15 Replies Latest reply on Aug 5, 2011 7:21 AM by m16blondie

    Need advice as to best way to learn ID

    m16blondie

      Hi all-- I am completely new to ID and am fantastically excited about everything I am seeing that this product can do--basically everything I need it to.  I only have the trial version of CS5 and have just received the Classroom in a Book for it because I can't seem to perform the simplist of tasks on my own.  I am used to teaching myself new programs and have been mostly successful up til now.  I am in advertising so I will be working with alot of images.  I would like advice as to the best way to learn this program effectively, and is the Classroom in a Book a viable method to learn everything I need to know from scratch?

       

      Thank you for your time!

        • 1. Re: Need advice as to best way to learn ID
          Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

          If you do well with "workbooks," the classroom in a book is an OK place to start. I have not gone through the CS5 version thoroughly, but I used to use the earlier versions in my classes. That said, the earlier versions were not error-free in either expalantions or sample file contructions, but the errors provided some valuable "teaching moments."

           

          Lots of beginners also find Sandee Cohen's Visual QuickStart guide very useful, along with a subscription to Lynda.com for video tutorials. The very best book, but more advanced than an introdcutory text, is Real World InDesign, in my opinion.

           

          I would go ahead and start with the CIB. If you find something that doesn't do what you expect or you don't understand, you are always welcome to return here to this forum and ask a question. I have the book, as I'm sure do some others, so we can reference a lesson if necessary or view a sample file, and most questions can be answered even without a reference if you are able to describe what you are doing and what happens that is different from what you expected. Some of the best minds in InDesign, with years of combined experience, are here as volunteers waiting to help you solve almost any problem.

          • 2. Re: Need advice as to best way to learn ID
            BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

            Sandee Cohen's Visual Quick Start Guide is the first book to buy: http://amzn.to/nXyLYe

             

            I also recommend Lynda.com. This link will give you a seven day trial: http://bit.ly/fcGpiI

             

            Bob

            • 3. Re: Need advice as to best way to learn ID
              m16blondie Level 1

              Thank you both so much for your quick responses and your valuable information!!  I look forward to this process and am positive that I will be a frequent visitor to this forum (hopefully without becoming a huge pain, but I make no promises)

               

              Sincere Thanks,

              Robin

              • 4. Re: Need advice as to best way to learn ID
                BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                You won't find a better support forum anywhere. Come on back anytime.

                 

                Bob

                • 5. Re: Need advice as to best way to learn ID
                  Brian2025 Level 1

                  I bought the CIB for several Adobe products (maybe 6-7). I got through one of them and discovered Lynda.com. I have not cracked the books since then.

                   

                  Lynda.com is simply amazing in my opinion.

                  • 6. Re: Need advice as to best way to learn ID
                    Derek Cross Level 6

                    You'll find the books mentioned, Lynda.com, InDesign Secrets site http://indesignsecrets.com/ and or course this site enormously hepful. But to get up to speed quickly you can't beat personal tution by companies such as, in the UK, Certiec http://www.certitec.com/ and no doubt similar ones where you are located. They are expensive but effective and usually come with six months hotline support. A typical two day introductory course will cost around £400.

                    (I have no connection with the organisation mentioned)

                    Derek

                    • 7. Re: Need advice as to best way to learn ID
                      m16blondie Level 1

                      Thank you --I looked into the classes and would like to take them when finances allow, for now the books will have to suffice, and I've been debating on whether or not to sign up for Linda.com--I'm planning on starting the CIB lessons today (my only day off) so I guess today will be my deciding factor.

                       

                      Thank you guys!

                       

                      As a side note--I was doing advertising work for a real estate company 2003 to 2005 and did all of the various ads for magazines and specific real estate publications during that time and for various reasons got out of the biz for awhile, but at that time I had a program that I thought was called "Front Page" that was fabulous and did everything so easily it was just perfect.  Working with photos was so easy and so was everything else about the program, but I couldn't find it again.  It seems what is now entitled "Front Page" is for making websites.  I taught myself that program with no problem whatsoever.  Have any of you heard of it?

                      • 8. Re: Need advice as to best way to learn ID
                        BobLevine MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                        Front Page was Microsoft's horrible entry into web design tools. It was junk has been discontinued.

                         

                        Please take advantage of the 7-day trial I gave you a link for. You will need a credit card but if you cancel before the week is up you won't be charged. I strongly belief you won't cancel. The $25 is the biggest bargain on the web.

                         

                        Bob

                        • 9. Re: Need advice as to best way to learn ID
                          Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                          m16blondie wrote:

                          As a side note--I was doing advertising work for a real estate company 2003 to 2005 and did all of the various ads for magazines and specific real estate publications during that time and for various reasons got out of the biz for awhile, but at that time I had a program that I thought was called "Front Page" that was fabulous and did everything so easily it was just perfect.  Working with photos was so easy and so was everything else about the program, but I couldn't find it again.  It seems what is now entitled "Front Page" is for making websites.  I taught myself that program with no problem whatsoever.  Have any of you heard of it?

                          You're probably thinking of Publisher, which is Microsoft's non-professional layout application. It can be great for non-professional printing, but the difference between publisher and InDesign is sort of like the difference between an ad for a car, and the car itself.

                          • 10. Re: Need advice as to best way to learn ID
                            CynthiaBartz

                            I've never used a book to learn InDesign. Sometimes that means that I miss some of the most basic tools, but I've also found many great tools while looking for others.

                             

                            The help section for InDesign is very good if you have a general idea of something. I think that there are a few topics that always trip up people in InDesign. Read up on "Placing Images" and the "Text" sections of the InDesign Help. These things are important to understanding what InDesign is actually for. If I had a dollar for every person I know that gave up on InDesign (for Illustrator or photoshop) because of a lack of understanding of how InDesign handles images and text I would be very rich.

                            • 11. Re: Need advice as to best way to learn ID
                              m16blondie Level 1

                              That's exactly what is frustrating me so much!  I can't just put a picture in and then move it around!!  It disappears, or part of it disappears as I move it around--I feel like if I can't get this small basic thing figured out how complicated could the rest of it be?  In photoshop, when you move something you still see it.

                              • 12. Re: Need advice as to best way to learn ID
                                Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                                Picture disappearing sounds like you've clicked on the "Content Grabber" donut in the middle. This is a new shortcut in CS5/5.5 whach can spped up your work, or drive you to distraction. When you click on the donut you are moving the content inside the frame, anywhere outside the donut with the Black arrow (Selection tool) will move the frame and content together, White arrow (Direct Select tool) will move the content in the frame.

                                 

                                You can turn off the Content Grabber in the View Menu under Extras if you don't like it.

                                1 person found this helpful
                                • 13. Re: Need advice as to best way to learn ID
                                  CynthiaBartz Level 1

                                  Some important notes about working with images in InDesign:

                                   

                                  >When you place an image into a document you are not simply copying it or "inserting" like in microsoft products. Placing the image means that the file for that image is linked to the document. This means that you can scale it down really small and not loose quality from pixels getting squished together. It also means that if you move the image file somewhere else InDesign will freak out and start asking you what you did with it. (read up on "Package" in the help section).

                                   

                                  >Frames: When you "insert" an image into other programs it is often no different than copying and pasting. There is one frame, the image frame. So when you scale the frame it scales the image with it. And if you want different proportions or to cut off unnecessary content you have to crop it, which in some programs the whole image is not retained, meaning: you better make sure you cropped it right the first time. In InDesign there are three frames associated with the image: the content, the open arrow frame, and the bounding box. The bounding box is the blue box with transformation controls on the corners and middle of the sides. The open arrow frame (I can't find the adobe name for this) can be found by double clicking twice it is the blue box with the points on the corners. The content frame is represented by a brown box with standard transformation controls. The best way to describe these different frames is to compare them to a window. Imagine that you are standing infront of a window and a friend is standing behind the window holding up a poster. The window represents the bounding box and the open arrow frame. The poster is the image content. If you are editing the bounding box it is like standing in front the window and stretching and moving the window while your friend holds the poster in the same place. When you are editing the open arrow frame it is similar, your friend holds the poster in one place while you pull on the corners of the window, however because these are points and not the transformation tools you can change the angles of the edges of the frame. The content frame is like standing in front of the window as your friend moves and scales the poster behind the window. The donut mentioned in the previous post allows you to quickly select the content frame.

                                   

                                  I hope this helps. Once you have a handle on this concept you will wonder why all programs don't do it this way. It is a really important feature of InDesign

                                  • 14. Re: Need advice as to best way to learn ID
                                    Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                                    CynthiaBartz wrote:

                                     

                                    >When you place an image into a document you are not simply copying it or "inserting" like in microsoft products. Placing the image means that the file for that image is linked to the document. This means that you can scale it down really small and not loose quality from pixels getting squished together.


                                    There are a couple of things that are misleading about what you said here. First, Pixels never get "squished together" in terms of changing shape or occupying the same space as another pixel. Pixels are "picture elements, the basic building block of raster or bitmap images, and they are nothing more than a grid structure, each pixel containing exactly one color, or no color at all. For most purposes, pixels are square, but some video formats use non-square rectanuglar pixels. There is no empty space between pixels in an image, and they have no size until output.

                                     

                                    Resolution of an image is meaningless except in print, when it is used to describe how large the pixels are rendered, and the "actual" or saved resolution is just a number assigned for convenience, the "actual" resolution X the scaling factor (how much you have changed the size from the "dimensions" -- another meaningless concept until the image in placed in a layout) gives the "effective" resolution, whcih is how large the pixels will be rendered, and the only number that matters. I find it helpful to think of a baloon with a chekerboard pattern printed on it. As you blow up the balloon, the size of the checkerboard increases, but the number of squares (pixels) that fit into any given length (resolution) decreases. The realtionship of the pixels to one another, and their colors, don't change.

                                     

                                    If the effective resolution is very high, typically from scaling down "really small", you will almost certainly lose quailty. In screen output if the image has more pixels in one dimension than the screen has available to display the image, i.e. you have a 600 x 600 pixel image that is meant to occupy 1/8 of the width of a screen displaying 1200 pixels across, your computer will interpolate and throw away pixels in order to bring what is displayed down to 125 pixels wide on screen. Similarly, if your effective resolution is vastly larger than required for printing, your printer or the RIP driving an imagesetter will discard image data and "optimize" the image. In both cases, fine detail may be lost.

                                     

                                    >Frames: When you "insert" an image into other programs it is often no different than copying and pasting. There is one frame, the image frame. So when you scale the frame it scales the image with it. And if you want different proportions or to cut off unnecessary content you have to crop it, which in some programs the whole image is not retained, meaning: you better make sure you cropped it right the first time. In InDesign there are three frames associated with the image: the content, the open arrow frame, and the bounding box. The bounding box is the blue box with transformation controls on the corners and middle of the sides. The open arrow frame (I can't find the adobe name for this) can be found by double clicking twice it is the blue box with the points on the corners. The content frame is represented by a brown box with standard transformation controls. The best way to describe these different frames is to compare them to a window. Imagine that you are standing infront of a window and a friend is standing behind the window holding up a poster. The window represents the bounding box and the open arrow frame. The poster is the image content. If you are editing the bounding box it is like standing in front the window and stretching and moving the window while your friend holds the poster in the same place. When you are editing the open arrow frame it is similar, your friend holds the poster in one place while you pull on the corners of the window, however because these are points and not the transformation tools you can change the angles of the edges of the frame. The content frame is like standing in front of the window as your friend moves and scales the poster behind the window. The donut mentioned in the previous post allows you to quickly select the content frame.


                                    Frame has a very particular meaning in InDesign. It is a container. Frames, in addition to holding graphical or text content, may have colored fills and or strokes (outlines) of variable weight. Graphical content, such as an image, contained in a frame has boundaries which may or may not correspond to the frame edges. If you select the content using the Direct Select tool you see those image boundaries, not a different frame. Image boundaries will have sizing handles similar to those found on frames for scaling (symetrically or not) the image without altering the frame.

                                     

                                    The bounding box of an object also is not a frame. It is the smallest rectangular shape that will enclose the selected object, and by making transformations on the bounding box you are altering the objects it surrounds. If you select a frame (not the content inside, but the frame itself) with the direct select tool you are selecting not the container, but the path describing the container, and you can edit the path just as if it had been drawn with a the pen tool. Editing the path can alter the shape or position of the path (and if you move the path, you also move the frame it describes, and the edits may or may not affect the bounding box as well.

                                    • 15. Re: Need advice as to best way to learn ID
                                      m16blondie Level 1

                                      I could have sworn I tried every method to move the image around, but when I did what you said it worked--so simple I now feel quite inadequate--but very greatfull!!!  Thank you so much for all of your continued help!