InDesign Setting up a Document Part 2

Rulers and Spine

If you need to measure things on your screen put that plastic ruler back in your drawer right now … InDesign has rulers which are located right on the top and on the left of the document’s window. You have the horizontal ruler (x axis) and the vertical ruler (y axis). They they can help you to measure what you see on screen. If you don’t see them you just need to go to View> Show Rules. If you don’t want to see them but they are turned on, you go to View> Hide Rules (or press F7 to turn them on or off).

The origin of rules can be changed. There are different ways to do this:

  1. 1. Go to the top left corner of your work area where the rules start. Now click on it with your mouse and drag diagonally towards the right. When you release the mouse button, you will see that your 0, or origin of the rules, will be where you released the mouse. To reset your rules as they were before, just double click on the top left corner.
  2. 2. Go to InDesign> Preferences (Mac OS) or Edit> Preferences (Windows) and select Units & Increments. Look at the section Ruler Units. You will see that there is a setting called Origin. You can choose between Page, Spread or Spine. While the Page and Spread option are quite obvious, the Spine option isn’t really descriptive. The spine is the point where you would be binding your pages. In actual fact Adobe calls it Binding Spine. In order to explain how you can set your spine, I have to quickly show you the Page palette.

spreadA 3 pages spread in the Pages palette (enlarged version)

Have a look at this illustration. You can see a 3 pages spread and how it looks like in the Pages palette. You can also this the ruler’s origin which in the Preferences was set to Spine.

This is how I have made this spread. I have opened a new document with the Facing Pages option checked. Page 1 was already there. I then dragged the 2 pages that you see just under page 1 in the Page palette. At this point the spine was in the middle of the two pages. I selected the two page spread and then I went to the Page palette menu and I have activated the Keep Spread Together option. I then added the third page to the two pages spread to make it a three pages spread, to obtain what you see. You can add pages anywhere on the left or on the right of the original two pages spread. You can have a maximum of 10 pages in 1 spread. Have a look at the animation below for a visual explanation of what I just wrote.

how to create spreads (Enlarged version)

This is a series of 4 articles.

1. Slugfest and Bleeds: The Ring Match of InDesign
2. Rulers and Spine
3. Setting up the page, grids and margins
4. Master Pages

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