Let's Create a 3 Page Magazine Spread in InDesign

Hello designer! This in-depth tutorial is minimally edited so you can follow along with my entire workflow for a 3 page magazine spread with a full page ad. This includes goofs we are bound to hit along the way because not everything works the way you expect when you are designing!

Enjoy bonus nuggets of info as I make decisions on color, layout and complimentary design elements.


Looking for more magazine layout tips? Dive into these in-depth tutorials.

Magazine Feature Article Layout in InDesign
Understanding Magazine Signature & Page Count
— Magazine Article Text Tips

Tour My InDesign & Photoshop Workspaces

Here's your chance to see how I set up my InDesign & Photoshop workspaces. My method is geared toward the multi-tasking designer, photographer and web designer across a variety of screen sizes and setups.

I have dual monitor setups in my office, a widescreen in my home office and a laptop for on the go. I am also working in a variety of projects from editing photos to mocking up web designs and working on publications. My workspaces accommodate this sporadic work style, offering a complete and efficient workflow.

Watch the video to recreate my InDesign & Photoshop workspaces and continue below for a brief overview of how to create your own workspaces.

Workspace Basics

Working with Panels

Moving Panels

Learn more about workspaces from Adobe.

Let me know your preferred workspace setup in the comments!

10 InDesign Keyboard Shortcuts to Speed up Your Workflow

Let's up that productivity in InDesign with these 10 lesser known keyboard shortcuts for MAC & PC. These shortcuts are in my rotation constantly and really impact how quickly I perform some common tasks in my print projects. Check out the complete list below and watch the video to see the shortcuts in action.

1.  Duplicate & Constrain Position with ALT+SHIFT

This is my favorite shortcut and takes the typical duplicate shortcut ALT and puts it on steroids! By adding SHIFT to ALT, you can constrain the position of your item while duplicating it at the same time.

2. Switch Between Normal and Preview Mode with "W"

You see me pull out this shortcut a lot if you have seen any free tutorial here at Design Procademy. This easy shortcut lets you quickly swap between normal and preview mode. Preview mode is like looking at the final result if it were printed. This mode removes all guides and lines blocking a clear view of your design. As you get better and more comfortable with InDesign, you may find yourself designing in this mode more and more!

3. Fit Your Design in View with CMD/CTRL + 0

This quick trick helps center and show you the entire page without having to zoom out or use any other key. Quickly see your progress with this shortcut.

4. Zoom in & Out with CMD/CTRL + or -

This shortcut feeds off number 3. Take control of your zooming needs with your plus and minus keys and CMD/CTRL instead of using the zoom tool from the tool bar.

5. Add Tracking to your Text with ALT + Right and Left Arrows

This is such a time saver when working with text. If you want some extra space in between your text, don't hunt around the Character pallet. Simply SELECT YOUR TEXT then hold down ALT and tap your RIGHT ARROW to increase space or your LEFT ARROW to decrease space.

6. Transform an Item in Place with ALT/CMD/SHIFT on a MAC or ALT/CTRL/SHIFT on PC

This is a shortcut you may need to see in action. These 3 key combos quickly transform an item larger or smaller while keeping it in the same place. This shortcut essentially transforms the size of your object from the center instead of the corners keeping it where you put it.

7. Remove Color with /

If you ever have the need to quickly remove the color from an item, the BACKSLASH / tool is your friend!

8. Toggle Between Fill/Stroke with X

If you aren't sure whether your fill or stroke is activated, just hit X. This handy shortcut will keep your items stroked and filled with ease! No more accidental fill or stroke.

9. Swap Fill/Stroke with SHIFT X

Take the shortcut in number 8 to the next level by adding SHIFT. With an item selected, this will quickly swap between fill and stroke right on the item.

10. Find and Change Text with CMD/CTRL + F 

This shortcut saves a ton of time if you have a multi-page document such as magazine or book. Say you need to swap 2016 for 2017 across several catalog pages. Use the CMD/CTRL + F to use the Find/Change feature. Not only can you quickly find a piece of text in a multi-page document, you can also change it to whatever you want no matter how many instances you have in your document. You can also change only one page or several across your document. Be sure to watch the video to see this one in action!

Now it's your turn! Let me know some of your favorite InDesign shortcuts in the comments!

Magazine Article Text Tips // DESIGN LIKE A PRO

Take your magazine design to the next level with this quick and easy method of working with text in your magazine articles. Learn how to extend text across multiple pages, maximize text in the space you have available and more!


Common Issues with Adobe Distiller and Booklets Explained

Are you creating a booklet or any size PDF from a postscript file in Adobe Distiller only to have it not fit correctly on the page? See how to fix it with just one setting change in your PDF settings. Thanks for watching!

HOW TO | Print to Booklet FULL Tutorial: https://youtu.be/NQAUiKpvaLc
Check out Jessica Brody's books: http://jessicabrody.com

INDESIGN: Get to Know the Color Theme Tool

Discover how to select entire color libraries quickly for your design projects with the color theme tool in InDesign!

INDESIGN QUICK TIPS | Delete Unused Color Swatches

In this InDesign Quick Tip learn how to delete all your unused color swatches from your palette. This is a handy habit to make at the end of your projects to clear out clutter by only displaying those swatches you've used in your designs.

Designing Professional Resumes

Hi designers! I'm excited to announce my new course over at Tuts+ Premium. It's packed with fun design tips aimed at creating an eye-catching resume plus fun tips that will help you write up the content in the best way possible. All source files are included plus 3 different layouts. As designers, our resumes and portfolios speak wonders about our ability, so why not make both stand out!?

[button text="Check out the course" size="big" url="https://tutsplus.com/course/designing-professional-resumes/" /]
Note select videos are available for free preview. You must be a Tuts+ Premium subscriber to view the entire course. Once you subsribe, you'll have access to all the premium content including all my other print design courses.

Use Transparent PNGs In Your Print Projects

In this tutorial you will learn how to take a transparent image from Photoshop, save it as a .PNG file and place it into an InDesign document ready for print.

Please refer to my preferred PDF preset tutorial for steps on how I save my print projects to a PDF.

Programs: Photoshop & InDesign
Difficulty: Intermediate

Step 1

Open the image you want to cut the background out of in Photoshop. Then double-click the layer and hit OK to unlock it. Make sure it is a high resolution (300DPI) for print projects.

Step 2

Remove the background from your layer. There are several ways you can do this. If the background is a solid color you can use the Magic Wand or Quick Selection tools. This tutorial will not go in depth on how to cut out an image from the background since the focus is on saving and placing a transparent image into InDesign.

Step 3

Next go to File>Save As and make sure you select PNG from the drop down. Note this only works for RGB files. Since you can convert all elements of your print project into CMYK when you save your PDF in InDesign, you can use this RGB file for any print or web project. Give you PNG file a name, choose the location to save it and click Save. Select None in the PNG options pop up window and click OK. You have now successfully created a transparent file to use in your print projects.

Step 4

Now let's open up InDesign. Create a new document to your desired size. Mine is a sample album cover so it is 4.724 inches square with a 1/8 inch bleed.

Step 5

Drop in your background image by clicking and dragging it from your folder into InDesign or CTRL+D (Option + D on a Mac) to Place. Then move the background image until you are happy with the placement. You can also resize the image by holding down CTRL+Shift (Option + Shift on a Mac) and clicking and dragging a corner of your image. This constrains the proportions as you resize the image. Make sure your image goes all the way to the red bleed lines.

Step 6

Drop in your transparent image by clicking and dragging it from your folder into InDesign or CTRL+D (Option + D on a Mac) to Place. Follow the steps above to resize and place your transparent image. You shouldn't see any background color on your image. If you do, make sure you saved the file as a PNG. Note I would clean up this image with some color correction to better match the background image. This is just to show you how a transparent image from Photoshop can be dropped into your print project in InDesign quickly.

Conclusion/Final Image

Now that you dropped in your transparent PNG image, you can continue designing your document. Add text, more images, etc. I cleaned up the PNG file in Photoshop by adding some color corrections. I also used the Blur tool around the outside edge of the entire image to soften the harsh lines. This makes the final PNG blend better with my background image when I drop it back into InDesign.

Pro Tip: Keep your designs consistent and use colors from your background and transparent images for the text.