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InDesign for Photographers

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InDesign and Photoshop have a lot of very similar features, but InDesign is really geared toward creating multi-page documents. If you want to have a go at designing and creating your own photography portfolio, there should be nothing stopping you from doing it with InDesign CS3. Mike McHugh tells you why you should get out of your comfort zone in Photoshop and try your hand at using another great component of the Adobe Creative Suite.
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It’s hard to believe, but InDesign CS3 does do some things better than the mighty Photoshop does. If a photographer wants to design an album, a template, or even a portfolio of some description, InDesign is the best product in the Adobe Creative Suite to go with. If you are worried about how InDesign handles color, don’t be. InDesign CS3 has the exact same color management setup as Photoshop CS3 and indeed, you can synchronize your Creative Suite color settings using Adobe Bridge CS3. Any images will experience a smooth transition from Photoshop to InDesign, and then on to print, to the Internet, or even to a multi-page .PDF.

You can use InDesign to create a template that a photographer can use to easily load images into and update at the drag and drop of a hat.

So get out of your comfort zone in Photoshop and try your hand at another great component in the Adobe Creative Suite.

1. Set Up the InDesign Document

You’ll create a portfolio type document, so you want it to be 1024 x 768 pixels. However, you don’t have the choice of working in pixels in InDesign. Instead, you can use points (see the New Document dialog box shown in Figure 1). Points work out the same as pixels at 72ppi in Photoshop. To better fit a majority of full-size landscape format images, you’ll create a wide landscape format document.

There is no real need to create a facing pages document at this point unless you want to create a book, in which you need to create different layouts to suit left and right pages. It’s a great time to set some margins for your document. Later on, you can create a grid that fits inside the margins.

If you like your layout to be a little less structured (think anarchy), don’t worry. Make the number of pages 10, so that there is plenty of room to add images. (Of course, if you want to add or delete pages from the document later on, it’s easy to do.)

Figure 1

Figure 1 Create a new document in InDesign to suit your onscreen display.

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