Get a free year on Tuts+ this month when you purchase a Siteground hosting plan from $3.95/mo
Adobe InDesign is a remarkable tool for many print and marketing design projects. It makes it extremely easy to work on publications, move design elements around, and export out for your printer. However, what happens if your project requires different sizes for each item?
Letterhead is a great example of this. When you design letterhead you have many components from the letter to envelopes and business cards. In earlier versions of InDesign you would have to create a separate file for each, but with InDesign, you can use the handy Page Tool to resize each page within one document. This keeps everything in one easy to access document and dramatically improves your workflow. Let's take a look at the process!
This is one of the many things you'll pick up in my course, Advanced Print Options.
1. The Page Tool
You'll find the Page Tool under the Direct Selection arrow in the Toolbar. When you select it, you'll notice the Properties Bar at the top changes to reveal X and Y coordinate options as well as Width and Height options. You'll also notice options very similar to the Document Window that appears when you create a new document. This is where you'll apply all your page size specs. Let's see it in action!
2. Set Up You First Document
The first item I create in my letterhead workflow is the main letter. The size of this document is a classic A4 size. Open InDesign and select File > New Document to create your first item. Set Intent to Print and Number of Pages to 1 (we'll add more later). Deselect Facing Pages. Under Page Size select A4. Set the Bleed to .125 in on all 4 sides.
Bleed Tip: Even if you don't think you'll design your letterhead with a full bleed, it's best to set it up this way from the beginning. It's easier to design with a bleed and not use it then add it in later.
No you have your first letterhead document ready to go. Instead of saving and adding another InDesign document to the mix, we're going to add the pages for the envelope next right in the same document.
We're only going to design the front of the envelope, so we need to add one page. Duplicate the page you just created by clicking and dragging the page from the Pages panel to the New Page icon just to the left of the trash can icon.
Now that you have the new page, it's time to resize it with the Page Tool.
Make sure the second page is active in the Pages panel and the Select the Page Tool. You'll notice the page is selected with new anchors around the edges. This allows you to resize by clicking and dragging any one of the anchors. We want to be more precise, however, and will use the properties at the top instead. Change the Width to 9.5 in and the Height to 4.125 in. This is the standard No. 9 envelope for letters.
You'll see the document transform to this new size. However, did it affect the letter page we created earlier? Scroll up and notice the original page remains the same A4 size we already set. Cool!
Now repeat Step 3 for the business cards. This time you'll create two duplicate pages. One for the front and one for the back of the business card. Instead of inputting the width and height, select the Custom drop down and go to US Business Card. This will format your page to the standard 3.5 x 2 in business card size. If you have a different business card size, you can input it exactly like you did for the envelope in Step 3.
You end up with an InDesign document that has four different sized pages. One for the letter, one for the envelope and two for the business card. If you Zoom Out, you'll notice that the page sizes are different in the Workspace as well as the Pages Panel. This will help you see what page is what in your letterhead workflow.
There are many other uses for this handy feature in InDesign. To see more advanced techniques including how to design letterhead and save out a PDF with multiple page sizes, head on over to my Advanced Print Options Course! You'll also discover how to work with Text on a Path and Advanced Folds, and apply these techniques to two design projects.