1. beehoney

    beehoney Member

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    How can I create with InDesign awesome pages?

    Discussion in 'Writing Software and Hardware' started by beehoney, Nov 10, 2017.

    Hello Writing-Community,


    So, many people (in this forum) said I should buy InDesign from Adobe. I think about it and yeah: One app is cheaper than all apps together. I will buy it. May I wish it as a present for my birthday. I mean I can also use it for school—presentations & co. (A good layout gives more points than a bad.)

    How can I create awesome pages with this program? (But not so much color or fonts that your eyes feel pain.) Or do you have a good tutorial-website?


    Bye,

    beehoney
     
  2. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man or BayView

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    There are a billion tutorials on YouTube. This is a great beginners' one:



    I assume you're talking about using it for book covers? Beware that InDesign is really for arranging graphics with text and other elements, not creating graphics. You can draw basic shapes with it, but for creating graphics you really need Photoshop and/or Illustrator.
     
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  3. Lemie

    Lemie Contributor Contributor

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    Play around.

    That's the easiest way to learn programs like that!

    I used it all the time back at UNI, but I'm quite rusty now...
     
  4. beehoney

    beehoney Member

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    @Tenderiser First of all, thank you for the video. I don’t talk about covers. More about the pages in the book. Covers are easy.
     
  5. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    decent covers really arent ... that aside for inside formatting get a template (this was why I suggested vellum instead of indesign on the other thread)

    http://www.indesignskills.com/templates/book/#
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2017
  6. Spacer

    Spacer Active Member

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    I just finished a big InDesign project, posted on this web page. So let me muse on how it is compared with Illustrator for this purpose.

    If you look at the “program book PDF”, you’ll see that the main (interesting/difficult) part is the typesetting on the two inside spreads. Unlike with a common word processor, I can control line spacing to a minute amount, thus getting the facing pages lined up even with differing mix of line heights, and getting Chinese and English mixed to look good. Typesetting is its main forte.

    Now of course I also did the cover of that booklet. The fancy background at the top was done in PhotoShop, and found via stock catalog sites. But it’s not a static image, but a PSD file with a bunch of layers. This let me adapt the image, removing, changing, and moving elements. That was already in Photoshop, so I did the final background there.

    On another poster, I had raw material in Illustrator, but found it better to pull individual elements in to InDesign and arrange them. So with the top picture here, the various elements could have been imported individually and moved around in InDesign. That would have made it easier to fiddle with it. Point is, it’s fine for doing complex montage of individual elements. But it’s not good for making those individual elements! Here, the background texture is a stock bitmap texture, the water scene is another picture (bitmap), and there are filters to change the tint and tone. The text is done with Text (vectors) though.

    The middle picture is a photograph. Generally getting a photo in shape would be done in Photoshop. InDesign won’t help with that.

    The logos at the bottom are a EPS file supplied by the organization, and one I made in Illustrator.

    The text, both over the picture and in the clear field, was done in InDesign. It can even do things like shadow or halo to make it stand out against a busy background better.

    The cover is based on the poster, which you can see in a JPG file on that page. Basically it’s the same, but with more text.

    Oh, InDesign also helps prepare work that will be printed all the way to the edge of the page with a little bleed beyond. In general it makes pages (in PDF) ready for professional printing, with details and nuances that plain drawing programs don’t handle.

    OK, Here is an earlier poster. The background elements: mountains, scenery, tree, birds, clouds, etc. were taken from Illustrator stock art (and the moon is a photo). But I did in fact use InDesign to manipulate and position individual elements, rather than importing a final image made in another program. Arranging elements on the page is exactly what you want for your book cover, just as with my posters and booklet covers. So it is in fact a great choice.

    But, you can’t draw the outline of the tree, or a cloud, etc. You need Illustrator to work with stock vector images, as even when they are found as elements rather than a whole drawing (like the clouds were) they may be a bunch in one vector file for example, so you need to save out just the one you want, change the gradient, and maybe alter a little bit.

    InDesign is great, but it does not stand alone. Even with stock images, you’ll need other programs to manipulate them before using in your composition.

    Now for such minor uses you might be able to use free programs for that: maybe most of your elements will be bitmap, so any photo editing program that can produce transparent layers will be just fine. And, you can get other people to help you, but still be able to work on the final composition yourself since you’ll have InDesign and can open the file and work on it.

    Also, see if getting InDesign by itself comes with Adobe’s font library (TypeKit). Since I don’t see it listed separately among the apps, I think that is the case. That could be valuable to you in creating the cover. Ah yes, on the “Indivual” plans, “includes …, premium fonts, …” USD $19.99/month if paid monthly, $240/year if prepaid.

    Note that you can get by-the-month use of the other apps too, so you can use them when you’re working on a project that needs it, and then stop.

    As far as learning how to use it, you can get a free month (or whatever the current offer is) at Lynda.com.

    Whatever you do, good luck!
    —John
     
  7. beehoney

    beehoney Member

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    @Spacer Can I do this with Word too. I mean I haven't InDesign now. I told that I wish it me for my birthday. So, can I do this with Word too?
     
  8. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    Not a chance ... if word did what Indesign can why would anyone buy Indesign ..... also Word is a word processing package not DTP , the Microsoft DTP package is Publisher which is okay but not in the same league.

    As I said before your best bet for low cost formatting is probably a service like D2D (who take 15% of your net royalty)

    However as you haven't written the book yet I wouldnt worry about it at the stage - just write it in word
     
  9. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man or BayView

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    Well, you definitely don't need InDesign for internal pages. :confused:
     
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  10. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    I think shes talking about page formatting... Personally I'm very pleased with Vellum but its going to be out of the reach of a 16 year old (199 e book only or 249 print and e book)

    Although given that she hasn't written anything yet its a bit premature to say the least
     
  11. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

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    What is it you're planning to do, exactly?

    Most novels can be converted directly from Word into a reasonable format using the on-line software of the various distribution companies (Kindle or equivalent for e-books, CreateSpace or equivalent for print books). You really don't need to get fancy.

    If you're planning a book with lots of graphics, or if you're doing a print run or something, you might need to look at other design options... I have no experience with that. But for novels, I'd recommend keeping it simple. Word works.
     
  12. Spacer

    Spacer Active Member

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    No, MS Word is a word processor. It has some primitive vector drawing shapes but those are nigh impossible to use for anything. It is a fundamentally different type of program and does different things.

    You may have heard that MS Word and other word processors can export/output pretty good readable printed material, so you don’t need InDesign to make a nice book. But that’s referring to paragraphs of text and embedding pictures generated by other programs. You cannot use it to combine graphical elements, do fancy tricks with fonts, etc. as you would use to create a “cover”.

    As for getting InDesign for your birthday, note that it’s sold as a subscription, not an outright purchase. You’ll get a year’s subscription (for example) as a present for $240, and then it will stop working. It also requires substantial investment in learning as it’s a professional tool and quite user-unfriendly, even if you already know the underlying concepts involved. So, unless you plan to take it up as a hobby, spend that money on getting someone to do that project for you instead. If you already know what you want and have found the various clip art, you can probably get someone on Fiver, or barter with someone here, to put it together for you, for the same as the cost of 1 or 2 month’s subscription.
     
  13. Martin Beerbom

    Martin Beerbom Senior Member

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    InDesign is Adobe's desktop publishing application. It is the correct application of their package for beehoney's intended task, as far as I understand it. Adobe's application for creating/drawing a single-image/page is Illustrator. InDesign is also the industry-standard, so if beehoney likes to do this kind of work and seeks a job in this field later on, it makes sense to learn it. There are cheaper, similar applications, but they're not the 'standard' (albeit they all work very similar), and InDesign is not that hard to learn (as far as I remember with the last CS version I used, which was not very much. I know more about PhotoShop and Illustrator). In particular, it is not harder to learn than other DTP applications.

    Word can do some of the stuff. But,...

    1) I hate Word with a passion, I don't recommend it, and I do not want to give advice how to use it;
    2) the related functions are not well done, there's no proper workflow thought out by the designers of Word, they're buggy, and from people mostly interested in writing long text not recommended to use them at all (as they raise the probability of 'WTF is it doing now' moments tremendously). (All of which is partly the cause for my attitude expressed in (1)).
     
  14. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man or BayView

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    You really don't need InDesign to produce a book (unless it's something like a cookbook, but I'm sure beehoney has mentioned standard novels) - it'd be like spending £££ on a bulldozer to get rid of a weed from your garden instead of just, you know, pulling it up by hand. If you already have it and can use it then sure, knock yourself out. But otherwise? No. You'll get the same results from a free word processor, and free word processors are much easier to use for people unfamiliar with the Adobe suite.
     
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