Essential to working with document layout in Adobe Indesign is the placing of images and text. There are several easy techniques for importing these elements into your publications. The simplest method of importing a graphic is to choose Place from the top left File menu, then browse to the image's location. Then we click to place it outside the page initially, whereupon the image is imported at its full print size. We then use the Selection tool to move and rescale the image. To print to the trim edge of the paper we scale it to the red bleed guides; this will later be trimmed off, but allows for a few millimeters margin of error. By pressing the Control and Shift keys together we scale both the frame and the image together.
An alternate method is to use the Rectangle Frame tool to first create a placeholder for the graphic, before going to the Place function to bring in the image. We then would right-click on the graphic and choose Fitting and Fill Frame Proportionally, or Fit Content Proportionally. In the case of a coloured header, footer or sidebar element, it's possible to select a colour from the photograph itself for design consistency. First ensure that the Fill icon is overlapping the Stroke icon at the bottom of the Toolbox. Next select the Eyedropper tool and click on the photograph, whereupon the pixel colour will be loaded into the Toolbox. We can then use the Rectangle tool to create the header, footer or sidebar element.
In the case of adding type it's possible to either create the text from scratch within Indesign itself, or import it from a Microsoft Word document. First we select the Type tool, then click and drag inside the page in order to create a text box. We then simply type in our text. Another method is to choose Import from the File menu before browsing to a Word document. After we import the text we can then adjust the font, size, leading, colour , etc from the options on the top Control panel, or apply a Character or Paragraph Style.
Adding automatic page numbers to the document is also easy. Double-click on the default A-Master page thumbnail to enter the master page setup, which is generally a double-page spread.
We then zoom into the bottom left-hand corner of the spread to add the page numbers. With the Type tool we click and drag to create a text box. If this was a standard text frame, you would then start adding our text, but in this case we right-click inside the box and choose Insert Special Marker from the list, then Current Page Number. At this point the letter A appears in the text box (representing A-Master) but this will change to the actual page number on each local page.
To check that the pagination process is complete, double-click to enter a local page. It's also possible to add sections and of numbering styles via the Numbering and Section Options on the master page options fly-out list.
Tom Gillan has been training Indesign to corporate clients in Sydney for seven years. Visit Design Workshop Sydney for more information.