1. Overview of InDesign Work Area, Menus, Palettes
- Work Area, Tools, Palettes
A basic introduction that covers the Menu bar, Control Palette, Tools Palette, and Contextual Menus in InDesign. From About.com
- InDesign CS4 Interface
Overview of applications bar, frame edges on and off, screen modes from Layers Magazine.
- View Menu Items in Alphabetical Order in InDesign
A tip from Adobe Photoshop Secrets can make it easier to find items in a jumble of menu items.
2. Identifying and Using the InDesign Tools
- The Tools, Part 1
From About.com, multiple tutorials cover how to find and use the:
- The Tools, Part 2
From About.com, multiple tutorials cover how to use a variety of essential tools and palettes:
- Rotate, Scale, Shear, Free Transform Tools
- Eyedropper and Measure Tools
- Gradient Tool and Gradient Palette
- Button Tool
- Scissors Tool
- Hand Tool
- Zoom Tool
An About.com article sets out the options for using the zoom tool in InDesign including from the Tools palette, keyboard commands, and using the magnification menu.
- The Color Tools
From About.com, tutorials on the:
- Quick Masking With the Pen Tool
In this brief vector tuts+ tutorial learn how to mask an object (isolate it from its background) using the pen tool.
- Using the Pen Tool in InDesign
An About.com video demonstrates how to create and change shapes and curves using the Pen tool and the fly-out Pen tools.
- Tool Hints in InDesign CS5
A.J. Wood has a short video at Layers Magazine showing how to use tool hints when you need a quick reminder about what a tool is and how to access it. He demonstrates with the Gap Tool.
- The Gap Tool in CS5
James Andrews, writing for vector tuts+ demonstrates the use of the gap tool to space out images in a layout.
- InDesign CS5 Gap Tool
In a 7 minute Layers Magazine video, Jeff Witchel shows the use of the gap tool. Includes use of a script to make a grid and frame fitting options.
From About.com. Very similar to the tools in Photoshop and Illustrator, you don't have to leave your page layout program to dress up your headlines if you use the Bevel and Emboss effects or Drop Shadow, Inner Shadow, Outer Glow, or Inner Glow effects alone or in combination. This tutorial shows you how these effects work and some of the looks you can achieve.
From About.com. Similar but less fancy than the shapes in Photoshop or Illustrator, you can still create some nice polygon shapes with Adobe InDesign. And once you understand the settings, it's easy to turn those polygons into all kinds of useful star shapes. This tutorial covers basic polygon frames and shapes, how to make stars, and how to do some simple manipulation of your stars to make them more interesting and useful.
From About.com. No need to crank up Illustrator when you can do quite a bit of vector drawing right in Adobe InDesign. Create the illustration for a 60s-inspired ad layout using the shape tools and some simple editing. This tutorial shows you how to turn stars, rectangles, ellipses, and polygons into a lava lamp, flowers, and a simple map.
From About.com. Dress up the corners of your rectangles and polygons and create all kinds of interesting new shapes using the Corner Effects found in most versions of InDesign. This tutorial covers CS4 with notes on some of the changes that came along in CS5.