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How not to treat Book File in InDesign as if it were Pages for Mac

Explorer ,
Sep 13, 2021 Sep 13, 2021

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Hello there, 

 

I've written a didactic book and wish to lay it out and set it up for exporting in a .pdf for publishing, printing on paper via Kindle Publishing Direct. 

 

The Book File is set up.  99 files on it.  These are all linked, of course, since they were moved from a manusript file I exported from Pages as a .txt doc) into InDesign with threaded, primary text frames.  

What are PRIMARY text frames? 

 

 

I'd like certain parts of my book to appear like a text book, with certain sections of text a different background shade (of grey, it's gonna print in black and white). 

I need to make Section and Unit introduction pages visually interesting.  Perhaps putting a large number  or word in as a sort of background. 

I have 20 odd worksheets to design, which are like simple forms with various segments (boxes) of space in which to write.   

 

I am totally new to InDesign.  Having whizzed through an online course on it the other week. 

 

Problem right now is that I've tried to put a text frame onto a page and I can't.  

 

How can I set up a simple worksheet, divided into various sections (to then be filled in by hand in by the reader) if I cannot  create a text frame inside the primary text frames (pages) of my book files?  To make a worksheet I envisaged using and moving several text frames around.  

 

I find myself using InDesign right now as if it were merely a word processor, since everything I need to do is a learning experience for me and requires revision, naturally.  I wonder if somebody reading this could point me in the right direction because I am somewhat lost right now. 

 

Thank you.

 

TOPICS
EPUB, How to, InCopy workflow, Publish online

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Adobe Community Professional , Sep 13, 2021 Sep 13, 2021
Hi @default53x9pxnwvocf : What are PRIMARY text frames?  Here is an excellent answer from one of our fellow moderators, @Steve Werner : https://creativepro.com/indesign-basics-primary-text-frames/ Problem right now is that I've tried to put a text frame onto a page and I can't.  To add a text frame to a page, draw a rectangle with the Type tool. You won't be able to draw a text frame directly over a primary frame, but you can draw one to the side and then drag it on top of the primary frame....

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 13, 2021 Sep 13, 2021

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This seems a rather ambitious first project for someone who's totally new to InDesign (perhaps even for an experienced user). Maybe you should start with something simpler to iron out the issues you'll inevitably come up against.

 

You seem to want to produce a version for print and a digital version for Amazon and one with worksheet forms for the user to complete – is that correct?

 

I suggest you take some of the online video courses on LinkedInLearning.com (you can get 30-days free access).

 

Return here for specific questions when you get stuck.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 13, 2021 Sep 13, 2021

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Another option, if you have more money than time, is to hire a consultant that specializes in InDesign long documents.

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Explorer ,
Sep 14, 2021 Sep 14, 2021

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Part of the work I may outsource to a graphic designer.  Thank you for your reply.

 

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Explorer ,
Sep 14, 2021 Sep 14, 2021

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Yes, it's an ambitious project I suppose, but I'm going to keep it as simple as possible (I must).  I've already taken an online course which I have found very good indeed on Udemy.  It's just a question of putting what I've seen demonstrated and explained to use.  Priority is to print on paper.  Thank you for your reply.   

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 13, 2021 Sep 13, 2021

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Hi @default53x9pxnwvocf :

 

What are PRIMARY text frames? 

Here is an excellent answer from one of our fellow moderators, @Steve Werner : https://creativepro.com/indesign-basics-primary-text-frames/

 

Problem right now is that I've tried to put a text frame onto a page and I can't. 

To add a text frame to a page, draw a rectangle with the Type tool. You won't be able to draw a text frame directly over a primary frame, but you can draw one to the side and then drag it on top of the primary frame. Not sure why you would do that, but that's how.

 

@Creamer Training (Dave), @Steve Werner  and I work with long documents, offer public InDesign training classes and consulting services. I would suggest taking a actual training class with one of us or with one of the myriad other InDesign trainers out there—many of whom volunteer on this forum—as opposed to "whizzing through an online course" that clearly didn't explain the basics, or explained them too briefly for you to master. But also note that while most good intro classes will thoroughly explain the basics, the book features are most often taught in advanced classes or custom classes or via one-on-one coaching.

 

This forum is best suited to answering specific questions, as I tried to do above. The forum not a viable way to learn InDesign from the ground up, but we can always give you guidance when you get stuck with a specific feature.

 

~Barb 

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Explorer ,
Sep 14, 2021 Sep 14, 2021

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Thanks for this reply!  You hit the nail on the head!Yesterday, I found I'd inadvertently created a text frame that actually went over the primary frame...  there was hope yet!  This morning I was determined resolve the matter somehow and was delighted to see that you provided the specific answer I needed = just draw a text box to one side,  then move it over a primary text frame.  Thank you!!!

 

I do know how to create text frames, the online course I sped through and still have access to and revise is great.  It's just that I've been through seventy-one lessons(!) and now need to practise.  Everything important I will doing be doing with InDesign I shall be doing for the very first time... I will investigate primary text frames using the link you have kindly provided in order to properly understand their specific features. 

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 14, 2021 Sep 14, 2021

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Great. Glad we could help, @default53x9pxnwvocf

 

Swing back when you have specific questions—ideally, one question per post, unless they are directly related. 

 

~Barb 

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