Introduction to InDesign CS3

In this Adobe InDesign CS3 class, you'll get hands-on desktop publishing training and come away knowing how to use this popular page layout software to design and create professional quality letterhead, business cards, brochures, PDF files that play movies, and more. You'll discover that you don't have to be a designer or an artist to produce professional quality documents!

In each lesson, we'll cover an important aspect of InDesign CS3 as you prepare a range of print and online products for Natalie, the fictional owner of Natalie's Nautical Emporium. You'll get dozens of files to use in the lessons—partially completed InDesign files, as well as the graphics and other content required for the project. And to check your work or troubleshoot any problems you encounter, you'll always get a copy of the finished InDesign project file.

Lesson by lesson, you'll discover how the program features relate to producing actual usable documents as we explore the best ways to create different types of material, how to organize and name your files, and how to reuse items such as colors and artwork. By the time you finish the course, you'll not only be comfortable with the tools and features that InDesign offers, but you'll know the most efficient ways to use the program to produce the materials you need for your specific work, recreation, or hobbies.

To enroll in this course, click the Enroll Now button below:


Adobe InDesign CS3 Windows and Windows XP (SP2 or SP3) or Vista. Adobe InDesign CS3 Mac and Mac OS X Tiger (10.4.2 or later), Leopard (10.5.x), or Mac OS X Intel; Internet access, e-mail, the Microsoft Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox Web browser, and the Adobe Flash Player and Adobe Reader 9 plug-ins (two free and simple downloads you obtain at by clicking Get Adobe Flash Player and Get Adobe Reader). Note: InDesign software must be installed and fully operational before the course begins. Creative interest is required, although artistic ability isn't necessary. Other Adobe Creative Suite programs such as Adobe Photoshop CS3 and Adobe Illustrator CS3 are used in preparation of the course materials, although they aren't necessary to complete the course. Access to these programs is useful for personal project development.


All courses run for six weeks, with a two-week grace period at the end. Two lessons are released each week for the six-week duration of the course. You do not have to be present when the lesson is released, but you must complete each lesson within two weeks of its release.

A new section of each course starts on the second or third Wednesday of each month. If enrolling in a series of two or more courses, please be sure to space the start date for each course at least two months apart.

Week One
Wednesday - Lesson 01
Wouldn't it be terrific if you could use one program to create all the different types of print materials you need for your small business, organization, or family—such as letterhead, forms, and even brochures and business cards? Well, you can! We'll spend this first lesson going over all the different types of content you can produce with InDesign. We'll explore the InDesign workspace and tools, and then we'll get right to work on our first project—a logo for the fictional business we'll create materials for throughout this course!
Friday - Lesson 02
Today, you'll learn all about starting and saving a new document. What's one of the most common types of print documents? If you said, "letterhead," you'd be right, and well on your way into this lesson's project. By the end of the session, you'll know how to choose settings for a new file, add background images, and organize your content to create a custom letterhead. And as we'll do in all of our lessons, we'll also go over how to use the specific colors, styles, and logo for our fictional business, but you'll be able to use the same techniques for your personal business or projects.
Week Two
Wednesday - Lesson 03
Organization is a key ingredient in successful work of any kind, and it's critical to successfully using InDesign. In this lesson, you'll learn about organizing in two ways: First, you'll see how to use a workflow, or an order of operations for creating an InDesign publication. Then we'll go over how to organize materials on a page and how to use many of InDesign's tools for aligning, organizing, and laying out your content. In the process, we'll complete not one, but two projects: a sheet of business cards and a sheet of address stickers.
Friday - Lesson 04
Using measurements and structures are crucial when you work with InDesign, and since designing a catalog layout is the perfect way to learn these skills, that's what we'll focus on today. We'll work with two different column layouts while exploring other InDesign features (like grids and document coordinates) that can help you set out a page evenly. We'll also go over using graphic and text frame placeholders so you don't have to add content to the page to see its layout. For a final touch of realism, we'll go over how to use nonsense text during the design process to give you a good idea of how a page will look when you're finished.
Week Three
Wednesday - Lesson 05
Managing text in precise and interesting ways is one of the big advantages of working with InDesign rather than a word-processing program. In this lesson, we'll begin a two-page brochure project that will take us two lessons to complete. In this first part, you'll learn different methods for managing, displaying, and adding text to your publication. We'll go over how to work with text in text frames (both as single objects and as threads) and how to design threaded text (where the text slides through linked text frames on the page yet stays within the defined structure). We'll also use the Story Editor as an alternative to adding content in a layout view. And we'll finish up by going over how to check your text for typos and errors.
Friday - Lesson 06
The two key elements in any print projects are, of course, text and images. We went over text in our last lesson, so today, we'll finish up our two-page brochure project by going over just about everything you need to know about working with images—adding them to the page in different ways, adjusting their positions, and using various commands for coordinating their sizes, proportions, and frames. We'll begin by adding images to the brochure project pages we worked on in Lesson 5, and then we'll practice making an image collage and placing images in interesting frames. Speaking of interesting—you'll also see how you can use InDesign effects to add pizzazz to any project.
Week Four
Wednesday - Lesson 07
You might be surprised to learn that InDesign provides you with some of the same sophisticated drawing tools that you'll find in Adobe Illustrator. For example, InDesign offers the Pathfinder tool, which is the perfect tool to use if you need to combine simply drawn shapes and convert them into more complex and interesting objects. In this lesson, you'll learn how to work with some of the drawing tools to design a poster for a fashion show. One of the topics we'll go over is a text wrap, which is a special way to work with a drawing to tell InDesign where you want your text to display on your page. If you've ever wondered how to make text follow the shape of an object, curving around it on the page, our practice today will solve the mystery!
Friday - Lesson 08
Did you know that your eyes can see over 16 million different colors? It's true! Fortunately, you don't have to work with that many colors in InDesign. But if you ever find yourself trying to choose between thousands and thousands of color possibilities, you'll understand why InDesign offers you so many different ways to work with your choices. In this lesson, you'll learn the best methods for choosing, naming, and organizing colors. You'll practice working with solid colors as well as gradients (which let you display a range of color within an object), and we'll round out the lesson by using some more special effects in today's fun project—a greeting card.
Week Five
Wednesday - Lesson 09
When you need to display bits of information in your publication and want to ensure it's easy to read, it's time to use a table. InDesign offers you lots of tools for designing and formatting tables while helping you make sure your content will coordinate with other documents. You'll see how this works today as we practice building tables for an invoice. You'll also find out how to use color tints in your table, as well as how to create and use styles to quickly and consistently reuse any of your layout features.
Friday - Lesson 10
Recycling doesn't just apply to items in your home or business. In this lesson, you'll see how to use the 3Rs of recycling in InDesign to complete a newsletter project. As you recycle and modify colors and styles from previous lessons to create new styles in your newsletter, you'll also reuse a lot of the tools and skills you've used in previous lessons. Learning to effectively use all of InDesign's tools and features in a variety of different ways on many different projects is what it's all about!
Week Six
Wednesday - Lesson 11
Whether you're designing publications for business, hobbies, social, or community activities, odds are you'll need to print them at some point. InDesign provides many options for printing, and we'll review a few of them today as we design a postcard using special fonts, colors, and image layout features. By the time you finish this lesson, you'll know how to print directly from your desktop, send your publication to a print shop for professional printing, or e-mail your finished publication.
Friday - Lesson 12
In this last lesson, we'll really test InDesign's versatility as we practice converting a single-page flyer into a number of different formats, including images, Web pages, and even a PDF file that includes a movie. InDesign offers special tools for repurposing content, including the ability to automatically adjust your layout if the format forces your page size to change. You'll see what I mean when we practice using those tools today.

To enroll in this course, click the Enroll Now button below:

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