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Introduction to InDesign CC

A new session of each course opens each month, allowing you to enroll whenever your busy schedule permits!

How does it work? Once a session starts, two lessons will be released each week, for the six-week duration of your course. You will have access to all previously released lessons until the course ends.

Keep in mind that the interactive discussion area for each lesson automatically closes 2 weeks after each lesson is released, so you’re encouraged to complete each lesson within two weeks of its release.

The Final Exam will be released on the same day as the last lesson. Once the Final Exam has been released, you will have 2 weeks plus 10 days to complete the Final and finish any remaining lessons in your course. No further extensions can be provided beyond these 10 days.

Week One

Lesson 01 - Making Your Way Around InDesign CC
Wednesday

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!

Lesson 02 - Setting Up a New Document
Friday

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. You'll also add a second page to create a matching envelope, and you'll learn how to add a custom Master page for the envelope. And as in all of our lessons, we'll 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

Lesson 03 - Organizing Objects on a Layout
Wednesday

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 three projects: a sheet of address stickers, a sheet of business cards, and a reusable business card template.

Lesson 04 - Setting Up a Multipage Document
Friday

Many of your projects will use multiple pages with different layouts. Designing a catalog layout is the perfect way to learn these skills, and 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 lay 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 use placeholder text during the design process to give you a good idea of how a page will look when you're finished. You'll see how to add a graphic into an existing frame and make it fit, as well as how to add content instantly using a file called a snippet.

Week Three

Lesson 05 - Adding, Editing, and Threading Text
Wednesday

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 adding text to your publication. Once the text is in place, you'll see how to check your text for typos and errors. We'll go over how to work with text in simple text frames 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. You'll finish the lesson working with two columns in a single frame, and you'll see how to balance the content and auto-size the frame.

Lesson 06 - Importing Graphics and Images
Friday

The two key elements in any print project 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 check out some special ways to add batches of images at once to make an image collage and to place images in interesting frames. Speaking of interesting—you'll also see how you can use InDesign transparency effects to add pizzazz to any project. You'll wind up the lesson making a printable photo cube from a template.

Week Four

Lesson 07 - Drawing and Working With Shapes
Wednesday

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. You'll see how to draw several simple shapes and stack them using blend modes for interesting effects. 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!

Lesson 08 - Managing and Applying Color
Friday

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

Lesson 09 - Designing Tables and Creating Forms
Wednesday

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 use styles to quickly and consistently reuse any of your layout features. Finally, we'll experiment with an interactive PDF form. You'll add some fields to a blank form, see how to configure a text field or button, and produce the PDF form.

Lesson 10 - Storing Text and Color Information
Friday

Recycling doesn't just apply to items in your home or business. In this lesson, you'll see how to use the 3R's 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

Lesson 11 - Creating and Distributing a Complex Document
Wednesday

Whether you're designing publications for business, hobbies, or social or community activities, odds are you'll need to share them at some point. InDesign provides many options for exporting and reusing a document, as well as printing. We'll review a few of them today as we design a postcard using special fonts, colors, and image layout features. We'll also check out Kuler, the Adobe InDesign extension and online application used for color design. Have you ever seen text that shows an image of some sort through the letters and wondered how it's done? You'll know after today's lesson! By the time you finish this lesson, you'll know how to export a publication as an image, print directly from your desktop, or create a compact PDF version of your finished publication ready to email.

Lesson 12 - Working With Color Separations, Special Layouts, and E-books
Friday

In this final lesson, we'll really test InDesign's versatility. First, we'll use a two-color version of the business cards you worked with early in the course and dig into color separations—a common method of preparing a file for a professional print shop. We'll try out special layout tools for producing alternate page layouts of different sizes in the same document. Finally, we'll wind up the course by creating an e-book.

 
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  • Learn a new skill or enhance existing skills for professional development or personal enrichment.
  • New sessions starting monthly with lessons and assignments released weekly.
  • 2-4 hours a week in a convenient six-week format.
  • Interactive learning environment. Classroom built around discussion areas where you can engage with classmates and instructors.
  • Expert instructors develop, lead, and interact with students in each course.
  • Award of completion from your learning institution with passing score.
  • Gain the knowledge needed to move forward with your education.
  • Start anytime. Access Granted upon registration.
  • Courses are designed to be completed within 6-12 weeks.
  • Interactive multi-media instruction with integrated assessment, allowing you to work at your own pace.
  • Professional instructors support you throughout your learning experience.
  • Confirmation of successful course completion.
  • Build industry skills or earn continuing education credits in a variety of fields.
  • Start Anytime. Access to all course material and assessments from day one.
  • Many tutorials can be completed in just a few hours.
  • Quick independent study. Learn something new or expand your knowledge while working at your own pace.
  • Material developed by industry leaders and student support offered.
  • Certificate of completion awarded with passing score.

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