How to design a catalog using InDesign. Part 2 – Adding elements
A great thing about InDesign is that you can create a template using shapes, which you can later fill with images and text.
First, create an image box, and place it on one of your pages in order to create the desired layout. To add the image box, you have to go to the menu bar and select it.
After that, go to FILE > PLACE. Select the folder where you saved all your images. Choose the photo that you want to appear in the image box.
You will see that the image is placed inside the box that you have created. To select the photo only, you must click on the grey circle that appear over the image. You will know you did so because when you press it, the image borders will change to red. This means that you are modifying and moving only the image inside. When you click outside the box, and click again on it, the border will be blue. It means that you are moving only the picture box. As long as the image has a red border, you can move the photo and change it without worrying about the position of the box.
My recommendation is that when you have images that don’t fit the box, make the box bigger or use the autofit, which will make your image fit the image box automatically.
By the way, don’t panic if your images look very pixelated. The program doesn’t use high-resolution images, (to prevent slowing down your app), but when you export the document, the images won’t be pixelated. If you don’t like the way it looks and if this annoys you, go to the top menu select VIEW > DISPLAY PERFORMANCE > HIGH-QUALITY DISPLAY. However, we don’t recommend it.
You can find the TEXT tool on the sidebar, marked with T. When selected, click and drag on the sheet to create the text box. You can modify the text size exactly as you do in Word. All text options are easy to use. But I will explain each one of them to help you understand its functionality. To view the text menu, you have to select the text tool, the same as you did for drawing the box.
Character formatting controls
Font – The two boxes correspond to fonts settings. From here you can change the font style.
Font Size – The dimension of your font. Here is where the magic happens by making it bigger or smaller.
Special functions – All caps/Small caps, Subscript/Superscript, Underline/Strikethrough.
Character Spacing – Allows you to change the space between characters.
Vertical Scale – Moves the letters up or down, according to the points you indicate, with respect to the horizontal axis.
Baseline Shift – Deforms the typography to give more width to the letters.
Color and stroke – (These two options will only appear if you have already typed something in the box). These options will help you change the color and the stroke of the text. To do this, select the text and double-click on the T for the color.
Character style – This is a more advanced option and which you can skip.
Language – Select the language in which you are writing for autocorrections.
Align and justify – Aligns the text or justifies it in different styles.
Bleeding – Enters or removes the text of the margin that you have set, with respect to the vertical axis.
InDesign lets you add shapes as you like. You can add lines, squares, circles and so on. You can find all these and more on the left sidebar. To find the shapes, click right on the ELLIPSE Tool. You’ll see the Line tool in the same bar, just a little higher. To change the color of a shape, go again to the top bar. Here you have options to fill the shape. You can change the stroke color or the thickness and choose the type of stroke you’re looking for.
In the next lesson we’ll discuss about how you can add new pages in InDesign. Be aware, it’s about to get good!
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