The first chapter of Book Design Made Simple explains why you’ll find it worthwhile to learn InDesign. We discuss the differences between using Microsoft Word and Adobe InDesign, and invite you to enjoy the amount of control you’ll suddenly have over the way your words look. You’re gonna love it!
The following excerpt from chapter 1, From Word to InDesign, gives you the idea.
From Word to InDesign
You’ll soon discover that designing a book is nothing like writing a book, for you’ll be more concerned with the way the words look than what they say. In general, InDesign cannot be thought of as any kind of word processing program. It is more like a drawing program in which you make shapes and then pour text into the shapes. And once you’ve done that, you can control every little thing about the type: the size, the amount of space between lines and between letters, the number of lines on a page, and so on.
Most likely you’ve written your book in Microsoft Word, and are familiar with how Word works. In Word, you begin at the top of your document and work downward in a linear fashion. Pre-made styles are available for titles and paragraphs, and are applied simply by selecting them.
Learn InDesign to gain control
InDesign allows you much more control over the different elements in your book, both on a large scale (for example, the overall size of your pages), right down to a very small scale (such as the amount of space surrounding a single letter).
How are the decisions you make carried out globally in your book? Well, that’s where InDesign really shines!
Any large-scale changes (such as changes to your trim size or margins) are made on a parent page (previously called master page) that controls all other pages. When you make a large-scale change on a parent page, all other pages in your book will change too.
For smaller-level changes, InDesign has a system of styles, including paragraph styles, character styles, object styles, table of contents styles, and so on. Each style includes detailed specifications for the appearance of one element.
From writer to designer
We truly hope that you find enjoyment and satisfaction in making the transition from writer to designer. By the time you finish the next two chapters of this book, you will have Adobe InDesign, Adobe Photoshop, and Adobe Acrobat on your computer. InDesign is the most popular design software in the graphics and publishing fields. Combining InDesign with the other two programs, you will have everything you’ll need to complete your book project and get it off to the printer and your ebook conversion provider. And then when you’re finished, you can remove the programs from your computer and end your lease agreement.
Need more info about book design, InDesign, and publishing? Our website, book, videos, and blog cover every aspect of how to design and publish a book, whether you’re already an experienced book designer or a complete novice. Download chapters 1 through 9 of the book by subscribing to our blog—simply fill in the form below, and click the Join Us! button.
Book Design Made Simple. You can do it yourself.