CT&D #24. Entering InDesign

What processes for InDesign are the most helpful as a beginner in the program? How will this help you in your design practice?

Not having used InDesign before, I found that reading about it in a book was necessary to do for preparation and especially for having a constant reference that I can rely on when I start navigating the program. As such, there are some notable processes I found helpful which stood out to me, the first of which I noticed was the drag and drop command. Using Photoshop frequently, I usually have to drag layers within a file window when working on combining images for a background, creating layer masks, etc. (similar to InDesign). However, I noticed that there is a difference between how file assets are handled through dragging and dropping on Photoshop versus InDesign.

On InDesign, I found that you can simply drag a graphic directly from a file window (or even use Adobe Bridge and drag and drop up to multiple files) on top of a working page. The working page (or document), like with Photoshop, has a layer sidebar for every file asset used but unlike Photoshop, assets require a file paths. This means that every graphic or photo placed in InDesign for a creative project (it could be a magazine) needs to have its original file intact so that it may render correctly upon exporting a document. With Photoshop, although this is not good practice, I usually delete the original file of an imported graphic I work with and manipulate and just keep the edited file along with its export.

Another useful process I found with InDesign is using margins. Margins are extremely handy in defining how much of a document one wants to use, whether for placing graphics or text boxes or a combination of both. There also seems to be a lot you can do with text customization, and not like in Photoshop where one can create word art but rather in adjusting the space in between lines of text and even space in between letters.

Without a doubt, some of these processes will help me with my design practice in that it will expand my scope of what I am able to do with my graphics from one program to the other if the situation calls for it. Obviously, a project in InDesign may require photo editing from Photoshop so that the finished photo can be featured in a document that needs it alongside text for a publication. It doesn’t come as a surprise that InDesign has features that are not present in the other Adobe programs since each caters to a specific need and application of design and content creation as a whole.

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