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This Adobe video training with Steve Richards covers InDesign, including topics such as application overview, menu functions, workspace setup, graphic design fundamentals, sample projects, and more....
This Adobe video training with Steve Richards covers InDesign, including topics such as application overview, menu functions, workspace setup, graphic design fundamentals, sample projects, and more.

Related area of expertise:
  • Web development level 1

Recommended skills:
  • Word processing

Recommended equipment:
  • Adobe InDesign (CS6 or CC preferred)

Related certifications:
  • None

Related job functions:
  • Administrative Support
  • Sales and Marketing Support
  • IT Help Desk

Adobe InDesign is a desktop publishing application produced by Adobe Systems, and is available within the Adobe Creative Cloud software suite. This course includes an introduction to InDesign, new document creation, workspace management, and working with program menus. All major application features are examined using “real-world” models. Typography basics, understanding color and layout fundamentals are also included.
 show less
1. InDesign Introduction and Overview (16 min)
2. InDesign: Creating a New Document (19 min)
3. InDesign:Application Menus Overview (19 min)
4. InDesign: Control Panel Formatting Modes Overview (16 min)
5. InDesign: Working with Presets (16 min)
6. InDesign: Editing Basics and Preferences Setup (15 min)
7. InDesign: Managing Workspace (16 min)
8. InDesign: Working with Text (15 min)
9. InDesign: Working with Frames (21 min)
10. InDesign: Working with Tables (18 min)
11. InDesign: Working with the View Menu (16 min)
12. InDesign: Window Menu Bar Explained (16 min)
13. InDesign: Working with Color (22 min)
14. InDesign: Working with Styles (22 min)
15. InDesign: Working with Drawing Tools (16 min)
16. InDesign: Working with Data Merge (16 min)
17. InDesign: File Preparation for Outside Printing (16 min)
18. InDesign: Working with Interactive Documents (16 min)
19. InDesign: Creating EPUB ebooks (14 min)
20. InDesign: Design Dos and Donts - A Personal Perspective (10 min)

InDesign Introduction and Overview


Hello, everyone. This is Steve Richards. I'd like to welcome you to the CBT Nuggets Adobe InDesign Series. Sit back, relax, and be empowered. Our focus in today's Nugget is three things-- who is Adobe Systems? What is Adobe InDesign? And why be empowered?


Let's get started. So who is Adobe Systems? Adobe has been a great asset for everyone in the design business for many years. Founded in 1982, it's become one of the preferred software suppliers in the graphic industry. I can remember when I started using Adobe products.


It was 1988. The reason it's easy for me to remember is because the first product I used was called Adobe Illustrator 88. I loaded it on a MAC SE, which I still have to this day. Although I'm not sure the 128 k of RAM and 20 megabytes of hard disk space would be of much use.


It was vector based, which meant you could draw something small. And even when it was enlarged, the lines were just as smooth as the original. No more jaggies as we used to call them. Well, in 1990 Adobe introduced another program. It was called Photoshop.


Photoshop quickly became known as the premier image editing software. The capabilities seemed almost endless. To this day designers are finding new ways to use this powerful program. But to finish out the trifecta, in 1999 they introduced Adobe InDesign for page layout and publication.


Based on PageMaker, which Adobe acquired, it was an effort to take back the market from QuarkXPress. I used Quark for many years. It was and is a great program. But when Adobe offered an alternative, an alternative which worked seamlessly with Illustrator and Photoshop, well, let's just say I was converted.


With these three programs, I and many other designers had all they needed to design, illustrate, manipulate photos and produce finished artwork ready for print. Well, now fast forward to 2012, and you find that Adobe adds what's called the Creative Cloud.


The Cloud offers virtually all of Adobe's products online, always up to date, and ready to use for a monthly subscription fee. If you haven't had a chance to try this option, I would encourage you to go to adobe.com and check it out. They offer free 30-day trials.


And it's a wonderful opportunity to test drive this program and many others. Now you have a little background on Adobe and its product line. But this series is specifically on InDesign. So the next obvious question-- what is Adobe InDesign? InDesign is a design and layout program.


It can be used to create posters, fliers, brochures, magazines, and even books. You can also produce electronic content that goes on laptops, tablets, or mobile devices. Up to recently, graphic designers and production artists were the principal users.


But now InDesign can empower virtually anyone to produce first-class print and internet collateral. Look at it this way. You know the benefits of having the right tool for the job, right? You might be building a deck or, say, baking a cake. A hammer or a hand mixer help.


But if you're really interested and serious about the end results, you want to use the best technology available. So you pick a nail gun and a KitchenAid The same is true with InDesign. Why continue to fight with another software program to get the results you want when you can have options like those in InDesign?


If the answer is lack of training, we're here to fix that. So put on your safety glasses or apron, And let's get started. Thought I would throw that in to see if you were still with me. Are you ready? Let's open the program and see what's inside. Double-click the Program icon and wait for the program to open.


Well, what do you think? Pretty boring? Intimidating? Don't know where to start? No problem. What you see on the screen is called our workspace. Let's take a look around. Before we begin, I'm going to go ahead and open up a document. Go up to File, Open, and select the demo document.


You may notice that I've changed the workspace color. I think for training it's going to be a lot easier for us to have a white workspace than the black default. I've also changed the menu color to go from a darker version to a lighter version. Again, I think it will help us in training.


So how does the saying go? There's a place for everything and everything goes in its place. Well, the workspace is set up in that way. Four major areas-- the Toolbox, the Application bar, the Control panel, and finally, the Preferences panel on the right where you can load various tools that you use on a regular basis.


Let's go back and take a look at each individual area and find out what tools are where. First the Toolbox. The Toolbox is grouped by function. There are tools for selecting, tools for editing, tools for choosing type, shapes, lines, gradients, and other page elements.


When it comes to workspace and page layout, I find the Toolbox receives most of my time. You'll find yourself constantly moving back and forth from a document to the Toolbox. It saves time and frustration if you know where everything is located. The Toolbox is divided into five sections.


Each section contains a type of tool. The first set is called the Selection tools. Before we proceed, let me say we're going to go pretty fast and cover a lot of ground. But don't worry. Each tool we discuss in this short introduction will be explained in detail during future Nuggets.


That being said, the selection tools are selected by clicking on the icon. There are five to pick from. Each icon here and throughout the Toolbox has been designed to describe the purpose of the tool. The first selection tool lets you select entire objects.


The second lets you select points on a path or contents within a frame. After the selection tools, we find our Page tool, which lets you create multiple pages within the same document. Next is the Gap tool, which allows you to adjust the space between objects.


And finally, the Content Collector tool which-- you guessed it-- is used to collect content for your document. The selection tools are followed by the drawing and type tools. In this area, you'll find tools which contains several hidden tools. They are indicated by arrows to the right of the icon.


Hidden tools provide an alternative to the original tool. You can see the hidden tools by selecting the arrow. And notice the additional options which become available. We can't go into any great detail during this overview. But I can tell you the add-ons become useful from time to time.


Using our illustration from before, this is where we keep our nail gun and KitchenAid. First is the Type tool. I can't think of any reason to use InDesign for a project that does not include text. Illustrator is a great program to draw in. Photoshop, in my opinion, is the best program to edit images.


But InDesign gives you the ability to manipulate text with razor-sharp accuracy and a lot of flexibility. After the Text tool, we find the Line tool, which allows you to draw a line. Then the Pen tool, which gives you the freedom to draw lines both straight and curved.


The Pen tool offers four choices, as you can see, to provide control over the outcome. The Pen tool is followed by the Pencil tool, which lets you draw on more of a freeform path. Next is the Frame tool, which I use more than any other tool in InDesign.


It comes from days long ago, before computers, when you sat at a drawing table and pasted up various pieces of type and artwork on a layout board. And this was used to create finished artwork, artwork that you would then go into the dark room for printing.


I feel like the U-verse commercial. You know, where the older children are complaining about back in my day, how they had it so tough? But seriously, the ability to take frames of text and images and move them around on a workspace environment is so much easier than it used to be.


Finally in this area is a Rectangle tool. And you can see if you touch on the hidden button that it includes not only the Rectangle, but the Ellipse tool and the Polygon tool. The third area of the Toolbox contains transformation tools. They are used to cut, reshape and re-size objects so you can fit them within your designer.


First is the Scissors tool. It works just like you might think. You can use it to cut apart or split frames and paths. Then the Free Transform tool, which lets you rotate, scale, or sheer an object. After that is a Gradient Swatch tool and a Gradient Feather tool.


Again, a later Nugget will describe these tools in detail. In the fourth area of the Toolbox there are tools for information gathering. The Notes tool, which allows comments to be included with the document-- this is especially helpful if you're working with others on the same project.


The Eyedropper tool lets you sample color or type attributes from one object and apply it to another. Hidden within the Eyedropper tool is a Measure tool. Think of it is an onboard ruler or tape measure. Next is a Hand tool to move objects around within the document.


And finally, the Zoom tool, which is used to magnify or reduce the document within your workspace. The last area holds tools to change fill and stroke on an object or text, a tool to help with application of fill-in stroke, another tool to apply a fill color or gradient to an object, and finally a View tool.


This is another that I use quite frequently to toggle between my normal workspace and a preview of the document with all the extra lines and bounding boxes. InDesign even has a presentation option which shows just your document in Presentation mode. Well, are you overwhelmed?


I know it's a lot to remember. The good news is there are other Nuggets which go into much greater detail and not only better describe the tools but show you how to use them. The next part of our workspace runs across the top of your desktop. It is called the Application bar and Control panel.


The Application bar at the very top shows menus in Windows and other controls for the application. You can choose View Options, Screen Mode, and how you view multiple documents on the screen together, which is a great feature if you're merging elements from one document into another.


And finally, over at the far right where you see the word "Essentials," this allows you to switch between various workspace layouts that will show up in your Preferences panel. More about preferences in a moment. You can even customize your workspace and name it for easy reference.


Last is a Search option which can be used to go to the Adobe website and find tons of information on features of InDesign. Below the Application bar is the Control panel. The Control panel changes options depending on which tool is selected in the toolbox.


Let me demonstrate. If I select the Type tool and select the type box on my document, I can see all sorts of information regarding the type face, size of type, scale, letting, et cetera. If I switch to, say, the Rectangular Frame tool, I can see size, position, and many other attributes for that particular frame.


The Control panel provides quick access to various options and command right at your fingertips. It can even be customized to make available the right tools for virtually any design layout modification that you need. As I mentioned earlier, the last section of our work space is called the Preferences panel.


Going back to our illustration of building a deck or making a cake, the job is much easier if you have the right tools and the tools are easy to find. In InDesign, this tool location is the Preferences panel. As you become more comfortable with this program, you'll notice that you use the same tools a lot.


The Preferences panel allows you to store all your common tools in one place for easy access. Let's take a look. We'll keep our preferences on Essentials. And you notice that names like Pages, Layers, Links, Info are all in the first section. Stroke and Color are in the next, et cetera, et cetera.


These are common tools used in most of your design projects. If you go to the far top right of this panel, you see a double arrow. If you click the double arrow, each section opens and shows all kinds of ways to add, modify, or reformat a particular element in your page layout.


Again, all of this can be customized to your needs. So much stuff, so little time. What is InDesign? It reminds me of a story about an accountant who was asked, what is 2 plus 2? And he answered, what do you want it to be? I think of InDesign in the same way.


What do you want it to be? If you don't know, that's not a problem. The folks at Adobe have given a lot of thought to the default settings which are available. Most of what you do most of the time will work just fine with one of these settings. But to help you be empowered, you can change just about anything in your workspace to fit your style.


I guess this would be a good time to address the final question in this Nugget-- why be empowered? To empower is to give someone the authority or power to do something. InDesign design gives you the power to do something-- the power to create better print and electronic material.


Does this mean you'll become an award-winning graphic designer because you watched this Nugget or subscribed to Adobe's Creative Cloud? Not necessarily. But not any more than buying a nail gun or KitchenAid makes you a woodworking craftsman or a chef in a five-star hotel.


Watching this series and working with this program will give you an opportunity to communicate your message better to whoever needs to see it. Today's viewer is more visually oriented than ever before. Don't believe me? Take a test. The next time you log into Facebook, as you scroll down through entry after entry of new posts, what catches your eye and causes you to stop and read?


It's the photos and artwork. We're programmed to look at images and then read the story. Well, you might be saying, you don't understand. I'm not an artist. To which I reply, says who? Pablo Picasso said, "Every child is an artist. The problem is staying an artist when you grow up." We are all creative.


Yes, some people are more creative than others. But everyone can improve their skills if empowered to do so. It helps to have the right set of tools. There's nothing worse than feeling creative, ready to tackle the job, and not having the right tools.


For desktop publishing, InDesign design provides those tools. This Nugget has provided an introduction and an overview to InDesign. And as the saying goes, there's a lot more where that came from. Each of the remaining Nuggets in this series will focus on one particular feature or concept and show you how to use this program more effectively.


We will address in detail Application and Panel menus, how to create a new document, editing and setup references, working with presets, text, frames, tables, colors, styles, how to manage long documents, even how to create interactive layouts. Finally, we will look at file preparation and export if you decide to take your outstanding designs and go to an outside printing company.


There's also information on things like-- how do you choose the right font? How do you choose the right color? What does it mean to appreciate the use of white space? How can I balance what appears on the page or what appears on the screen? All great questions.


In fact, they may be questions you're not even prepared to ask. But here's the deal. You have to start somewhere. Take what you're currently creating and make it better. You can do this. I don't know about you, but I'm excited. The possibilities seem endless.


Your boss may see your new effort and appreciate your contribution more. Your friends may start to better understand what you're trying to communicate. Who knows? You might even become an award-winning graphic designer working for some Madison Avenue advertising agency and living the good life.


It could happen. It all starts with your willingness to be empowered. Well, that's all the time we have for now. I hope this has been informative for you. And I want to thank you for viewing.

InDesign: Creating a New Document

InDesign:Application Menus Overview

InDesign: Control Panel Formatting Modes Overview

InDesign: Working with Presets

InDesign: Editing Basics and Preferences Setup

InDesign: Managing Workspace

InDesign: Working with Text

InDesign: Working with Frames

InDesign: Working with Tables

InDesign: Working with the View Menu

InDesign: Window Menu Bar Explained

InDesign: Working with Color

InDesign: Working with Styles

InDesign: Working with Drawing Tools

InDesign: Working with Data Merge

InDesign: File Preparation for Outside Printing

InDesign: Working with Interactive Documents

InDesign: Creating EPUB ebooks

InDesign: Design Dos and Donts - A Personal Perspective

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