign CS4 - Part 3: Text Improvements
Reader Level: Reader Level

InDesign CS4, the younger sibling of the more stalwart Photoshop and Illustrator, is a page layout application. Its role in the Adobe Creative Suite is to collate your images, graphics and text on to paper for printing on small or large presses. This is the ideal application for creating brochures, newsletters and even books.

Recent additions of InDesign focused on tighter integration with the rest of the Creative Suite. This sixth iteration sees some maturation in the application's designing tools, long document content management and ability to create interactive documents with Flash.

This part will explore the new features of Conditional Text, Smart Text Reflow and the new GREP Styles features.

The New in InDesign CS4 Series
New in InDesign CS4 - Part 1: Productivity Enhancements
New in InDesign CS4 - Part 2: More Productivity Enhancements
New in InDesign CS4 - Part 3: Text Improvements

New in InDesign CS4 - Part 2: More Productivity Enhancements
Reader Level: Reader Level

InDesign CS4, the younger of its more stalwart siblings Photoshop and Illustrator, is a page layout application. Its role in the Adobe Creative Suite is to collate your images, graphics and text on to paper for printing on small or large presses. This is the ideal application for creating brochures, newsletters and even books. Recent additions of InDesign focused on tighter integration with the rest of the Creative Suite. This sixth iteration sees some maturation in the application's designing tools, long document content management and ability to create interactive documents with Flash.

This part will explore the new CS4 features of Links panel, Spread view rotation and Clearing Guides.

The New in InDesign CS4 Series
New in InDesign CS4 - Part 1: Productivity Enhancements
New in InDesign CS4 - Part 2: More Productivity Enhancements
New in InDesign CS4 - Part 3: Text Improvements

New in InDesign CS4 - Part 1: Productivity Enhancements Free!
Reader Level: Reader Level

InDesign CS4, the younger of its more stalwart siblings Photoshop and Illustrator, is a page layout application. Its role in the Adobe Creative Suite is to collate your images, graphics and text on to paper for printing on small or large presses. This is the ideal application for creating brochures, newsletters and even books. Recent additions of InDesign focused on tighter integration with the rest of the Creative Suite. This sixth iteration sees some maturation in the application's designing tools, long document content management and ability to create interactive documents with Flash.

This part will explore the new CS4 features of Live Preflight, Smart Guides and the new Data Merge features.

The New in InDesign CS4 Series
New in InDesign CS4 - Part 1: Productivity Enhancements
New in InDesign CS4 - Part 2: More Productivity Enhancements
New in InDesign CS4 - Part 3: Text Improvements

Mail Merge with Adobe InDesign
Reader Level: Reader Level

InDesign is a great application for creating newsletters. Did you know that it can also mail the newsletter for you? Use the Data Merge feature and you can print your newsletter ready to drop in the mail! You'll need to print the newsletter and you'll need to print the mailing addresses, so why not do them both at the same time?

A Checklist For Problem Free Print Jobs with Preflight Details for InDesign
Reader Level: Reader Level

Sending a file to the printers is the final step in the creation of a printed piece. Although it is the final step and may appear to be a simple task, it is one of the most important and can be one of the most daunting. When you send a job for printing as an InDesign file or a PDF, more is required than just handing over a file to the printer.

A basic layout will contain fonts and images which may need to be sent along with the file. Also, depending on the way a file is set up, errors and problems may arise during printing. Requirements will vary from printer to printer but knowing the basics for setting up and sending files to a printer, as well as using a printer's check list, will eliminate many common problems and ensure a quick and successful print job.

To help assist with this task this article includes a Printing checklist and a job sheet. The checklist can be applied to any project being sent to a printer no matter the size or application used. It will help ensure all parts of the file are set up correctly. The jobsheet is a form which can be filled out with details about the file, it should accompany a print project to the printers.

Working With Color in InDesign
Reader Level: Reader Level

In most cases color is a very important part of a design. When creating layouts or graphics for the web color is only limited to what a monitor can display. However, when creating a design destined for print, there are a number of factors that may influence the use of color, these include the final medium, the budget and the time line.

Depending on the project a specific type of printing may be required. For example a t-shirt design will be silk screened, which may limit the number of colors and the way those colors are used in a design. The budget may be the most important factor when working with color, if a project's budget does not allow for printing in full color it may be necessary to limit the project to 1 or 2 spot colors. The final factor, time, may be the least limiting, thanks to the wide availability of digital printing. However it is still important to take the time line into consideration when setting up a project especially when working with a discount printer which may do gang printing and only print certain types of jobs on specific days.

InDesign has all the tools needed to set a project up for any type of printing. In this tutorial we will look at how to use these tools when creating a design for full color printing or spot color printing.

Customizing InDesign's Spell Check Features Free!
Reader Level: Reader Level

I am the first one to admit that my spelling abilities are less then perfect, and when tight deadlines and late nights are involved simple typos seem to pop up all over the page. But with programs like InDesign, that can be my little secret. InDesign has some great spell check tools that will catch most spelling and typing errors and can also be used to speed up data entry.

In this article we will look at InDesign's Spell Checking tools and learn a little trick we can do using the autocorrect feature.

Adding Video to an InDesign Document
Reader Level: Reader Level

Adding video to an Indesign document may sound a bit strange considering InDesign is known as a print application. But upon closer inspection you will find that this application can do more then just create documents for print. InDesign also includes many tools for documents destined for other end uses. These days promotional and informational materials are often distributed in many different forms including print and electronically. When it comes to electronic distribution, PDFs (Portable Document Format) are one of the most convenient and flexible options. Many applications have the ability to create PDFs, Adobe InDesign is one such application. However, InDesign is not only capable of creating PDFs, it actually has tools that will enhance PDFs by adding interactive features such as bookmarks, hyperlinks, buttons and media files.

In a previous tutorial, Adding Buttons to an InDesign Document, I focused on InDesign's Button tool. Buttons added to an InDesign document can be set to perform actions when the document is exported as a PDF.

In this tutorial we will look at adding a video clip to an InDesign document. The media clip will not be available in InDesign but it can be played when the document is exported as a PDF. We will:
  • Add a movie to existing artwork
  • Set the movie options
  • Set the movie's poster
  • Export the document as a PDF

Approximate download size: 4.2MB



Adding Buttons to an InDesign Document
Reader Level: Reader Level

Adobe InDesign has become well known as an application that delivers powerful features for creating multiple page layouts for printed materials. However, InDesign also includes many tools for documents destined for other end uses. These days promotional and informational materials are often distributed in many different forms, including print and electronically. When it comes to electronic distribution PDFs (Portable Document Format) are one of the most convenient and flexible options. Many applications have the ability to create PDFs, Adobe InDesign is one such application. InDesign is not only capable of creating PDFs it actually has tools that will enhance PDFs by adding interactive features such as bookmarks, hyperlinks, buttons and media files.

In this tutorial we will focus on InDesign's button tool. Buttons added to an InDesign document can be set to perform an action when the document is exported as a PDF. To demonstrate how to work with this interactive feature we will:
  • Add a button to existing artwork
  • Style the button
  • Set an action for the button
  • Define Button properties
  • Work with the States panel
  • Export the document as a PDF

Approximate download size: 2.5MB



Tables with Style in InDesign CS3
Reader Level: Reader Level

Styles are collections of formatting attributes that can be applied to items throughout a document. Styles are a real time saver and ensure consistency from page to page. In earlier versions of InDesign styles could only be applied to characters, paragraphs and objects. InDesign CS3's styles can be applied to paragraphs, characters, objects, tables and cells in a table.

In this tutorial we will take data from an Excel document and place it in an InDesign table. We will then create styles for the table and add some effects to jazz it up a bit.

In my series of articles on InDesign, I discussed the process of setting up a multiple page document that contains graphic elements, text and images. In Part Two of that series, InDesign - Part 2: Adding and Formatting Text, I demonstrated the creation and application of styles for characters and paragraphs. We will now use similar methods to create styles for tables and cells. Like character and paragraph styles, table styles and cell styles mean you no longer need to manually format tables or individual table cells. Once we set up the styles, a few quick clicks will apply those styles to other tables within the document.

Approximate download size: 2.3MB

Removing a Background in InDesign CS2 or CS3
Reader Level: Reader Level

Layouts in applications such as InDesign typically include images, text and other graphical elements. All of these objects are positioned and layered to create an effective design. When you import a bitmap image into a layout it is usually contained within a rectangular shape. Even if the image has been close cropped so there is no background it will still be surrounded by a white box. If this image is placed over top of other artwork it will cover the objects behind it. One way to avoid this is to save the image with a clipping path, this can be done in an image editing application such as Photoshop. For more information on how to do this check out Bitmaps Without Backgrounds - Using Clipping Paths in Photoshop.

This is not the only way that a clipping path can be added to an image. In this tutorial we will look at how a clipping path can be added to a bitmap image right in InDesign CS2 or newer. Depending on the image, this can be done with a few simple clicks of the mouse avoiding the need to open another application.

In this tutorial we will use InDesign's Clipping path tool to hide the background of an imported bitmap image.

Tips and Tricks for InDesign
Reader Level: Reader Level

In business today many people work from home or in small offices with only one or two employees. This is often an ideal situation for the employee or entrepreneur, but with every situation there are pros and cons. Having worked in many different office situations I have found that one of the disadvantages to working alone is the isolation. When you work with other people you have the opportunity to share ideas and knowledge, this helps everyone increase their expertise and if you are lacking skills in a certain area there is usually someone to help you along the way. I often consider Community MX my co-worker since whenever I have a problem or a question this is where I turn, so in this tutorial I thought I'd share some of my favorite little features, tools and shortcuts within InDesign. I will cover the features that I use in everyday projects, including:
  • Entering Values
  • Actual versus effective ppi of an image
  • Dynamic Spelling
  • Over riding Text Wraps
  • Selecting objects that are behind others
  • Document Save History
  • Resizing Images or Text
  • Viewing with or without guides
  • Multiple file import (new in CS3)
  • Auto fill


Making Acrobat Press-Quality PDFs from InDesign and Other Creative Suite Programs
Reader Level: Reader Level

This step-by-step tutorial shows you how to make press-quality PDFs from Adobe InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop (versions CS2 and CS3) with the correct job options for your particular type of document.

When made correctly, a press-quality PDF will sail like a breeze through your print shop’s prepress section. The PDF has the correct color and resolution settings, your print shop is able to make their technical adjustments to it such as separations and trapping, and the finished printed product is just as you expected. Plus…it gets printed on time and within your budget without any problems.

Sound like a graphic designer’s Utopia?

Nah! Once you master Bevi Chagnon's 3-step method, making perfect PDFs is as easy as pie.

Audience: Graphic designers, publishers, desktop publishers, ad designers, prepress technicians, publication production managers, and others who are involved in print media. This tutorial is especially helpful for those sending electronic files to a print shop for either offset-, web-, or digital-printing presses. (Note: I mean web printing presses, not the World Wide Web or Internet.)

Topics covered in this tutorial:
  • Acrobat presets: which one to use
  • Press-quality vs. print-quality vs. PDF/X
  • Customizing the job options
  • Compatibility levels and how they affect your PDF
  • Printer's marks and bleeds
  • Compression and downsampling settings for photos and bitmapped images
  • Color conversion settings
  • Reviewing color breaks (separations)
  • Embedding fonts
  • Security settings

The Adobe PDF Series:

Acrobat PDF 101: What’s a PDF and What Do I Use to Make One?
Acrobat PDF 102: PDF Ground Rules for Press, Print and Web
Press-Quality PDFs: Making Acrobat PDFs from InDesign and Other Creative Suite Programs



InDesign CS3: New and Improved Features for Power Users and Publishers Free!
Reader Level: Reader Level

InDesign CS3 adds many features for power-users and publishers of books, magazines, and technical publications. Tools for formatting tables (table styles and cell styles), nested InDesign documents, and electronic notes are just a few of the new utilities that boost productivity. Toss a few more features into the mix, like multi-level numbered lists and variable data fields, and InDesign now has the tools to tackle just about any type of long document out there, including catalogs, directories, technical manuals, and SMT books.

XML and AJAX: A New Paradigm - Part 4
Reader Level: Reader Level

When it comes to web development there are often a lot of technologies that people are aware of but never really understand or come to use in their daily tasks. XML tends to be one such technology; most developers have heard of it, and usually have a general idea of what it is, but on the same level most have also almost never used it or understood the purpose of it for their usual projects.

In this series we're going to explore how we can use XML in a practical way to help us develop rather interesting and uniquely controlled/flexible web applications by combining it with AJAX.

In the fourth part of this series we'll get a bit more creative in our client-side coding (JavaScript) and take the first steps towards creating a true AJAX application.

The XML and AJAX Series:
XML and AJAX: A New Paradigm - Part 1
XML and AJAX: A New Paradigm - Part 2
XML and AJAX: A New Paradigm - Part 3
XML and AJAX: A New Paradigm - Part 4
XML and AJAX: A New Paradigm - Part 5
XML and AJAX: A New Paradigm - Part 6
XML and AJAX: A New Paradigm - Part 7
XML and AJAX: A New Paradigm - Part 8
XML and AJAX: A New Paradigm - Part 9


InDesign CS3: New and Improved Features for Designers Free!
Reader Level: Reader Level

The first version of InDesign was released in 1999. Since then it has made huge strides in the industry and has worked at becoming a standard part of the designer's and publisher's arsenal.

InDesign CS3 continues to improve by adding new tools, improving existing controls and building on its creative features. Additionlly, long document publishers and users needing expert features will be happy to see InDesign CS3's improvements.

In this article we will take a look at some of the new features that will improve productivity and performance for the average design project. The features covered will include:
  • Workspace Enhancements
  • Custom Workspaces
  • Agate Measurement Units
  • Enhanced Transparency and Effects
  • Enhanced File placement
  • Fast Frame Fitting
  • Improved Text wraps
  • Improved Glyphs panel
  • Expanded Quick Apply


InDesign Text Wraps
Reader Level: Reader Level

InDesign is a great application when working with large amounts of text. When working on a layout with a lot of text I typically use a drawing or page layout application such as Freehand, Illustrator or InDesign. However from time to time I may end up working with text in an image editing application like Photoshop. Recently I read Jim Babbage's article about creating a text wrap for use in Fireworks and at first was surprised that Fireworks did not have a text wrap feature but on second thought why would it? Fireworks first job is as an image editing application, it does handle text quite well but is really not meant for large amounts of text. Another application similar to this is Photoshop, the last few versions of Photoshop have vastly improved its text handling abilities but it too can not do text wraps. Jim's article demonstrated how you can use Freehand to create a text wrap and bring it into Fireworks so I thought now would be a good time to also demonstrate InDesign's text wrapping abilities.

In this tutorial we will:
  • Look at InDesign's Text Wrap palette
  • Learn how to wrap text around vector and bitmap objects
  • Use Photoshop clipping paths to wrap text around elements in a photo
  • Control text block settings in regards to text wraps
  • Look at how the resulting artwork can be used in a Fireworks or Photoshop layout

Approximate download size: 1.1MB



InDesign - Part 4: Publishing a Document
Reader Level: Reader Level

InDesign is a great tool for setting up multiple page layouts or documents that have a combination of text and graphics. In this series of tutorials, we have followed the process of creating a multiple page document in InDesign. The tutorials have been broken down into four separate parts covering the following topics:
  • Setting up a new document with master pages
  • Adding and formatting text
  • Working with graphics
  • Publishing the document for print and online

In this, the final tutorial in this series, we will prepare the cookbook for publication. InDesign has many tools that help prepare artwork for its final destination, whether that be online or in print. In this tutorial we will take a quick look at the methods used for preparing the document for an offset printer and for outputting the artwork as a PDF.

The InDesign Series:
InDesign - Part 1: Setting up a Document
InDesign - Part 2: Adding and Formatting Text
InDesign - Part 3: Working with Graphics
InDesign - Part 4: Publishing a Document

Approximate download size: 965k



InDesign - Part 3: Working with Graphics
Reader Level: Reader Level

InDesign is a great tool for setting up multiple page layouts or documents that have a combination of text and graphics. In this series of tutorials, we are following the process of creating a multiple page document in InDesign.

In Parts 1 and 2 we used master pages to set up a ficticious cookbook then added and formatted text. In this tutorial, Part 3, we will look at the options and tools available in InDesign for importing and working with images. InDesign can work with many different graphics file formats and has some important features for working with images.

The techniques explained in this and the previous InDesign tutorials can be used to set up any document and are a good starting point for learning InDesign.

Approximate download size: 5MB

The InDesign Series:
InDesign - Part 1: Setting up a Document
InDesign - Part 2: Adding and Formatting Text
InDesign - Part 3: Working with Graphics
InDesign - Part 4: Publishing a Document

InDesign - Part 2: Adding and Formatting Text
Reader Level: Reader Level

InDesign is a great tool for setting up multiple page layouts or documents that have a combination of text and graphics. In this series of four tutorials, we will follow the process of creating a multiple page document in InDesign. The techniques explained in these tutorials can be used to set up any document and are a good starting point for learning InDesign.

In the first tutorial we set up the document and created master pages. In this, the second tutorial, we will look at the tools and options available in InDesign for importing and working with text. We will import text from a word processing file, set up paragraph styles and use some of InDesigns formatting tools. This tutorial will demonstrate one of InDesign's greatest assets, its ability to work with large amounts of text.

The InDesign Series:
InDesign - Part 1: Setting up a Document
InDesign - Part 2: Adding and Formatting Text
InDesign - Part 3: Working with Graphics
InDesign - Part 4: Publishing a Document

InDesign - Part 1: Setting up a Document
Reader Level: Reader Level

InDesign is a great tool for setting up multiple page layouts or documents that have a combination of text and graphics. InDesign can be used for setting up documents for print or for publishing on the web. If you are not familiar with page layout applications you may be a bit uncertain about diving in to InDesign. This and the following three tutorials will help you get to know InDesign and develop the skills needed to work quickly and efficently in this application.

This series of tutorials will follow the process of creating a basic multiple page document. The tutorials will be broken down into four separate parts covering the following topics:
  • Setting up a new document with master pages
  • Adding and formatting text
  • Working with graphics
  • Publishing the document for print and online

The techniques explained in these tutorials can be used to set up any document and are a good starting point for learning InDesign.

The InDesign Series:
InDesign - Part 1: Setting up a Document
InDesign - Part 2: Adding and Formatting Text
InDesign - Part 3: Working with Graphics
InDesign - Part 4: Publishing a Document



The Ins and Outs of InDesign Free!
Reader Level: Reader Level

If you ever create multi page layouts such as brochures, newsletters or booklets there is an application that is made for you. InDesign, which can be purchased as a stand alone product or as part of the Adobe Creative Suite, has many, many tools for streamlining the process of setting up and working on these types of projects.

It is possible and I have often seen people use programs such as Illustrator and especially Freehand to try and setup multi page documents. However, once you use an application that is built specifically for this type of project you will wonder why you didn't start using it sooner. In this article we will look at what InDesign is for and highlight some of the features that set it apart from other applications.