Los Angeles InDesign User Group
InDesign for Beginners, Novices, Amateurs and Students (aka InDesign for Dummies)
Thursday, September 15, 2011
Los Angeles City College,
Faculty and Staff Center, 855 North Vermont Avenue, Los Angeles, California 90029
By Alvin Takamori
Continuing the policy of holding meetings in various locations throughout the southland, the September meeting of the Los Angeles InDesign User Group was held at Los Angeles City College in East Hollywood.
Our homegrown presenter, Michael Diaz, spoke on the topic "InDesign for Beginners, Novices, Amateurs and Students (aka InDesign for Dummies)." Not only is Michael an active member of our group, but he is a certified Adobe Expert in InDesign and is currently the Content Services Manager at Source Interlink Media. There he is responsible for the conversion of InDesign content to XML for 50+ magazines, the creation of a CMS Taxonomy and the conversion of InDesign content to ePub.
Michael began with the basics of InDesign, demonstrating the various panels and how to access them. Then he demonstrated the various ways to maneuver through a multi-page document. We were also shown several ways of zooming in and out of a page, including clicking and holding the hand tool and pressing the up or down arrow keys to select the size of the area to zoom to. Michael suggested ways to arrange windows and then pointed out the window application bar and some of the elements on it. We saw how to change ruler units from picas to inches, or anything else you want, by control- or right-clicking directly on the ruler. Returning to panels, he demonstrated how easily panels could be rearranged and docked together in different groups and how to save those workspaces. It was also pointed out that there are numerous options that are accessed directly from the panels.
A key feature of InDesign are preferences, and Michael gave us a quick tour of the assorted settings that can be adjusted there. Then he gave us an introduction to the tools. Creating equal spacing between multiple shapes with the Gap tool and loading the Eyedropper tool with sampled text styles were a couple of highlights. He also discussed the options in the New Document dialog box, the endless list of keyboard shortcuts and how to create custom shortcuts, and how to create and move guides.
All attendees received a packet listing many resources for learning more about InDesign. From the InDesign User Group and Adobe websites, to books, training videos and websites, to private trainers, there are numerous ways to become more educated about this software program.
As always, we had some lucky raffle winners at this meeting. Faiane Berger and Nancy Fox won InDesign Magazine subscriptions, and Nancy Lim and Chris English each won a Hewlett-Packard 20" LCD monitor. Greg Overton continues to prove that the more tickets you buy, the better your chances, as he won the Mogo Media "CSS for Designers" training class and Markzware software. Wayne Cosman won the grand prize, Adobe software, and selected InDesign 5.5.
Here's a shout out to the meeting's facilitators: Adobe, Mogo Media, Markzware, InDesign Magazine, O’Reilly Press, Peachpit Press, and to Gohar Amirkhanian, Joni Varner, Vaughn Obern and Dan Wantanabe, all of whom, more or less, had a hand in us meeting at Los Angeles City College.
We are looking for people who want to get involved with the administration of the group. Maybe you have web skills, newsletter skills, an eye for photos, want to conduct the raffles. Whatever. Let's talk.
Orange County InDesign User Group
This isn't really an industry event, but it may very well be of interest to you: The Los Angeles InDesign User Group now has less territory to cover in trying to serve the needs of InDesign Users in Southern California. You asked for it. You got it. Scot Trodick of Orange County Digital Arts has set up the Orange County InDesign User Group. Yea! Not only will those in Orange County have access to ongoing meetings rather than once-in-a-while, but Los Angeles members who didn't want to travel far south for those occasional meeting no longer have to. Welcome Scot, and good luck!
First meeting of the Orange County chapter will be held Tuesday, October 4. Go to http://www.indesignusergroup.com/chapters/orangecounty to register for the chapter or for the meeting.
John Schuman will be on the dais at our next meeting, November 17, 2011 at 7 p.m. at the Yahoo Center, 2500 Broadway St., Santa Monica, CA 90404.
John currently holds the title of Senior Product Manager, WW Education, for Adobe Systems Inc. John has almost 20 years of experience in the field of digital imaging with over ten of those years focused primarily on web design and graphic technology. John joined Macromedia in 1998 following several years of digital imaging production experience in the San Francisco Bay Area and subsequently served as regional Solutions Engineer for Macromedia in Singapore from 1999 to 2001 where he spoke to thousands of Web professionals across the Asia/Pacific region at seminars and industry events. Upon returning to the U.S. in 2001, he took the role of Senior Education Solutions Engineer, focusing primarily on Higher Education in the North American region. John currently resides in Los Angeles, California.