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An InDesign Template can save you HOURS of time

Updated on September 9, 2013

Why to use InDesign templates?

One of the best time-saving tips for working with InDesign production is to use a template, especially if you are on a tight deadline or encountering a creative block. Templates take the guesswork out of layout, type, and color, allowing a designer or production artist to focus on content and delivery.

Especially if you are new to InDesign, templates can get you in and out the door in less time. A good InDesign template will have embedded character and paragraph styles, which means you can format your text in just a couple short clicks from the Character Styles and Paragraph Styles palettes. Simply choose Window >Type & Tables > Character Styles and Window > Type & Tables > Paragraph Styles. These two palettes are your best resources for styling your text quickly and easily.

Everything from text size to line spacing to bullet list styles will be formatted for you, and all you have to do is select a body of text, click on a Style to apply it to the text, and you are done!

Adding stock photography and adjusting image size

Adding stock photography to an InDesign template is also a breeze. Using a photo from your company library or one that you've downloaded from a stock photo website, simply select an image frame (it's a box, usually blue, with a big 'X' across its center), and choose File > Place from the File menu. Select your image from your file system, and there you have it. You can even adjust the placement of your image by double clicking the frame (going into 'direct editing' mode), which will allow you to see the edges of your image and move it around with the selection tool. Just select the image, hold down your mouse, and move it into the best position to fit the image frame. Double clicking on the page outside of the page border will take you out of direct editing mode and back to the rest of your document. If you want to change the size of your image, double click the frame to enter direct editing mode and position your mouse over one of the little square control points a corner of the main image (not the frame). Hold down (shift) and your mouse button, and you can adjust the size of the image in uniform scale, without worrying about skewing the image.

Another way to adjust the image size

Another way to adjust image size, without using keyboard shortcuts, is to open the Control palette by choosing Window > Control. The Control palette opens in most versions of InDesign at the top of your screen. in the palette, third from the left, you will see a couple of little windows with % signs. This is the Size Adjustment Control. Make sure your image is selected in Direct Selection mode, and use the Size Adjustment drop-down menu to choose from a selection of pre-defined sizes or adjust it step by step using the up and down arrows. Make sure the 'chain link' icon to the right is selected to keep your height and your width adjustments on the same scale.

A few words of advice

Using these techniques will save you HOURS, even if you're a beginner, and your document will look better than you can imagine. Just send it off to the printer and you're ready for a professional-looking brochure, magazine, or newsletter.

A great place to get started is the templates from Best InDesign Templates. Visit and browse their collection of templates covering brochures, catalogs, wedding books, and more.

Some samples from Best InDesign Templates

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