So you’ve just been tasked with starting a company newspaper, or it’s on you to whip up a student newspaper project: where carry out you start? Of course you could always effect something from scratch, creating your own InDesign project and going from there, but if (like me) you are not used to working with InDesign, you might want to examine at a quicker way to secure your newspaper up and running that involves cramped more than just editing a few options here and there and placing in your own content. Why re-invent the wheel?
Save Time with InDesign Templates
What seems like a hugely daunting task on paper can actually be quite a straightforward process as long as you effect expend of pre-made InDesign templates, so today I’ll be able to walk you through some of the basic and common steps required to pick a newspaper template and fine-tune it that cramped bit to effect it your own. There isn’t much to it, as the hard work is done for you with the templates, but I’ll focus on the common first steps involved in quickly changing out content for your own and making some small style tweaks and you’ll pick up some InDesign basics along the way.
Finding Newspaper Templates
There are a number of different apps that you could work in to create a print-ready newspaper, but as InDesign is the industry leader for print projects such as this, we will focus solely on newspaper Templates made for InDesign. Most templates advance packed full of different grid based layouts, all created with a consistent style throughout and typographic system in space, essentially meaning you maintain all of the building blocks to quickly piece together a finished newspaper of your own.
When looking for a template to work with you usually maintain to effect certain sacrifices, as it’s unlikely that you’ll find something that resembles exactly what you had in mind. Instead, you want to examine for the template that is the closest to what you need, and then be prepared to effect the small changes needed to effect it your own and bring it to where you need it. For my purpose of creating this very article, I used this Newspaper Bundle by Omega Labs which you will see in expend throughout this walkthrough as it included 4 different newspapers in one package, giving me a few options as a starting point. A quick search on Creative Market shows hundreds of potential other InDesign Newspaper Templates for you to browse through, or you can maintain a examine through this quick collection of handpicked templates I keep together to support you along.
space & Fit Images
One of the most common tasks you’ll be doing when working with newspaper templates in InDesign is ‘placing’ images. Assuming your template comes with placeholders, or frames as they are known in InDesign, this can be done a couple of different ways and couldn’t be easier. The concept of frames has been fraction of InDesign for some time and recently has made it’s way into other Adobe apps too.
space an Individual Image
To space an individual image, simply select an image then journey to File → space… or by hitting CMD + D on your Keyboard, or CTRL + D on Windows, this will replace the selected placeholder with your fresh image. The best thing about placing images inside frames is that you don’t maintain to worry about aligning or cropping the image, the frame template does that for you.
space Multiple Images
If you are want to space multiple images all at once you just need to effect sure you maintain nothing selected and then journey to File → space… once again. This time however, you can select multiple images all at once then press okay. InDesign has a very awesome way of placing multiple images into image frames all at once, essentially the whole stack of images you selected are keep under your cursor and you are asked to point click to paste the top image exactly where you want it. This makes replacing lots of images in large documents incredibly hastily.
Fit Your Images
To effect sure your placed image fit their frame in the best way possible it’s a remarkable notion to Object → Fitting → Fit Frame Proportionally… with the image(s) you want to fix selected. This will crop, zoom and re-size the image automatically so that it best fills the frame you selected. Other options are available for you to play with, but in my quick time experimenting this seems to work best 90% of the time, and manual adjustments can be made afterwards to perfect the placement. You can always find these Fitting options in the properties panel on the moral of InDesign when your image is selected.
Image Performance Tip
If you are working with lots of pages / images you might find it useful to lower the preview quality of the images in your document to increase your performance when editing. To carry out this, simply moral Click an image and journey to → Display Performance → Typical Display…
Or you can set all images to display like this by default by going to InDesign > Preferences then journey to the Display Performance panel and changing the default view to Typical.
Black & White Images
One of the first things you’ll notice about InDesign is that you don’t really maintain the same set of tools for editing images and such, and that’s okay, it’s a remarkable notion to prepare and edit images in advance using other tools before importing them into InDesign, but here’s a quick trick I found to quickly apply an easy Black & White effect to your photos…
1. Select your image and Copy it, then journey to Edit → Paste in space… this will create an exact copy of your image and placeholder moral on top of the image.
2. Next you want to click the image on top, which should exhibit a circle in the center of the frame, indicating that you maintain the image inside of the frame selected, with this you delete the top image (backspace, or delete key) – leaving just the frame, to the exact dimensions of the image below.
3. In the shape properties you can change the Fill colour to black.
4. moral Click this black shape journey to Effects → Transparency.
5. examine for Blend Mode and change this to “Colour” and delight in your fresh B&W image. (If you want to remove the effect at any time, just remove the black shape overlay to reveal the full colour image below.
Text Layout & Styles
Text Frames & Columns
When it comes to editing text it’s necessary to know that just like with images, text lives inside of ‘frames’ in InDesign too. Essentially you maintain a block of text to start with, then you can control how your columns, spacing, and baseline are all set up by selecting a text frame and going to Object → Text Frame Options or by hitting CMD + B on your keyboard or CTRL + B on Windows. Once there the most common edit you’ll likely effect is to simply change the number of columns. Be sure to turn on ‘Preview’ to see your changes live too.
When it comes to your styling your actual text, your main tasks will descend into two categories… Paragraph Styles and Character Styles. People often confuse the two, or skip one out of their process all together, but your InDesign life becomes easier once you pick up and understand the contrast.
Paragraph Styles give you control the overall examine of entire blocks of text, essentially this is where you set up the main body style for the text frame(s) you maintain selected. You can of-course create multiple paragraph styles, and most templates advance with a number of paragraph styles available for you moral out of the box.
Character styles on the other hand are used to define individual parts within your paragraph such as titles, headings, bold text, colours, callouts or more — this allows you to define a flexible, re-usable type system that will support support your text consistent across a lot of pages. You can define a number of different styles to re-expend throughout your document.
Quick timelapse demonstrating Character Styles presets being used to quickly change text styles
When working with an existing newspaper template, there’s a remarkable chance your Paragraph styles & Character Styles are already defined for you, so it’s necessary to understand that you can journey in and edit these styles and maintain them apply to all instances throughout the whole document all at once. This saves you having to journey though lots of pages editing text frames individually over and over. To browse and edit existing styles you just need to Choose Type > Character Styles or Choose Type > Paragraph Styles from your menu and double clicking the style you wish to edit.
If there are no styles set, you can create re-usable styles yourself using the content that is already in your template, select the text from a title for example, then head over to Window > Styles > Character Styles and hit Create fresh Style from the panel of options, then simply re-name to “Title” for example. Setting up these re-usable styles will save you a lot of time when making sizable changes to your design in the future.
I’ve took the time to keep together a growing collection of Newspaper templates for InDesign that would be an ideal starting point for following along the pointers in this article, check out the Collection here or browse some of my favourites below.
Hopefully with these resources and tips you’ll maintain a much better notion of how to secure going with your upcoming newspaper project.
If you are looking to dive deeper into the capabilities of InDesign I highly recommend you check out the articles on InDesignSecrets to fine tune your publishing design skills, or if you are after more templates quick jump to the InDesign Templates available here on Creative Market.
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