Lucy Nguyen

Indesign CS5 Tutorial: Document Settings

Setting up your job is an important part of Indesign. When you first open the program you are faced with this window. The Create New, on the right side has three options. Document, Book, and Library.

Document is for a single file, Book is when for example you have multiple chapter in one document and Library for now we will ignore. We will focus on Document settings here.


When you click new document you get this window:


These are the default settings. I’ll go through them one by one.

Document preset, right now it is set to Default which as the name entails is what the factory preset are. You can make your own presets if you feel you are going to use the same settings. You do this after you enter all the information you want about the document. The button Save preset to your right will allow you to do this.

Intent: Just as it says, what is your intention for this document? The options are as followed. Print and Web. Two obvious choices.

Number of Pages: How many pages is this thing going to have? Self explanatory.  The box next to it where it says facing pages. Facing pages determines the orientation of the pages panel. If you unclick it, it will appear as this.

If you click Facing Pages, you will have this set up. I prefer Facing Pages.


# Start Page – Self Explanatory. The box next to it is Master Text Frame, you probably won’t need to use this feature. But for completeness, the master text frame is used in the same manner as Master Pages (See Tutorial Here). But for me I haven’t had a chance to really use this function and don’t find it necessary. But when you choose the option the Pages panel will appear like this:



Page Size: Self Explanatory and intuitive if you used Microsoft Word before. You are telling the program what size you want your document to be. These are default pre sets for common printing. If you want custom size you just ignore the page size and go to width and height. Input the specifications. Orientation, there are two options portrait or landscape. Both you should be familiar with if you have used Word before.


Columns again should be intuitive if you used word or any Microsoft program. Gutter is the space between pages in the book.

avi as media gutter

You don’t want the gutter to be close or you won’t be able to see the words/pictures properly in the book. The gutter also depends on binding method and amount of pages.


Margins are the edge of the border. The link chain the middle of top and bottom vs the inside and outside tells the program to put the same numbers in the inside and outside as the top and bottom.


Bleed is the highly recommended. When the printing press cuts your project it won’t also be exactly that shape. If may be off a bit, like a couple of cms. You want to ensure that if that happens it will still be okay and there won’t be any extra white space. Again the linked chain works the same in margins. Slug is just extra space to put instructions or notes, usually used when you are working in a team.


As you may have noticed my settings are all inches. The default Indesign uses is picas. To change this go to top choose: Edit>Preferences>Units & Increments




While working with your project you may want to change the document settings.  You can do this by going to File>Document Setup. But you will only change a few of the settings. Some you won’t be able to change at all. So do it right the first time.

Okay, I think that’s it. If I am missing anything, have criticism, feedback, or questions. Please feel free to comment!

Indesign CS5 Tutorial: Master Pages

Adobe Indesign is the best way to go if you are making something that has a lot of pages. You won’t be able to keep track of them in let’s say Photoshop or Illustrator since they are separate in Photoshop.

A Master page is useful, because it acts like a blue print. Whatever you put on it will appear on every page that you want it to appear on. Therefore making you more efficient.

1. Make your document with whatever settings you want. A tutorial about setting up your document is here. When you chosen what you want, you will be face with this.


2. You want focus on the Pages Panel. Specifically the top where the Master Pages are going to be.


3. Double click where it says A – Master. It will open up onto the master document.


4. Now edit the master document to whatever you want. Usually templates are used such as page number and headings. I’m just going to put a rectangle.


5. As you can see it applied itself to every left page in the panel.


6. To have the the rectangle or whatever you want on the right page you edit the right page in the master document.

7, When the master is applied it automatically makes the other normal pages uneditable and you can only make changes via the Master Page. There is a workaround to that if you want to edit a specific page. You click CTRL + SHIFT on the object on the page you want to change and it will change it.


8. Say you have more than one template you want to apply to different pages. Can you make multiple masters? Yes, you can. Right click the top of the pages panel and select “New Master”.  And then edit it.


9. Once you are done to apply this to specific pages. Right click on that specific Master and choose “Apply Master to Pages…”


10. This will pop up and you specify what pages you want by putting for example “5-8”



As you can see the changes were made in the panel, and the document.


11. To delete master pages, select the master pages and click the trash can at the bottom the pages panel. And this goes for any other pages in the document.



And that is all folks. Have fun with Indesign!

Tutorial: How to Create PDF via different methods

There will be a time when you need to convert different file format to PDF because of school or work. Here are various methods of creating PDFs from different programs.

Microsoft Word: Office Word 7

In the newer version of word there should be an option to choose to save as a PDF.


Adobe Photoshop CS5

When you go to File>Save As there should be an option in the drop down menu to save as a PDF.


Adobe Illustrator CS5

When you go to File>Save As there should be an option in the drop down menu to save as a PDF.


Adobe Bridge CS5

If you need to combine multiple images, PDFs into one PDF. Adobe Bridge is your answer. When you open it you should have this open up.


If you don’t see these go to windows at the top of the menu and have these options selected.


On the folders panel to your left, you choose the folder with your files that you want to combine. They should open up at the bottom in the content panel. To combine the multiple files click each file while holding the SHIFT key. The order you do them in, is the order that they will be come from first to last.

In the Output panel to your right, you select the options for your PDF such as size and quality under the document tab.


And then click save at the bottom. There are also on-line services that combine multiple PDFs if you don’t have bridge such as

Google Docs

If you have a Google account (And you should really have one), you can create PDFs from there. Go to your Google Docs Account.


Make your Google Docs or you can import a word document and edit it as a Google Docs. When you are in your Doc you go to File> Download As > PDF Document


Hotmail / Live 

They now have Microsoft Word On-line via your Hotmail email account. Go to Word On-line.


Create your word document and just to File>Save As> Download as a PDF document.

Hope that helps! It’s easier to create a PDF now than it was before. Have a happy day.

Adobe Illustrator CS5 Tutorial: How to use the Pen tool


The Pen tool in Adobe Illustrator Differs in how they work from Adobe Photoshop. It works differently to become a more versatile tool for illustrators. You can check out my tutorial for pen tool in Photoshop here.

Step 1: Setting up your Pen tool. Just like in Adobe Photoshop you have up how the “line” will look. Go to the colour picker portion of your tool box.


The white box here is the foreground colour, your main colour. The black box behind it is the background colour, or your outline colour. You can choose not to have one other other if you click the small box with the red line across it. The middle is a gradient, and the first is just one tone. The BACKGROUND colour is the one you are mainly working with if you are making outlines for your drawings.

Step 2: The most intuitive and easiest type of line to make is a straight line. You can also make perfect straight lines by holding SHIFT key.


When you move to make another point (aka anchor point) you might see the green line. This green line is the smart guide that allows you make even lines, basically pre-measures for you. It will tend to ‘snap’, meaning guide your lines to a certain area. If you do not want this go to View >Smart Guides and turn it off.

Step 3: You have to close the shape, to make a new shape unlike photo shop. You can circumvent this by pressing Shift + Command + A  to start a new path/shape. To make it disappear just click the line with the selection tool (Black arrow) and press delete.


Step 4: If you want to move your points (the beauty of illustrator), you choose the Direct Selection tool from your tool box.



Click it and click on your anchor point and just drag it.


Step 5: To add an anchor point, you go back to the pen tool and just put the anchor point wherever you want.

Step 6: If you want to make curves, it will be very different than Photoshop.


You make one point and then you click to make another point, BUT YOU DO NOT LET GO. Instead you drag to make the curve, and when you let go, your curve is complete. Your “handles” the two prong long edge with the two dark dots, help you change the shape of your curve. Play around with it and you will get the intuitive feeling of how the curve works in Illustrator.

Some other helpful tips is that you can just CTRL + Z to undo as many times as you want. Unlike in Photoshop where you can to go to the history panel to undo your mistakes.

Here are some other rad video tutorials on the pen tool, which I find helpful!

Enjoy learning Illustrator!

Adobe Photoshop CS5 Tutorial: How to use the Pen tool

t1Step 1: This tool you will often see and will use in Adobe programs. This is a basic tutorial on how to use the pen tool in Adobe Photoshop CS5, but previous versions of Photoshop will be similar to CS5. I often use Pen tool in Photoshop to do outlines but I prefer Illustrator. You can check out my pen tutorial for illustrator by clicking here. You can see how the pen tool works in Illustrator  Before you start using the pen tool. You will set your brush. To do this choose the brush tool. Which is this button.


You will then go to the upper left corner and click the black arrow to let the drop menu come down.



These are the default brushes. You can download custom brushes but for now these are the ones that you will use the most. Using the slider you can change the settings of size and hardness. Which are self explanatory.

Step 2: This will be intuitive, but you make a straight line by click on end and then clicking somewhere else creating the end of the line. This is your guide to how your line will look. Choose Right click and options would pop up choose stroke path. This will colour in the line. You can move the end points by click the point you would like to move and holding CTRL at the same time.



If you don’t like the placement, just click enter and the line will disappear.

Step 3: If you want to create a curve line. Click in the middle of the two points.



This will create a third point that you can now drag by click on it while simultaneously holding CTRL. This point you created is a called an anchor point. You can make as many you want. Then again, right click and pick stroke path to fill it in.



You can also make a curve by holding and dragging the mouse like in Adobe Illustrator.

Step 4: You can rotate around the point by the two circles handing on the anchor point by clicking it and holding onto CTRL again.


This is the simple basics of the pen tool. I will now go in a little bit extra on the other features of the pen tool. If you click on the black error of the pen tool in the tool box this will pop up. I will briefly go over what they do.



– The Freeform pen tool lets you simply write like you would on paper. You don’t have to make points and move them individually. This is great if you have a Wacom
, but not useful if you have a mouse. If you have a mouse use the regular pen tool.

– Add Anchor Point Tool is useless in my opinion. It does the job which I describe in Step 3.

– Delete Anchor Point tool. Does what it says, it deletes the anchor points you created.

– Convert Point Tool, when you click an anchor point with it. It makes the curve lines straight.

And one last tip. The shape tool works similar to the Pen tool and you should be able to pick it up relatively easy!


Thanks for reading my tutorial, and have fun learning Photoshop!

Book Cover: Icarus Falling

A good friend of mine is a talented writer, and I wanted to make a cover for one of her amazing story: Icarus Falling. It is about the dangers of a drug addiction, and how like Icarus in the Greek mythology was brilliant but flew to close to the sun. It was a fun process trying out different things, and I hope to do more work for her in the future.


Wedding: Lien & Stan

Using Photoshop and Illustrator. I designed the graphics, from invitations to the website to follow a consistent theme. I was able to create a satisfactory wedding graphics package.



Invitation: This Invitation was entirely hand drawn and then colored and cleaned up in Illustrator. I created two versions for them to choose from a day version and the night version. The day version was chosen, but I was very happy with the final result.