Learn the basics of how to use Adobe InDesign, an application used for designing print and digital layouts. As part of this course, you’ll construct a four-page newsletter for supporters of an animal shelter, and in the process gain familiarity with InDesign’s interface and many of the tools and techniques commonly used to design a publication.
- Navigate the InDesign interface
- Understand fundamental concepts involved in working in InDesign
- Create, edit, and apply parent pages
- Place text and images into a document
- Create, fill, and manipulate text and image frames
- Create and apply paragraph styles
- Refine a publication with additional layout elements and tools
- Prepare and export a document for publication
- Previous experience using a word processor
- Knowledge of how to apply text styles
- Previous experience using Adobe applications
- Proficiency with refined mousing tasks
For a more in-depth look at the content of InDesign: The Basics, view the title contents below.
Important note for participants not affiliated with IU
- This course contains training material only.
- Participants who are not affiliated with Indiana University will need your own access to installed and licensed software, according to the training topic. This will allow you to follow along and participate in the hands-on exercises.
- If you do not have access to the needed software, you can still enroll in the online course and read the course content.
More information about this course
This online course is free to everyone and available for enrollment through IU Expand.
This course consists of a series of short lessons, examples, demonstrations, practice quizzes, and hands-on exercises.
To complete the course content, you will need:
- a web browser and internet access to use the course material on IU Expand.
- a copy of the software relevant to the training installed on your computer.
InDesign: The Basics Contents
Expand the accordion folds to see a detailed description of the content.
Explore the contents of InDesign: The Basics:
In this section, you'll be introduced to Adobe InDesign and explore the program's interface.
Learn an efficient workflow for creating a new document, as well as how to set up the InDesign interface for efficient design with grids and rulers.
Explore the differences between document and parent pages in this section, as well as learn how to navigate a document using the Pages panel.
Create a new parent page from scratch, and learn how to apply it to a document page.
Working with text is a common task in InDesign - in this section, learn how to add text to a document and format its appearance.
When creating overlapping text frames, we’ll need to make use of a different tool - the Rectangle Frame tool. Learn more about how the Rectangle Frame tool works in this section.
With content added to the A-Cover parent page, let’s focus on adding content to the parent pages for the inside pages of the newsletter. We’ll use tools we’re already familiar with, and explore how to add dynamically updating page numbers.
In this section, we’ll explore how to import a plain text file into an InDesign document.
As you add more content to the Midwest Pet Pals newsletter, you'll gain more experience creating text frames and formatting text. Additionally, you'll work with the text wrap features in InDesign and see the various ways text can be wrapped around frames.
The next element we'll be adding to the newsletter is a sidebar article to the front page. In the process of creating the sidebar article, you'll learn how to temporarily turn off the guides and grid in InDesign and learn how to adjust a frame's inset spacing.
We're ready to start incorporating color into the Midwest Pet Pals newsletter. As we add color to elements in our newsletter layout, we'll learn how to create color swatches and adjust the tint of the colors being used.
Paragraph styles can save you time when formatting content on a document, and also helps reduce the possibility for formatting errors. Explore how to create and use paragraph styles in this section.
Many InDesign documents will involve incorporating graphics along with text. In this section, learn more about using images in an InDesign document while adding pictures to the Midwest Pet Pals newsletter.
Learn how to flow text through a multi-page document in InDesign, as well as how to create jump lines and insert automatically-updating page numbers.
When opening an InDesign document that was created on another computer, you'll likely need to relink the images used or find substitutions for fonts used in the document that aren't installed on your computer. This section will walk you through how to fix both of these issues in InDesign.
In this section, we'll learn about how the Content Collector and Content Conveyor can be used to collect design elements from one InDesign document so we can use them in another document.
Practice using the skills you've learned up to this point by creating a sidebar article for a pet advice column.
One of the benefits of using styles in InDesign is that they're easy to update - and any updates made to a style will be reflected wherever a style is used. In this section, you'll explore how to edit an existing paragraph style.
In this section, explore some additional tools for refining a document's text, including spelling check, balancing ragged lines, and editing a story using the Story Editor.
In this section, we'll learn how to check a document for errors before packaging it to send out for printing.
Credits and references for materials used in InDesign: The Basics.
Supplemental information for InDesign: The Basics.