4 Tips for a Better Adobe InDesign Workflow

Adobe InDesign is a publishing program used for stationery and multi-page publications, such as magazines, look books, or brochures. Out of the entire Adobe Suite, this program was honestly one of my least favorites starting out. It was just one that seemed to take more understanding of the features, as compared to Illustrator or Photoshop. However, I am here to share a few things that I wished I would have known—or learned more about—before starting to work in InDesign.

1. Learn Shortcuts

Designers, creatives, or anyone else who works in Adobe software products. I cannot stress this enough.. USE shortcuts. Not only will it be useful for other Adobe software programs but it will speed up your design process and efficiency while working. [Fun fact: some shortcuts in Adobe are universal, so once you learn one, you can use it again in other programs!)

  • Selection Tool (V)
  • Direct Selection Tool (A)
  • Type Tool (T)
  • Hand (H)
  • Pen Tool (P)
  • Eyedropper (I)
  • Apply Color (,) [comma]
  • Apply Gradient (.) [period]
  • New Document (Command N)
  • Save As (Shift + Command S)
  • Place (Command D)
  • Print (Command P)


2. Understand the Set Up Process

Not everything is easy and understandable right when you start a new project. This concept is true for software, too. Adobe programs can be scary but InDesign is an essential program for designing books, calendars, and magazines!

First, I would start out by using a template. This will help break the fear of launching a new program you know nothing about. You will get the feel for where everything is at. Also, learning the shortcuts, will help you feel like a rockstar! Templates are completed documents, with placeholder text (aka: Lorem Ipsum) filled in throughout the document. You can rearrange text, change typefaces, and delete content all together, if you wish.


3. Use Paragraph & Character Styles

Styles are a great and effective way to speed up workflow in InDesign. They both serve one main purpose: to keep text within the document consistent. As defined by Adobe, “A character style is a collection of character formatting attributes that can be applied to text in a single step. A paragraph style includes both character and paragraph formatting attributes and can be applied to a paragraph or range of paragraphs.”


4. Reference New Resources

You can reference a tutorial and learning guide on Adobe or Lynda. These are great resources to assist in your learning process of any Adobe Software. Don’t be scared to ask for help from a friend, teacher, or fellow creative.

I hope this helps any of my fellow creative souls, entrepreneurs, and anyone else who is ready to try Adobe InDesign. Don’t be afraid, you got this!!

As always, have a blessed week!!

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