If you’ve been reading And Possibly Dinosaurs for a while, you know that two of my favorite things are saving time and InDesign. So I’m super excited to share an awesome way to save time with InDesign: custom InDesign page sizes!
Whenever you open an InDesign document, it’s traditionally going to auto-fill your page size as a single-page, vertical letter-sized document. You can choose other options that have already been created for you, like Tabloid, Legal, and Half Letter. But what if you’ve got a custom size you’d like to be able to easily select from the drop-down menu without having to look up the dimensions each time?
That’s where custom InDesign page sizes come in! You can tell InDesign what page sizes you’d like available, and it will show them in the Page Size drop-down menu for you. Pretty awesome, right?
Why should you create custom InDesign page sizes?
Okay, but why would you want to create custom InDesign page sizes? There are two that I can think of right off the bat!
You’re using the same file sizes a lot
Let’s think of the file sizes you’re using most frequently. Letter (8.5″ x 11″) and tabloid (11″ x 17″) are probably two of the most common, right?
Luckily, those are already provided for you. InDesign has some super common page sizes pre-installed, including letter, tabloid, and legal. So if those are the sizes you’re using, you’re golden. No need to add your own custom InDesign page sizes.
But what if you were creating a book that had a nontraditional page size? Maybe it’s 4 inches wide by 7 inches tall. And maybe you wanted your worksheets and content upgrades to be the same size as your book so it stays on-brand.
Then you’d want to create a custom InDesign page size for it! That way, whenever you want to create a document with 4×7 pages, all you have to do is select it from a drop-down menu.
Some page sizes are difficult to remember
In the example above, your page size was pretty easy to remember, right? Four inches by seven inches. I can remember that!
But what about some page sizes that aren’t easy to remember?
For example, let’s say you run a Facebook group and you want to be able to change the group’s cover photo around a few times a year.
The image dimensions are 820px by 246px. Who is going to remember that?
Sure, you could look that number up each time you want to create a new cover photo. Or you could open up your original file, edit it, and save as. But both of those take up more time than you’d like to spend, and the second option leaves the risk that you’ll save over your original file! (It happens. Trust me.)
Instead, you could create a custom InDesign page size specifically called Facebook Group Cover Photos. Then, when you want to create a new one, simply select that option from the drop-down menu and start working!
Easy, right? So… how do we do it?Saving time in InDesign is easy! Check out @caitlinhonard's tutorial on custom InDesign page sizes!Click To Tweet
How do you create custom InDesign page sizes?
First things first, you want to open InDesign. Then, make sure your units of measurement are correct by going to InDesign CC (on a Mac) or Edit (on a PC) -> Preferences -> Units & Increments… and select your prefered Horizontal and Vertical Ruler Units. I recommend pixels. Then hit OK to be taken back to the Starter screen.
Next, click the New… button (or go to File -> New). You’ll see a drop down menu next to Page Size that should be auto-completed with Letter. Click on the down arrow to expand the menu. The very bottom button should be Custom…, which is what you want to select!
Next, you’ll want to name your custom InDesign page size. I like to keep mine consistent, so all of the Facebook sizes start with Facebook, all of the Twitter sizes start with Twitter, etc.
It’s important to note that you can’t move your sizes around in the list once you’ve made them; they show up in the order they were created. So try to come up with all of your custom InDesign page sizes at once and add them in whatever order you want them to show up in!
Once you’ve typed in the name, fill in the image’s width and height. Depending on the dimensions you put it, it will auto-select portrait or landscape (the two icons next to Width) for you!
If you’ve got more than one custom InDesign page size to add, click the Add button and fill in the information for the next size. Otherwise, if this is the last one, select OK and the window will close for you!
Now, you’ll notice the last custom page size you added is selected in the Page Size drop-down. When you click on the down arrow to show the entire list, you’ll see all of your new custom page sizes listed! Simply select whichever one you’re about to use and click OK!
Creating custom page sizes in InDesign is a super easy way to save time, whether you’re designing an ebook, a content upgrade, or some graphics for your site.
So what are you waiting for?! Go set up your custom page sizes!