Adobe InDesign Setting/Modifying Columns, Gutters, Margins & Guides

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“The purpose of this video is to show you how to set up your file file in a little bit more detail this all in anticipation of you starting to your layout. So what i want to talk about is how to set up your columns how to set up the space between your columns. Which are called gutters and then how to set up your margins and then once we ve done that i want to show you how you can modify those very easily within the document. So here we are in the new document window you ll notice that it is currently set to letter sized vertical.

The unit of measurement is inches down here you ll see this currently has 4 pages. But i m going to change that i m going to make that be 3 pages. And then here s the question do i want facing pages or not so we ll come back to that the start page. We ll assume i do so i ll make the start page page.

1. And then we re down to this bottom. Part. Which i glossed over in the earlier video.

So how many columns do you want well good question. We re going to start with 2 and then the gutter. The column gutter the space between the columns well generally i like to start at around a quarter of an inch. You want to be very careful that you don t get your columns too close.

Together. Otherwise. The reader may read across from one column right into the next column. When they re i should be going down to the next line so quarter of an inch is generally gonna work pretty well and we can again we can adjust this easily in the document.

If we change our mind okay down here to margins and so you ll notice that what we have are four margins to set the top the bottom the inside and the outside well that s a little weird. What does that mean oh that has to do with the facing pages. So i m going to turn off facing pages for a minute and then you ll see that this changes to be something you might expect top bottom left right and that makes total sense if dealing with just a single page. But when you re dealing with facing pages.


Then you lose that context of left and right because it depends whether it s a left or a right page. So if i turn facing pages back on and get the inside outside back. Then i can go ahead and set those now before i set any of these though you ll notice that they are currently all at half an inch. I don t want them to all be the same i want them to be different.

So you ll notice over here to the right of those measurements is this little link symbol. So i need to make sure i uncheck that otherwise when i change one they all will change so i m going to unlink that so now i can set them individually. So the top. I want to set to 3 4.

Of an inch the bottom. I want to set two point three point three seven five and then the inside and the outside. I ll start with the outside the outside. I m going to make that be point six to five.

So that s already set that s good now the inside. You might think oh do you just want to set that to be the same. But no look at how the two pages look next to each other and that space in between them. So if you make equal space for the inside margin.

When you put two pages together. You re gonna have a gigantic gap and so general rule. I tend to make this not half necessarily. But just a little bit more than.

Half so i m going to set that to 0375 okay and at this point. We are done i m going to click ok. And there is our page. One and here are pages two and three so let me show you a trick.


If you hold the space bar. It will give you the grab hand. So you can t have the type tool active when you do this. But any other tool.

If you press down the space bar. It will give you a little grabby and you can drag your pages around that s a really nice way to position things and to move around so page 1 pages 2 3. And so again these are the inside margins outside margin. There s the gutter and of course the bottom and the top margins okay so we ve got this all set up and then we go oh my god what ever.

I was supposed to have three columns and those margins. They look funky to me so here s the thing no big deal we can fix that so i m going to scroll back up to the first page here and then you may think we re gonna go back to that document setup box under the file menu. But we are not we are gonna go to the layout menu. Which makes sense right and then i m going to pull down to margins and columns that will give us this groovy little window there and you ll see they re all the margins.

We set there s the columns the gutter so we just need to change these to be what we want them to be you ll note the preview button is checked so we can see our changes as we make them so. The first thing. I want to do is give myself three columns and just like that we have three columns. I also decided i d like a little more room at the top.

So i m gonna make the top be one inch. So we have room for a headline up there bottom. That s maybe a little bit small so let s bring that up just a touch inside and outside still seem about right to me so i m gonna leave them alone and then the gutter that also seems about right to me so i m going to leave that alone as well and then i click okay and just like that my margins and columns have been changed so i m gonna scroll down here to see pages two and three and i m going to notice that something weird is going on here because i ve got the three columns here. But i only have i have my original two columns here and i can tell the margins.

Didn t change either so. What the heck is going on with that so i m going to open up the pages window to see if that gives me a clue and sure enough it does so what i should have done if i wanted to change all. Three pages is in the pages window here. I could hold the shift key and i could mark all of the pages and then all of those pages would change.


But let me show you something there will be a whole nother video on this on master pages. So i m going to show you this now just because it s a much easier way to change the columns and margins on all the pages at once. So i m going to see down here. Now i have my masters at the bottom yours may be at the top.

But i m going to go over here and see a master okay what does that mean well. If you look at the pages. Here. You ll see that there s a little a in the upper corner of each of those pages.

Well. What that means is the a master has been applied so when you open up a new file indesign automatically makes an a master page and it automatically applies it to all of the pages that you start with now you can add more master pages and have them be different from each other we ll get to that in the other video for now. Let s just modify the a master to be what we want it to be so i m going to double click on those two pages. And you ll notice that down here.

Where it normally tells me the page number. It s now saying a master. So i know i m in the right place. But again with this i need to make sure i change both pages at the same time so i m going to shift click to make sure both of those master pages are active then i can close this so you can see a little bit better and then we do exactly the same thing.

We go up to the margins and columns under the layout menu and we make all the same changes. So i m going to make that be three columns. I m going to make my top be one inch. I m gonna make my bottom b just a little bit higher up i left these the same i left this the same so i believe we re all good now and that i can just click ok.

Now if i go back to the pages menu. That s all well and good the master page has changed. But did it change the actual pages. So i m going to double click on pages 2 3.


You ll see it the down here at the bottom it says page. 3. So i know i m in the right place. And sure enough that change has now been applied to all of the pages.

Okay last thing and this is pretty much a pick up from illustrator. But you ll notice the rulers are showing if for some reason. The rulers aren t showing and then you can get them from the view menu right here the keystroke for that is command r. Which toggles them on and off.

And then if you want an extra guide in here well. Then you can just drag. Those guides right in to position maybe. Something within a column or to measure the distance of something say you want to inset poteau.

Right here. And you want it to be a specific size you can pull a guide in so. That you can use that as a guide to size the picture okay so smart guides smart guides work exactly the same way as they do an illustrator and photoshop so i won t cover that again. But i just want to show you that under the view menu.

If you pull down to grids guides. There are smart guides and you can turn them on and off their keystroke for that is command u. And that is true in illustrator and photoshop as well and so that pretty much ends. This video in the next one we are going to start getting some type into these columns and that s when the ” .


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