Don't let this long page scare you,

InDesign is Fun and Easy to Use

We've just created this instruction page with lots of big screen shots

and comprehensive instructions suitable for all levels of users.

I've already read all this, take me to the Cool Tricks!!


Since InDesign is made by Adobe, the same company that makes Photoshop, you will see some similarities, but there are a few things that work differently when using InDesign templates, so please read over the process before beginning your first book/album.



Set View Quality: Set your InDesign preferences to “High Quality” viewing so that your images don’t look pixelated and scare you.

See How Here



Add Images: Open a template, then open a folder of images and start dragging images over to the “windows” in the template.

Jump to See This in Action Here



Create Package: After adding all your images, create a “Package”.  Open the new InDesign file that the "package" created.

Learn How Here



IMPORTANT * Resolution Check: Check the resolution of all your images, making sure they are all 300ppi or above.

Learn How Here



Make JPG Copies:  Create a new folder on your desktop to hold the JPG copies of your album pages. Go to “File > Export” and tell InDesign to make maximum quality JPG copies of all your pages.  These are what you'll upload to your printer.

See How Here





A General Understanding of

How InDesign Works

When you add images to your album pages, InDesign "links" to your original full sized images, it doesn't actually import your images into the software like Photoshop does. What this means is that if you change the location of an image on your computer or if you change the file name of an image that you've added to a template page, InDesign will get confused and you will have to tell it where to find that image that's been changed.  For this reason, we don't recommend renaming or moving your images while building your album pages.


InDesign also gives you the option to right click on an image that you've added to a template page to open the image in Photoshop so that you can make changes to the image (such as color correction or converting it to black and white) – just know that if you use that feature, you will be making permanent changes to your original image file.  (so if you convert your original color image to black & white, you will no longer have a color version of that image)


Don't worry!  We're going to show you exactly how you can safely do these things.  :)


First Thing First - Getting Set Up


Before opening any documents, go into your menu under Preferences, and choose Display Performance. Under "Default View" and also under "Adjust View Settings", change it to "High Quality". Normally InDesign would show a "quick preview", pixelated view of your images – but I bet you'd like to see a more beautiful high quality preview of those gorgeous pictures.  Bam!  We just made that happen!


While you're in there, you may also want to go to "Units & Increments", then under "Ruler Units" change both the horizontal and vertical to "Inches" - because who in the heck measures by picas?!?  Crazy.

OKAY!  Let's open up a template!  I like to take a second to get my workspace set up . . .



(1)  I like to "scrunch" up the main document window so that it doesn't take up the entire screen.  Zoom in/out on your pages until everything looks the way you want.


(2)  Now since we scrunched up the document window, we have space to position a window of the folder of images we want to use.  So open up the folder that contains your images for this album and resize it to fit within that extra space. (you can also use bridge if you like, but I prefer just to use drag my images from my computers regular folder system.)


Those pretty purple/pink lines you see going around the edge of the page are the "trim lines" - that is where the printer will trim the page after printing.  Make sure nothing super important falls outside those lines . . . but if you want your image to print to the edge of the printed page, you MUST extend your image past that purple/pink line, all the way to the black line, which indicates the edge of the page. The Blue edge lines on WHCC templates are the "safety" lines.

...but I prefer not to see pink lines the entire time I'm putting together an album.  If you feel the same way, just press the "w" key on your keyboard, this puts you into "preview" mode and the ugly lines will go away.

*** Press "w" Again to Make the Ugly Lines Come Back ***

ahhhh, better!

Now before we do anything, let's save this bad boy.


The templates will always open as "Untitled" (this way you never accidentally save over the original pre-set up templates).  I suggest saving the file somewhere handy like your Desktop, and naming the file with your clients name, and the suffix "– Working" at the end. This way you'll know this is your "working" book/album file - not the final to be ordered from the printer.  (explain this later)


Time to Add Some Pretty Pictures!


This is the super fun, and super easy part.  Just drag an image from the folder of your images over to a "window" on the template.  Really, that's it.  Do it.  You'll see.  And if you don't like the way that image looks, just drag another one over to the same spot.  Really.  Try it.

Ahhhh, but what if I want the picture to be larger within the frame?


No problem-o . . . hover the mouse somewhere over the center of the image, and you'll see a strange circle icon appear.  When you click on that circle, the outlines of your image will appear in orange. (you can also just double click on the image until you see the orange outlines)  Now drag from one of the four orange corners (holding down the shift key while you drag to keep the photo in proportion) to resize the image.

orange image outline

circle icon

Hey, I want to try that image in black & white!  Didn't you say there was a safe way to do that?


Select the image that you want to edit in your folder of images, make a copy of it, then open the copy in Photoshop and make your adjustments.


In this example we converted our copy to black & white, then just dragged the black & white version into the template page where the color one used to be.  Lovely!


Pre-Press:  Make it Print Perfectly!


Okay, I've added all my pictures and it looks GREAT!  Now what???



Well now we're going to enter the stage we call Pre-Press which doesn't sound super exciting, but this is the part where you will prepare this album to SHINE!  We're going to do a few simple (yet necessary) steps to assure that your book/album prints beautifully.

First let's take a sec to learn something about InDesign.  InDesign uses the "link" system (much like Lightroom), which means each image you just added to the templates is "linked" back to the full size original on your computer.  If you were to make any changes to the images in the album, you would be changing the original full size image on your computer.  Well, we don't want to do that.  Let's let originals be what they're supposed to be - original and untouched.


InDesign is awesome and helps us out with this - it allows us to create a whole separate "Package" that contains everything we need just for this album document.  It will create a folder that contains the InDesign file, a perfect copy of every image you used in that album layout, and the font files you used as well.  Pretty cool right?  CC 2014 will also make a cute little PDF of your entire album that you can email to your client for approval if you'd like it to.  Nice, right?  So let's get to it...


After adding all your images to the album, go in your menu to File > Package

These little guys will pop up, just click "Package" & "Continue"....

...and finally we reach the Package screen.





Change the name of the folder to something reasonable.



Choose where you want this important folder of all your album files to be saved - I recommend saving it to your desktop for easy reach until your album is all finished and ordered from the printer.



Check first three boxes.



If you're using CC 2014, you have the option to have InDesign make a PDF of your album pages. You can also choose the quality/file size of that PDF.  (we have "Smallest File Size" selected so that it can be sent by email to a client for proofing)


Now click "Package".


When InDesign is finished making

your Package, close your open InDesign file.


If your album design has any text, you will get this font "copyright" warning.  Since you will

not be sending the actual font files to your printer, you don't need to worry about this.

In fact, feel free to check the "Don't show again" box.

So, now you have this awesome, organized folder full of everything you need for your album.  It contains the fonts you used, the InDesign file, and all the photos that were used in that album.  (the photos are inside that folder called "Links") There's also an "Instructions.txt" file full of boring stuff, I pay no attention to that whatsoever.


Oh, and if you're lucky enough to have CC 2014, you also have a cute little PDF of your album pages.

(if you chose to have InDesign make it)

Now that you have this handy dandy folder with everything you need all packaged up together, you can delete that first "Working" InDesign file that's probably sitting on your desktop all by itself. You no longer need it, InDesign created a new one for you and put it in your folder.  You can also rename that brand new InDesign file if you'd like - I try to remember to erase the "–Working" text off the file name.  That way I know that I'm working with the final album design file.


IMPORTANT STEP:  Resolution Check!


Now we're at the most important step. It's time to make sure all of the images we added to and upsized in the album are set to a print-friendly resolution of 300 or above.  When adding images as smart objects to album templates in Photoshop, if you resize an image to where it's larger than the size it came out of camera, Photoshop automatically does all the calculations for you and "upsamples" that image in the best way for you. Photoshop is awesome at image stuff, that's what it does.  InDesign is awesome at layout and ease-of-use . . . not so much at upsampling images.  So we're going to let Photoshop do that part for us.  Here's what to do:



(1)  Open your shiny new album InDesign file, (the one that was created during the "Package" process), then open your "Links" panel by going in your menu to Window > Links


(2)  Click the "flyout" tab and choose "Panel Options"

Now you need to check the box next to "Effective PPI" and click "OK".

What we just did was add some important information to our Links panel . . . you'll notice a new row of numbers going down the right side of the panel.  Those numbers are the resolution for each image in your album depending on what size your image is within the album.  Most of your images will likely be 300 or above and will need nothing done . . . but on pages where there are large "feature" images, your "effective resolution" will be less than the desired 300dpi.


(in the example below, we have 5 images that need some attention)

The blue numbers are telling you which page each image is located.

Here's how to fix it:

(1) If you click the blue number next to an image that needs to be taken up to 300dpi, InDesign will pop you straight to the page that image is on, and it will also select the image for you.  So sweet!


(2)  Make a note of the size that image appears in your album.  You can find this information in the upper left corner of your options bar.  (see below)  The image we're looking at here appears to be sized at 8.3476 x 12.5097, which is approximately 9 more numbers than I want to remember, so let's just round up and say that the image is 8.5 inches wide.


(3)  Now you can right click on the image and choose "Edit With", then choose your Photoshop version. (or if your computer is set up to open all images in Photoshop automatically, right click and choose "Edit Original".


Your image will now open in Photoshop.

If you click on the blue page number next to one of the images that needs to be raised to over 300dpi, InDesign will not only take you right to the page, but it will also go ahead and select the image for you.


(1)  Take note of the size of the image as you have it in the template - you can see the size listed in the upper left side of your screen, up in the options bar. Our image appears to be 8.3472 x 12.5086, which is a CRAZY number that I don't want to have to remember - so I'm going to just say its 8.5 wide.  (as long as you choose a number higher than the size of your image, you're good)


(2)  Next you can right click on the image and choose "Edit With > Choose your Photoshop version. (or if you're computer is set up to open all images in Photoshop automatically, you can just choose "Edit Original")

Now your image will open in Photoshop.






Now that your image is open in Photoshop, go in your menu to Image > Image Size to open the Image Size box.


Remember that number we were supposed to make note of? (the size of the image in the our example it was 8.5 inches wide...)  Go ahead and resize your image so it's the size it appears in the album, at 300 dpi.  You can also do any retouching work at this stage if you'd like.  Flatten the image if needed, save and close.

When you pop back to InDesign, the photo will update itself automatically, and if you look in your "Links" panel, you will see that your image now lists at 300 or more.  That one is a go for print!  :D

Yay! It's 300 now!

Continue doing this for any image that is under 300dpi in your Links panel.

All done?  Woo Hoo!  Almost finished!


FINAL STEP: Make JPG Copies to Upload to Your Printer


Now it's time to make the high quality .jpg copies of your page spreads to upload to your printer.

Unlike when you made your "package", InDesign doesn't make a new folder for you this time . . . so you'll want to create a new folder to hold all these beautiful .jpg files.  I suggest calling it "Client Name Album - JPGS".


(1)  Go in your menu to File > Export


(2)  Tell your computer where you want the .jpgs saved to. (remember the new folder you just made?)


(3)  I suggest changing the "Save As" name to "Client Name_"  (be sure to put the underscore after the client name).  This is because when InDesign creates all the page .jpg files, it will add a number to the end of each file.   This way your .jpgs will all be named something sensible like "Thompson_1", "Thompson_2", "Thompson_3", etc.


(4)  Choose "JPEG" in the Format drop down menu, then click "Save".



Next copy all of our selections below.

• Check "All"


• Check "Spreads"


• Quality: Maximum


• Format: Baseline


• Resolution: 300


• Color Space: RGB


• Options: Check the first 3 boxes.

Now Click "Export" and go grab a coffee, check your facebook, whatever . . . InDesign will take a minute to create all those gorgeous high quality .jpg copies of your pages.  When it's done, you can find all your .jpg copies waiting for you in that new JPGS folder that you created.

Now head to your printers site and order that beauty!!




Adding Multiple Photos at Once

In your menu, go to File > Place.  Select the images that you want to add to your album pages.

(select multiple images by holding down your "command" key on mac or "control" key on PC and clicking each image you want included.)







Click "Open", wait for the images to load, then while holding down your Option/Alt key, click on each window that you want to add the images to. You can use your arrow keys to "scroll" through the thumbnail images attached to the cursor if you want to place an images in a different order than they appear in the cursor.



Changing Background to Black

Open your "Pages" panel by going in your menu to Window > Pages.  Literally drag the black rectangle at the top of the panel ("B-Master") on top of any page you wish to have a black background.


If you'd like to turn ALL page backgrounds black, select all the page spreads in the "Pages" panel, right click within the panel and choose "Apply Master to Pages...", then select "B-Master" from the drop-down menu. Click "OK".






A Cool Way to Alter Sizes of Widows

Without Affecting Image Spacing

(The "Gap" Tool)

CHEERS to one of the coolest tools in InDesign:   The Gap Tool


Easily change the size of image windows without destroying the beautiful & perfect spacing by selecting the "Gap" tool             in the tool palette, then hover your mouse between two images, click and drag.  AWESOME!





"Print Preview" on WHCC Covers

Don't ya just love preview layers?!?  With the big required "wrap area" on album covers, it's sometimes hard to visualize where the "wrap" will actually happen and get your image placed just right.


Not anymore!  With any cover template file open, open your "Layers" panel by going to Window > Layers then you can turn on and off the red "Preview" layer and it will show you approximately how the cover will look once it's been printed.  Cool!


Just be sure to turn that Preview layer OFF before making your JPG copy to send to the printer!!!!!




Due to the digital nature of our products, no refunds can be given.  Please email with any questions prior to purchase.

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