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Quick Tip: Creating New Documents, InDesignCS5

This post is part of a series called Beginners Guides to InDesign.
The Layers Panel: InDesign CS5

This Basix tutorial will give readers with no or limited InDesign experience the basic knowledge on how to set-up a document for print.

Step 1

Open InDesign and you will be presented with an introduction screen. It is here where we will start to create the new document. But before we create a new document we need to make sure that units used for measuring are set up correctly.

I work in millimetres for rulers and points for type. To change these values go to InDesign > Preferences > Units and increments. Under Ruler Units change the horizontal and vertical values to the desired unit of measurement. You will notice that I skipped the ruler origin. This needs a more detailed explanation which is covered in the next step.

Step 2

The origin of the ruler can be set to spread, page or spine. By selecting spread, the ruler will start from the left hand side of the document and span across the spread of the document.

By selecting page, the ruler will start at the left hand side and stop when it gets to the end of the page and it will start at zero again.

The spine preset is useful when you are using facing pages and of course have a spine. The ruler will start its zero point from the spine and work to the edge of the document.

Step 3

Ok, back to the introduction screen. On the right hand side select create new document.

Another floating screen will appear. Now before you format the document it will save time to have a rough idea of the kind of document you want to set (do a sketch for a rough mockup). I will be setting a folded A4 eight page newsletter. So my intent is print, number of pages eight with facing pages ticked and start page number one. If you tick Master text frame InDesign will automatically place a text box based on your document setup (three columns, same margins etc).

Step 4

Within the page size division you have a drop down menu with a selection of popular presets that are used worldwide. In my case A4 is present so I will select this. If you want to enter a custom size you can do so be typing directly into the width and height boxes. You can also define the orientation to portrait or landscape.

Step 5

As I planned out my design before hand I know I need a three column structure. I usually like to have my gutter set at half the size of my outside margins. As I have not determined the margins yet I will do it now.

Step 6

When setting margins I like to progress my sizes from smallest to largest in the following order: inside, outside, top, bottom. So my break down is as follows: inside: 12.5mm, outside 15mm, top 17.5mm and Bottom 20mm. When entering the values make sure that the link symbol at the centre of the margins column is not ticked. When ticked it will make all the margin settings the same.

Step 7

Ok I will now take the outside value and half it for my gutter, 7.5mm.

Step 8

I will set my bleed at 3mm which is the standard in the UK. Again the bleed option has a link feature which in this case is best ticked to make the bleed settings the same. I don't use slug. However slug can be used to place information and notes which will be seen by a printer and then cut off along with the bleed.

Step 9

If this is a document setup you are likely to use again in the future, navigate to the Save Preset button and press it. Give it a name and press OK. Next time you open InDesign this preset will be set up ready.

Step 10

If at any time you find you need to change the document size or bleed go to File > Document Setup.

If you need to adjust the margins or columns go to Layout > Margins and Columns


Good luck with your projects and designing. There will be other InDesign Basix Quick Tips coming up after this one so be sure to keep an eye out for them.

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