Get Up and Running with Adobe InDesign in 5 Days (or 5 Hours)
April 1st, 2020 | Brie Alsbury, Community Learning Specialist
Have you found yourself with some time and a burning desire to learn how to use Adobe Indesign? Maybe it’s suddenly been added to your tasks as you navigate working from home?
Don’t worry, I can help!
Using a carefully curated list of wonderful tutorials on the Adobe website, I will give you a guided tour of how to get up and running with Adobe Indesign in just 5 day–or 5 hours if you want to do this all at once.
Before I turn you loose with the tutorials, let’s talk a bit about what Adobe InDesign can do.
I’ve been teaching Adobe InDesign for over a decade and one of the things I’ve learned is that most folks aren’t entirely sure what the software does, or why they would want to use it. Adobe Indesign is a layout program that allows you to merge text and graphics together and expertly control the flow of both in ways that Microsoft Word only dreams of being able to do. However, InDesign has very limited capability for creating graphics and only basic text editing features. One of the most important things I stress to my students when I’m teaching in the classroom is to have their materials prepped ahead of time.
The good news is all of these tutorials come with sample files, so you won’t need to prepare anything ahead of time. Just look for the What You’ll Need section at the top of each page.
Okay. Let’s get started!
- Getting Started with Indesign – If you’re familiar with other Adobe software you may be able to skip this one. In these tutorials you’ll learn how to create a new document and navigate through the program.
- Adding Text – In this set of tutorials you’ll learn about text frame, adding text, setting columns and importing files from Microsoft Word. Everything in InDesign lives in a box. This is your first step to learning to love putting things in boxes.
- Formatting Text – In this set of tutorials you’ll learn what you need to set the style and make things pretty!
Want some extra credit? Get a jump on your design skills by learning the difference between leading, kerning, and tracking.
- Adding and Transforming Graphics – In this tutorial pay particular attention to linked graphics. InDesign’s default is to link to an image rather than incorporate it into the document. That means if you delete the image from your computer it will also be deleted from your document.
If you finished Day Two you now have 90% of the basic skills you need to create and edit an InDesign document! Way to go!
- Apply Color and Effects – Learn how to apply color to both text and design elements.
Want some extra credit? Explore Adobe Color for great color trends and learn how to download color palettes for free!
- Edit, manipulate and organize your content – In these quick tutorials you’ll learn all of the skills you need to manipulate the basic frames and align them on the page.
We’re cruising into the home stretch and today is all about working with documents with more than one page. Learn how to add pages to a document and make speed up your workflow with Master Pages.
You’re done! The only thing left to do is share our work and try out a few small projects.
- Share your projects – Learn the best ways to share your work with others by packaging your files or exporting them as a PDF.
- Try out this basic tutorial for decorative letting and drop caps.
- Learn how to create a custom Thank You card.
- Tackle setting up a business card with Indesign.
- Walk through the steps for creating a postcard.