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Over the following steps, we’ll show you how to design a simple text-focused book using InDesign, which is part of Adobe’s Creative Cloud software. However, this process can also be applied to more dynamic layouts, as it covers the basics of flowing in and formatting text for a book layout. Looking for type inspiration before you start? Take a look at our roundup of perfect font pairings.

Steps

  1. Plan the layout
  2. Set properties
  3. Drag guides
  4. Create text boxes
  5. Link pages
  6. Page numbers
  7. Populate opening pages
  8. Flow in text
  9. Adjust font
  10. Tidy up

1. Plan the layout

a. Plan your book layout first.

  • Table of contents.
  • Copyright page.
  • Introductions.
  • Preface.
  • Forewords.
  • Ect

Note: If you’re uncertain, ask your client or refer to books already in print to see what the standard is.

b. Avoid formatted text distracts readers

Make sure the text you receive is supplied without hard formatting, otherwise you might spend a lot of time stripping out italics, bold, and so on – over-formatted text distracts readers.

c. Now open InDesign and go to ‘File > New Document’. 

2.Set properties

a.Set your document properties.

  • Choose Facing Pages,
  • set the trim size and margins
  • set the columns to one.

Note: Pay attention to the inside margin is when your book is bound at the spine it will take in some of this paper. We suggest inside margins of at least 1 inch. 

b working with inches

  • – ctrl+right-click on the ruler to change the units you work in.
  • Deselect the lock icon in your margin settings so you can set each – top, bottom,
  • inside and outside – individually.

3.Drag guides

You can drag guides for your layout of the rulers,

  • just click and pull down or across.
  • Use the Pages panel to see your layout in thumbnails and to access and apply master page items.
  • To do this, click on the A-Master icon at the top of the Pages panel.

4.Create text boxes

Once you access your master page, you can create text boxes to fit your margins as well as set up any page elements like page numbers and folio items.

Whatever you do on your master pages will be applied throughout the rest of the document. 

Create two text boxes using your Type tool and position them within your margins.

5.Link pages

use your Direct Selection tool.

  • select the text box on the left.
  • to locate the small square in the lower-right corner.
  • Click this and you will see your cursor change to a text flow icon. 

With this text flow cursor icon,

click on the right-hand text box and see the cursor change to a link cursor icon.

This enables your document pages to link from page to page as you flow your text in

6.Page numbers

automated page numbering

by making a text box and typing in a number wherever you want page numbers to appear in your layout. Select the number you typed, 

  • ctrl/right-click on it,
  • the pop-up menu that appears select ‘Insert special characters > Markers > Current page numbers’. 

You will see the number change to the letter A.

This signifies that your page numbers are now applied to all your pages.

7.Populate opening pages

Click on the first page of your document in the Pages panel and you’ll see the items you created on your master pages have been applied.

The first page is typically a ‘half title’ page, typically followed by a full title page with the subtitles and name of the author and publishing house.

06. Page numbers

You can automate page numbering by making a text box and typing in a number wherever you want page numbers to appear in your layout. Select the number you typed, ctrl/right-click on it, and from the pop-up menu that appears select ‘Insert special characters > Markers > Current page numbers’. 

You will see the number change to the letter A. This signifies that your page numbers are now applied to all your pages.

07. Populate opening pages

Now, click on the first page of your document in the Pages panel and you’ll see the items you created on your master pages have been applied. The first page is typically a ‘half title’ page, typically followed by a full title page with the subtitles and the name of the author and publishing house. 

8.Flow in text

Now flow in the text.

  •  cmd/ctrl+Shift+click on the first text box
  • then press cmd/ctrl+D 
  • select the text file on your hard disk.
  • Your text will flow into the first spread. 

Select the second text box and click on the small box at the lower right corner.

  • Hold Shift and it turns into an Auto-flow cursor icon.
  • Click in the first text box on the next spread
  • flow it into the end of the document.

9.Adjust font

  • Using your Text Selection tool and Character and Paragraph panels,
  • adjust the font, size, color, and other character attributes that may be needed.
  • Justified text is common for book body text. Your font size should be 10-12pt, with a leading 13-15pt. 

10.Tidy up

You can use a variety of text treatments on your page, as well as import images to help your text flow. You can import images into as many different shaped boxes as you want.


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