Adobe InDesign CC 2015 release (2016)

2. Getting to Know InDesign

Lesson Overview

In this lesson, you’ll learn how to do the following:

• View layout aids.

• Check on potential production issues with the Preflight panel.

• Type and style text.

• Import text and thread text frames.

• Import a graphic.

• Move, rotate, stroke, and fill an object.

• Automate formatting with paragraph, character, and object styles.

• Preview a document in Presentation mode.

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This lesson will take about 1 hour to complete.

Download the project files for this lesson from the Lesson & Update Files tab on your Account page at www.peachpit.com and store them on your computer in a convenient location, as described in the “Getting Started” section at the beginning of this book.

Your Account page is also where you’ll find any updates to the chapters or to the lesson files. Look on the Lesson & Update Files tab to access the most current content.

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The building blocks of an InDesign layout are objects, text, and graphics. Layout aids such as guides help with size and placement, and styles let you format page elements automatically.

Getting started

The document for this lesson is a standard-size postcard designed to be printed and mailed. In addition, the postcard can be exported as a PDF to use in e-mail marketing. As you will see in this lesson, the building blocks of an InDesign document are the same, regardless of the output media. In this lesson, you will add the text, images, and formatting necessary to finish the postcard.

1. To ensure that the preference and default settings of your Adobe InDesign program match those used in this lesson, move the InDesign Defaults file to a different folder following the procedure in “Saving and restoring the InDesign Defaults file” on page 3.


Image Note

If you have not already downloaded the project files for this lesson to your computer from your Account page, make sure to do so now. See “Getting Started” at the beginning of the book.


2. Start Adobe InDesign.

3. To ensure that the panels and menu commands match those used in this lesson, choose Window > Workspace > [Advanced], and then choose Window > Workspace > Reset Advanced.

4. Choose File > Open, and open the 02_Start.indd file in the Lesson02 folder, located inside the Lessons folder within the InDesignCIB folder on your hard disk.

5. If the Missing Fonts dialog box displays, click Sync Fonts to access any missing fonts through Adobe Typekit. Click Close when font syncing is complete. For more information on using Adobe Typekit, see “Getting Started” at the beginning of this book.

6. Choose File > Save As, rename the file 02_Postcard.indd, and save it in the Lesson02 folder.


Image Note

For higher contrast in the printed manual, the screen captures in this book show the Medium Light interface. Interface elements such as panels and dialog boxes will be darker on your screen.


7. To display the document at a higher resolution, choose View > Display Performance > High Quality Display.

8. If you want to see what the finished document looks like, open the 02_End.indd file in the same folder. You can leave this document open to act as a guide as you work.

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9. When you’re ready to resume working on the lesson document, display it by clicking its tab in the upper-left corner of the document window.

Viewing guides

Revising or completing an existing document, as you will do in this lesson, is typical work for entry-level InDesign users. Currently, the postcard document is displayed in Preview mode, which displays artwork in a standard window, hiding nonprinting elements such as guides, grids, frame edges, and hidden characters. To work on this document, you will view guides and hidden characters (such as spaces and tabs). As you become comfortable working with InDesign, you will discover which view modes and layout aids work best for you.


Image Tip

The other view modes are Bleed, for reviewing the predefined bleed area that extends beyond the page boundaries; Slug, for displaying the area outside the bleed area that can contain information such as printer instructions or job sign-off information; and Presentation, which fills the screen and works well for presenting design ideas to clients.


1. Click and hold down the Screen Mode button at the bottom of the Tools panel, and choose Normal (Image) from the menu.

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Any layout aids that are enabled now display. For example, light blue, nonprinting lines now indicate existing text frames and objects because Frame Edges were displayed (View > Extras > Show Frame Edges). You will now enable other layout aids.

2. In the Application bar, click the View Options menu (Image) and select Guides. Be sure Guides is checked in the menu.

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When guides are displayed, it’s easy to place text and objects with precision, including automatically snapping them into place. The guides do not print and do not limit the print or export area.

3. From the same View Options menu, choose Hidden Characters.


Image Tip

The commands in the Application bar are available in the main InDesign menus as well. These include View > Grids & Guides > Show Guides and Type > Show Hidden Characters.


Displaying hidden (nonprinting) characters, such as tabs, spaces, and paragraph returns, helps you precisely select and style text. In general, it’s a good idea to show hidden characters whenever you are editing or formatting text.

4. As you work on this document, use the skills you learned in Lesson 1 to move panels, rearrange panels, scroll, and zoom as necessary.

Preflighting as you work

Anytime you start working on a document for the first time—whether you’re creating a document from scratch or revising an existing document—you will need to keep an eye on output issues. You will learn more about all of these issues throughout the lessons in this book.

In publishing, the process of reviewing a document for output issues is known as preflighting. InDesign provides a Live Preflight feature that lets you monitor documents as you’re working to prevent potential problems from occurring. To customize Live Preflight, you can create or import production rules (called profiles) against which to check your documents. The default profile supplied with InDesign flags issues such as missing fonts (a font that is not enabled on your system) and overset text (text that does not fit in its frame).

1. Choose Window > Output > Preflight to open the Preflight panel.

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Using the [Basic] (Working) preflight profile, InDesign finds one error, as indicated by the red Preflight icon (Image), which displays in the lower-left corner of the Preflight panel and the document window. According to the Error list in the Preflight panel, the problem is Text.


Image Tip

Keep an eye on the lower-left corner of the document window to see if any errors arise. You can double-click the word “error” to open the Preflight panel for details on any errors.


2. To view the error, click the arrow next to Text in the Preflight panel.

3. Click the arrow next to Overset Text, and then click Text Frame.

4. To display details for the error, click the arrow next to Info below.

5. Double-click Text Frame to locate and select the problem text frame on the page, or click the page number link to the right in the Page column.

The text frame containing the headline, subhead, and body text is selected. The overset text is indicated by a red plus sign (+) in the frame’s out port (the small square just above the lower-right corner of the frame).

6. Using the Selection tool tool (Image), drag the handle at the bottom of the text frame down so the frame height is approximately 12p10.

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Image Tip

You can handle overset text in various ways, including revising the text in the Story Editor (Edit > Edit In Story Editor), reducing the font size, or expanding the text frame. A quick way to expand the overset text frame is to double-click the bottom (center) handle of the text frame.


7. Click the pasteboard to deselect the text frame.

8. Choose View > Fit Page In Window.

InDesign now reports No Errors in the Preflight panel and the lower-left corner of the document window.

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9. Close the Preflight panel. Choose File > Save to save your work.

Adding text

With InDesign, most text is contained by a text frame. (Text can also be contained in table cells and flow along paths.) You can type text directly into a text frame or import text files from word-processing programs. When importing text files, you can add the text to existing frames or create frames to contain the text. If text doesn’t fit within the same frame, you can “thread,” or link, the text frames.

Typing and styling text

You’re ready to start working on the incomplete postcard. To get started, you’ll edit and style the text under the headline.

1. Select the Type tool (Image) and click immediately after the word “Cafe.”

2. Press Backspace (Windows) or Delete (Mac OS) four times to delete the word “Cafe.”

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Image Tip

Use the Type tool to edit text, format text, and create new text frames.


3. Type Bistro in the text frame so the restaurant’s descriptor is changed from “Bakery & Cafe” to “Bakery & Bistro.”

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4. With the insertion point still in the text, triple-click to select the entire line.

5. If necessary, click the Character Formatting Controls icon (Image) in the Control panel. From the Font Style menu, select Bold.

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6. Choose File > Save to save your work.


Options for styling and placing text

InDesign provides options for formatting characters and paragraphs and for positioning text within a frame. Common options are listed here.

• Character formats: Font, Font Style, Size, Leading, All Caps

• Paragraph formats: Alignment such as Center, Indents, Space Before/After

• Text Frame Options: Columns, Inset Spacing, Vertical Justification

The Control panel, Paragraph panel (Type > Paragraph), and Character panel (Type > Character) provide all the controls you need to style text. To control positioning of the text within its frame, choose Object > Text Frame Options. Many of these options are on the Control panel as well.


Importing and flowing text

In most publishing workflows, writers and editors use word processors. When the text is almost final, they send the files to graphic designers. To complete the postcard, you will import a Microsoft Word file into a text frame at the bottom of the page using the Place command. You will then link the first text frame to the second frame using a process called “threading.”


Image Tip

In many publishing environments, including marketing and advertising, the text is referred to as “copy,” which is why the writers and editors are called “copywriters” and “copyeditors.”


1. Make sure that no objects are selected by clicking a blank area of the pasteboard.

2. Choose File > Place. At the bottom of the Place dialog box, make sure that Show Import Options is not selected.

3. Navigate to the Lesson02 folder, in the Lessons folder, and double-click the Amuse.docx file.

The pointer changes to a loaded text icon (Image). You’ll add this text to the text frame in the lower-left quadrant of the postcard. (The text frames are outlined by light blue nonprinting lines.)


Image Note

To see where to place the body copy text, consult the finished lesson document, 02_End.indd.


4. Position the loaded text icon in the upper-left corner of the text frame, and then click.

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The text in the Word file fills the frame, but it doesn’t all fit. A red plus sign (+) in the out port of the frame indicates overset text. You will thread the two bottom text frames so the text flows through them.


Image Tip

When you have a loaded text icon, you have several choices: You can drag to create a new text frame, click inside an existing frame, or click to create a new text frame within the page’s column guides.


5. Using the Selection tool tool (Image), select the text frame that now contains the text.

6. Click the out port in the lower-right corner of the selected frame. The pointer becomes a loaded text icon. Click in the text frame immediately to the right.

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Image Note

Due to variations in font versions, you may see slightly different text in your frames.


At this point, text is still overset. You will resolve this problems by formatting the text with styles later in this lesson.

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7. Choose File > Save.

Working with styles

InDesign provides paragraph styles, character styles, and object styles for quickly and consistently formatting text and objects and—more important—easily making global changes by simply editing the style. Styles work as follows:

• A paragraph style includes all text formatting attributes—such as font, size, and alignment—that apply to all the text in a paragraph. You can select a paragraph by simply clicking in it.

• A character style includes only character attributes—such as font style (bold or italic) or font color—that apply only to selected text within a paragraph. Character styles are generally applied to call attention to specific text within a paragraph.

• An object style lets you apply formatting—such as fill and stroke color, stroke and corner effects, transparency, drop shadows, feathering, text frame options, and text wrap—to selected objects.


Image Tip

A paragraph style can include nested styles for the beginning of a paragraph and for lines within a paragraph. This automates common paragraph formatting, such as starting a paragraph with a drop cap followed by all capital letters on the first line.


You will now format the text with paragraph and character styles.

Applying paragraph styles

Because the postcard is almost finished, all the paragraph styles you need are already created. You will first apply the Body Copy style to all the text in the two threaded text frames, and then you will apply the Subhead style to the box headings.

1. Using the Type tool (Image), click in one of the text frames containing the newly imported text.


Image Tip

All the text in a series of threaded text frames is called a “story.”


2. Choose Edit > Select All to select all the text in the threaded frames.

3. Choose Type > Paragraph Styles to display the Paragraph Styles panel.

4. In the Paragraph Styles panel, click the Body Copy style to format the entire story with the Body Copy style. (If necessary, with the text still selected, click the Clear Overrides button at the bottom of the Paragraph Styles panel.)

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5. Click a blank area of the pasteboard to deselect all the text.

6. Using the Type tool, click in the first line of text in the story: “Starters & Small Plates.”

As you can see from the hidden character (the paragraph return) at the end of the line, this line is actually its own paragraph. Therefore, it can be formatted with a paragraph style.

7. Click the Subhead style in the Paragraph Styles panel.

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8. Apply the Subhead paragraph style to “Entrées & Desserts” as well.

9. Choose File > Save.

Formatting text for the character style

Highlighting a few key words in a paragraph can draw readers into the text. For the postcard copy, you will format a few words to make them “pop” and then create a character style based on those words. You can then quickly apply the character style to other selected words.


Image Tip

Remember that as you work, you can tear off panels, resize them, and move them to suit your needs. The configuration of your panels is largely dependent on the amount of screen space available. Some InDesign users have a second monitor for managing panels.


1. Using the Zoom tool (Image), zoom in on the first text frame in the lower-left quadrant of the postcard. This frame contains the subhead “Starters & Small Plates.”

2. Using the Type tool (Image), select the words “baked garlic, homemade tater tots, hummus, mussels” in the first paragraph of body copy.

3. If necessary, click the Character Formatting Controls icon (Image) in the Control panel.

4. Display the Type Style menu on the far-left side of the Control panel. Select Italic, leaving the font as Myriad Pro.

5. Click the arrow next to the Fill menu, and then click the arrow next to Colorful_Theme to open the folder of swatches.

6. Choose C=17 M=88 Y=100 K=0 to apply the color to the text.

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7. Click once to deselect the text and view your changes. Choose File > Save.

Creating and applying a character style

Now that you have formatted the text, you are ready to create a character style based on that formatting.

1. Using the Type tool (Image), select the words “baked garlic, homemade tater tots, hummus, mussels” again.

2. Choose Type > Character Styles to display the Character Styles panel.

3. Hold down the Alt (Windows) or Option (Mac OS) key and click the Create New Style button, at the bottom of the Character Styles panel.

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Image Note

Pressing Alt (Windows) or Option (Mac OS) while you click the Create New Style button opens the New Character Style dialog box so you can immediately name the style. This feature works in the Paragraph Styles and Object Styles panels as well.


A new character style, named Character Style 1, is created in the New Character Style dialog box. This new style includes the characteristics of the selected text, as indicated in the Style Settings area of the dialog box.

4. In the Style Name box, type Red Italic.

5. At the bottom of the New Character Style dialog box, select Apply Style To Selection and deselect Add To CC Library. Click OK.

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Image Tip

CC Libraries allow you to share assets, such as styles, among documents and users. You will learn about CC Libraries in Lesson 10, “Importing and Modifying Graphics.”


6. Using the Type tool, select the words “portobello sliders, seared scallops and jumbo lump crab cakes” and the period after “cakes” in the first text frame.


Image Tip

Typesetters often apply the same style to any punctuation following the styled word. This rule may vary based on design preferences or a publisher’s style guide. The key is to be consistent.


7. Click Red Italic in the Character Styles panel.

Because you applied a character style instead of a paragraph style, the formatting affected only the selected text, not the entire paragraph.

8. Using the Type tool, select the words “pesto cavatappi or grilled organic chicken” and the comma after “chicken” in the text frame at the right.

9. Click Red Italic in the Character Styles panel.

10. Repeat the process in steps 8–9 to apply the Red Italic character style to “croissant bread pudding or lemon mousse.”

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11. Choose File > Save.

Working with graphics

To add the final design element to the postcard, you’ll import, resize, and position a graphic. Graphics used in InDesign documents are placed inside frames. Use the Selection tool (Image) to resize the frame and to position the graphic within the frame. You will learn more about working with graphics in Lesson 10, “Importing and Modifying Graphics.”


Image Tip

You can place a graphic into an existing frame or create a frame as you place the graphic. You can also drag graphic files from the desktop onto an InDesign page or pasteboard.


1. Choose View > Fit Page In Window.

You will position the graphic in the upper-right quadrant of the postcard.

2. Make sure that no objects are selected by choosing Edit > Deselect All.

3. Choose File > Place. In the Place dialog box, make sure that Show Import Options is not selected.

4. Navigate to the Lesson02 folder in the Lessons folder, and double-click the DiningRoom.jpg file.

The loaded graphics icon (Image) displays a preview of the graphic. If you click on the page, InDesign places the graphic at full size, inside a similar-size graphics frame. In this case, however, you will size the graphic as you add it to the page. The resulting graphics frame will adapt to the size of the graphic.

5. Position the loaded graphics icon at the intersection of the light blue and pink guides in the upper-right quadrant of the postcard.

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Image Note

To see where to place the graphic, consult the finished lesson document, 02_End.indd.


6. Drag down and to the right until the pointer touches the guide on the right side of the page.

When you release the mouse button, the graphic is added to the page and a graphics frame is created automatically. The width and height of the graphics frame is determined by the graphic’s proportions.

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Image Tip

When you create a frame while placing a graphic on the page, the graphic is automatically scaled to the frame. You can use the scaling controls on the Control panel to precisely adjust the graphic size. You will learn more about that in Lesson 10, “Importing and Modifying Graphics.”


7. With the new graphics frame still selected, enter the following values in the Control panel to fine-tune its position and size:

X: 19p8

Y: 1p1

W: 15p3

H: 10p2

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8. Using the Selection tool tool (Image), select the middle handle at the bottom of the graphics frame and drag it up to see how you can crop the image this way.

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Use the Selection tool to crop a graphic by reducing the size of its frame.

9. Press Ctrl+Z (Windows) or Command+Z (Mac OS) to undo the crop.


Image Tip

To drag the graphic with more control, press the Shift key. This constrains the movement to horizontal, vertical, and 45 degree angles. If you click and pause briefly before resizing a frame with the Selection tool, or before moving the graphic within a frame, the part of the graphic that is cropped becomes visible outside the frame area.


10. Still using the Selection tool, position the pointer over the graphic to display the content grabber, which looks like a doughnut.

11. Click the content grabber to select the graphic, and then drag up to position the image within the frame as you please.

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Drag to reposition a graphic within its frame.

12. Press Ctrl+Z (Windows) or Command+Z (Mac OS) to undo the image move.

13. Choose File > Save.

Working with objects

The building blocks of InDesign pages are objects—text frames, graphics frames, rules (lines), tables, and more. In general, you move and resize objects with the Selection tool. Objects can have a fill color (background color), stroke weight (outline or frame thickness), and stroke color. You can move objects around freely, snap them to other objects, or place them with precision according to guides or values you enter. In addition, you can resize and scale objects and specify how text wraps around them. You will learn more about objects in Lesson 4, “Working with Objects.” Here, you will experiment with a few object features.

Moving and rotating an object

A fork and knife graphic created with InDesign drawing tools is on the pasteboard to the left of the page. You will move this graphic to the right of the restaurant name, “Amuse-Bouche.” Then, you will rotate the object.

1. Choose View > Fit Page In Window to center the page in the document window. If necessary, scroll to left to see the white graphic on the pasteboard.

2. Using the Selection tool tool (Image), click the fork and knife graphic.

3. Drag the graphic to the right of the headline, “Amuse-Bouche.”

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4. To fine-tune the object’s placement, type the following values in the Control panel:

X: 11p5

Y: 3p

5. To rotate the object, type 30 in the Rotation Angle field.

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6. Choose File > Save.

Changing the object stroke and fill

When an object is selected, you can change its stroke (outline or frame) weight and color. In addition, you can apply a fill (or background) color.

1. Using the Selection tool tool (Image), select the white fork and knife graphic object.

2. Choose Window > Stroke to open the Stroke panel. Type 1 pt in the Weight field and press Enter (Windows) or Return (Mac OS).

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3. With the graphic object still selected, click the Swatches panel icon at the right.


Image Tip

InDesign provides many options for moving selected objects, including dragging them, “nudging” them with the arrow keys, and entering precise placement values in the X and Y fields on the Control panel.


4. Click the Stroke box (Image) at the top of the panel to indicate that you want to apply color to the stroke.

5. Click the arrow next to the Colorful_Theme folder to see the swatches. Then, click C=41 M=25 Y=96 K=13.

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6. With the graphic object still selected, click the Fill box (Image) at the top of the panel to indicate that you want to apply color to the stroke.

7. Click C=17 M=88 Y=100 K=0.

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Image Tip

To quickly revert the default stroke color to black, choose Edit > Deselect All and press D on the keyboard.


8. Click the pasteboard to deselect all objects.

9. Choose File > Save.

Working with object styles

As with paragraph and character styles, you can quickly and consistently format objects by saving attributes as styles. In this exercise, you will apply an existing object style to the two threaded text frames containing the body copy.

1. Choose View > Fit Page In Window.

2. Choose Window > Styles > Object Styles to display the Object Styles panel.

3. Using the Selection tool tool (Image), click the text frame at the left containing the “Starters & Small Plates” subhead.

4. Click the Green Stroke And Drop Shadow style in the Object Styles panel.

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5. Click the second text frame, which contains the “Entrées & Desserts” subhead.

6. Click the Green Stroke And Drop Shadow style in the Object Styles panel.

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7. Choose File > Save.

Viewing the document in Presentation mode

In Presentation mode, the InDesign interface is hidden entirely, and the document fills the whole screen. This mode works well for presenting design ideas to clients on a laptop.


Image Tip

You cannot edit documents in Presentation mode, but you can make changes in any other screen mode.


1. Click and hold down the Screen Mode button at the bottom of the Tools panel, and select Presentation (Image).

2. After viewing the document, press Esc (Escape) to exit Presentation mode. The document displays in its previous screen mode, Normal.

3. To view the document without layout aids, select Preview from the Screen Mode menu on the Tools panel.

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4. Choose View > Actual Size to see the document at its output size.

5. Choose File > Save.

Congratulations! You’ve completed the InDesign tour.

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InDesign best practices

While completing the postcard in this lesson, you experimented with the basic building blocks of a document and the best practices for creating a document. When you create a document following best practices, the document is easy to format, revise, and replicate consistently. Some of these techniques are listed here.

• Start with preflight. As soon as you receive a document to work on, use the Live Preflight feature to make sure the document will output correctly. For example, if the document is missing a font, you will need to acquire that font right away before you continue working on the document.

• Avoid layering objects. Format one object rather than layering objects. For example, the two text frames containing the postcard’s body text have a text inset, stroke weight, stroke color, and drop shadow applied. A new InDesign user might be tempted to create this look by layering multiple frames. Using multiple objects creates extra work when moving and aligning objects or changing the formatting.

• Thread text frames. New InDesign users are often tempted to place or paste text into separate, freestanding text frames. The text in these frames needs to be selected and formatted individually. If you flow the text through threaded frames, it remains as a single body of text called a “story.” Among other benefits of working with a story as opposed to disjointed frames of text, you can select all the text in a story for formatting and limit the use of Find/Change to the text in a story. When working on a longer document, such as a book, threading text frames is crucial to controlling the text placement and entering revisions.

• Use styles for all formatting. InDesign provides styles for formatting objects, paragraphs, lines within paragraphs, characters, tables, and table cells. With styles, you can quickly and consistently format everything in a document. In addition, if you make a change to a format, all you need to do is change the style. For example, in the postcard, if you wanted to change the font used in the body copy, all you would need to do is edit the Character Formats of the Body Text paragraph style. Styles can easily be updated to reflect new formatting and can be shared among documents as well.

You will learn more about all of these features as you work through the lessons.


Exploring on your own

To learn more about InDesign, you may want to try the following within the postcard layout:

• Change the text formatting with options in the Control panel or the Paragraph and Character panels (Type menu).

• Apply different paragraph and character styles to text.

• Move and resize objects and graphics.

• Apply the object style to different objects.

• Double-click a paragraph, character, or object style and change its formatting. Notice how the change affects the text or objects to which the style is applied.

• Choose Help > InDesign Help to explore the help system.

• Go through the lessons in the rest of this book.

Review questions

1. How can you tell if an aspect of a layout will cause output problems?

2. What tool allows you to create text frames?

3. What tool allows you to thread text frames?

4. What symbol indicates that a text frame has more text than it can hold—that is, overset text?

5. What tool allows you to move both frames and graphics within frames?

6. What panel provides options for modifying selected frames, graphics, and text?

Review answers

1. The Preflight panel reports errors when something in the layout does not comply with the selected preflight profile. For example, if a text frame has overset text (text that doesn’t fit in the frame), an error is reported. Preflight errors are also reported in the lower-left corner of the document window.

2. You create text frames with the Type tool.

3. You thread text frames with the Selection tool.

4. A red plus sign in the lower-right corner of a text frame indicates overset text.

5. The Selection tool lets you drag a frame (with its graphic) to move it or move a graphic around within its frame.

6. The Control panel provides options for modifying the current selection: characters, paragraphs, graphics, frames, tables, and more.