InDesign Layout

Here is a guide to setting up an InDesign file for a comic book. We'll be using the default FinchQuest specifications.

Start up InDesign and create a new document. The intent is "Print." We want 32 facing pages, starting at page 1. The size is 36p0 x 54p0. Wait! What are these alien measurement moon runes? That is how you write PostScript picas and points, the measurement used in printing. There are 6 picas to an inch, and 12 points to a pica. We don't want to mess with columns or gutters. A 3 pica border will give us a good guide for where it's best to place our content.

Now we've got a 32 page document. We're going to go to the Master page, up in the top right corner. This will let us set up a template for all the pages in the book.

A comic book is pretty simple to lay out. It just needs a single image per page. We're going to select the Rectangle Frame Tool to draw the empty box where our comic pages will go.

We've drawn an empty frame on each facing page. Why don't we put some page numbers in there, too? Select the Type Tool.

Just like the Frame Tool, we draw a rectangle. We want to align it to the center of the page. In the Align panel, click the drop down beside align to and select align to page. Clicking Align horizontal centers will center your page number text box.

Now we tell it to automatically count the page numbers. In the Type menu, go to Insert Special Character -> Markers -> Current Page Number. This will place a letter "A" in your text box. Don't ask me why it's an A. I don't know. Honestly, the first time I did this, I typed an A for my page number. That didn't work, it has to be the special character. Anyway! You can use the placeholder A to set up the size and typeface you'd like to use for your page numbers.

When everything looks right, we get back to our document by clicking on one of the numbered pages under the Master page. We can use these thumbnails to jump to specific pages, or to go back and edit our Master page. We're back in our document now and we see our pages numbered and our placeholder frames on every page.

This is almost great, but we want a couple pages of text before the comic starts. Above our Master pages is a blank template labeled [none]. You're going to drag and drop the none thumbnail onto the page one and two thumbnails. This will apply the blank template to our contents pages.

Now there's nothing on the page. We'll need a text box to type stuff into. Use the Type Tool again to make a full page text box.

Type a bunch of words into the text box and call it a day!

Back to Layout Your Book home

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