Adobe InDesign CC Complete Masterclass: Learn Adobe InDesign
4.6 (885 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
14,827 students enrolled

Adobe InDesign CC Complete Masterclass: Learn Adobe InDesign

The Complete Guide to Adobe InDesign Creative Cloud: Design a Poster, Lookbook, Annual Report, and More!
4.6 (885 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
14,827 students enrolled
Last updated 4/2020
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This course includes
  • 13 hours on-demand video
  • 4 articles
  • 5 downloadable resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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What you'll learn
  • You will benefit from over 13 hours of helpful video lessons, informative handouts and lifetime access to current and any future projects.
  • You will master Adobe InDesign, the industry-standard graphic design and publication software.
  • You will professionally design and produce a lookbook in Adobe InDesign.
  • You will professionally design and produce a poster in Adobe InDesign.
  • You will professionally design and produce an annual report in Adobe InDesign.
  • You will effectively place and edit text, images, and illustrations in Adobe InDesign.
  • You will formulate and apply color schemes by using a variety of methods.
  • You will learn how to use spot colors, process colors, and the context for both.
  • You will design, format, edit, and copy tables in Adobe InDesign.
  • You will use Photoshop and InDesign together seamlessly, to adjust layer comps, layer visibility, and other settings of placed PSD files in InDesign.
  • You will use Illustrator and InDesign together seamlessly, to produce patterns and place illustrations.
  • You will apply preflighting and printing techniques and principles for professional results.
  • Students should have access to Adobe InDesign, preferably Creative Cloud, to follow along. Earlier versions are similar but slightly different for some tools or options. Most of the content is also applicable to earlier versions (such as CS6 or earlier CC). CS6 does not have paragraph shading or borders, for example.
  • To follow along in two specific sections about using Photoshop and Illustrator with InDesign, you will need access to those programs, as well (part of the Annual Report Project).

Are you new to Adobe InDesign, or have you used it for a while but have wondered what certain tools and functions do? Well, you've come to the right course. In this complete guide to InDesign CC, you will learn everything you need to know about the world's industry-standard graphic design and publication software. 

Instead of listing the tools and techniques in a list and going through them devoid of a context or project, I cover all the tools and techniques comprehensively, but in the context of projects. So, you will learn by designing a poster for a local business, a lookbook for a ski resort, and an annual report for a camera company. 

By the time you have completed this course, you will have mastered InDesign! And you will have projects to add to your portfolio.

Besides the essentials and fundamentals of InDesign, such as placing and editing images, threading and formatting text, and using master pages, you will also learn more advanced topics, including advanced color and the preflighting/printing process.

In fact, this course contains a complete guide to tables in InDesign as well as the complete guide to color in InDesign. You will also learn how to use both Photoshop and Illustrator with InDesign, in their own special sections. Adobe has made these programs so compatible, they work seamlessly together. 

I'm Chad, and I'm a graphic designer and full-time university professor. I've worked as internet development director at an award-winning advertising design firm, webmaster and advertising designer at a regional newspaper, and managing editor of two graphic design magazines. Whether it was laying out a newsletter for a client while working at an ad design firm, or laying out advertisements and using CMYK plates at a newspaper, having this professional experience has enabled me to relate these InDesign video lessons to real-world applications. 

For example, when we go over everything about adding and applying swatches, you learn when we would use spot colors vs. process colors, and I show example brand books and how they communicate their Pantone, CMYK, RGB, and Hex colors for graphic designers, and of course, how to apply those in InDesign.

I have also taught InDesign for the past decade as a university professor, teaching classes like Digital Layout and Design as well as Magazine Design and Production. My students have become page designers, creative specialists, and creative directors at newspapers, magazines, and media companies after graduating. Teaching InDesign in-person has enabled me to figure out what teaching methods and exercises are most effective and what areas students have the most questions about.

I love seeing what students come up with after mastering the technical side and using creativity and problem solving to produce amazing designs. Students in my Udemy courses have produced their own books after taking my InDesign courses. I look forward to seeing the work you design and produce in this course! Let me know if you have any questions by posting in the Q&A, or post your linked publications there for feedback.

Who this course is for:
  • This course is for students new to Adobe InDesign or experienced users who want to learn more in order to design real world projects. No previous InDesign or graphic design experience required.
Course content
Expand all 125 lectures 13:12:00
+ Introduction to the Adobe InDesign Complete Course
6 lectures 25:43

Welcome to the Complete Adobe InDesign CC Online Course! In this introduction, we review the course learning objectives and the projects that you will work on. By completing this course, students become masters at Adobe InDesign Creative Cloud. 

Preview 03:05

In this video, we go over how to download and implement the support files for this Adobe InDesign online course.

Preview 03:43

I explain how to get Adobe InDesign, in order to follow along in the course.

How to Get Adobe InDesign

In this short demonstration, I explain how Adobe does update Creative Cloud but that most of the tools and functions have not changed much in the past few versions. I also explain the two primary differences between the Mac and PC in Adobe InDesign.

Versions of Creative Cloud and Mac vs. PC

In this lesson, we get started designing a poster in Adobe InDesign, after going over how to set up the workspace.

Preview 13:31

Join our Facebook group and community to get feedback from me and others!

Join Our Facebook Group and Community for Design Feedback and Critique!
+ Design a Poster Part 1 - Guides, Graphics, and Text Frames in Adobe InDesign
9 lectures 54:14

We review the following sections, as we design and produce a poster in Adobe InDesign CC in order to learn about guides, graphics, text frames, objects, frames, paths, and more.

Preview 01:21

Adobe InDesign's ruler guides are helpful for aligning photos, illustrations, text frames, and other elements in designs. Combined with the snap function, we can use guides to snap objects to lines, so that elements are aligned in designs. Alignment is a primary design principle in graphic design, and aligning columns, photos, and shapes in layouts can be aesthetically pleasing.

Adding and Editing Ruler Guides for Effective Alignment in InDesign

While we go over more advanced text formatting methods in the next project, the lookbook, in this poster project, we introduce the method of adding text frames and text selection techniques. InDesign is known for effective text threading and advanced text layouts, and we will be applying these techniques throughout this course. In this video lesson, we place a short document for the poster project and practice some selection techniques.

Adding Text Frames and Selecting Text in InDesign

In this video, we apply basic character formatting to the text we previously placed in the poster. There are different ways to format text in InDesign, including using the Character Panel, the Control Panel shortcuts, and so on.

Applying Basic Character Formatting in InDesign

Learn how to place images effectively in Adobe InDesign. In this video, I demonstrate how to place various types of images in InDesign and how to adjust them in InDesign. Various considerations and keyboard shortcuts are included.

Preview 09:56

Adobe InDesign is able to crop and fit images in their image frames in a variety of ways. In fact, we can place images into shapes such as rectangles or even custom shapes and then move those images around within the frames and also adjust the points and paths of the frames, to adjust their shape. There are a number of preset fitting options, so images will fit by cropping or resizing within the frame or adjusting the frame to fit the photo.

Cropping and Fitting Graphics in InDesign

Adobe InDesign, like Adobe Illustrator, can add strokes (or borders of shapes, but it's more precise to say stroke because it's the style of the path, and simple lines don't have "borders" per se). InDesign can also add fills, just like Illustrator. This video covers the various considerations and methods of applying strokes and fills to shapes and paths in InDesign.

Strokes and Fills in InDesign

While it is best practice to resize images in Adobe Photoshop, we can resize images to be smaller even after being placed in Adobe InDesign, by using keyboard shortcuts as we click and drag. But there are many other ways to resize and adjust (such as rotate, etc.) images in InDesign, using the Control Panel and other options, and we go over that in this video.

Resizing and Editing Graphics in InDesign

The Links Panel in Adobe InDesign allows us to see which linked images are placed throughout the design and if any are modified or missing. We can relink and update links using the Links Panel.

Using the Adobe InDesign Links Panel
+ Design a Poster Part 2 - Objects, Frames, and Paths in Adobe InDesign
9 lectures 47:15

While the Shape Tools are not as varied as those in Adobe Illustrator, the Shape Tools in Adobe InDesign are useful for not only designing shapes for use in layouts but also as image frames. It is important to know how to arrange objects on the page as well, including shapes but also images and text frames. We can use the menu or use keyboard shortcuts to move objects above or below other objects.

Adding Shapes and Arranging Objects in InDesign

While we might think of Photoshop when we talk about layers, the Layers Panel in Adobe InDesign is also useful. We can select objects that are underneath other objects on the page and not easily clickable by using the Layers Panel, and we can also group objects by layer, for better organization.

Adding and Adjusting Layers in InDesign

We can align and distribute objects evenly on the page in InDesign, which helps apply the design principles of alignment and consistent proximity.

Aligning and Distributing Objects in InDesign

There are InDesign workflows to duplicate and group objects on the page, which helps save time with keyboard shortcuts.

Duplicating and Grouping Objects in InDesign

We can use specific techniques to rotate and transform objects in Adobe InDesign, whether the objects are placed images, illustrations, shapes, or text frames.

Rotating and Transforming Objects in InDesign

We often place images and they are in their own image frame, but we can also add images to be inline in a text frame or anchored to an area as well. Then, the object moves along with the rest of the text if text is added above it, for example.

Inline or Anchored Objects in InDesign

Add styles to corners of shapes or image frames in InDesign such as rounded corners. 

Customizing Corners in InDesign

Just like paragraph styles and character styles for text, we can use object styles for objects, in order to save and apply attributes of objects in Adobe InDesign.

Using Object Styles for Consistency in InDesign

In this video, we put some final touches on the poster project and export the project in Adobe InDesign.

Final Touches and Exporting Poster to PDF in InDesign
+ Design a Lookbook Part 1 - Managing Pages in Adobe InDesign
5 lectures 19:38

In this video, we go over the lookbook project in this Adobe InDesign Complete Course. In this specific section, we will go over how to manage pages and master pages in InDesign. Then in the following sections of this project, we will go over how to import and format text, more editing techniques and effects, adding and editing styles and automated edits, color and effects, and adding interactivity and printing/exporting.

Preview 01:48

In this video, students learn how to manage pages in Adobe InDesign.

Managing Pages in InDesign

In this video follow-along tutorial, we add and adjust master pages and their settings, apply settings to pages, and add multiple master pages.

Adding and Adjusting Master Pages in InDesign

Learn how to use variable paper size in documents in Adobe InDesign.

Variable Paper Size in Documents in InDesign

Learn how to adjust columns in Adobe InDesign and various considerations.

Adjusting Columns in InDesign
+ Design a Lookbook Part 2 - Importing and Formatting Text in InDesign
8 lectures 43:09
Placing and Threading Text in InDesign
Formatting Paragraphs in InDesign
Character Formatting in InDesign
Adjusting Text Frame Attributes in InDesign
Spanning and Splitting Text in InDesign
Adding and Adjusting Text Wraps in InDesign
Inserting Special Characters in InDesign
+ Design a Lookbook Part 3 - More Editing Techniques and Effects in InDesign
6 lectures 23:25
Paragraph Shading for Background Color in InDesign
Paragraph Borders in InDesign
Custom Paragraph Lines or Rules in InDesign
Converting to Outlined Text in InDesign
Using Custom Tab Stops for Table of Contents in InDesign
Bullets and Numbers for Organization in InDesign
+ Design a Lookbook Part 4 - Adding and Editing Styles and Automated Edits
5 lectures 22:02
Adding and Applying Paragraph Styles for Consistency and Efficiency in InDesign
Adding and Applying Character Styles in InDesign
Using Story Editor for Easy Edits in InDesign
Finding and Replacing Characters, Formatting, and Fonts in InDesign
Checking Spelling Effectively in InDesign
+ Design a Lookbook Part 5 - Color and Effects in InDesign
4 lectures 26:08
Adding Effects to Objects in InDesign
Using Color Swatches and CC Color Library in InDesign
Other Ways to Add Color in InDesign
Adding Gradients Effectively in InDesign
+ Design a Lookbook Part 6 - Adding Interactivity and Printing/Exporting
7 lectures 52:32
Adding External and Internal Hyperlinks in InDesign
Adding Interactive Buttons in InDesign
Publishing on the Web with Animation and Video in InDesign
InDesign Printing Best Practices
InDesign Exporting PDF Best Practices
Packaging Files for the Printer in InDesign
Techniques for the Lookbook Example Project
+ Design an Annual Report Part 1 - Complete Guide to Tables in InDesign
18 lectures 02:18:19
Adding Tables in InDesign
Positioning Tables in InDesign
Adding a Border to Tables and Frames in InDesign
Adding Rounded Rectangle Corners to Tables in InDesign
Adjusting Rows and Columns in InDesign
How to Merge and Split Table Cells in InDesign
Inserting, Deleting, and Moving Table Rows and Columns in InDesign
Adding and Editing Header and Footer Rows in InDesign
Adding Alternating Strokes or Fills in Rows and Columns in InDesign
Formatting Table Cells in InDesign
Cell Text Rotation in InDesign
Using Diagonal Lines in Cells in InDesign Tables
Placing and Adjusting Graphics in Cells in InDesign
Designing Custom Shapes for Graphic Frames in InDesign
Using Gradients in Cells in InDesign
Adding Table and Cell Styles in InDesign
Saving, Reusing, and Sharing Table and Cell Styles in InDesign