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Creating new documents is one of InDesign’s most straight-forward procedures. In the New Document dialog box (see Figure 14-1), you can define your document’s specifications, including orientation (portrait or landscape), page size (from 1/6-inch per side to a maximum size of 18-feet per side), size of margins, and number of columns. The Master Text Frame feature is just like the Automatic Text Box checkbox in XPress: It creates a text frame within the margins of the master page. InDesign also lets you enter a number of pages (XPress doesn’t let you do this, but PageMaker does). Your documents can be up to 9,999 pages long, for those of you who are counting.

Then, you can click the More Options button to set the following values:

  • Bleed. This defines the distance outside the page area that is used for objects that print all of the way to the edge of a document. Bleed guides are automatically created around the perimeter of your page when you enter these values.

  • Slug. To specify an area outside of the printed document where specific printing and production information is placed, such as a job number, you can enter a Slug value. As with Bleed values, guides are automatically created around the perimeter of your page when you enter these values.

Once you set up the New Document dialog box just the way you want it, consider clicking Save Preset so that you can get back to the same values in the future.

You can also bypass the entire New Document dialog box by typing Command-Option-N/Ctrl-Alt-N. In this case, InDesign creates a document using the last-used document preset you chose.

Default Page Sizes

You can easily customize the default page size by closing any InDesign documents and choosing File, Document Setup. Use the Document Setup window to enter the default page size, bleed, slug and number of pages. The next time you go to create a new document, the values you entered in the Document Setup window will be used. Similarly, when no documents are open, you can choose Margins and Columns from the Margins menu and set the default Margin and Column values.

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