Kelly McCathran
Adobe Certified Instructor | Adobe Community Professional —

InDesign CC Handout

Curriculum Published 3/1/16 Last updated on 5/16/18

This is a PDF handout that I wrote for use in my 2-day hands-on classes (and for some on-site training). It covers these topics:

InDesign Tools, Panel Shortcuts, Toolbar Layouts, Shortcuts for Nested Tools, Default Workspace, The Control Panel, Collapsible Panel Layout, What is InDesign, Application Frame, Application Bar, Arrange Documents, Changing Preferences, Display Preferences, Setting the Default Font, Preferences Checklist, Smart Text Reflow, Default Hyphenation Settings, Creating a New Document, Document Presets, Primary Text Frame , Page Layout, Character Formatting, Placing Content, Placing Text, Autoflow, Placing Text and Adding Pages, Autocorrect & Dynamic Spell Check, Improved Text Handling, Threading Text | In Port and Out Port, Double-Click to Edit Text, Formatting the Text, Optical Kerning, Text Selection Tips, Type Keyboard Shortcuts, Hidden Characters, Paragraph Formatting, Context Sensitive Menu, Control Panel Menu for Character, Hanging Punctuation, Text Frame Options, Paragraph & Character Styles, Building a Paragraph Style, Space After, Widow & Orphan Control | Keep Options, Building a Character Style, Loading Styles from InDesign Documents, Glyphs Panel , User-specified Glyph Sets , Nested Styles, Keyboard Shortcuts, InDesign Snippets, Graphics Info, Raster or Bitmap, Vector or Bézier Curve , How Resolution Affects File Size, Transforming Raster Images, Color Modes, RGB, CMYK, Grayscale, Bitmap/Line Art, Duotone, Resolution Formula, Ideal Resolution, Common Line Screens, DPI vs PPI , LPI, After the Scan, Resolution vs Quality, Exception to the Rule, Graphic File Formats, Print Formats, PSD, TIFF, EPS (not recommended today), DCS & DCS 2, Web Formats, PNG, JPEG (ok for print today), GIF, Formats to Avoid, PICT, BMP, WMF, Placing Images, Selection vs Direct Selection Tool, Scaling & Fitting Images Using the Control Panel, Reference Point, Enhanced Support for Photoshop, Drag & Drop, Scaling Images, Dynamic Graphics Preview , Info Panel, High Resolution Image Display, Bleed and Slug Preview, Print Preview, Text Wrap, Enhanced Text Wrap, Text Frame Options, Clipping Path, Align Panel, Repeated Transformations, Pathfinder Panel, Merging Objects, Anchored Objects, Photoshop and PDF Layer Support, Object styles, The Pages Panel, Display More Pages in the Pages Panel, CS5 Pages Preference, CS5 Pages Preference, Master Pages, Adding a Page Number, Creating a Section, Spreads, Footnotes, Master Page Settings, Resetting Master Items, Referenced Master Pages, Resetting All Master Items, Master Options, Changing Margins & Columns, Building Templates, Creating a Template, Building a Table of Contents, Creating Dot Leader, Updating the Table of Contents, Formatting the Table of Contents, Setting Tabs, Tab Shortcuts, Tabs Exercise, Working on InDesign Files Created by Others, Opening Documents with TypeKit Fonts, Find Font, Links, Links Icons, Sorting Links, Preflight, Package, Layers, Creating Layers, PDF Font Embed Status, Font Embed Status, Acrobat & Adobe Reader Font Substitution, Loading PDF Settings, Direct Export to PDF, Bookmarks & Buttons in Richly Interactive PDFs , General PDF Settings, Compression Settings, Marks & Bleeds, Output, Advanced, PDF Security, PDF Summary, Save Preset, Printing a PDF, Printing Controls, Setup, Marks & Bleeds, Output, Graphics, Color Management, Book Support, Creating a Book, Custom Numbering Pages, Printing or Exporting a Book, Indexing, Before Generating the Index, Reference Mode, Topic Mode, Code Reference, Creating an Index, Index Tip, Separations Preview Panel, Ink Manager, Mixed Ink Support, Transparency Flattening , 5 Places to Flatten , PDF/x-1a, Incoming Image Formats, PSD or Adobe Format, EPS Format, Transparency Flattener Presets, Story Editor , Large Document Support, High Zoom Levels, Default Document Settings, Quick Apply to Find and Apply Styles, Repeated Transformations, WYSIWYG Font Preview, Shape-to-Shape Conversion, Noise and Spread for Drop Shadows, OH MY!

Age Levels
1+ Week
ISTE Standards
Students: Creative Communicator

There are some class files I use with this handout, you can find them here under "InDesign Class Files | 2015":

CC License
Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives
5 / 5 • 22 Ratings

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Comments (41)

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Shafiq Rehman

Posted on 9/1/19 12:43:24 AM Permalink

Great Resource Thanks for Sharing

TD Wright

Posted on 2/12/19 6:36:40 PM Permalink

Thank you.​

ME Odom

Posted on 1/26/19 12:24:54 AM Permalink

​Cool! Thanks

Allison Cameron

Posted on 1/25/19 3:47:02 PM Permalink

Thank you! ​

Judy Durkin

Posted on 1/12/19 7:48:09 PM Permalink

​Thank you!

Sascha Stutzinger

Posted on 12/24/18 7:00:39 PM Permalink


Loren Omoto

Posted on 8/1/18 3:12:37 PM Permalink

​Great handout! Thanks for sharing the knowledge.

Kelly McCathran

Posted on 8/8/18 8:39:25 PM Permalink

Thanks :D​

Janet McDonald

Posted on 6/12/18 6:29:52 AM Permalink

​Hi Kelly, this document is thorough and well laid out. Thank you, Janet

Kelly McCathran

Posted on 8/8/18 8:39:58 PM Permalink

Thanks so much for the feedback. I am working on an updated version, but I write these in my "free time" so no deadline just yet :)​

Kenneth Alley

Posted on 5/4/18 4:41:48 PM Permalink

Thank you for sharing, Kelly. This is a wonderful resource!​

Kelly McCathran

Posted on 8/8/18 8:41:06 PM Permalink

Thank you :D​

Chris Marsden

Posted on 3/31/18 12:13:46 PM Permalink

​Thanks for sharing this Kelly, you're a star!

Kelly McCathran

Posted on 8/8/18 8:40:24 PM Permalink

Thanks :D​

Chris Huxley

Posted on 3/23/18 2:57:48 AM Permalink

Kelly, this is a great resource which covers everything I can think of needing to teach to my 15 - 18 year old students. Thank you so much for sharing this.

Kelly McCathran

Posted on 8/8/18 8:40:17 PM Permalink

That is wonderful to hear, thank you :D​

Judy Durkin

Posted on 3/6/18 10:20:18 PM Permalink

Wowza! This is one comprehensive document. I am going to use it in my classes. Thank you.​

Debra Barbre

Posted on 1/21/18 8:48:47 PM Permalink

​ just saved me a couple of days. This is a great tool for my newspaper production classes. Thank you so much.

Penny Rose

Posted on 9/6/17 2:12:42 AM Permalink

​Amazing! Thank you!

Shannion Forrester

Posted on 9/3/16 6:12:34 AM Permalink

Great resource! Thank you very much.

ME Odom

Posted on 8/4/16 10:37:59 PM Permalink

Wow! Thank you!

Tarek Bahaa El Deen

Posted on 5/17/16 6:12:34 PM Permalink

Really it's very helpful resource
I appreciate your work, thank you for sharing

Jessica Gauci

Posted on 4/28/16 3:14:02 AM Permalink

This is amazing! Thank you for sharing such a wonderful resource!

Anja Vlasblom

Posted on 4/22/16 8:46:09 AM Permalink

Thank you very much. This looks fantastic.

Mirella Buccicardi

Posted on 4/1/16 5:06:35 PM Permalink

Thank you! :)

Kelly McCathran

Posted on 3/21/16 10:14:31 PM Permalink

Feel free to share this with your students. I only ask that you contact me to purchase re-print rights if you use it for curriculum. If you'd like to donate $5 (on the honor system) for each printed copy that you make. That would help cover some of my time for updates to the handout :) Link to donate:

Kelly McCathran

Posted on 3/21/16 10:10:29 PM Permalink

Feel free to share this PDF with your students. If you would like use it for curriculum, I ask that you contact me to purchase re-print rights, or donate $5 (on the honor system) for each printed copy that you make. The donation helps cover some of my writing and editing time. Link to donate: PayPal.Me/kellymc

Mary Mirt

Posted on 3/22/16 11:59:30 PM Permalink

Thank you

Sheree Kornkven

Posted on 6/29/16 3:28:40 PM Permalink

Kelly, I would like to use your instructional booklet for workshops we do through our media center. These are not formal courses, just short tech workshops for the general population. Do you consider that "curriculum?" I would print the document out for me or whoever is teaching the workshops and then link to the PDF, so students can access it, if they desire.

Is that an appropriate use of your material? I just want to make sure we use it correctly. I would be glad to send you $5 for printing the doc.


Lenard Roos

Posted on 3/14/16 8:57:28 PM Permalink

:) Extremely comprehensive!

Mary Mirt

Posted on 3/14/16 6:34:22 AM Permalink

Thank you very much Kelly. Am I allowed to share this with my students or do you prefer to keep it in this platform?

Cornelia Böhm

Posted on 3/9/16 4:54:45 PM Permalink

Thank you!

Beatrix KruemmerFrau

Posted on 3/8/16 8:17:58 PM Permalink

everything I need to keep going, thanks

Kelly McCathran

Posted on 3/7/16 10:33:50 PM Permalink

I welcome any and all feedback. I have no proofreader for these materials, since I don't get paid to write them :D

Joseph Schmidt

Posted on 3/8/16 5:15:25 AM Permalink

This is awesome - especially the breakdown of best-use for graphic formats.

Wilder Bolanos Gomez

Posted on 3/7/16 3:40:45 PM Permalink


Salma Vohra

Posted on 3/7/16 10:08:53 AM Permalink


Judy Durkin

Posted on 3/4/16 12:58:39 AM Permalink

Thank you.

ana lona

Posted on 3/2/16 8:34:42 PM Permalink


Lukas Engqvist

Posted on 3/2/16 4:51:47 PM Permalink

Thanks Kelly :)

Md.Mahabub Hasan

Posted on 3/2/16 11:34:19 AM Permalink

well demonstrate