YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE A SEASONED DESIGNER TO CREATE HIGH-QUALITY WORK. With InDesign’s sizeable collection of predesigned templates, great things are possible. They provide a convenient starting point for typical documents, because they are preset with a layout that includes layout grids, master pages, style sheets, and text and graphics placeholders. Simply open the templates and use them as a basis to build and inspire your own template design—saving countless hours of labor.
This chapter is designed to give you a complete overview of the template design process. By learning how to modify the predesigned templates that ship with InDesign, you’ll learn to apply the process taught in Chapter 3, “Step-by-step Approach to Designing Templates.” If you’re not experienced in taking a template project from beginning to end, this is a great way to start.
Exploring the Templates that Ship with InDesign
InDesign CS3 ships with 78 predesigned templates, which are divided into 18 categories ranging from forms, flyers, and newsletters to magazines, news-papers, and catalogs. These templates are saved in a distinct file format called an InDesign CS3 template. There are two ways to identify a template file: by looking at its file extension (.indt) or its icon (Figure 4.1).
In general, you open templates the same way you open other documents. However, when you open a template file, InDesign opens a new untitled version of the template, not the original. This gives you a useful starting point and allows you to use templates again and again for different publications.
Here are a few ways to start a new document from a template file:
- Locate a template file and double-click its icon.
- Choose File > New > Document from Template. This takes you to Adobe Bridge and to the folder that contains the templates that ship with InDesign. Locate a template file and double-click its icon.
- You can also choose to use InDesign’s welcome screen (Figure 4.2). If you’ve already closed the welcome screen or chosen not to show it at startup, you can access it again by choosing Help > Welcome Screen. From the welcome screen, choose From Template. This takes you to Adobe Bridge and to the folder that contains the templates that ship with InDesign. Locate a template file and double-click its icon.
You can make changes to an original template—without having to create a new one—by opening the original file instead of an untitled version of it. To open an original template file, choose File > Open and locate a template file. Before you click Open, select Original (Windows) or Open Original (Mac OS) (Figure 4.3).
You save templates the same way you save regular documents. The only difference occurs when you save a document. To save any document into the template file format, choose File > Save As and specify a filename and location. Next, choose InDesign CS3 template for Save as Type (Windows) or Format (Mac OS) and save the document (Figure 4.4).
When saving a template, be sure to save a preview image of it. This allows you to more easily identify the template later on when you are using Adobe Bridge to browse a collection of templates. Thumbnail previews of template files include a JPEG image of each page in the template. You can even control the size of the preview to suit your needs. For example, the Extra Large 1024x1024 option enables you to easily scan the contents of a page, making it even easier to be identified among a rather large collection of templates. Keep in mind that previews increase both file size and the time it takes to save a document.
There are two ways to save a preview image with a document:
- You can enable the option in the File Handling preferences (Preferences > File Handling). From here, you can also control the default preview size (Figure 4.5).
- You can enable the option in the Save As dialog. Enabling the option here also enables the option in Preferences and vice versa.