3 Replies Latest reply on Oct 26, 2012 3:30 PM by Joel Cherney

    Solid InDesign learning resources for newbie?

    echootahowrude

      I've bought the CS6 Creative Suite and it's time to dive into InDesign to figure out how to get a book I've been writing ready for print publishing and PDF distribution.

       

      Right now the book is broken up into several different OpenOffice documents and I have to figure out how to get all of that copy and pasted into InDesign, along with artwork (including header and footer artwork), tables and sidebars.  It's going to be an 8x11 inch book with two collumn format for the text. 

       

      I've spent the last couple of days trying to wrap my head around InDesign, it's a lot more complicated than I had thought.  My experience is really just standard word-processing experience that hasn't changed for 20 years.  While I do use OpenOffice extensively, I've never used styles.  Everything I do just involves grinding through highlight text, formatting it in various ways, using tables or text boxes to force more complicated layouts.

       

      One of the things that confounded me for awhile was how there doesn't seem to be any "pageflow" in that it seems as if InDesign works off the idea that a document is broken up into 2 page spreads.  If you want more pages then you add more spreads, rather than with a word processor where you just keep hitting enter until you get a new page.  So am I correct that my 150 page book is essentially going to be broken down into 75 distinct spreads?  Each independent and not flowing into each other?

       

      I discovered that there is InCopy, however the budget doesn't allow for an extra $250 to add that to InDesign, though it sounds as if it would be a massive hurdle help to me.  I'm fully confident that I could layout my book in OpenOffice to the degree that I would be satisfied with it, however the printer needs an InDesign file.  In my ideal world I'd just use InCopy to do all the layout in a word processing context that I grasp and then press a button to convert it into a standard InDesign file.  The money isn't there though so I need to slog through this as best I can. 

       

      The publisher provided an InDesign template that gets the specific details for printing laid out and has the document defaulted to a two collumn format.  So getting the basic document file setup is already done.  I just need to find a resource that can help me translate word processing thinking into InDesign thinking, just enough to get the job done.  In the coming years I'll learn the specifics on using InDesign, but right now deadlines loom and I have to get a crash course in getting this information laid out.

       

      Are there any resources out there that would help my specific needs?  Everything I've found so far seems to either want to teach me in a "blank slate" fashion, or the material assumes too much conceptual and technical knowledge.  I'm trying to find a Goldilocks zone of what I need now.

       

      Thanks!

        • 1. Re: Solid InDesign learning resources for newbie?
          BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

          You can’t do layout with InCopy and quite frankly if you already have InDesign you don’t need.

           

           

           

          InCopy is for editing InDesign content and you already have InDesign for that.

           

           

           

          That said, my top two recommendations for newbies.

           

           

           

          1.       Buy this book: http://amzn.to/RkNac9

           

          2.       Check out the video training on Lynda.com. This link will give you a free one week trial: http://bit.ly/fcGpiI

           

           

           

          Bob

          • 2. Re: Solid InDesign learning resources for newbie?
            peter minneapolis Level 4

            Bob's book and video recommendations are spot on for beginners.

             

            However, to address your specific question, try a Google search for terms like "InDesign autoflow place text import," "InDesign import openoffice," without quotes. "autoflow" is how you insert multiple pages of content. "place" is how you get the content from other files.

             

            If your print provider accepts PDFs, and your OpenOffice project is already laid out the way you want it to be, you could consider creating a PDF from the OpenOffice documents. On Windows, you may need full Acrobat to create PDF from OpenOffice, unless OpenOffice can export directly to PDF. On Mac, you can choose PDF from the dialog box when you choose File > Print, then choose Adobe PDF from the pull-down menu. Ask your print provider to advise about any specific settings they need for creating PDFs.

             

             

            HTH

             

             

            Regards,

             

             

            Peter

            _______________________

            Peter Gold

            KnowHow ProServices

            • 3. Re: Solid InDesign learning resources for newbie?
              Joel Cherney Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              So am I correct that my 150 page book is essentially going to be broken down into 75 distinct spreads?  Each independent and not flowing into each other?

               

              Nope! You could do it that way if you like, but it would make a lot more sense to thread your text frames together into stories that flow from page to page. The book that Bob pointed you towards covers this idea really well; if you are gung-ho to start right now I've given you the terms you need (text frame, threading) to help you parse the Help built into ID.

               

              Right now the book is broken up into several different OpenOffice documents and I have to figure out how to get all of that copy and pasted into InDesign, along with artwork (including header and footer artwork), tables and sidebars.  It's going to be an 8x11 inch book with two collumn format for the text. 

               

              Don't copy/paste; place instead. You may need to clean up your OOo docs a lot before placing. You will want to try to get your artwork out of OOo and into graphics-specific formats before placing into ID. (Sometimes placing rich text documents with embedded images works out okay, but usually it's problematic.)

               

              That being said...

              The publisher provided an InDesign template that gets the specific details for printing laid out and has the document defaulted to a two collumn format.  So getting the basic document file setup is already done.  I just need to find a resource that can help me translate word processing thinking into InDesign thinking, just enough to get the job done.  In the coming years I'll learn the specifics on using InDesign, but right now deadlines loom and I have to get a crash course in getting this information laid out.

               

              If it was financially feasible, I would strongly suggest that you hire someone else to do this for you. What you are asking for is much like translating medical English into sixth-grade-equivalent Spanish. It is doable, but insanely difficult, and probably more costly than simpy paying someone to lay it out for you. Peter's suggestion of looking at the possibility of PDF submission is a good one - that way you don't have to learn the ins and outs of a professional page layout program Right Now.

               

              To be honest, a combination of Bob's suggestions in combination with spending a lot of time posting here might be your fastest route to a decent layout, that does not rely on jobbing the heavy lifting out to someone else who is already expert in ID. How much time are we talking about, here, before your book must be rebuilt in ID and submitted to your printer? Months? Weeks?