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Article: Beginner Introduction to Adobe InDesign Tools & Functions

Beginner Introduction to Adobe InDesign Tools & Functions

Adobe InDesign is not hard to learn at all. Here, we have provided some easy guides so you can get familiar with the basic tools & functions. Find out more!
Created by T E M P L Y |

Talking about the design world, chances are that you are already familiar with Adobe's applications. From the photo editor Photoshop to video editor Premiere Pro. But the whole brand also brings up a vaster amount of editing tools and functions with diverse creative purposes. Some of Adobe software itself is also proven to get even more popular than others or simply get underappreciated. 

One of the examples is Adobe InDesign. The editing and digital illustration software have a lot of functions and tools that can do a lot of possibilities. However, people point out that InDesign poses a lot more advance and usability. But does it mean it was not beginner-friendly? Surprisingly, it is. If you are starting to use it, here are some introductions for you. 


The InDesign Functions 

If you are new in the design world, you might find that some famous products or software have a range of functions and tools. At some point, they offer professional options for beginners to follow. You can take Photoshop as an example. The photo editing app provides very extensive tools and functions that allow beginners to have full control over image manipulation or creation. 

It can turn into a daunting app for beginners. But there is always a beginning for everything. In this case, you will find that Adobe InDesign takes a different road to reach users. The app skips and opts out all the complicated jargon or functions and provides more grounding tools. When placed side by side with Photoshop, InDesign is not in the same direction.  

So, the tools provided by InDesign mostly circle core strength which enhances its ability to create page structure and layout options. So, you can tell that the functions are not in the photo but on the print design background. With different usage, it means that you or a beginner can learn more varying tools or functions in this particular Adobe software. 

So, what is it about? If you are a beginner and interested in Adobe InDesign, underline that it is software that focuses on creating a print design layout. To support all the needs, InDesign has an abundance of options, tools, preview options, settings, and functions for its layout generation and editing. They can turn into more useful options to make the digital design. 

What makes this Adobe software good is the ability to compose your design project with other assets. You can get these functions from how the integration or import system of Adobe InDesign was made. The idea of creating your design project with some assets elsewhere helps beginner designers or editors create a more established print design. 

Created by Occy Design |


What Is It For? 

As you know that almost every Adobe software has its usage and functions, and so does Adobe InDesign. The focus of InDesign itself mostly works for print or digital publishing tools. So, most of the functions revolve around creating media such as magazines, posters, flyers, booklets, e-book, infographics, and many more. It is pretty beginner-friendly as well. 

The ranges of tools and their functions also help widen the software capabilities to create arts or projects. It started as an Adobe software that focuses on print design. Over the years, with upgrades and updates, InDesign evolved into more modern digital design projects. Thus, bringing more possibilities and projects, including some of the social media graphics, to the advertisement. 

If you want to name some of the products you can create from InDesign, most of them will be for publishing media. Such as newsletters, presentations, brochures, portfolios, e-cooks, business cards, invoices, flyers, portfolios, and many more. The tools, functions, and the Adobe InDesign settings themselves accentuate to help create those kinds of media even for beginners. 

Ideally, you cannot expect very comprehensive and detailed tools or functions in this Adobe software. It is especially true if you compare it with some other Adobe software such as Photoshop, Premier, Illustrator, etc. But, when it comes to organizing layout, creating text, paragraph styles, managing assets, etc., Adobe InDesign is pretty much over the top. 

InDesign was created specifically for that function and purpose. Thus, people who are working under the publishing line of work can expect more with InDesign. Yes, some of the tools and the mechanics help designers to create a layout for pages or documents. It is also very easy to use for beginners since it does not use very complicated jargon or functions. 

Created by Blancalab Studio |


Some InDesign Essentials, Basic Tools, And Functions Guide For Beginner

One of the reasons why people love Adobe software is due to the range of functions, tools, and also purposes. With each program proposing different usage, you can explore and learn immersive settings and abilities for each Adobe program. But, this kind of advantage can also turn into a daunting learning task for beginners. It is not the same with Adobe InDesign. 

The main problem is how blends, tools, and functions may provide different kinds of effects and appearance. Thus, creating even further professional editing. In this case, Adobe InDesign provides more digestible and easy-to-understand tools or functions. It can be a great helper for a beginner editor, designer, or publisher. 

The way InDesign brings out more understandable software is pretty much one of the reasons you find this article. The main goal of this writing is to give you a brief introduction to its essential features and tools. It can turn into a way to explore some of this particular Adobe software. At the same time, it will help you to learn under the easy beginner guide. 

Created by T E M P L Y |

The good thing about InDesign is its similarity to any other Adobe software function. There is some essence that still resembles the Adobe mechanic. If you have used other apps, you might find some familiar aspects that help you get used to the Adobe software. It is not different from other Adobe apps. It just has some distinct uses and functions for its purpose. 

While the Adobe software has some items, tools, or functions that resemble the other programs, some parts set Adobe InDesign aside. It's particularly due to its dissimilar functions and purposes. Some of it includes the naming, the preset, the document names, files, tricks, and usage. To introduce it, here is what a beginner should jot down.   

1. InDesign Pages 

The first thing you find as you open the Adobe software is the new document windows. In this case, InDesign has something different than its siblings and families. The most apparent one is the use of Pages rather than canvas or artboard. As a beginner, this is pretty much new. You will need to make a new document in the form of a page with the correct preset setting.  

So, what do beginners have to do in this part? The function of this window is to set the details of your document size, several pages, etc. If you are not opening a save file, these functions and tools help will always appear the first time you launch the app. If you are not sure about the paper size or the detail, Adobe InDesign has prepared some template sizes.

Another thing that beginners tend to overlook is margin tools, bleed, and slug settings. If you find the detail is too advanced, you can leave it and do it later as you work with the project. There are also options for Print, Web, and Mobile. As a beginner, you can start with print as a way to learn how to operate InDesign. 

These options allow you to create different presets for specific usages, such as web, print, or mobile. The good thing about this Adobe app is that it provides you with the presets. It can be helpful for beginners. So, you only need to choose one and go on to the next step. But if you already have created the document, you can go to InDesign Pages panel tools under Windows > Pages.


2. A Master Page 

After you create a document, there will be some information that you will need to jot down in the Adobe InDesign workspace window. As a beginner, one thing that you should take a look at first is the Edit master page or also written as A-Master. It is located on the right control panel, under the shrunk shelf of Pages. You can click it (if it is hidden) to expand the detail. 

What is it about? Like any other Adobe application, this part is where you can make a lot of adjustments to the working area. At the same time, the tools also allow you to add elements that will appear on every single page of your project. As you open the page panel, you will find some layers, including None and A master. Understand that each has different functions. 

So, how if you cannot find the Adobe InDesign pages tools panel? In this case, a beginner can make it appear by navigating into the Pages panel through Window then Pages. As you open it, you will find the A-Master options and functions at the very top. What is it? If you have tried other Adobe applications, even beginners will understand that it works like a layer. 

If you double-click the A master, you will get the option to edit the whole master page layout. These tools and functions help beginners quickly change or apply a certain layout for the whole page. The plus point for Adobe InDesign is its ability to duplicate your setting across multiple pages, including graphics, layout, pieces of text, or display.


3. Paragraph And Character Styling 

Another plus for InDesign is its vast options for paragraph and character tools or functions. Due to its specification in designing publishing media, beginners will have had a lot more options to play around with text settings. Even more, you can also re-use the same layout and detail across your document or pages. These functions help a lot when creating a book or magazine layout. 

At the same time, these Adobe tools are pretty much powerful in creating a consistent layout or element on your pages. It also ensures your beginners' design will look professional with consistent design. But is it only for that? Of course, Adobe InDesign gives these functions more usability and purposes. 

You can use the tools and bring out the paragraph text and heading style. Professional or beginner Adobe InDesign users will not need to do the same thing all over again on every page. It is also pretty handy when you need to change the style in the future. The tools and functions of this Adobe app allow a quick change for the whole document in one click.  

The styling is not only limited to basic paragraph and character styling tools. Beginners can also play around with the indents, margin, column, and justification. That was the reason Adobe InDesign was far better in the term of publishing media design. You can get these tools and functions by navigating through Window, to style, and Character style. 

You will need to select the text and then create New style and give it a name. It will help beginners create a unique text style in Adobe InDesign. To apply it, you can select any text and apply the style on the Character style panel. You can also do the same functions for paragraphs. You will need to reach the tools through window, style, and paragraph style.  

The two functions and tools offer similar customization. The paragraph tools focus on designing paragraph layout, while the character styles focus on styling every single piece of text or smaller blocks. Another thing that beginners need to know is how to disable paragraph hyphenation. 

If you find the paragraph in the InDesign document has a hyphen (it is a habit of Adobe InDesign), beginners can easily disable it through the Paragraph panel. You will need to navigate to Windows and paragraph. The floating control panel on the right side comes with tons of tools and functions to adjust the paragraph. But you only need to uncheck the hyphenate option.


4. Fill Image 

One of the best tools and functions in InDesign is to fill shapes with images. It is a pretty simple tool that a beginner can do fairly quickly. You can create placeholders in many shapes to experiment and adjust with the layout. After that, you can drag and drop images from the computer to the shapes to fill them with the image.


5. Adding Link, Layer, And Swatches

InDesign also comes with some tools and functions that help users add some links, swatches, and layers. It is pretty much a common feature in Adobe that is also usable in InDesign. In the case of Adobe InDesign, beginners can easily access the links tools from the panel. You will have to navigate to the Windows and go to the Links. 

If you want to add swatches such as color or element in the document, you can do it simply by navigating to the windows and swatches. Meanwhile, other familiar tools and functions such as layers are also available in the Layers panel. Layers help beginner or professional users to organize, stack elements, pulling graphics or text quickly. It works like other Adobe software tools.  

One vital point that beginners should underline is the nature of InDesign that did not embed images into the project file. It helps create a lighter project but also risks errors due to lost pictures. You can replace or tell InDesign the location. But the other way around is to embed your link by navigating into windows and the link panel. Then, select the image, right-click, and embed the link.


6. Layout Margins And Columns 

One most excellent thing about Adobe InDesign is its margin and column tools or functions. It provides a breeze and easy process to make a guide, margins, and columns even for beginners. In this case, you can go to layout then margin and columns options. You can also automatically adjust the element in the pages by using the Adjust layout functions. 

Meanwhile, users can create a Guide from the same Layout panel easily for beginners. These kinds of tools or functions will help you follow the guideline and make sure the content looks uniformed with others. It makes the uses of InDesign very easy to adopt. As for the beginner, you can turn it off or on by hitting the W key. 


7. Text Frame 

Another great tool and function in Adobe InDesign is text frame. Newbie or beginner designers can easily adjust the number of columns in the text by clicking CTRL+B or CMD+B. It is pretty simple, and you can also set it through the text frame panel. Increase the number of columns, and the mechanics will automatically adjust the width.


8. Display Performance Feature 

The last thing that beginners should be aware of is the display performance tools. These functions are available in Adobe InDesign that help improve the computer performance by changing the image quality. It will be such a practical option if you work around image-heavy documents. You can turn it on by heading to Object and choose display performance. Then, pick either fast or typical.


9. Essential Templates for InDesign

If you are new to any design application, one great way to get familiar with the features and possibilities is to explore pre-made templates. It allows you to observe how professionals are doing with their work, and you get the license to use the template too. By experimenting with existing templates, you often get a better idea and understanding of the software rather than staring and thinking about what you are going to do to a blank page.

Besides, if you have familiar with the basics of InDesign and want to save some time, these pre-made templates can provide you a much practical starting point for your own works, so you can have a head start on all of the layout, structure, and styling of a page and just begin to customize the content, then final polish of the elements to suit your own requirements. Below is handpicked selection of high-quality InDesign templates that we guarantee are going to be very useful for various projects niche.

Created by Loh Studio |


Created by Elokka Std. |


Created by Mirazz |


Created by January Made Design |


Created by Occy Design |




When facing a lot of Adobe software, most people might know several apps such as Photoshop or Premiere. However, Adobe InDesign has proven to be one of the most helpful and functional software for creating powerful print publishing tools. It provides tons of tools and functions that can benefit digital or print media such as magazines, books, or advertisements.

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