Creating a book using InDesign


I'm learning about InDesign (using versions CS5.5 and CS6 - depending on which computer I use). I am competent at using it at a basic level - creating INDDs, creating joboption files for PDF export, and exporting to PDF.

However, it's creating book files which I am having a problem with. Although the act of creating one isn't hard for me (I can do this the same as creating a new InDesign document), it's how to select pages from existing documents for a book that's the problem.

I have looked up on Google how to do it, and although I understand it at a basic level, I need to try and get better on it. Currently I just create documents all as one file which I'm not sure is the right way to do things.

In QuarkXPress, I could select pages and make a book fairly easily, but in InDesign, I noticed it imports the full document regardless of amount of pages. As it stands, not every machine will have Quark, and I prefer InDesign anyway for the sorts of magazine I'm doing - a small local community magazine for non-profit organization, also available as a PDF on our website too for those who don't physically pick it up.

What would I need to do - create each page separately (in a subfolder where all the pages are stored, including images linked to, such as the following)

  • folder mytest
  • cover.indd
  • page1.indd
  • page2.indd
  • page3to4.indd (2-page)
  • page4to5indd (2-page)
  • etc. etc.
  • image1.jpg
  • image2.jpg

The magazine is about the size of this publication:


but we were considering making it this big:

magazine cover link

(I'm not exactly sure what size)

We may be using glossy paper like in the above magazines, so what size would you recommend for it? (currently we're doing it at 212x294mm, with 5mm bleed, making it 222x304mm when it's a PDF)

(if you've seen these on the newsstands what size would you say they were in mm, are they about A4 size?)

As for master pages, am I right in thinking you can use one document as a source file?

My current project is a small, 32-page magazine, which has some articles, and some adverts in - is creating it as an INDD or as a book file the best way?

Either way, it will be exported to PDF in the end.

Any advice you have is much appreciated; it's not about the magazine content but the actual act of designing the magazine that's the issue, basically - should I do it as one long .indd file, or a book composed of several?

Basically, I'm just looking for advice on how to brush up my skills in some areas of InDesign.

(Just to add, it's a personal project not work one)

1/4/2019 11:52:00 AM

Quick point about InDesign. Do not switch between computers and versions!!! You may learn the hard way that InDesign has great difficulty opening newer versions. It will work 5.5->6 but 6->5.5 will provide problems. Start on one and keep it on that one. With Illustrator and Photoshop there are minimal changes that occur, but I have had problems going between legacy versions of InDesign.

10/9/2012 2:46:00 PM