Learning Paths

Adobe InDesign: Building A Basic Page Layout

As a desktop publishing program, Adobe InDesign is primarily used for page layouts. Therefore in this tutorial we will go through the basics of setting up a simple page layout, that will allow you to then afterwards develop your own layout designs.

1) Open InDesign and create a new Document. Select A4 from the Page Size drop-down. In Columns, write 4 in Number and 4mm in Gutter – this will determine our grid, which help aid us in laying elements out on the page. At Margins on the bottom, write 10mm for the width, height, inside and outside.

Adobe InDesign


Once you hit OK, your page should look like this:

Adobe Indesign


2) Select the Rectangle Tool in the toolbar or press M. Then click the margin corner on the top right-hand side, while holding the shift key as you drag out a square and release once the far line of the square directly overlaps the 3rd column line from the right. This will be our placeholder for an image. You can insert an image into here by either going File > Place or by simply drag and dropping an image from outside InDesign.

Adobe InDesign


3) For the body text frames, select the Rectangle Frame Tool from the toolbar or press F. Click anywhere on page and write 44.5mm and 245mm for the width and height, repeat to produce a second, then click on page again but now write 44.5mm and 179.5mm for the width and height, then repeat to produce another of the same height. With the Selection Tool selected, move the rectangles in the grid columns, with all of them aligning to the bottom margin.



4) For the title, select the Type Tool from the toolbar or press T. Next, drag out a rectangle from the top left-hand corner to the line just after the image block as shown below. Once you release the mouse, type “Title” and adjust the text to your liking in the Control panel on the top of InDesign.


5) To have text flow through all the columns, select the Type Tool and click into each of the frames to convert them into accepting text. Once all four columns are converted, select the Selection Tool and click onto the first column. You will see just above the bottom right-hand corner of the column, a bigger square. Click on this and your cursor will change to have an icon on its side. Now, click inside the next column, which will now take the text from the first column if the text were to overflow. Repeat the process of clicking the square near the bottom right-hand corner and pressing into the next column, until all the columns have been converted.


6) Now to see the text flow in action, select the first column with the Selection Tool. Next, on the top menu go Type > Fill with Placeholder Text. You now see the columns all filled up with random text. This is Lorem Ipsum, which is typically scrambled Latin text from a section of De Finibus Bonorum et Malorum. It’s used to demonstrate how the page would look if it was filled with content. This can be useful in producing mock-up pages or coming up with page layout ideas before you have any content supplied.


So now you’ve learned how to do this basic layout, we suggest you to play around with the features presented in this tutorial and come up with your own layout variations.

If you’re interested in learning more about Adobe InDesign, then we offer a range of high quality courses at different proficiency levels, in numerous cities across the UK.