Adobe InDesign

Textbooks: Adobe InDesign CS6 Revealed ISBN: 9781133815211 and
Graphic Design Solutions ISBN: 9781133945529
Video Resources: Tips & Techniques | Principles | Projects | Bottom of this page.
Course Length: 150 hours


Course Description

Adobe InDesign is a powerful Desktop Publishing tool that empowers you to create complex publications like brochures, magazines, flyers, and even books! InDesign was originally created to layout and produce quality print pieces, however it now has the ability to publish ebooks and interactive PDFs for screen. This section of the program uses multiple textbooks to introduce design concepts along with application skills.


Course Preparation

Student Data Files:

  1. Textbook Reading: Adobe InDesign CS6 Revealed: “Read This Before You Begin”
  2. Find & Download InDesign CS6 Data Files necessary for this course
    • Use the ISBN on the publisher’s site to locate Book Page, Study Tools, Free Materials, etc.
    • As before, with earlier textbook data files, you may need to login with your Cengage student account info (that you previously set-up). If not yet created, then you’ll probably need to create your Cengage student account.
    • Account for all chapters of the book
  3. Move/Copy the downloaded Data Files onto your flash/removable drive
  4. Delete all downloaded Data Files from the lab computer’s “Downloads”, “Documents” and/or “Desktop” folders.
  5. Only store/access/use the Data Files from/to your flash/removable drive (throughout this course)

All Students – Class Server/Lab Computer Usage:

  1. Data Files must NEVER be uploaded to the class server
  2. The ONLY files that will be uploaded are completed assignment files/folders (for grading)
  3. Server space is limited; the privilege of its use can be revoked
  4. Do not attempt to store ANY files on lab computers; they will be erased

Online Students will need to:

  • Purchase the Adobe CC* software, OR
  • Download 30-Day trial software (InDesign CC* ONLY… NOT entire suite).
    *CS6 trial software is not available for download.

Perform Business Website & Class Server Hygiene:

  1. Remove all HTML textbook assignment links from your assignments web page
  2. Do NOT remove the HTML final/end-of-week projects from your assignments web page
  3. Remove all of the HTML textbook assignments/data files from the class web server


Course Completion Requirements

Tasks & Projects

Complete ALL of the Tasks/Projects below. This course requires you to read and work through all of the step-by-step tutorials in each chapter of Adobe InDesign CS6 Revealed. If necessary, Review Program Overview/Expectations. Note: Many projects in this sequential course use “adaptive release” in Blackboard. This means that acquiring access to certain projects/tests is dependent on completion, and submission, of all previous projects/tests.

File Management & Submission Process

  1. Server Folder Set-up:
    • File Organization and Management is critical… especially with design and development procedures.
    • The digital submission process requires that you first upload your completed assignments to the class server.
    • You will create course folders INSIDE of your “businesswebsite” folder (on the class server) to keep all the files sorted.
    • Setting up these course folders beforehand creates a place to put your many, many uploads.
    • Create a hierarchal series of NESTED subfolders (all lowercase, hyphens in place of spaces):
      • “indesign”, “chapters”, “projects”
      • “ch01”, “ch02”, “ch03”… (or “ch-01”, “ch-02”, “ch-03”…)
      • “skills-review”, “project-builder-01”, “project-builder-02”, “design-project”, “portfolio-project”… (or “sr”, “pb-01”, “pb-02”, “dp”, “pp”…)
    • Arrange the nested subfolders, on the class server, as such:
      • businesswebsite
        • indesign
          • chapters
            • ch01
              • skills-review (ONLY file submissions, PDFs, etc. will be uploaded here)
              • project-builder-01 (ONLY file submissions, PDFs, etc. will be uploaded here)
              • project-builder-02 (ONLY file submissions, PDFs, etc. will be uploaded here)
              • design-project (ONLY file submissions, PDFs, etc. will be uploaded here)
              • portfolio-project (ONLY file submissions, PDFs, etc. will be uploaded here)
            • ch02
              • skills-review (ONLY file submissions…)
              • project-builder-01 (ONLY file submissions…)
              • project-builder-02 (ONLY file submissions…)
              • design-project (ONLY file submissions…)
              • portfolio-project (ONLY file submissions…)
            • ch03…
          • projects
            • id-01-print-ad (ONLY file submissions…)
            • id-02-brochure (ONLY file submissions…)
            • id-03-newsletter (ONLY file submissions…)
  2. Project Archives:
    • Once a project is complete, always save your UNFLATTENED, native InDesign (.indd) files for your archives.
      • Native .indd files are NEVER uploaded to the class server.
      • Native .indd files are NEVER submitted in this course.
      • Unflattened files preserve layers and editable text for (the inevitable) project/client revisions, later.
    • These, or any, archived files will be stored on your removable drive ONLY.
  3. Submission File Format:
    • All InDesign projects/assignments must be submitted as LoRes PDF files (unless specified otherwise in a project sheet).
    • Use detailed instructions below to create submission PDFs.
    • Although not actually “Press Quality” these smaller files help conserve server space.
    • ▸ Create Submission PDF (Instructions Enclosed)

      Criteria: High Quality, 150 ppi, all marks, and bleed if used From Adobe InDesign CS6:

      • Always save your .indd file first (keep it for your project archives)
      • File > Adobe PDF Presets > High Quality Print (Dialog box opens)
        • Choose Destination (where to save file)
        • Save (Dialog box opens)
      • Adobe PDF Preset > High Quality Print (Confirm)
        • General > Pages
          • Indicate All or Range of pages (if necessary)
          • Indicate Pages or Spreads (if necessary)
        • General > Options
          • Select: All options
          • Export Layers: Visible & Printable
        • General > Include
          • Deselect: All options
          • Interactive Elements: Do Not Include
        • Compression
          • Set first, and third, text entry fields to: 150 ppi
        • Marks and Bleeds
          • Marks > Select: All Printer’s Marks
          • Bleed and Slug > Select: Use Document Bleed Settings
        • Export PDF (file should self-open for final proofing)
      • Close .indd file and Don’t Save (changes)

  4. Update Your Local Website:
    • Copy the finished project/assignment file (i.e. submission PDF) into the correct “indesign” nested subfolder (ex: “design-project”).
    • Add/adjust related html/code in your local “businesswebsite” to link that new project file to your “assignments” page.
    • Test the new link locally for functionality and accuracy.
  5. Update Your Remote/Live Website:
    • Upload (using FileZilla/FTP) your finished project/assignment file (i.e. submission PDF) into the correct “indesign” nested subfolder (ex: “design-project”).
    • Update related html/code in your remote “businesswebsite” to link that new project file to your “assignments” page.
    • Test the new link remotely for functionality and accuracy.
  6. Submit the new link to your updated (remote/live) “businesswebsite” home page
    • Use correct project DropBox in Blackboard.
    • Test the submitted link in Blackboard for functionality and accuracy.


Coursework 1: InDesign (ID)

Days: 5 | PCP 07


Testing: Take the ID-Pre-Test in Blackboard (before reading any chapters)


ID-CH01: Getting to Know InDesign

  1. Tutorials: Complete the step-by-step tutorials for this chapter.
  2. Reading:
  3. Projects: Complete the following for this chapter:
    • Skills Review
    • Project Builder 1
    • Project Builder 2
    • Design Project (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
    • Portfolio Project (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
  4. Testing: Take the ID-01-Test in Blackboard


ID-CH02: Working with Text

  1. Tutorials: Complete the step-by-step tutorials for this chapter.
  2. Projects: Complete the following for this chapter:
    • Skills Review
    • Project Builder 1 (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
    • Project Builder 2 (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
    • Design Project (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
    • Portfolio Project (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
  3. Testing: Take the ID-02-Test in Blackboard


ID-CH03: Setting Up a Document

  1. Tutorials: Complete the step-by-step tutorials for this chapter.
  2. Projects: Complete the following for this chapter:
    • Skills Review
    • Project Builder 1: Provide a final PDF of page 5, only (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
    • Project Builder 2 (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
    • Design Project (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
    • Portfolio Project (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
  3. Testing: Take the ID-03-Test in Blackboard


ID-CH04: Working with Frames

  1. Tutorials: Complete the step-by-step tutorials for this chapter.
  2. Read: Graphic Design Solutions: CH06, CH08
  3. Watch: Before & After: Things Every Designer Should Know
  4. Projects: Complete the following for this chapter:
    • Skills Review
    • Project Builder 1 (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
    • Project Builder 2 (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
    • Design Project (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
    • Portfolio Project (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
  5. Testing: Take the ID-04-Test in Blackboard


ID-CH05: Working with Color

  1. Tutorials: Complete the step-by-step tutorials for this chapter.
  2. Projects: Complete the following for this chapter:
    • Skills Review
    • Project Builder 1: After Step 4 is complete, take a small screen shot of only your entire Swatches panel (it should resemble Fig. 63).
      Screen Shot Basics [Mac]

      • Cmd+Shift+4 (to prompt cursor) > Left-Click-Drag a rectangular marquee around the specific target area and release (a pre-named, time-stamped PNG will be saved to desktop)
      • Open and rename the file and save it as a .png

      Screen Shot Basics [PC]

      • Windows Start icon > All Programs > Accessories > Snipping Tool > Left-Click-Drag a rectangular marquee around the specific target area and release (a PNG will appear in a Save As dialog box)
      • Rename the file and save it as a .PNG

      (submit .png in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)

    • Project Builder 2 (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
    • Design Project (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
    • Portfolio Project (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
  3. Testing: Take the ID-05-Test in Blackboard


Coursework 2: InDesign (ID)

Days: 5 | PCP 08


ID-CH06: Working with Placed Images

  1. Tutorials: Complete the step-by-step tutorials for this chapter.
  2. Read: Graphic Design Solutions: CH04
  3. Projects: Complete the following for this chapter:
    • Skills Review
    • Project Builder 1 (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
    • Project Builder 2: After Step 7 is complete, take a small screen shot of only your entire Links panel (it should resemble Fig. 58).
      Screen Shot Basics [Mac]

      • Cmd+Shift+4 (to prompt cursor) > Left-Click-Drag a rectangular marquee around the specific target area and release (a pre-named, time-stamped PNG will be saved to desktop)
      • Open and rename the file and save it as a .png

      Screen Shot Basics [PC]

      • Windows Start icon > All Programs > Accessories > Snipping Tool > Left-Click-Drag a rectangular marquee around the specific target area and release (a PNG will appear in a Save As dialog box)
      • Rename the file and save it as a .PNG

      (submit .png in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)

    • Design Project (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
    • Portfolio Project: Step 11 correction: for Fitting, click Fill Frame Proportionally (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
  4. Testing: Take the ID-06-Test in Blackboard


ID-CH07: Creating Graphics

  1. Tutorials: Complete the step-by-step tutorials for this chapter.
  2. Projects: Complete the following for this chapter:
    • Skills Review
    • Project Builder 1 (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
    • Project Builder 2: (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
    • Design Project (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
    • Portfolio Project (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
  3. Testing: Take the ID-07-Test in Blackboard


Coursework 3: InDesign (ID)

Days: 5 | PCP 09


ID-CH08: Exploring Effects and Advanced Techniques

  1. Tutorials: Complete the step-by-step tutorials for this chapter.
  2. Read: Graphic Design Solutions: CH08, CH03
  3. Projects: Complete the following for this chapter:
    • Skills Review
    • Project Builder 1 (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
    • Project Builder 2 (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
    • Design Project (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
    • Portfolio Project (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
  4. Testing: Take the ID-08-Test in Blackboard


ID-CH09: Working with Tabs and Tables

  1. Tutorials: Complete the step-by-step tutorials for this chapter.
  2. Projects: Complete the following for this chapter:
    • Skills Review
    • Project Builder 1 (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
    • Project Builder 2 (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
    • Design Project (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
    • Portfolio Project (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
  3. Testing: Take the ID-09-Test in Blackboard


Coursework 4: InDesign (ID)

Days: 5 | PCP 10


ID-CH10: Making Books, Tables of Contents, and Indexes

  1. Tutorials: Complete the step-by-step tutorials for this chapter.
  2. Read: Graphic Design Solutions: CH10, CH12
  3. Projects: Complete the following for this chapter:
    • Skills Review
    • Project Builder 1: After step 9 is complete, take a small screen shot of only your Pages (Index) panel (it should resemble Fig. 49).

      Screen Shot Basics [Mac]

      • Cmd+Shift+4 (to prompt cursor) > Left-Click-Drag a rectangular marquee around the specific target area and release (a pre-named, time-stamped PNG will be saved to desktop)
      • Open and rename the file and save it as a .png

      Screen Shot Basics [PC]

      • Windows Start icon > All Programs > Accessories > Snipping Tool > Left-Click-Drag a rectangular marquee around the specific target area and release (a PNG will appear in a Save As dialog box)
      • Rename the file and save it as a .PNG

      (submit .png in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)

    • Project Builder 2: After step 9 is complete, take a small screen shot of only your Pages (Index) panel (it should resemble Fig. 50). Rename the file and save it as a .png (submit .png in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
    • Design Project: Find out how to (in Acrobat Pro) delete all the extra blank pages, and resave the PDF so that you are submitting only a one-page PDF. (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
    • Portfolio Project
  4. Testing: Take the ID-10-Test in Blackboard


ID-CH11: Preparing, Packaging, and Exporting Documents for Print

  1. Tutorials: Complete the step-by-step tutorials for this chapter.
  2. Projects: Complete the following for this chapter:
    • Skills Review
    • Project Builder 1 (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
    • Project Builder 2: After step 6 is complete, take a small screen shot of only your Document and Separations Preview panel (it should resemble Fig. 49). Rename the file and save it as a .png (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
    • Design Project: After step 8 is complete, (with Lab Web Cover.eps open) in Photoshop > File (Menu Bar) > Save As… > Format JPEG > Save > JPEG Options > Quality (3) > OK (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
    • Portfolio Project (submit in Blackboard; using steps outlined above)
  3. Testing: Take the ID-10-Test in Blackboard
  4. Testing: Take the ID-Final-Exam in Blackboard


Video Tutorials: InDesign

Watch video(s) before starting related coursework/project below. These resources will help clarify complex topics and greatly reduce the learning curve for building your fundamental skills.


Project: ID-01-Print-Ad

  1. Read: Studio Skills: Creating and Submitting Your Thumbnail Sketches
  2. Read: Clean Up Your Visual Mess
  3. Download project-specific files and instructions:
  4. Complete Project: Design awesome things.
  5. Submit Project: In Blackboard, using steps outlined above.


Coursework 5: InDesign (ID)

Days: 5 | PCP 11


Video Tutorials: InDesign

Watch video(s) before starting related coursework/project below. These resources will help clarify complex topics and greatly reduce the learning curve for building your fundamental skills.


Project: ID-02-Brochure

  1. Review: Studio Skills: Creating and Submitting Your Thumbnail Sketches
  2. Read: Graphic Design Solutions: CH05, CH14 (Digital)
  3. Read: Typography articles found under Typography Resources in class website.
  4. Read: Studio Skills: Building And Submitting Your Comps
  5. Read: 15 Common Mistakes Designers Make
  6. Download project-specific files and instructions:
  7. Complete Project: Design awesome things.
  8. Submit Project: In Blackboard, using steps outlined above.


Coursework 6: InDesign (ID)

Days: 5 | PCP 12


Video Tutorials: InDesign

Watch video(s) before starting related coursework/project below. These resources will help clarify complex topics and greatly reduce the learning curve for building your fundamental skills.


Project: ID-03-Newsletter

  1. Review: Studio Skills: Creating and Submitting Your Thumbnail Sketches
  2. Review: Studio Skills: Building And Submitting Your Comps
  3. Read: Typography Basics
  4. Download project-specific files and instructions:
  5. Complete Project: Design awesome things.
  6. Submit Project: In Blackboard, using steps outlined above.

The next course in your curriculum will be Illustrator. If you do not already have access to the course files in Blackboard, ask your instructor.


Adobe ACA Certification

Enrolled students can train and test for their Adobe ACA Certifications in InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, Dreamweaver and Flash CS6. Practice tests are available for each of these certifications. Students are permitted up to 2 attempts on the Final tests (at no additional cost) on-site. If a student requires 3 or more attempts to pass, then he/she would have to find another Adobe Certifications testing facility to take those tests (and pay any necessary testing fees).


Video Tutorials: InDesign

Time Management is the Key!

These optional, but strongly recommended, resources for additional training will help clarify complex topics and greatly reduce the learning curve for building your fundamental skills. Definitely explore and utilize these helpful/educational resources between projects and before/after/outside of class. It’ll be some of the most productive homework you can do for your career!

Advice to the organized, wise students: Because there are many more hours of video tutorials than in-class viewing will feasibly permit, it is recommended that:

  1. Most in-depth viewing take place before/after/outside of class.
  2. Videos be selectively chosen/referred to for specific task/project relevance and skill level.
  3. Videos be treated as meaningful, scheduled “homework” necessary for realistic career growth.