Introduction to InDesign CC

Introduction to InDesign CC

Learn how to use Adobe InDesign CC software to create professional-quality letterhead, brochures, forms, eBooks, business materials and more. This course uses hands-on exercises and expert instruction to help you discover how the program features relate to producing actual usable documents.

6 Weeks Access / 24 Course Hrs
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Have you ever seen a terrific-looking brochure or newsletter and wondered how it was made? Chances are the designer used Adobe InDesign CC, the industry-standard desktop publishing software now available through the Creative Cloud.

In each lesson, you will learn an important aspect of InDesign CC and prepare a range of print and online products for a fictional company. You will get dozens of files to work with, including a partially completed InDesign document used to start each lesson. Then you will use the downloaded graphics, images, fonts, and other content to complete the project. To check your work or troubleshoot any problems you encounter, you will always get a copy of the finished InDesign project file.

Lesson by lesson, you will discover how the program features relate to producing actual usable documents. You will explore the best ways to create different types of material, how to reuse items such as colors and artwork, and how to produce publications for different page sizes and devices. You will come away knowing how to use this popular page layout software to design and create professional-quality letterhead, business cards, brochures, forms, interactive PDF files, an eBook, and more.


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!

In this lesson, 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 Parent page for the envelope. 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.

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.

Many of your projects will use multiple pages with different layouts. Designing a travel brochure 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 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.

In this lesson, you'll create another advertising piece for our fictional company: a tri-fold brochure. You'll learn how to make Parent pages work for you. Another skill you'll take away from this lesson is creating guides to accurately place the contents of the brochure. In addition, you'll learn how to add images to a brochure and fit them to rectangular frames. You'll also learn how to save time by copying images. You'll be using placeholder text in this lesson as well and work with paragraph styles. The end result is a tri-fold brochure.

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 create a book. The finished book will have a table of contents and numbered pages. You'll create a cover for the book and work with color. You'll import paragraph styles from another InDesign document and learn how to fit content to a frame. Another useful skill you'll learn is wrapping text around images. Some of the document text will be placed from a Microsoft Word document. The project will be exported as a PDF to be used by a printing service to create multiple copies of the book.

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 colors within an object), and we'll round out the lesson by using some more special effects in today's fun project—a greeting card.

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.

Creating an interactive document, is a very useful skill to have in your tool kit, and that's what you'll learn how to design in this lesson. The document you create will have an interactive menu, with buttons. When clicked the buttons will transport the viewer to a specify destination. The menu will be a drop down menu. You'll add actions to the buttons that show and hide then when the user interacts with them. You'll also insert a video into the document. The finished project will be exported as an interactive PDF.

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!

In this lesson, you'll work with text and images from Alice in Wonderland to build an EPUB. You'll learn a lot about what does and doesn't work in an EPUB document, and work with best practices for producing different types of EPUB documents. You'll learn how to create two types of eBooks, a book that will reflow to the size of the device it is viewed on, and a book with a fixed layout, that is sized for a specific device such as an iPad, or other tablet. You'll learn how to place images so they stay put when viewed on a device.

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 in this lesson as we design a postcard using special fonts, colors, and image layout features. 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 completing the project in this 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.



There are no prerequisites to take this course.


Hardware Requirements:

  • This course can be taken on either a PC or Mac.

Software Requirements:

  • PC: Windows 8 or later.
  • Mac: macOS 10.7 or later.
  • Browser: The latest version of Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox are preferred. Microsoft Edge and Safari are also compatible.
  • Adobe InDesign CS6 (Windows), Adobe CS6 Design and Web Premium (Windows), Adobe CS6 Master Collection (Windows), InDesign CS6 (Mac), Adobe CS6 Design and Web Premium (Mac), Adobe CS6 Master Collection (Mac), or Adobe InDesign CC Student or Retail versions (Mac or Windows). Older versions of Adobe InDesign are also applicable, including all versions of Adobe InDesign CS5 and CS4 (not included in enrollment).
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader.
  • Software must be installed and fully operational before the course begins.


  • Email capabilities and access to a personal email account.

Instructional Material Requirements:

The instructional materials required for this course are included in enrollment and will be available online.


Doug Sahlin

Doug Sahlin is a professional photographer, author, graphic designer, and instructor living in Venice, Florida. He was President of Superb Images, a wedding and event photography company for three years. He creates fine art images of the flora, fauna, and iconic landscapes and seascapes found on the west coast of Florida. Sahlin has written over twenty how-to books, many of them bestsellers on Amazon.


This was another great lesson. I really enjoyed learning how to make an eBook as I had not done that before. While I had a little bit of knowledge in InDesign, this course taught me a lot of great information I wouldn't have learned on my own. Thank you for a great class!

Great lesson! I have worked in printing for 13 years and this lesson showed a lot of key points that many designers still do not understand or take the time to learn. It is key to work with the person/company outputting your final product. Poor files in many times will mean a poor product output and a very frustrated vendor. Thank you for making this a part of the class!

I really feel like I learned much more than I thought I would. Having the InDesign book is great butit was very difficult to wade through because I didn't particularly understand the lingo. You have helpled me with that immensely and now when I look in the book I understand what it's talking about.

I am completely enjoying the class and learning so much! I am excited to be able to maneuver through this program.

I want to thank you, Donna, for this awesome class! It has helped me learn new things about InDesign, even though there are so many things to learn with this program. I know we haven't scratched the surface, but what we have accomplished in this course is a lot. You're an excellent teacher and I hope to take another class of yours in the future!

This lesson was very interesting in many ways...You definitely know how to pack a lesson full of information.

It’s been years since I invested my time into learning a new computer program, but after seeing the first lesson broken down into simple steps that I can easily understand, I’m glad I enrolled in this course. I had no idea that learning InDesign could be fun and this is just the beginning!

As a writer of training programs, myself, I must commend you on the detail of this one on InDesign. I cannot imagine the proofreading and checking that has been done as the various iterations were completed. This is an extraordinary accomplishment!

Let me thank you sincerely for this wonderful introductory course. A teacher myself, I know how much time and effort goes into prepping any one lesson, let alone a whole course with such step-by-step instructions, supplementary materials and groundwork. I also think it's pretty amazing that you're so involved with your students progress - there isn't a single question that wasn't answered or concern that wasn't addressed. I'm really happy I stumbled upon this course and I am looking forward to taking the intermediate one in the future!

Self-Guided Course Code: T9197
Instructor-Moderated Course Code: inc