Adobe Certified Associate - InDesign

Prepare Students

Adobe conducted research to identify the foundational skills students need to effectively communicate using digital media tools. Based on feedback from educators, design professionals, businesses, and educational institutions around the world, the objectives cover entry-level skill expectations for print and digital media publishing.

An individual earning this certification has approximately 150 hours of instruction and hands-on experience with the product, and is familiar with core features and capabilities, as well as relevant career concepts.

This certification is based on Adobe InDesign version 13.1, and utilizes the live-in-the-application exam format.

The Adobe Certified Associate certification demonstrates mastery of the following skills:

1. Working in the Design Industry

This objective covers critical concepts related to working with colleagues and clients, as well as crucial legal, technical, and design-related knowledge.

1.1

Identify the purpose, audience, and audience needs for preparing images.

a.

Determine whether content is relevant to the purpose, audience, and audience needs.

1.2

Communicate with colleagues and clients about design plans.

a.

Demonstrate knowledge of techniques for communicating about design plans with peers and clients.

b.

Demonstrate knowledge of basic project management concepts.

1.3

Determine the type of copyright, permissions, and licensing required to use specific content.

a.

Identify legal and ethical considerations for using third-party content, such as copyright, permissions, and licensing.

b.

Identify when and how to obtain permission to use images of people and locations.

1.4

Demonstrate knowledge of key terminology related to publications.

a.

Demonstrate knowledge of publication terminology.

b.

Demonstrate knowledge of how color is created in publications.

c.

Understand and use key terms related to multi-page layouts.

1.5

Demonstrate knowledge of basic design principles and best practices employed in the design industry.

a.

Communicate visually using the elements and principles of design and common design techniques.

b.

Identify and use common typographic adjustments to create contrast, hierarchy, and enhanced readability/legibility.

c.

Demonstrate knowledge of common photographic/cinematic composition terms and principles.

2. Project Setup and Interface

This objective covers the interface setup and program settings that assist in an efficient and effective workflow, as well as knowledge about ingesting digital assets for a project.

2.1 Create a document with the appropriate settings for web, print, and mobile.

a.

Set appropriate document settings for printed and onscreen publications.

b.

Create a document preset to reuse for specific project needs.

2.2 Navigate, organize, and customize the application workspace.

a.

Identify and manipulate elements of the InDesign interface.

b.

Organize and customize the workspace.

c.

Configure application preferences.

2.3 Use non-printing design tools in the interface to aid in design or workflow.

a.

Navigate a document.

b.

Use rulers.

c.

Use guides and grids.

d.

Use views and modes to work efficiently.

2.4 Import assets into a project.

a.

Open and use templates.

b.

Place assets in an InDesign document.

2.5 Manage colors, swatches, and gradients.

a.

Set the active fill and stroke color.

b.

Create and customize gradients.

c.

Create, manage, and edit swatches and swatch libraries.

2.6 Manage paragraph, character, and object styles.

a.

Load and modify styles.

3. Organizing Documents

This objective covers document structure such as layers, tracks, and managing document structure for efficient workflows.

3.1 Use layers to manage design elements.

a.

Use the Layers panel to modify layers.

b.

Employ best practices to effectively manage layers in a complex project.

c.

Work with multiple layers.

d.

Modify layer visibility and printability.

3.2 Manage and modify pages.

a.

Create pages in a document.

b.

Edit and customize pages.

4. Creating and Modifying Visual Elements

This objective covers core tools and functionality of the application, as well as tools that affect the visual appearance of document elements.

4.1 Use core tools and features to lay out visual elements.

a.

Create frames using a variety of tools.

b.

Place images in documents.

4.2 Add and manipulate text using appropriate typographic settings.

a.

Use a variety of type tools to add typography to a design.

b.

Use appropriate character settings in a design.

c.

Use appropriate paragraph settings in a design.

d.

Convert text to graphics.

e.

Manage text flow across multiple text areas.

f.

Use tools to add special characters or content.

4.3 Make, manage, and edit selections.

a.

Make selections using a variety of tools.

b.

Modify and refine selections using various methods.

4.4 Transform digital graphics and media within a publication.

a.

Modify frames and frame content.

b.

Rotate, flip, and transform individual frames or content.

4.5 Use basic reconstructing and editing techniques to manipulatedocument content.

a.

Apply basic auto-correction methods and tools.

b.

Use various tools to repair and reconstruct project content.

c.

Evaluate or adjust the appearance of objects, frames, or layersusing various tools.

d.

Use the Story Editor to edit text within a project.

4.6 Modify the appearance of design elements by using effects and styles.

a.

Use effects to modify images or frames.

b.

Create, edit, and save object styles.

4.7 Add interactive or dynamic content or media to a project.

a.

Add interactive elements and behaviors.

b.

Demonstrate knowledge of how to embed rich-media objects.

c.

Identify and assign triggers for multimedia assets.

i.

Key Concepts: rollover, click, automatic load, etc.

4.8 Create and edit tables.

a.

Create a table to display data.

b.

Edit tables and cells.

5. Publishing Digital Media

This objective covers saving and exporting documents or assets within individual layers or selections.

5.1 Prepare documents for publishing to web, print, and other digital devices.

a.

Check document for errors and project specifications.

5.2 Export or save documents to various file formats.

a.

Save in the native file format for InDesign (.indd).

b.

Save images in appropriate formats for print or screen.

c.

Print proof copies before publishing.

d.

Package an InDesign project.


Visit Adobe InDesign Learn & Support for the software user guide, tutorials, and more.

To learn more about the live-in-the-app exam experience, review the exam tutorial.

Past versions of the Adobe Certified Associate in Print & Digital Media Publication using Adobe InDesign are now outdated. However, certifications on older versions of our software are still valid. You can find the objectives for these versions here: