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InDesign tutorial, part 1


This is day seven of a four-week unit plan that helps students learn the basic terminology, functions and foundations of design. Topics covered include typography, color, grids, formatting, spacing, measurements and modular design.



  • Students will identify the four basic categories of type.
  • Students will learn and recite definitions of design terms.
  • Students will know how to read and apply measurements.
  • Students will know how to format type using common design language.
  • Students will know the basic concepts of color application, purpose and use.
  • Students will learn and practice how to work within a grid using appropriate spacing and modular design strategies in Adobe InDesign.
  • Students will create layouts using different column grids using Adobe InDesign.
  • Students will learn and practice how to place, size, crop, edit and apply a stroke to photos using Adobe InDesign.
  • Students will learn and practice how to place, size and format headlines and body copy using Adobe InDesign.
  • Students will learn and practice how to use the various tools and functions of Adobe InDesign that are critical to layout presentation.


Common Core State Standards




Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context.


Analyze how the text structures information or ideas into categories or hierarchies, demonstrating understanding of the information or ideas.


Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., quantitative data, video, multimedia) in order to address a question or solve a problem.


Synthesize information from a range of sources (e.g., texts, experiments, simulations) into a coherent understanding of a process, phenomenon, or concept, resolving conflicting information when possible.



This is day seven of a four-week unit if class meets daily (55 minutes/class). Adjustments can be made accordingly.


Zip file: Instructor InDesign workshop part 1

Zip file: Student InDesign workshop part 1

Video tutorials: InDesign workshop video tutorials (Password: InDesignWorkshop247)





Flash/thumb drive or some other drive



Lesson step-by-step

1. Journal: Bell assignment—5 minutes

Students should journal to the following prompt. What do you think about Adobe InDesign so far? At this point, what do you like and/or dislike about the program?


2. Main instruction—45 minutes (be mindful this may take some advanced work/planning on the part of the teacher to set up the project appropriately)

Provide students with the “STUDENTS Workshop.Part” file. Save it to a common share point on a server. Or, you may wish to save it to each computer individually or save it to each student’s individual flash drive or something else. Each student should unpack and save the “STUDENTS Workshop. Part 1” folder to their own computer, an individual folder on a server or flash drive.

Inside each folder, students will find a folder for “document fonts,” another folder for “Links,” and a PDF of the InDesign Workshop.Part 1 instructions.

If you do not already have the fonts saved on your computers, you’ll need to do that prior to starting the tutorial. Students may be able to do this themselves, or it may require permission from you or your school technology coordinator.

Note: These tutorials were created using Adobe InDesign on a Mac. Everything should function relatively the same on a PC, but there are some differences using quick keys, etc. You may also encounter some font issues. If that is the case, it is recommended that you substitute fonts already installed on your computers that match the fonts in the tutorials as closely as possible.

Once fonts are loaded and each student has downloaded/unpacked the workshop folder, they may begin the tutorials using the link to the videos.

As an entire class group, watch the tutorial videos via an LCD projector or individually on singular computers using headphones (so as to not bother classmates), begin watching the InDesign tutorial videos beginning with “Tutorial Introduction.”

From there, commence with “Tutorial Step 1-2,” then “Tutorial Step 3a,” “Tutorial Step 3b,” “Tutorial Step 3c,” “Tutorial Step 4a,” and so on in chronological order until you get through all 18 videos.

Save work/progress in an appropriate place (i.e. individual computers, server, flash drive, etc.) so the students can continue their work each day.


3. Clean up—5 minutes