InDesign For Beginners

Top Tip for Youtube Tutorials
When watching tutorials on – play them at x 1.5 speed with captions on so it’s easier to follow.

Note – 10px is normal size for print type, rather than 11 or 12 in Word etc.

Note 2 – Whichever tool you have selected from the left hand toolbar & what you have selected on our design- will effect what you can and cannot select in the dropdown menus at the top.

Videos are set to play from a relevant part of the tutorial


Master Pages in InDesign

Use Masterpages to make changes to all of your pages at once.
For example, set a background image on all of your pages at once rather than having to go to each page and setting the background.

You’ll have 2 Master Page icons in the Pages Panel, if you have ‘Facing Pages’ when you set up your document at the beginning.

Double Click on the Master Pages icon(s) to open them up in the main window on your screen. Now whatever changes you make to the MasterPages will show on all your pages.

You can create another Master Page by opening more options by clicking the arrow head and 4 small horizontal lines in the top right corner.
See video –


The new MasterPage will be based on the original one that you made.

To apply a masterpage ‘template’
In the Pages Panel – Drag the masterpage icon onto one of the pages below.

More information on Master Pages on the Adobe website here.

To apply the rules of the master page to actual pages you can

Open the Pages Panel from the Window Menu – Window>Pages
Click to select pages in your document – then hold down option (shift & alt on Macbook) and then click the master page.

How to Edit Master Page Items on Actual Pages

Just press command + shift and then left click on the object you want to edit on the actual page

To make all the master page items editable, go to the menu on the pages panel (click the top right horizontal lines icon) and click “Override all master page items”.

RGB & CMYK – What’s the Difference

RGB tends to be the best format for web, CMYK is the standard format for print.

You can change images to and from RGB and CMYK in photoshop – go to “Image”, then “Mode” and resave it in the new format.

How Do You Insert Images in InDesign?

  • First create a Frame using the “Rectangle Frame Tool” (Square with an X in it on the tool bar)
  • Then on the top Menu Bar go to “File” then “Place…”
  • It’s loads easier if you run Adobe Bridge as you can drag images into your frames
  • Once the picture is in the frame, you can resize it by holding down shift and dragging one of the anchors in the corner (an anchor should be a small white box in the corner).
  • Alternatively to resize you can right click the image and select “Fitting” then Fill Frame Proportionally.



  • Create a frame
  • Use finder (on Mac) to navigate to image(s)
  • Drag images into InDesign

How Do I Create Equally Spaced Image PlaceHolders / Frames in Indesign?

Create one large frame and keep your mouse pressed down – at the same time press the right arrow button and this will divide the frame into 2 – press it again to divide it equally into 3.

Then go to “File” – “Place” at the top menu, or drag in your images from Adobe Bridge.

Why are my Images Pixelated in InDesign?

It could just be your image quality, or it could be inDesign being a pain.
Check to see what quality your display is set at by going to:

View (on the top menu) > Display Performance > High Quality Display


How to Wrap Text Around Images in InDesign

Insert the image – then select the “Text Wrap” panel

Click the relevant icon e.g. the circle on text for ‘wrap text around image’.

Contour Options – You may have to click to show the additional option by clicking on the top right of the Text Wrap panel where the 4 small horizontal lines are with the arrow head.

To wrap around an image with no background – select Type > Alpha Channel

How Do You Insert Text into InDesign?

  • Select the Type Tool (the big T on the sidebar/toolbar) and hold down the left mouse button and drag out a frame
  • Then click inside the frame and type away
  • Highlight the text and the options to change the size & character are at the top on the menu bar

To add placeholder text, select your frame then go to
Type>Fill with Placeholder Text

How to Add Page Numbers in InDesign


  • Open the Pages Panel (command + F12)
  • Click the pages icon at the top
  • The “A Master” page icon should be selected at the top of the Pages Panel
  • Select the Type Tool
  • Drag a Frame on the corner of your first page by clicking & dragging
  • Go to Type>Insert Special Character>Markers>Current Page Number
  • An “A” or a “1” should appear on your first page and relevant numbers on all the other pages should now auto-update.


To Hide the Frame Outlines / Blue & Purple Lines

Hit “w”


How to Add Pages in Indesign

Open the Pages Panel by going to “Window” at the top menu bar and then “Pages”

At the bottom of the pages panel, hold down the “alt” key and press on the ‘new page’ icon.
In the pop up dialog box you can now select where and how many pages to add


Alternate Layout in Indesign – For iPad, Mobile Phone Layouts etc.

In the “Pages” panel, click the little downward-arrow-head icon above the pages but below the Master Pages:

Screen Shot 2017-07-31 at 15.24.49.png


To create an Alternate Layout in the first place – Click “Layout” and then “Create Alternate Layout…”