Quick Tip: Creating a Tri-fold template in InDesign CS5


In today's quick tip we are going to set up a template for a Tri-fold leaflet, which will be roll folded. Once completed the template will serve as a base to design onto and can saved as a master template for future use. Let's begin!

Here is a visual of how the tri-fold leaflet folds.

Step 1

Start by opening InDesign and create a new document via the quick buttons.

Or alternatively go to File > New > Document.

Step 2

Work through the options and set the values to suit your project. As this is a six panel double sided tri-fold leaflet make sure that the intent is Print, Number of pages two, Page size A4 and the orientation is set to Landscape. Also there is no need for Facing pages to be selected. Here is a screen shot of my selections.

Step 3

Make sure that you are viewing the first page. To double check this open the Page palette by going to Window > Pages.

Now double click on the page one thumbnail.

Step 4

If the Rulers aren't visible go to View > Show Rulers to activate them.

Step 5

OK let's starting adding some guides to mark the fold lines. Click and hold on the vertical ruler and drag a guide anywhere onto the page and let go of the click.

Step 6

The guide should be selected and highlighted blue. Now press Command + 6, by doing this you will have selected the location coordinates of the guide.

Now type in 98mm and hit enter. This guide represents one of the folds on the front side of the trifold leaflet.

Step 7

Repeat the process as detailed in step 6, only this time set the guide at 197mm. This is the second fold.

You now have the front side of the tri-fold set. The right hand panel is the front panel of the leaflet, the middle panel will form the back of the leaflet and the left hand panel will fold into the leaflet.

Step 8

Now scroll down to the second page. We are going to perform steps 5 - 7 again, however this time the guides will have different locations to mirror the front side guide locations. The first guide will be set at 100mm and the second guide will be set at 199mm.

Step 9

To prevent the guides being moved or altered, lock them down by right clicking > Grids and Guides > Lock Guides.


The template is now ready for designing onto or saving for future reference. However I would strongly recommend that you contact the printer you intend on using to determine whether or not they have any special requirements when setting a tri-fold leaflet. If for example the fold lines differ you can still employ the techniques learned from this tut and apply them to the printers specifications.

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