Day 16 – Lessons 4 & 5

As I had finished most of lesson 4 yesterday, I went over the last two training videos about typographic effects. In this case, I learned how to arrange a verse so that it represented a mouse’s tail.

Below is what the resulting effect is supposed to be from the original document.

Screen Shot 2016-08-31 at 12.53.42 PM

I selected that paragraph from the text field and cut it from the document. Opening a text field in the paste board, I then pasted the text then moved the text back onto the text frame in the document.Screen Shot 2016-08-31 at 1.05.38 PM

Above, I placed vectors and guidelines on both sides of the text field so that I would be able to adjust the field in a zig-zag shape.

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While the shape is not as curved  as the original the result is a goo start. I would have to spend more time, and possibly add more vectors to get the curve that I want.

Even though in lesson 5 I only worked with placing images into the document, the process was a bit overwhelming. Many novels, like Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, use illustrations. I’m not particularly a big fan of illustrations like these, but I can understand the appeal of them during that time.

The lesson dealt with both text wraps and inline graphics (which are graphics that are anchored with the text). Inline graphics were the less complicated of the two. I simply created an inline paragraph style then shift-clicked the image to that blank line to anchor the graphic to the text.

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The text wraps were more complicated, and I noticed that all sorts of things can go wrong… or just be frustrating to deal with. The very first chapter of the book deals with a text wrap image and I applied it to a different layer since it would not anchor to the text in any way. It was a lot of trial and error trying to get the text to not overlap the image at any point and vise versa.Screen Shot 2016-08-31 at 1.50.52 PM


Day 15 – Lessons 3 & parts of 4

Lesson 3 “Placing Text” was very straightforward and very short. The first part of the lesson was very simple – placing the text, and after pressing command+D to place an .rtf and shift clicking on the top of the margin the the complete text would fill several pages. 90 pages to be exact.

That’s basically the lesson. I went through it to do some basic clean up of the text, but the real editing and formatting of the entire novel happened in lesson 4.

Now, where lesson 3 was very short, lesson 4 was very long. As a matter of fact I did not finish the the entire lesson today because of how thorough and extensive the training videos are.

Lesson 4 dealt with styling and texts. Mainly creating, applying and editing paragraph styles to make the entire document consistent. An example is using hyphenation in paragraphs. In many UK style publications words would be hyphenated whenever they came to the end of a line. This allows publications to use as much as the line as possible while signifying that word continues on the next line.

In the images below, you will see the hyphens clearly in the left image. In the right image I adjusted the hyphenation settings so that these hyphens don’t occur so regularly in a paragraph.

I also formatted chapter openers by creating space at the beginning of each of the Chapter Opening pages. Now the very amateur way to create this space is to press “Enter” for paragraph returns, but this won’t get the desired result.

The way I changed this was to edit one of my Paragraph Styles, in this case “Chapter number” and clicking on “Paragraph Rules” in the panel to the left. By checking the box “Rule On” I created a baseline, I then set the Offset to 90 points. This pushed the baseline to the top of the page, which I don’t want so I checked the “Keep In Frame” box to keep the baseline in the text frame. This then moved my type down 90 points to give me the space I wanted before the chapter openings.

Day 14 – Lessons 1 & 2

Today, I’ve started a training session called “Designing a Book,” which something I’ve very interested. Truthfully, I’m interested in anything that has to do with publication layouts such as books, magazines and (not so much) newspapers. Books especially.

In lesson 1 “Getting Started,” I got a rundown of the different parts of a book, like the Front Matter, Body Matter and End Matter. The Front Matter usually consists of title page, copyright page, dedication, table of contents, forward, preface, etc. The Body Matter contains the main part of the book that can be divided into parts, sections or chapters. The End Matter is usually optional but can contain a glossary, bibliography of sources and/or index page.

In lesson 2 I worked on how to set up the document so that I could start placing the text.rtf for the novel. I used the text from the story Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland because of how universal and classical the literature is.

I started with a blank document without ant margins, then uses a placeholder text to fill both pages before formatting my margins how I wanted them.

Lesson 2 - Adding headers and running headers

I then added a text field above the left page to serve as a header for the title of the book.

Lesson 2 - Adding page numbers

In the above image, I added a text field to the left of my outside margin on the left page to insert page number. By selecting both the “page number” field and “title” field I option+clicked dragged these two field to the right page, and reversed the two fields so that I would have a copy. I then deleted the “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” title and inserted a running header so that the title of the chapter would show up on the right page instead.

Lesson 2 - Adding line numbers

When laying out a book, the client may find issues with text in the line of the page. In order to make it easier for me to make changes, the client can simply tell me which line the issue was in and I can go change it. However, I first need to create these numbered lines by adding another layer to the document that is NOT printable in the “Layers” panel. I then created a column of returns along the outside margins along with a numbered list to represent each line of text.

Day 13 – Finishing Creating PDFs (Lessons 3 & 4)

Today I was able to finish the rest of Michael Murphy’s training videos for “Creating PDF Forms with InDesign”, and while it only has four lessons, the videos are fairly in depth. What I enjoyed about these lessons was that these are applicable to what I do in my work now.

In lesson three I learned how to apply combo boxes. These are commonly used as drop-down boxes when filling out the “Section” such as AK (Alaska), AL (Alabama), AR (Arkansas), etc. Control clicking or right clicking on the “State” text field and going to the “Interactive” submenu to click on “Convert to combo box.” From there I went to the buttons and forms panel to edit the combo box how I wanted to and putting in my list of states.

Adding more finishing touches to the form, I added the “Print” and “Submit” buttons that will be used in the interactive PDF. When I started both print and submit were just static text fields, but by right-clicking or control clicking on after selecting both fields I clicked on “Convert to button” in the Interactive submenu. From there edited the buttons’ appearance and name, but before they could actually work as a print and submit button, I had to add actions and from that drop-down menu gave them the necessary actions.

In lesson 4, I mainly worked with Acrobat to finish up my form. One of the Acrobat-only options pertained to the payment information. Where the Card Number goes there are 16 sections for the numbers to go, but starting it did not work how it’s supposed to.

Lesson 4 - Acrobat-only options 1

Above you see the numbers do not fit perfectly inside each of those sections. To adjust this I had to go to “Prepare Form” then right-click or control click on that selection.

By going to the selection’s properties and then options, I deselected “check spelling” then selected “Comb of” then inserted 16 characters. I was then able to fit numbers within each placeholder.

Lesson 4- Acrobat-only options 4

After finishing with this final video, Michael Murphy pointed to Claudia McCue’s “Acrobat XI: Creating Forms”, which he had referenced a few more times earlier in his lessons talking about how much more in depth she goes into creating forms. For now, I feel like I have the basics to create PDFs.

Day 12 – Lesson 2 Preparing a Form Layout

In Lesson to in creating PDF forms I learned how to create text fields, checkboxes and radio buttons for interactive forms. The information was all very straightforward just taxing and a long process.

I first learned how to create my object fields into text fields and went through the “Buttons and Forms” panel to choose the actions with that particular field, as well as what it would be used for like first name, last name, company name, etc.

The second image to the right is the complete fields to use for text. I also went through to create the tab sequence, which is where your cursor goes whenever you click the tab button.

After, I then inserted checkboxes and edited their normal on and normal off states, as well as some rollover on and rollover off features. The rollover on and rollover off states are what the checkbox looks like whenever your cursor “rolls over” the checkbox. These aren’t necessarily needed, but they add something extra to your form.

I also went and adjusted the radio buttons at the top of the form, which are slightly different than the checkboxes, but have the same basic concept. The biggest difference I noticed was that radio buttons work as choices, meaning that if you click on one button to fill it, then click on another, that fill will transfer to the last button you clicked.

I also went through some of the “Sample Buttons and Forms” library, which come stocked with InDesign. I wasn’t very impressed with them, and don’t really plan to ever use them. I feel like starting from scratch allows me more freedom to edit as I please, but for speed’s sake this would come in handy.

Day 11 – Lesson 1 from Creating PDF Forms with InDesign

Today I started with new training videos for “Creating PDF Forms with InDesign.” There are two programs that can be used to do this: Adobe Acrobat and, of course, InDesign. Adobe Acrobat has more limitations that InDesign, and should only be used to create documents when you know that you will not come back to that same form to make any changes. If you make changes, you have to open the document back in InDesign, make your changes then export it to Adobe Acrobat and recreate that same form.

You use InDesign if you know you are not finished, or will be revisiting the form again that way you can make as many changes on the fly.

In Lesson 1, I learned a few practices, or points that I should remember when laying out a PDF form. These are paying attention to aesthetics, functionality and usability. The form has to be organized and clean to that users don’t feel confined, as well as maintain a clear visual path in the form. And most importantly, test the form thoroughly before sending out into the world.

After learning those key points for creating forms, I then went through a form to establish some text fields for basic registration, as well as learned to apply check boxes and/or radial buttons.

Lesson 1 - Before Shot

The image above shows the form when opened. In the “Registration Information” section you see a very cut and dry list of information that is needed with now boundaries for where this information needs to go.

Lesson 1 - Applied underlines for Registration info

Now in the above image, you see that I’ve added underlines by going into paragraph styles and establishing how the underlines are added. I’ve also put like info grouped on the same line of text such as: City, State, and Zip AND Phone Number and Twitter ID.

However, while I now have established underlines where the info needs to go, I don’t have text frames that need to be there in an interactive PDF that will be viewed and filled out online. Below, I added text field frames to first and last name, and used a temporary fill so that I could visually see where they are and if they fit the underline boundaries or if I need to make adjustments.

Lesson 1 - Applying text field for registration info

Below, you see that I also added a radial button in “Member Status” and a checkbox under “Special Dietary Needs.” These are used in a lot of forms where just a check is needed and not text.

Lesson 1 - applied text fields, radial buttons, and checkboxes to form

Day Ten – Finishing with the Essentials

I have finally tackled all 17 lessons from “InDesign CC Essential Training 2015.” I started with Lesson 16 and learned how to use various tools to edit interactive PDFs, and preparing books for e-publishing.

In the below images I learned how to add hyperlinks to text on an interactive PDF so that clicking on the text would lead users to the company website.

I first highlighted the text that I was going to change to a hyperlink then clicked on the “Hyperlinks” panel to embed the URL within the text. I later reformatted the right image so that the hyperlink would go back to its original format of white text without the underline.

In the next lesson, I added video to the interactive PDF. Unfortunately, after I exported the PDF, the video did not show up because I did not have Flash Player.

Lesson 16 - adding video

In another lesson, I learned how to prepare a book for e-publishing. On the first export, the book was a mess, so I had to go back through it and properly format.Lesson 16 - exporting reflowable epub

I had to export this as reflowable text so that the document would reformat itself according to font size or what tablet it was being viewed. Fixed layouts are exported for documents like on the previous PDF with interactive elements, as well as some animations.

In the final lesson I wen through packaging, printing and exporting documents. There are a lot of different things to consider when doing any of these tasks. Mainly, what is the purpose of the PDF or text you are exporting? What will it be used for? Will package include the image links (which is very important, in case the document will be reformatted according to the client’s needs)? Will it include the typekits that were used on the document? (Most cases this is not necessary because the client will have Creative Cloud and can be downloaded from there, or there may be some copyrighting issues.) Or will you make sure to save the document in IDML so that it can be opened in an older version of Adobe InDesign?

Day Nine – Lesson 15

In Lesson 15, I learned how to create and apply data tables to a document, in this case a magazine. I also learned how to adjust and format the table to give it more flare.

While the video showed me basic ways on how to add a table that was created from scratch, it already had a basic table for me to place into the document to make adjustments.

In the images below, after adding a table to the document, I began to use basic formatting tools to get rid of the strokes that separated the rows and columns and then added a purple tint, or shading, to every other row from the swatches panel.

To add the finishing touches, I added the header from  the left page to the right as well, then I used the purple swatch to fill the header’s cells and changed the text to white. I applied the same formatting to the “Loans” sub-heading.


Day Eight – Lessons 13 & 14

In lesson 13 I learned how to edit entire paragraphs whereas before I would edit text of certain phrases, names or words here and there. This lesson focused on formatting entire paragraphs to maintain consistency.

To start with formatting paragraphs I first had to select the paragraph symbol, or pilcrow (¶), in the top left corner of Indesign.

One of my favorites to learn in the lesson was the drop cap, which is used in both magazines and books to signify the beginning of a chapter or story and draw the reader’s eye.

In the pictures above, the far left image shows the starting point, while the bottom right shows the finished effect using the drop cap formatting.

Another video in the lesson showed me how to add rules, or lines, between paragraph and subheadings in an article.

The bottom left image showed how to separate paragraphs from subheadings, while the far right image took the process a step further to give the article something extra and further draw attention to the content.

In “Lesson 14 – Styles” I dealt with both paragraph style formatting and character styles. These are things that were glossed over in previous chapters, but this one went more in depth.

While this lesson was interesting, it was hard to follow along because this training video uses typekits that are not shipped with Indesign giving me the “dreaded pink” as David Blatner mentioned in an earlier lesson, which is a pink highlight over the text informing me that Indesign doesn’t have that typekit. If I was connected to Creative Cloud I would be able to sync fonts to get those specific typekits in each document, but I can’t so I’m very limited when trying to reformat the documents.

This lesson mainly focused on creating and applying styles to paragraphs, characters and images to maintain consistency, which is important in most cases.

Day Six – Lessons 10-12

In the first lesson (Lesson 10 – Managing Objects) I learned how rearrange items on a document using “bring to front” or “send back” commands. I also learned how to group objects and organize my layer panel, which helps with my OCD to keep everything organized as well as separated in manageable groups.

After learning different way to organize all items on the document, I learned more about text wrap, which will come in use when an image overlaps my text frames and vise versa.

The top left photo shows the original image where the text is covering the image. By going to text wrap and choosing one of the types of text wrap I wanted you see the text begins to wrap around the image in the top right, but I still needed to do some more formatting. Chasing the “type” to “Alpha Channel” the text instead wrapped around the edge of the figure itself rather than the image frame to give me the desired result.

In lesson 11, the videos focused more on transforming objects in a document by duplicating, rotating, scaling, skewing and mirroring. The one I found most useful and interesting was mirroring objects.

In the video I mirrored a photo to try and get a reflection effect on the document.

I started with the far left objects and then mirrored the image horizontally on a center reference point, before mirroring vertically over a bottom reference point while also holding down the “option” key to duplicate the image and get a reflection. I then skewed the bottom image (or reflection) and applied a feather gradient to give an appearance of a reflection on a surface.

Lesson 12 was very straightforward and basically dealt with character formatting of sentences, texts and headlines.