Kroll Design
Needham, Massachusetts


InDesign Tutorials

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Adding more pages
Right click on an existing page, and choose either 'Insert Pages' or 'Duplicate Spread'. Usually better to use 'Insert Pages', since 'Duplicate Spread' also duplicates the content on the page, which can get confusing and forces you to go in and delete the duplicate content. Click the out port of the old page to load the Place cursor with overflow text, then click in the first column of the new page (you should see a cursor with what looks like chain links) to flow the text onto the new page.
Centering a frame or other object within a page:
  • Show the Align panel with Window...Object & Layout...Align
  • Select the object that you want to center
  • In the Align panel, click on the Align horizontal centers and Align vertical centers buttons. Make sure that the appropriate option ('align to page', etc) is selected.

Centering a photo within a frame
If you already have a photo inside a frame, and you want it centered, do the following:
  • right click on the photo
  • Fitting...Frame Fitting Options...
  • click on the center dot in the Alignment section

Drop Shadow
To add a drop shadow, `Object...Effects...Drop Shadow`
Fonts: bold and italic
InDesign doesn't have 'bold' and 'italic' buttons, but alternate versions of fonts are usually available when you select a font.
Fonts: font color
  • Open the swatches window
  • If you don't see the desired swatch color, create a new swatch by clicking on the flyout menu button in the upper right corner of the swatches window
  • Select the text
  • Click on the swatch that you want
Fonts: changing font size
  • Command - Shift - > to increase font size
  • Command - Shift - < to decrease font size
Fonts: choosing a font
To try out different fonts, select text, click in font face box, then use the up/down arrow keys. You can also start typing in the name of the font, or select font with the drop down box.
Go To Page
Command - J
Guides: color
To change the color of the selected guide: Layout...Ruler Guides. However, you won't see this new color until you then de-select the guide.
Guides: creating them
To create guides: Layout...Create Guides
Guides: facing pages
When dragging a guide down from the ruler onto one of two facing pages, the default is for the guide to appear only for that one page. Ctrl - drag for the guide to appear for both pages.
Hand tool
To move a page's display while Type tool is active, Option(Alt) - drag
Guides: locking/unlocking them
View...Grids and Guides...Lock Column Guides
Master pages
Apply Master to Pages
Page numbers
To add page numbers, 'Type...Insert Special Characters...Markers...Current Page Number'
Pages: adding pages
To add more than one page at once, Alt - click on the new page icon in the page panel.
"Paper" = "White"
Paragraph Styles
Click on the Essentials button at top of screen and select Advanced, or Type...Paragraph Styles, or F11.
Paragraph Styles: changing them
Redefine Style (find out more about this)
PDF re-purposing
See also: Acrobat notes
Recosoft - maker of software to convert PDF to InDesign notes
PDF re-purposing
Click here for a discussion of a Recosoft Corporation plug-in for creating InDesign documents from PDFs
Pictures refresh
If you have an InDesign document where you want the format and placement of photos to stay as is, but you want to sharpen or brighten each photo, for example, do the following:
  • Make a spare copy of the original photos
  • Modify the original photos in Photoshop or the software of your choice, making sure to keep their filenames and folder names the same, so that InDesign knows it's the same photos. In InDesign, these are called 'Links' -- links to photos that were placed into the InDesign document.
  • When you open InDesign again it will automatically detect that you modified the photos, and it will ask if you want to update the links to these photos now or later.
  • To update the links later, open the Links panel, then either double click on the little yellow triangle with the exclamation point inside it, or click on the Update Link button (to update all links at once, Option/Alt click on the Update Link button).
Place command
Command - D
Preview Mode
W to toggle between normal and preview modes.
Command - R to toggle rulers on/off.
Save Preset
Click the Save Preset button in the New Document dialog to save your choice of size, number of columns, etc for future documents.
Text: activate Type tool
Double click on text in a text frame to switch to the Type tool and make the text editable
Text: color
Assign color to select text with Swatches panel (F5) or Color panel (F6)
Text: kerning (adjusting spacing between letters)
Click on the Essentials button at top of screen and select Typography, various options appear including kerning.
Text: selecting words, paragraphs, etc.
  • double click to select word
  • triple click to select line
  • quadruple click to select paragraph
  • quintuple click to select page (easier to do Command - A for Select All)
Text: selecting several words
Double click to select a word, but before releasing mouse, drag to select an additional word. Probably easier just to select the text you want.
Text: toolbar shortcut
T to activate Type tool
Text: switch to Select tool
After adding text with the Type tool, hit Escape to switch to the Selection Tool
Text Frame: automatically create text frame on master page
If all pages based on a given master page are going to have pretty much the same text frames, you can have InDesign automatically generate text frames in the master page, based on the master page's guides, when you first create the document. In the `New Document` dialong, check the `Master Text Frame' checkbox.
Text Frame: create with Type tool
Another way to create a text frame is to drag the Type tool
Text Frame: placeholder text
Type...Fill With Placeholder Text
Text Frame: vertical alignment
select object, then Command/Ctrl - B or Object...Text Frame Options...Vertical Justification
Text Frame: toolbar shortcut
F to activate Text Frame tool
Text Frame: unlock a master page text frame for editing on a page
`Command - Shift - click on frame`, then you can use the frame as normal with the Type Tool
Command - Z
Units of Measurement
Default unit is picas. "35p4" means "35 picas, 4 points".
  • 6 picas = 1 inch
  • 72 points = 1 inch
  • 12 points = 1 pica
You can override default units by typing "8in" for 8 inches, for example.
Command +, Command -
To zoom out with Zoom tool, hold down Alt.
Command - Spacebar to temporarily toggle to Zoom tool from the Select tool.
Zoom and Pan using mouse wheel
  • scroll up/down: mousewheel
  • pan left/right: Command - mousewheel
  • zoom in/out: Alt/Option - mousewheel
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©2012 Kroll Design    781.910.3694
Last modified: 10/3/2012 7:30 PM