InDesign Tutorial 03 of 20

New document settings

A free InDesign tutorial from the worlds best Adobe trainers!

  1. File > New > Document

Facing Pages

Are used when designing a magazine style document where pages will be seen together across the ‘spread’ (like a Woman’s Weekly). Having this feature turned off will display the pages one by one.


You can create preset columns guides in your document. This allows you to get a consistent page layout on every page. It is common for magazines & newsletters to use a 3,4 or 5 column layout.


The space between the above columns.


Visual guides used to keep consistent layout through a document. These are also useful guides if your printer does not print to the edges.

More Options

Click this button on the right of the New Document Panel to see the Bleed & Slug below.


This adds an external margin to your paper. If you plan to have any content running right to the edge of the paper you can run your content into this bleed area. This way when a commercial printer prints your page onto their oversized paper they can trim/cut your pages without leaving any thin white lines behind. Normally set to a size of 3mm.


Used to hold non printing information like dates and document names. This feature is not commonly used by designers.

New Document Window

Example of bleed and margin


Video transcription

InDesign CC tutorial 03: What does bleed mean? What does gutter mean?

My name is Daniel Walter Scott. I am a trainer here at Bring Your Own Laptop.

We are going to show you how to create a new file; we are going to be creating a simple flier for this fictional company called the Green Gardener. I’ll show you a quick preview first. Look at this trick here. If you have a document you want to open. You can view it in Normal Mode like here. If you view it in Presentation Mode, it’s a great way of viewing it in full screen. It works like power point. You can toggle through pages this way. When you are finished showing it to your client hit escape and it goes back to Normal Mode.

So we are going to create this one. Let’s close this one down. Go to ‘file’,  ‘new’ and ‘document’. Let’s get our new page ready. Let’s look at our intent. This is going to be a printed flier. We don’t want web or digital publishing. Digital publishing refers to publishing for the iPad, web is website and print is the more traditional use of InDesign.

Facing Pages

Number of pages is going to be ‘1’. ‘facing pages’ we don’t need for this one. ‘Facing pages’ is for when you are doing a newspaper, newsletter or magazine. You need to see the two pages or the Spread side by side so you can see how they interact together. This is just going to be a one-page flier so we are not going to need the pages sitting next to each other.

For page size there is a bunch of defaults in here. There are the American defaults and metric defaults. We are going to start with A4 but we are going to cut this down. So this one is going to be 115mm x 275 mm.

We are going to keep it portrait. We are not going to need columns for this one. That is more for a publication. It adds invisible documents that allow you to have more consistency. We are not going to need them so we are just going to leave them at 1.


The next thing we are going to have are margins. You have to set up margins away from the edge of the page just to keep every page consistent so nothing goes too close to the edge. You might have edges that your printer can’t get close to. This is a typical size margin. We are going to change this bottom a little. We are going to unlink this icon. And we are going to change this to 20mm. If I left the link on it would change them all at the same time. But I’m going to leave them all at 12.7 mm and leave the bottom at 20mm. why? It’s common to have a slightly bigger gap at the bottom. You will see it in magazines where they have page numbers down the bottom. It looks nice to have a slightly bigger space at the bottom of a page.


Bleed is used on pages where images go all the way to edge of the page. If you print a cover of a magazine, they will add a bit of a bleed, typically 3mm. The edge will go all the way to the edge and that 3mm will end up getting chopped off to make a nice crisp edge. Most printers wont be able to print right to the edge of the paper. In house printing won’t be able to provide a bleed. It wont be able to print right to the edges. You will just keep the colours and images away from the edge and then you wont need the bleed.


Slug, is probably something you won’t need unless you’re a printer. Printers can add a slug. Its like a bleed, it’s a bit extra around the edges that allows them to write things in. It might be that you have something that’s going out to print that has a perforation or a cut or glued on one side. They can write things in the slug that will help the production in the end. Often you won’t use the slug yourself.

If you want to you can save this as a document pre-set.

Click ‘ok’ and we have our document ready to go. The white is the page itself. The bleed is the red mark here. If the image overlaps on to the edge, you will need to make sure your colour boxes and all of your images overlap on to the red so that when the printer gets it they will print all the way to edge and then trim along here. If they try to line it up perfectly with the edge of the page they might get a white line where it doesn’t quite line up. This is your margin. These margins don’t print. They are just a visual guide to make sure you have even spaces on both sides.

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