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InDesign Logo  Basic InDesign Tutorial – Creating a flyer

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Have you just getting started with your InDesign training? It can be a little daunting at first. Don’t worry, follow this intro tutorial and I’ll show you how to create a simple flyer. You’ll learn to setup a new page, learn how to insert images & text, how to use colour & get your document ready for the printer. Here we go…

This is the final layout:

Finished InDesign Flyer

Creating a new print document

Facing Pages

Are used when designing a magazine style document where pages will be seen together across the ëspreadí (like a Womanís Weekly). Having this feature turned off will display the pages one by one.

You can create preset columns guides in your document. This allows you to get a consistent page layout on every page. It is common for magazines & newsletters to use a 3,4 or 5 column layout.

The space between the above columns.

Visual guides used to keep consistent layout through a document. These are also useful guides if your printer does not print to the edges.

More Options
Click this button on the right of the New Document Panel to see the Bleed & Slug below.

This adds an external margin to your paper. If you plan to have any content running right to the edge of the paper you can run your content into this bleed area. This way when a commercial printer prints your page onto their oversized paper they can trim/cut your pages without leaving any thin white lines behind. Normally set to a size of 3mm.

Used to hold non printing information like dates and document names. This feature is not commonly used by designers.

Creating our flyer

File > New > Document

Fill in the below details

New Document window in InDesign CS6


New Document Box


Set your ‘environment’.

The InDesign workspace consists of the tools palette, floating palettes, the page itself and a pasteboard area. The floating palettes remain where ever they were placed the last time InDesign was opened.

InDesign has a number of default environments, and you can save your own.

Set the environment to ‘essentials’.

The pull down menu top right lists all the default environments. Choose essentials

Reset essentials to default.

Work space layout

Colours for our flyer

GG Green (CMYK) = 55, 0, 100, 0

GG Orange (CMYK) = 0, 52, 100, 0

GG Dark Green (CMYK) = 60, 0, 100, 55

Pantone: 021c

Color Pallette


Colour modes


Red, green and blue is how the computer displays colour on-screen. This mode should be used for any image that will be displayed on a screen e.g. Websites & Powerpoint documents. Use this colour mode also if you plan to print on your home ink jet as these types of printers are set up to accept RGB images.


This colour mode is used for commercial printing. Use this colour mode when creating images to be printed at a professional printers.

Creating swatches (CMYK, RGB & Pantone)

CMYK Colours

1. Make sure you can see your Color Panel (Window > Color).

2. Click the Panel Option button from the top right of the Color Panel

3. Choose CMYK from the list.

4. Type in the correct amounts into the C,M,Y,K fields.

Color panel

Alternatively you can click any colour from the small rainbow colour panel at the base of
the Color Panel.

5. Click the Panel Option button from the top right of the Color Panel

6. Choose Add to Swatch:

Adding a swatch to indesign

You’ll see your new colour appear in your Swatches Panel:

Swatch panel

RGB Colours

1. Click the Panel Option button from the top right of the Color Panel

2. Choose RGB from the list.

3. Repeat the above CMYK steps from step 3.

RGB sliders panel in InDesign

Pantone Colours

1. Click the Swatches Panel Option button from the top right of the Color Panel

2. Choose New Colour Swatch:

InDesigns Pantone panel

3. Choose Pantone Solid Coated or Pantone Solid Uncoated depending on the job.

Note: These two colour libraries are the most commonly used in New Zealand. If youíre unsure which colour book to use – consult your printer.

Where to find Pantone colors in inDesign

4. Type in the Pantone number you want:

Pantone red 032c

5. Click the Add button.

6. You will see your new Pantone Swatch in your Swatches Panel:

Swatch panel indesign


Drawing a rectangle

1. Choose the Rectangle Tool  Rectangle tool in InDesign

2. Starting in the top left draw a rectangle that covers the document including the bleed.

3. Make sure your fill is at the front of the colour panel.

4. Fill with GG Green.

Green rectangle

5. In your Colour Pallet change the tint to 25%:

Color tinting in Indesign


25% tint

Importing (place) images

1. File > Place (InDesign Exercise Files > 01-GG-Advert > Pictures > GG-Flower.psd).

2. Check that the ëReplace Selected Itemí is UN-checked. Otherwise your image will be placed inside your green box causing them to be stuck together.

Indesign import options

Note: All images placed in InDesign are ëlinkedí files. This means that InDesign will always look for the original file. If you move or delete the original image, InDesign will show an error and not print correctly. Make sure you donít lose your originals.

3. To check what is linked and where the link is located on your laptop choose Window > Links.

4. You can use this Panel to relink images. You can also check a variety of options using the Links Panel Option icon . In here you can Embed your image, breaking the external link and keeping a copy of the image inside the InDesign file. However bear
in mind that this will make the file size large and potentially slow InDesign down.

Resizing & flipping images


1. Choose your selection tool Arrow tool in InDesign and select your image.

2. In the Application Bar (along the top) select the Flip Horizontal button Picture 10_4


Choose your selection tool Arrow tool in InDesign and drag any corner of your image holding the CMD + Shift keys (Mac) or CTRL + Shift keys (PC).

Flipping images in InDesign


Text Box

1. Choose the type tool Type tool

2. Click and drag a box out on the page.

This will create a fixed width and height box that you can fill with text.

Text box in indesign


Leading is line spacing. Itís purpose is to allow the designer to alter the density of blocks of text. Newspapers are quite dense and as such use a tighter line spacing value than you would find in magazines, brochures, or posters.

All fonts have a default leading seen in InDesign just under the font size.

Line spacing in InDesign

Before and after leading

Exporting a job to print/pdf

1. With your finished file open choose File > Export.

2. Name the file and choose Adobe PDF (CS4) or Adobe PDF Print (CS5 & 6) from the drop
down menu.

Picture 46

3. Click Save.

4. Choose High Quality Print from the Adobe PDF Preset menu.

Note: If this file is going over to a commercial printer they may have PDF settings that they can send you. If not, High Quality Print is a good all-round preset.

Exporting a pdf from InDesign

5. Choose ‘Marks and Bleeds’ from the menu on the left.

6. Choose Crop Marks.

7. Either choose ‘Use Document Bleed’ or Manually type in the bleed depending on how you’ve set up your document. If you donít require any bleed, ignore step 6 & 7.

Export settings for brochure in indesign


8. Click the Export button & send/email to your printer.

Done! Hooray.I hope you’ve found this Indesign training useful.



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