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InDesign: Interface Overview

Version: Adobe InDesign 2020. Be aware that different versions of InDesign will vary in appearance and functionality. Full Guide: View/Download

1. Menu bar: Includes saving options (under File) and interface options (under Window).
2. Options bar: Changes depending on what tool is selected. Contains specific options that allow for greater control over elements like shapes and text.
3. Document Window: Where the document design takes place. May display a ruler and guides, which are not visible in the final print.
4. Panels: Provide a way to access important tools and settings quickly. Many panels available, and some have similar functions as the Options bar. 
5. Toolbar: Used to interact with and add to the document. Many tools have a small white triangle in the bottom-right-corner, which indicates that there are more tools stacked beneath the top tool. To see the additional tools, click-and-hold on the tool icon; a drop-down menu will appear.


InDesign contains several preset Workspaces, which change the default Panels to better serve particular kinds of projects, such as books or digital publishing. The default Essentials workspace is good for most projects, but for projects with a lot of text or specific font designs, try the Typography workspace. 

To change the workspace, navigate to Window > Workspaces and select an option. "Typography" is recommended in most cases.

If a panel is closed or moved, the interface can be returned to the original layout. To reset the interface, navigate to Window > Workspace, and selecting the Reset option (i.e. Reset Typography).

Using Panels

The panels on the right side of the interface will change depending on what Workspace is currently active, but all panels are available in any Workspace. 
  • To access a panel not currently visible, navigate to Windows and select the desired panel. Panels with a checkmark to the left are currently accessible from the main interface.
  • To open a panel, click the name of the panel to the right of the InDesign interface. The panel will extend. 
  • To hide a panel, click the double-arrows in the top-right corner of the panel to minimize it.

  • To access additional panel options, click the four stacked lines at the top-right corner of the panel. There are often important options for deleting or duplicating elements associated with the panel.

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KeywordsAdobe, editing, visual, design, graphic, flyers, brochures, newsletter, flier, book, publishing, layout   Doc ID99363
OwnerJanelle B.GroupPacific Lutheran Univ
Created2020-03-24 09:44:46Updated2023-08-04 16:28:58
SitesPacific Lutheran University
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