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InDesign 1.0/1.5 for Macintosh and Windows: Visual QuickStart Guide

InDesign 1.0/1.5 for Macintosh and Windows: Visual QuickStart Guide

by Sandee Cohen
Everything you need to know to get up and running with Adobe's hot new page layout program, InDesign. This cross-platform guide introduces you to the InDesign interface, including the tools and palettes; how to create and navigate a document, work with text and objects, use pen tools, work with color, import and manipulate graphics, and work with long documents


Everything you need to know to get up and running with Adobe's hot new page layout program, InDesign. This cross-platform guide introduces you to the InDesign interface, including the tools and palettes; how to create and navigate a document, work with text and objects, use pen tools, work with color, import and manipulate graphics, and work with long documents and styles. More advanced topics, such as advanced text control, color management, and preflighting are also covered. The last two chapters offer comparisons between InDesign, QuarkXPress and PageMaker.

Editorial Reviews

Updated with features new to version 1.5, this guide introduces desktop publishing with the InDesign program. Topics include text, objects, color, imported graphics, long documents, and output. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

Pearson Education
Publication date:
Visual QuickStart Guide Series
Product dimensions:
6.98(w) x 8.93(h) x 0.62(d)

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Read an Excerpt

Welcome to the second edition of the InDesign Visual Quickstart Guide. With only six months since the introduction of InDesign 1.0, I never expected to be updating this book so soon. However, there were so many significant changes in InDesign 1.5 that Peachpit Press and I decided to go all the way and create a new version of the book.

Rarely has the introduction of an application caused as much excitement as this one. For the past several years, desktop publishing insiders have heard whispers and rumors about InDesign-first under the code-name K2, and then as InDesign. In March, 1999, the program had a preview release at Seybold Seminars in Boston. After over five years of active development (and over fifteen years of experience in desktop publishing), Adobe Systems Inc. released version 1.0 of InDesign. Now, just seven months later, Adobe has done something amazing. They have released version 1.5, a full-scale upgrade to the program.

InDesign has many revolutionary features. Rather than one large program, it divides the application into a series of separate plug-ins. This means that InDesign can be updated and modified quickly and easily. InDesign also has some of the most powerful typography technology that has ever been in a consumer desktop publishing application.

Of course, the major question is "Is InDesign a Quark killer?" referring to how InDesign compares to QuarkXPress. The answer to that question remains to be seen and is outside the scope of this book. However, if you want to see how InDesign compares to QuarkXPress, you can read Chapter 15, at the end of this book.

I created this book as a teaching tool-a QuickStart Guide to help you understand and use InDesign. As you become familiar with the program, you can answer the question yourself.

Using This Book

If you have used any of the Visual QuickStart Guides, you will find this book to be similar. Each of the chapters consists of numbered steps that deal with a specific technique or feature of the program. As you work through the steps, you gain an understanding of the technique or feature. The illustrations help you judge if you are following the steps correctly.


You will find it easier to use this book once you understand the terms I am using. This is especially important since some other computer books use terms differently. Therefore, here are the terms I use in the book and explanations of what they mean.

Click refers to pressing down and releasing the mouse button on the Macintosh, or the left mouse button on Windows. You must release the mouse button or it is not a click.

Press means to hold down the mouse button, or a keyboard key.

Press and drag means to hold the mouse button down and then move the mouse. I also use the shorthand term drag. Just remember that you have to press and hold as you drag the mouse.

Menu Commands

InDesign has menu commands that you follow to open dialog boxes, change artwork, and initiate certain, actions. These menu commands are listed in bold type. The typical direction to choose a menu command might be written as Object > Arrange> Bring to Front. This means that you should first choose the Object menu, then choose the Arrange submenu, and then choose the Bring to Front command.

Keyboard Shortcuts

Most of the menu commands for InDesign have keyboard shortcuts that help you work faster. For instance, instead of choosing New from the File menu, it is faster and easier to use the keyboard shortcut (Command-N on the Macintosh and CtrlN on Windows).

The modifier keys used in keyboard shortcuts are sometimes listed in different orders by different software companies or authors. For example, I always list the Command or Ctrl keys first, then the Option or Alt key, and then the Shift key. Other people may list the Shift key first. The order that you press those modifier keys is not important. However, it is very important that you always add the last key (the letter or number key) after you are pressing the other keys.

You might expect that this book would list all the keyboard shortcuts for InDesign. There are two reasons why I haven't done that. First, InDesign lets you assign your own keyboard shortcuts. So I don't know which keyboard shortcuts you're going to use. Second, you can easily create a list of all the shortcuts in InDesign and print them out yourself. So although you would be impressed if I provided a list of keyboard shortcuts, see Chapter 14 for how you can create them yourself.

Learning Keyboard Shortcuts

While keyboard shortcuts help you work faster, you really do not have to start using them right away. In fact, you will most likely learn more about InDesign by using the menus. As you look for one command, you may see another feature that you would like to explore.

Once you feel comfortable working with InDesign, you can start adding keyboard shortcuts to your repertoire. My suggestion is to look at which menu commands you use a lot. Then each day choose one of those shortcuts. For instance, if you import a lot of art from other programs, you might decide to learn the shortcut for the Place command. For the rest of that day use the Import shortcut every time you import art. Even if you have to look at the menu to refresh your memory, still use the keyboard shortcut to actually open the Import dialog box. By the end of the day you will have memorized the Place shortcut. The next day you can learn a new one.

Cross-Platform Issues

One of the great strengths of InDesign is that it is almost identical on both the Macintosh and Windows platforms. In fact, at first glance it is hard to tell which platform you are working on. However, because there are some differences between the platforms, there are some things you should keep in mind.

Modifier Keys

Modifier keys are always listed with the Macintosh key first and then the Windows key second. So the direction "Hold the Command/Ctrl key" means hold the Command key on the Macintosh platform or the Ctrl key on the Windows platform. When the key is the same on both computers, such as the Shift key, only one key is listed.

Generally the Command key on the Macintosh (sometimes called the Apple key) corresponds to the Ctrl key on Windows. The Option key on the Macintosh corresponds to the Alt key on Windows. The Control key on the Macintosh does not have an equivalent on Windows. Notice that the Control key for the Macintosh is always spelled out while the Ctrl key for Windows is not.

Platform-Specific Features

A few times in the book, I have written separate exercises for the Macintosh and Windows platforms. These exercises are indicated by (Mac) and (Win).

Most of the time this is because the procedures are so different that they need to be written separately. Some features exist only on one platform. Those features are then labeled as to their platform.

Coming from other programs

It is very likely that some users of InDesign are experts in other page layout programs. If you are familiar with other programs, you should look at Chapters 15 and 16 which compare InDesign features to those in QuarkXPress or PageMaker.

Using 1.0 or 1.5

This book has been specially written so that you can use it with either InDesign 1.0 or InDesign 1.5. While I. expect that most people will be using version 1.5, there will be some using version 1.0. I felt strongly that the book should cover both versions.

Some of the features in InDesign 1.5 are obviously different. For instance, there is no Path Type tool in InDesign 1.0.

Other features, such as how clipping paths are handled have been slightly changed in InDesign 1.5. I have created some special icons that should help you work with the book.

1.0 When you see this icon, it means that the feature exists only in version 1.0

1.5 When you see this icon, it means that the feature exists only in version 1.5.

When there is no icon, it means that the feature works the same in both versions of the product.

Future Updates

Since InDesign is very modular, it is possible that Adobe will post still other updates and changes to InDesign on the Adobe Web site. Similarly, I will be able to post updates, changes, and additional tips on the Peachpit Web site. Just go to www.peachpit.com and look up the InDesign 1.0/1.5 for Macintosh and Windows: Visual QuickStart Guide. I'll be posting information on the book's companion Web pages.

Just don't forget to have fun!

Sandee Cohen
(SandeeC@vectorbabe.com) April, 2000

Meet the Author

Sandee Cohen has been training in the field of desktop publishing for the past 12 years. The graphics curriculum instructor for the New School Computer Instruction Center in New York City, she has spoken at many conferences, including Seybold Seminars, Macworld Expo, and Thunder Lizard events. She is the author of the first edition of InDesign Visual QuickStart Guide, as well as all editions of Freehand Visual,QuickStart Guide and Fireworks visual QuickStart Guide. She is also the co-author of The Non-Designer's Scan and Print Book, and she's been a contributor to many graphics and computer magazines.

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