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How Do I Open and Edit a Template in InDesign?

Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

Looking for marketing strategies to promote your business? This quick tutorial shows you the basics elements you need to know to edit flyer and brochure templates in InDesign.

Brochures and flyers are still a couple of the most effective ways to get information to a target audience. Envato Elements and GraphicRiver offer a myriad of high-quality brochure and flyer templates. They are visually stunning and quick and easy to edit. 

In this tutorial, we'll look at the basics of opening and editing a brochure template. I will talk you through opening the files, adding images and logos, and editing colors and fonts to match your brand. Lastly, we'll take a look at how to export files for professional printing and email sharing.

For the purpose of this tutorial, I will show you how to open a flyer template and how to edit a brochure template in InDesign. Opening and editing both is slightly different as brochures have more pages than flyers.

Follow along with this tutorial over on our Envato Tuts+ YouTube Channel:

What You'll Need

In addition to the assets listed below, you will need Adobe InDesign. If you don't have the software, you can download a trial from the Adobe website.

Save all of these files in a folder that's easy to locate. Let's get started! 

Looking for amazing InDesign brochure templates? Head on over to Envato Elements or GraphicRiver.

1. How to Open an InDesign Flyer Template

Step 1

Locate the .zip file downloaded from Envato Elements. Double-click on the file to decompress it. 

In the decompressed file, there a few folders and files, one of them named Font.txt. This file contains links to download the fonts used in the template. Here, you have the option to go ahead and download the fonts. Alternatively, you can reinforce your brand by using your brand’s fonts.

Decompress the zip file and check for font links

Step 2

In this specific template, we will find files for Adobe InDesign, Photoshop, and Microsoft Word. We'll work with Adobe InDesign.

You will notice there are .idml and .indd files. The difference between these two is that INDD is version specific and IDML is an (almost) universal file that can be opened by InDesign CS4 (or later). I am working with InDesign CC, so I will be opening the INDD file for the front cover.

Jump to step 3 to learn how to place images and edit text. 

Open the indd file or idml file

2. How to Edit a Brochure Template

Step 1

For this step, I will switch to working with a brochure as it contains more elements. Follow the same steps as above. Decompress the file, and open the InDesign file that corresponds to your setup.

In this specific template, the font information is within the help.txt file. Follow the links in the file to download the fonts and install them in your FontBook.

If you are using InDesign CC, there’s a chance some of these fonts are part of the Adobe Fonts package. In this case, you can activate them in the pop-up warning window upon opening the file.

Install the fonts or activate if using InDesign CC

Step 2

With the file open, we can check what we will be working with. 

Open the Pages panel to see the layout. If you don’t have it open, head over to Windows > Pages. We can see that the file consists of a cover, back cover, and inside pages. 

Open the Layers panel by going to Window > Layers. Check the layers—in this case, we are working with one layer only. 

Let’s check the Paragraph Style panel by going to Window > Styles > Paragraph Styles. You can see we have a variety of styles. 

Paragraph styles are a collection of formatting attributes given to specific paragraphs or lines of text. Styles contain formatting such as fonts, family, size, alignment, indents, etc. The advantage of using them is that they can save time and help you design consistently, avoiding mistakes.

In this case, these styles will be helpful if you decide to make general type changes to the brochure.

Open the pages layers and paragraph styles panels

Step 3

Let’s start by adding an image to the cover. Select the grey object at the top of the page. Press Command-D to Place an image. In the Place window, find the image you’d like to place. Click Open. 

To resize the image, use the Direct Selection Tool (A) from the toolbar. Select the image, which will activate a bounding box on the image but within the object. You’ll know it is the right bounding box because the color should be different from blue. 

Place an image and resize with the direct selection tool

Step 4

To change the copy, use the Text Tool (T) from the toolbar. Click on the text and replace it with your own. 

Use the text tool to add your own copy

If you don’t have much text to add, you can select a text box and delete it by pressing the Backspace key. In my case, I don’t have much text to add to the subtitle, so I will be making this text box smaller. Double-click on the middle handle to automatically collapse the box. 

Collapse text boxes if you dont have enough copy

Step 5

To add a logo, make sure you have an .eps or .ai file. Select the logo placed on the template and delete it. Press Command-D to Place a new logo. This time, click outside of the page to resize it to create its own box. 

Place a logo outside of the page

To resize the logo, press Shift-Command and drag one of the corners. Shift will scale the logo evenly, while Command will fit the content to the box. Delete the template logo and replace it with the new one.

Resize the logo and replace the template logo

Step 6

Let’s work on the interior pages. Select the rectangle at the top of the page and press Command-D to add an image. To resize the image, use the Direct Selection Tool (A) from the toolbar.

Place an image on page 2

Step 7

Using the Text Tool (T), add the desired text. In this case, the subtitle and copy are in two separate text boxes. 

For the purpose of this tutorial, let’s say you’ve added a shorter amount of copy. To polish things off, we will shorten the text boxes. Double-click on the handle point of the bounding box, and it should automatically shorten. 

Using the text tool edit the text Collapse the text boxes if you are not using them

Step 8

If you’d like to add a third paragraph, select the Selection Tool (V) from the toolbar. Select the last headline and text box. Hold down Shift and drag both boxes upwards. Shift will maintain the vertical positioning of the box.

Move the last text box upwards to make room for a third box

Step 9

Select a headline and a copy text box from above. Hold down Shift-Option and drag downwards. This shortcut will duplicate and maintain the vertical positioning of the box. 

Duplicate the text boxes if you want to add an extra subtitle

You can edit the rest of the text by using the Text Tool (T) and deleting elements you might not have copy for. 

Keep editing the text with the text tool deleting boxes that you might not need

Step 10

To change the font you are using or other formats, you can do so in the Paragraph Style. As an example, let’s edit the body text style on page 3. While on the Paragraph panel, select any text box, and the style will be highlighted. Double-click on it to open the window option.

Select a text box to check the paragraph style thats being used

In the Paragraph Style window option, check the Preview box at the bottom so you can see the changes live. 

Select the Basic Character Formats on the left side. Under Font Family, you can select any other font you’d like. I am changing from Lato to Open Sans. This will replace all the text throughout the brochure that is using this style. If you want to use a different font throughout the document, you can replace the font for each style. This is a quick way that will ensure all the fonts have been replaced. Here, you can also change other formatting options like color, size, indents, etc. 

Open the paragraph style options and select the basic character format option Feel free to change the font

Step 11

Lastly, you can also edit the colors on the template if you want to have something more aligned with your branding guidelines. 

Open the Swatches panel by going to Window > Color > Swatches. Extend the Swatches panel and you’ll notice swatches for all the colors being used in the template. 

Select an object and check the swatch thats being used on the Swatches panel

To edit these, select an object on the page to see what swatch is being used. I selected one of the blue objects. Double-click on the highlighted swatch. 

In the Swatch window option, feel free to adjust the CMYK values to something that applies to your brand. I’ll be changing all of my swatches to a turquoise color. Click OK. 

You can alter any color in the template. Just keep in mind that when you edit this swatch, all the objects using the color you edited will also change. 

Double click on the swatch and feel free to alter the colors

Step 12

You can also change the colors on each of the text boxes individually. Select a text box, head over to the Swatches panel, and select a color. Below, I’ve changed the color for some of the bullet points and the facts background.

You also have the option to select the text and individually change the color

For the facts background, you can see that the color is lighter than the real color. This is because the Tint is lower. On the Swatches panel, you can alter the Tint percentage by moving the slider.

Use the tint slider to change the color on the facts background

Let’s keep editing the rest of the brochure. I’ve added a photo on the back cover and changed the color of the quotation marks to match the facts background. 

Finish editing the last page by adding images and text

Step 13

When you are done editing the file, you can export the file for printing. Make sure that all the photos are meeting the bleed marks. The marks are represented with a red line around the page. 

Check the images and objects are meeting the bleed marks

To export the file, press Command-E. In the Export window option, name your file. Set the Format to Adobe PDF (Print). Click Save. 

Export the file as a PDF for print

In the Export Adobe PDF window option, set the Adobe PDF Preset to Press Quality. Select the Marks and Bleeds option from the menu on the left. Check All Printer’s Marks and Use Document Bleed Settings. Click Export. You’ll have a PDF ready for professional printing. 

Check the marks and bleeds settings

Step 14

To export the file to attach to an email for online marketing, press Command-E to Export. Save the file with a different name or add ‘-online’ to differentiate it from the print file. Set the Format to Adobe PDF (Interactive). This will help make the file size smaller compared to the printing file.

Export the PDF file as an interactive format

In the Export to Interactive PDF window option, select the General option from the menu on the left side. Make sure All is selected under Pages. In the Export As section, you have the option to export the PDF file as single pages or as spreads. Here you can choose what you prefer.

Select all pages and spreads

Select the Compression menu, and set the JPEG Quality to High. This will ensure the PDF file is of good quality. Click Export. Click OK in the color space warning window. You’ll have a PDF ready to be shared in marketing emails. 

Set the JPEG Quality to high

Great Job! You’ve Finished This Tutorial!

In this tutorial, you learned how to open and edit flyers and brochures. If you are new to InDesign, grab one of the many great flyers and brochures Envato Elements offers. Along with this tutorial, you are sure to successfully edit it to market your business. Today, we’ve learned to:

  • Open an Adobe InDesign file.
  • Place and format images and logos. 
  • Edit and format typography.
  • Use the Paragraph Styles panel.
  • Use the color Swatches panel.

If you would like to explore more template ideas, you can find many customizable brochures and flyers over at Envato Elements and Graphic River. Check it out!

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