Mark Finlayson
Leader Of Creative Arts

Introducing InDesign

Project Published 6/27/14 Last updated on 3/2/20

I have recently began to get students to make greater use of InDesign, and have collected some resources and activities to help with this. They will be using InDesign for both a Prac and Theory task in a unit of work, and have never used it before, so the challenge is how to get them started. There are some great videos on YouTube, and the links are in the Tutorial document. Combining these, with a basic run down and demonstration on how to set up a document and how to get started have proven very effective. The video on handling images is particularly useful as there are many ways to do this.

The main issue is what to get them to lay out, and I came up with the idea of using a website about a photographer (or artist, musician, writer, historical figure etc) as the source. Remember this is really about learning how to manipulate text and images on a page so the content is not as important, the process is.

In the example I have done I haven't edited the text other than remove footnote references etc, but a variation or extension would be to edit the text or get them to write their own.

I will use this with both students and staff to get them into using InDesign.

Age Levels
1-2 Hours


Access to the Internet

CC License
5 / 5 • 55 Ratings

Resources (2)

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Comments (77)

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Henry Pontual

Posted on 3/3/20 3:55:23 AM Permalink

Thank you

Katie Burke

Posted on 10/31/19 6:49:38 AM Permalink

​The getting started document is a great resource. Thanks for sharing!

Michelle Saporito

Posted on 9/26/19 10:21:16 PM Permalink

​Thank you


Posted on 9/13/19 4:19:59 PM Permalink

​Muchas gracias

ryan mauler

Posted on 9/9/19 6:31:27 PM Permalink


Alper Ciftci

Posted on 9/7/19 1:58:41 PM Permalink


Shafiq Rehman

Posted on 8/31/19 8:13:00 PM Permalink

Great resource​

Steve Pace

Posted on 8/7/19 9:54:17 AM Permalink

Very Helpful thanks.​

Alper Ciftci

Posted on 7/10/19 6:48:35 AM Permalink


Kirsty Mills

Posted on 6/20/19 10:19:23 AM Permalink

​Thank you so much

Ma. Mercedes Buendia

Posted on 6/18/19 2:36:28 PM Permalink

​Thanks. i can share this resource with my students and colleagues as well.

Roberto Ferrera

Posted on 6/14/19 1:52:26 PM Permalink

​This is great! I will share this with my students! Thank you very much! SALUTE!

Joel Dolot

Posted on 6/6/19 2:35:07 AM Permalink

The viedo Indesign CS5 Tutorial: Basic Rundown of Design Tools gives a basic design element for the new user. Tnx

Cortez William

Posted on 5/19/19 5:46:55 AM Permalink

​The InDesign Tutorial Resources are of great use to students to express their creativity in setting up an attractive document. Thank you Mark.

Henni Stalknecht

Posted on 5/8/19 3:08:21 PM Permalink

Thanks for sharing, realy like it.​

Ray Cooper

Posted on 5/3/19 11:34:03 PM Permalink


Nan Stombaugh

Posted on 4/11/19 4:55:22 PM Permalink

Nazurah Kamaruddin

Posted on 3/15/19 5:59:53 PM Permalink

​thanks for sharing

Ali Imam Reza

Posted on 2/20/19 8:21:46 PM Permalink

​thanks for sharing

burak durhasan

Posted on 1/15/19 9:33:16 AM Permalink

​Thank You

Maria Gentry

Posted on 1/8/19 3:28:54 PM Permalink

​Usually if I am introducing a new demo, we discuss it first and then view the videos to watch. It is important that the student know your objective first. Thanks

sarah nickel

Posted on 1/8/19 2:56:55 AM Permalink

​Would you demo the program at all to the students before hand or just give them the videos to watch?

Mark Finlayson

Posted on 2/6/19 12:47:57 AM Permalink

I would always demo it before the videos​

Ayman Raafat

Posted on 12/26/18 8:51:21 AM Permalink

​thank you

David Smart

Posted on 12/14/18 6:12:20 PM Permalink

I went through the tutorial resources and found that it looked very much like a professional and finished product that we might find in a textbook or magazine. This may be an interesting way to combine students research skill development with learning how to use computer skills.​ Do you have examples of student work?

Gayle Payne

Posted on 12/7/18 10:32:30 PM Permalink

​Thanks. I'm sure this will come in very handy. Much appreciated.

Francesco Fumelli

Posted on 11/16/18 6:54:47 PM Permalink


Maria Gentry

Posted on 10/15/18 12:09:47 AM Permalink

​I am behind due to circumstances but I have the assignment I just don't know where to upload.

Mark Finlayson

Posted on 10/16/18 1:24:02 PM Permalink

​Hi Maria

You can’t find a place to upload because there is none. That said, if you would like some feedback on what you have done, feel free to send me a PDF of your work and I will be happy to give you feedback. Email it to

Maria Gentry

Posted on 10/11/18 1:44:03 AM Permalink

I not sure exactly what to do. I made the assignment but how do I upload?​

Maria Gentry

Posted on 10/4/18 2:53:10 PM Permalink

Thanks it's really helpful. ​

Parth Gajjar

Posted on 10/1/18 9:22:29 AM Permalink

​That's Good

hollaniyi holluwabukunmi

Posted on 9/26/18 1:19:39 PM Permalink

This is awesome​

Tonnines Elliott

Posted on 9/5/18 5:45:16 PM Permalink

​Thanks for sharing!

Khuzaima Jallad

Posted on 8/2/18 12:02:12 PM Permalink

Guys! Highly appreciated. This is what I call shared-learning.​

Kathy Kempa

Posted on 7/25/18 2:25:09 PM Permalink

Thanks very much. I learn slowly. I appreciated your in depth presentation.​

Kirsty Mills

Posted on 6/26/18 10:53:44 AM Permalink

​Thank you

Judy Durkin

Posted on 5/21/18 5:11:21 PM Permalink

It is so very hard to get students to look beyond the content and focus on the correct process for analyzing and using intelligent layout techniques.

Carol Lorigan

Posted on 5/11/18 10:49:23 AM Permalink

​Thank you! This is just what I was looking for!

Dawn Bradley

Posted on 4/19/18 9:04:38 PM Permalink

​Great resources. Thanks.

jeffrey plummer

Posted on 3/19/18 4:12:37 PM Permalink

​Thanks for your help. I am sure you have saved many hours for those of us who have viewed the resource.

Gwen Meltzer

Posted on 2/6/18 12:58:42 AM Permalink

Thank you!! Great information!!!​

Robyn Footer

Posted on 9/1/17 2:05:58 AM Permalink

​Great resources and clearly documented.

Nancy Shelton

Posted on 7/12/17 4:02:45 PM Permalink

​Great resources!

Kagisho Malatji

Posted on 6/15/17 2:08:57 PM Permalink

Any updates?

Julie Persin

Posted on 4/4/17 8:20:11 PM Permalink

​Unfortunately, this is not helpful for Creative Cloud 2017. Very well put together! Wish it was updated!

Mark Finlayson

Posted on 4/4/17 9:02:06 PM Permalink

​I use this for my students, and at present we are still locked into CS5 for years 8-12, Year 7 have access to Creative Cloud and other years will be following suit over the next two years, so I will be updating as needs be. The basic idea should still work for you, but obviously the links are older. That said, I've been using CS5 and Creative Cloud concurrently now for many years and find swapping between the two simple, so it should still be usable for you..that said, I haven't had time to explore the latest release of InDesign yet, so it may be a bit different.

Crystal Hall

Posted on 1/27/17 2:39:30 PM Permalink

​Looking forward to messing around InDesign!

Tarek Bahaa El Deen

Posted on 8/31/16 8:41:42 PM Permalink

Very helpful resource
Thank you for sharing

Keri Callan

Posted on 8/31/16 4:49:50 AM Permalink

Great ideas!

Kent Messamore

Posted on 5/5/16 5:21:42 PM Permalink

Really great. It enhanced my knowledge and desire to use InDesign.

G Gentry

Posted on 3/17/16 10:12:32 PM Permalink

Great information that I can use.

Scott Winland

Posted on 3/11/16 4:33:03 AM Permalink

Thanks for this!!

Ken White

Posted on 3/7/16 10:14:35 PM Permalink

They are virtual Lesson Plans, and the step by step breakdown is very helpful.

Mark Finlayson

Posted on 3/8/16 10:52:38 PM Permalink

Thank you...I've been using this with students from Years 10 and 11 now for some time and have found it very successful

Linda Spaulding

Posted on 2/28/16 1:06:15 AM Permalink

Excellent resources. Thank you!

nova rollo

Posted on 2/24/16 5:51:59 PM Permalink

I can't wait to check this out, thanks for sharing!

Brandy Milson

Posted on 2/1/16 1:49:52 PM Permalink

Graeme Walsh

Posted on 1/30/16 5:20:04 AM Permalink

Great Idea

Nirupama Narasimhan

Posted on 9/30/15 11:20:41 AM Permalink

It's a good idea to take content from a website as the focus is on getting to know how to use InDesign and so the class doesn't have to worry too much about writing the content. Very nice design too!

Bethany Dutton

Posted on 8/16/15 12:02:37 PM Permalink

Thanks this is great

Imelda Hernández

Posted on 5/30/15 4:02:39 AM Permalink

Interesting practice to introduce students in the knowledge of Indesign.

Ammar Diab

Posted on 5/20/15 1:48:57 PM Permalink

A very delicate design and the harmoney of the storyboard with the picture are amazing


Posted on 3/4/15 2:38:19 AM Permalink

Instructions were very clear. Nice report! His photos are wonderful.

Possibly, you could consider bullets to set up a visual hierarchy for the instructions. I am a little distracted by the listing of directions and spacing. If not bullets, possibly, numbering the steps.

Mark Finlayson

Posted on 3/4/15 2:54:42 AM Permalink

Thanks for the feedback. all my resources are written as I go for both staff and students at my school, mainly as an adjunct to my teaching, so often what I share here is only a first draft. I think your comment would apply topmost of the items here.

Randy Rawlins

Posted on 2/28/15 7:55:53 PM Permalink

Thanks for the resources.

Muhammad ayyaz

Posted on 2/27/15 4:49:15 AM Permalink

Thank you

Great job done

Paul Breininger

Posted on 2/1/15 3:25:11 PM Permalink


Cuc Phuong Do

Posted on 1/24/15 8:30:06 PM Permalink

Great directions for beginners. Interesting placement for pictures.

Lars Sundin

Posted on 1/21/15 9:19:26 AM Permalink

A good start. Thanks!

Samantha Spencer

Posted on 1/7/15 11:38:33 PM Permalink

Excellent video resources for beginners. Great project for students to explore the tools and includes some research skills.

Muhammad ayyaz

Posted on 1/5/15 3:26:23 AM Permalink

thank you

Samantha Spencer

Posted on 1/4/15 8:52:03 PM Permalink

Excellent video resources for beginners. Great project for students to explore the tools and includes some research skills.

Paula Wynn

Posted on 1/3/15 5:21:45 PM Permalink

Thank you.

Robyn Mortimer

Posted on 1/3/15 3:38:16 AM Permalink

Very helpful. A great starter. Thanks.

Judy Durkin

Posted on 9/26/14 6:36:01 AM Permalink

Fantastic stuff. Thank you!