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    Russell Viers is a Transition Expert in the publishing world. Since 1997 he has helped newspapers and magazines adapt to changes in the industry. Read more...

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  • InDesign Templates

    January 10th, 2007 by Russell Viers

    I get a lot of requests for InDesign templates.
    Illustrator has them now as well as other programs, but what about InDesign?
    Now, I’m not much of a template guy. Generally I start with a blank page and put my own ideas on it. But there are times when it would be nice to have at least some of the project done for me.
    InDesign doesn’t ship with templates, but there are ways to get some, even for free, if you need.
    If you happen to have converted to InDesign from either PageMaker 7 or PageMaker 6.5 Plus, you have an entire library of templates that can be opened in InDesign and edited at will.
    If you haven’t thrown them away already, go find your old PM install disks and drag them over to your computer.
    There aren’t thumbnails of them, but you can open them in InDesign and resave so a thumbnail can be created for future use (CS2 only).
    There are templates for business cards, ads, presentation folders, newsletters, etc. You can also choose between A4 and Letter size.
    If you don’t have PageMaker lying around, or you don’t like what it offers, do a simple internet search for InDesign Templates and you’ll find truckloads of listings…a lot of which are free.
    I can’t vouch for the quality, but it might be a good place to start if you’re a beginner.
    Remember, however, that using Templates doesn’t excuse you from knowing the program in depth. There is a difference between a template that simply puts text and graphic frames down and you fill in the blanks and a template that relies on the full power of InDesign.
    If the template you download is using Object Styles, Nested Styles, Tints, Master Pages based on Master Pages, Auto Page Numbers and more, you would be better off having a strong knowledge of these features before getting too far into it. Otherwise the document is going to feel like it has a life of its own and you don’t know why it is behaving the way it is.
    When I build templates for projects, I like to incorporate as much as I can into it to make my life as easy as possible…and it’s all about me.
    So just be aware…a template isn’t a replacement for an ability to build a document. It is merely a shortcut to get you there.
    And the quality of the template is only as good as the builder or their intent for it when it was built.

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