InDesign is the Devil: Formatting Booklets/Mini Comics | Lisa Naffziger | Skillshare

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InDesign is the Devil: Formatting Booklets/Mini Comics

teacher avatar Lisa Naffziger, Cartoonist & Illustrator

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

5 Lessons (21m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Document Settings

    • 3. Placing Images

    • 4. Breaking the Spine

    • 5. Print that PDF!

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About This Class



You've drawn a comic or put together a book--woohoo! 

But now it's time to format it for print. Aw, crap.

Never fear! I'm here to help you deal with a devil called Adobe InDesign. Watch the videos to learn how to set up a booklet document and prepare it for print.

Meet Your Teacher

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Lisa Naffziger

Cartoonist & Illustrator


Studied Sequential Art at SCAD (grad 2014). Comic artist, children's book illustrator, dinosaur enthusiast.

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1. Introduction: what's going on today? I'm gonna teach you how to form out of many comic and in design. Notice how I didn't say make one. So I'm not going to assemble it physically or show you have a dry I'm going over the in design stuff, which, Yeah, that part's not fun. But, um, I have finally learned a technique that works well for me, and I've had a lot of success when I have done printing So anyway, that I can help other people I would love to. So in this video, Siri's I will show you how Teoh I'll have some suggestions about file types. I'll show you what it looks like when you start placing in the images. And I do have a lot of suggestions when it comes to exporting a pdf to have ready for printing so you can watch the following videos to learn how to do that. And I think I've got everything covered so we'll see 2. Document Settings: So before I go any further, let me start by saying that I'm using Adobe in design CS six. And I'm not using the most current version, which is probably one of the creative cloud versions by now, Um, and I'm also using the Mac version. So anyone following along on a PC, that might be the reason why things look a little bit different on my screen. Even though they don't look the same, I'm sure that the commands that you're looking for are still there and still apply. Um, I just wanted to warn you that, um, I can't really do a universal tutorial, but I'm sure you can still fall along. So when you get into in design for the first time, it will ask you to create a document book, or you can do a library. And even though we're doing a book, I'm still gonna click document. So you get this menu, and depending on what settings are on, um, it'll show you different settings in the many of that you can change so you can click more options to get the rest of it or fewer if you only want to deal with a few of them. Um, so if you cook more options, you'll get the full menu and, um, the number of pages for this mini comic with seven pages. But if we want to include some of the blank pages and the cover to make it a full booklet, I'm going to type in 10. I'm going to leave facing pages checked for now, even though I am going to uncheck that later, and I'll explain that in a sec. But we'll leave that for now. Under page size go to letter half, which means that it's a letter sized piece of paper's of something that's 8.5 by 11. But we folded it and have to look like a book. So that means we're also going to change the orientation to portrait so that it's taller than it is wide under. Columns were not going to change anything. We've the emergence alone unless yours look any different than mine. Um, some of you may not be dealing with bleeds, so you can skip this part, but I would suggest for the sake of following along, maybe fill this part out anyway. So, um, even though these things are listed in a measurement called Peca's or pikers. You can still type in inches, and it will automatically convert. So since I know that I want the bleed to be 0.25 inches, Aiken, type it in there. And when I press tab on my keyboard, it converts it to what that would be in pie. Coz I know there's a way to change it of the measurement in design itself, but I guess this is my default setting. Um, same thing. If the width you don't think is going to be the same, you can go up there and manually type in that. It's going to be 5.5 inches press tab and it will convert it. It's going to be 8.5 inches tall. Press tab. It changes it. So this is all the settings that you should have in this menu, and when you click OK, you'll get your main document. And if you're not seeing any of your windows right now, try pressing tab on your keyboard and they should appear. If you don't see any of these others, you can goto window at the top of the screen and bring up your toolbox and the pages palette, so make sure those air checked in. That'll appear. So in this pages palette here, it's just the overall layout of her book. We have, um, Page 123 either listed right there, and the last pages are going to actually turn into our cover. So all you need to worry about after this point is importing the files properly, making sure the pages air in the right order and then setting the bleeds, and I'll show you how to do that next. 3. Placing Images: So in order to place the files in the document, you can go up to file and then place, and it will bring up a window where you can browse through your computer and import the files you're looking for for the pages. If I haven't said this already, I will stress the fact that you shouldn't use unflattering and PSD files. So that's a Photoshopped file. It may make the computer, um, for the program time out just because the files were so big. So just take that into consideration. Even though the program is sourcing for files instead of, um, actually importing them in. It works best to have a flattened image file so you can use something like a flattened Photoshopped file A J peg a PNG. The list goes on, it's up to you. I tend to use flattened PS and to use because I can get about the highest resolution is I want. But I don't want Thumann flatten because I don't want my computer to grind forever. When I load up the program so you can do that by hitting file place and you can bring in the files. You can bring them in one at a time, or you can in the window, click one and then to select others, either hold down shift, or you could hold down control on your keyboard and then click the other ones that you want to add. You can import a bunch of them at once and you'll drag them in manually and I'll show you what that looks like. So I am currently importing seven files, and you can see that, by the way, my cursor looks right now it has a thumbnail of the pages I'm importing, and it has the parentheses, with the number seven indicating the number of pages I'm importing. Um, in this pain that you'll see here, there is a red outer border. The black border represents where the actual page edges and inside is on the line of area or the active area, which we don't need to worry about. Right now, I have set this for a bleed, so I intend for some of the artwork to spill over the side and touch the red border. So I will click the top and drag it over so that everything is basically aligning with, um, this red border here anything that is on the outside edge of this black is gonna be trimmed away. Um, I realize now that with these pages thistles not the case with, um, how they're set up. But, um, I do have a page with a full bleed that I will show you how to dio so dragon. And don't worry that it's extending beyond the center from now. This is not a big deal, so connect that to the edge. Go to the corner, drag it down. Haven't reached the red edge. Same thing over here. I just do opposite corners. Because that way I'm not touching this original file. Drag this over and this should be the last page. So we have seven pages in place here. I consume out of it by either selecting the zoom tool or hitting command or control minus sign. It'll show our pages in a smaller perspective, 4. Breaking the Spine: So I've also imported this cover page to which this one does go to the edge with, um, the black. So it does have a bleed, even though these ones, it's just the white touching the edge. So if you have pages in any other part of the book, not just the cover that you want to touch the edge this is why we're doing the formatting for bleeds so that the color or the ink can extend beyond what the page will allow. So the next part that we're going to do, um, is something that's helped me a lot with printing. I know not everybody does it, but this is the way that I have been ableto fight my way around different issues with bleeds. What it's gonna do is it's going to break apart these spreads, make them into interval individual pages, and we're going to re stitch them together. But with some space between seminal calm, it will accommodate for this bleed that will be on the fourth side of each page. And I know that probably doesn't make sense right now, but let me just show you what I mean so we can go to file and then documents set up to get to the window. That's like the one we did when we set up the file. You'll uncheck facing pages, even though we have that from earlier. And when you click OK, it has changed things from spreads into individual pages again. This'll might not sound very helpful, but what it is doing instead of the Spreads is it's offering that fourth side of the page where it was previously stuck to the other one. So this just gives us on a little bit more space to deal with the bleeds that might not happen here. Like I said, some people don't do it this way. So I've had a lot of success with this. This is just my suggestion. So once we have the individual ones, we're going to bring them back together in a spread of sorts. But they will just be further apart. Um, and we can do this by if we right click. We'll click the top one and then hold down, shift and click the bottom one, and if you right click or if you're on a Mac control click, you can uncheck allow document pages to shuffle and I'm not really sure what the terminology there is, referring Teoh. But I know that when I dragged them now it's going to start to be able to do that. You will not be able to move these pages if that is still checked, because I can try to grab Page two right here and bring it over to Page one, and it won't work. So, like I said, click the top one and the bottom right click or control. Click and uncheck allow document pages to shuffle. Then when you do that, you can grab Page two and bring it up alongside Page one and so on and for the cover. I think the cover ends up when you fold it. It needs to be on this side, and then this is the back if you think about it like a book. So now we have our pages back in spreads, which might seem counterproductive. So what I just talked about but hear me out on this one? Uhm, what you can do is you can select every even page over here, so cook on page two or page 10 and when you get command or control, depending on what computer you're on. Um, select all of the ones on the right science of all the even pages. Go over here and select the page. Um, I think it's called the page tool. Actually, select this one first, de select what you're doing over there. Select the page tool First, Ben, begin selecting these ones on the side. So when you get that, there's this reference point here that you're going to want to click this top left square and that will turn it checked black. So once you get that, you can go into this window for the X access and you can add 10 millimeters. And that puts some space in between the pages to allow for the bleeds to go fully through. So that's gonna let me have the edges extended their into the bleed zone. I hope that makes sense. When you do this, you might have toe re center your pages, for instance, on this one, when I select it with this own selection tool again, it looks like it is a little to the center, so I can always move that with the arrow keys and branded as close as I want Teoh inside of this red box and this one I'm gonna bring over to the left. Um, this one is more obvious. So it's totally to the edge on the right side, but I wanna have it more centered. So if I move it with the arrow keys, it could be more within that, um, red line of the bleed so that it's outside of the trim area, and that's that's basically it for breaking the spine. I know this is kind of a weird method, but this is allowed, Ah, a lot of success when it comes to the bleeds that I have set up on my pages. 5. Print that PDF!: Okay, so the good news is that you're almost done. You have everything set up this point. Everything's in the right place, the bleeds air set and the spine is broken. So now we're ready to export the pdf for later printing. This is something that I prefer to do, since I don't have a printer that will accommodate these this kind of booklet style anyway , So I always end up saving a pdf on a flash drive and bringing it to a printer. So what I'm going to do is go to file and then print booklet. So when I go here, I'm gonna want it to print all of the pages. It's going to be a two up saddle stitch. And when you do the preview, you'll notice that things are already a little wonky. This red area is showing that it's a warning sign and then usually they have this dialog box here that's telling you what the problem is, which we can fix pretty easily if we go into print settings and, um, under printer, I'm going to use post script file because this is the file that I'll be using to transfer to another computer at a later time. Since I'm not directly printing at the moment, you can kind of trick your printer into thinking that, um well, I don't know if it's a trick at all, you could just save it is a pdf for later. And this is the way I know how to do it. Um, under ppd, I would assign it to the settings that your particular printer or printer driver can use This may totally, very whether or not you have a printer. I wish I had more information on this, but, um, follow along if you can, um, for set up, I'm going to want the paper size to be letter because we're, um, doing the folded style. The orientation is actually going to be portrait under marks and bleed. I'm going to do crop marks and bleed marks output. I can change it to see him like a, um, under these other menus, I don't typically mess with anything else when I click. Ok, um I guess it is still showing us that, um, the bleeds air gonna extend beyond this. So this is where if I really were going to be printing a comic that was going to be, um, when it was cut down, the page is going to be 11 by 17. I need to put it on a bigger piece of paper. So what I can do there is instead of letter, my printer allows me to have all of these other options. I don't know if these will be the same ones available to you. Tabloid is another common one. I can print each page on an 11 by 17 sheet of paper. Most printers carry this on Ben. It will have your image on a bigger piece of paper that you can cut exactly into the color later. I hope that makes sense. Um, this is where you think a lot of you guys were gonna have questions. So, um, I wish I could explain it a little better than I am under page position. I technically do centered. Um, it's not the most efficient use of the paper. I'm sure that I can figure out a way. Teoh have multiple, um, pages on one sheet of paper, but, um, gonna kill some trees and just have it set like this. So if you are going to have a comic, that the bleeds do extend beyond what an 8.5 by 11 piece of paper were allow. You obviously can't fit it on that piece of paper, cause that the document is already bigger than that sheet of paper. It will only be that size once you've cut it down. If that's the case, you need it to be on a bigger piece of paper like this, Um, or a cheat that you conduce. So if you want the whole thing to fit on 11 by seven or 9 11 by 17 8.5 by 11 which is letter size, but you still intend to cut it a little bit smaller from that piece of paper, you can go into print settings, and when you go to set up, you can start to scale it down a little bit. So I'm going to have this be on regular letter size paper, and so the bleeds will fit. I need to crunch it down a little bit more because you see that some it's already expanding into the red. So if I go to print settings set up, let's do it at 90% and see how much it reduces it. See, it's already fitting on the piece of paper, so I could probably go a little bit bigger if I change the document to be 95% of its original size and I click OK, some of it looks like it's still falling off the edge of the paper. Um, this is something that you can toggle with back and forth. Like I said, if you're worried that it's going to be, um, it's not going to fit on a particular piece of paper, you just go here and you select a bigger one and waste a tree. I guess sometimes you get is close is you can get they think in this case, in order for it to fit on this side of the paper is gonna have to be at 92%. There's still a little bit coming off, but this is about as close as I can get. So if I were to print this on this piece of paper, I would cut it down. Then it would be smaller. Um, I'm not sure I explained about the best, but, um, let's just say then that you're good to go when you have it all set up. Um, you can, either. You have do that as, ah, larger sheet of paper, a regular piece of paper. And, um, when I hit print, no matter what I choose, um, you save it on your desk top there, and you're going to probably get an alert. So that post script file will export then to your desktop. If you have some kind of alert or dialog window, you can click past that. Change the document name, it might say, Oh, this is an in design file. Do you want it to change the post script? Just click. Ok, um, this postscript file is not printer ready yet. I will warn you, I'm not going to do it right here, because, honestly, I do have some time issues with my, um, computer. When I load a postscript file, I'm not sure if anybody else has this problem, but when I go to my desktop and I opened up the postscript file at the end of it, it begins to convert to a PDS, but sometimes it will school for up to 30 minutes. I think it's something specifically with my version of in design. I've never heard of it with anybody else having problems. But just be warned. If you do it this way and you export it as a postscript file when you convert it to a pdf, it just may take some time. But in a perfect world, you go to your desktop, you double click the PS file the postscript file. It'll load into a pdf, and from there you can save that, pdf onto your flash drive and take it to the printer. I would demonstrate that right now, but as I said, that would probably take 40 minutes just for it to school. So the final document when you do a booklet style, you don't have to worry about the order of the pages or anything because it knows that you're printing it as a book, and it will know exactly the order. What to dio? Um, if you're wanting the cover to be on a separate piece of paper entirely, don't included in this document. Just do the cover by itself separately. Otherwise, you're going to have it print page one or something on the opposite side of the cover, so if you want the cover to be blank on the inside with a man image on the outside. Do not include it in this. Pdf. Um, yeah, I think that's think that covers it.