Adobe InDesign CC - Essential Training

How to color the background of a page in InDesign?

Daniel Walter Scott

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In this video we're going to make a nice big colored background. It's going to have no stroke around the outside, a little line, but a nice big colored fill. Let's go and do that. Before we get started and put the big box in the background we need to understand the difference between a 'Fill' and a 'Stroke'. It's reasonably easy, but let's quickly look at it.

We're going to use this tool down here, the 'Rectangle' tool. You got two, the 'Frame' tool, if I draw out a frame, or draw a 'Rectangle' tool, they kind of look the same. You can actually fill these guys with colors if you want to. I never ever use the 'Frame' tool, its totally up to you. The 'Frame' tool generally gets used for like a place holder. This is where an image is going to go. I never generally have that problem, so I just leave a big hole where the image is going to go. You might like this little line through the middle. I'm going to use the regular old 'Rectangle' tool for the whole course.

One thing is, you might not be able to see it. It's because the last person that used your computer might have clicked and held down this 'Rectangle' tool and used the 'Ellipse' tool, and drawn an Ellipse. It just means its always set to 'Ellipse' now. So hold it down, you might be able to find the 'Rectangle' tool. Just draw a rectangle, any old size. It might have a 'Fill', it might not. This is where its going to come up the top here. We're going to use this option, there's a few different ways, there's this way, this way, this way, and there's this way, they all do the same thing. If you're using any other method, you're fine but this way here, I find its easiest to learn. It just means, this top one here is the 'Fill', the next one is the 'Stroke'.

So the 'Fill' is obviously the fill on the inside. So we're going to pick 'Fill'. I'm going to pick the 'Mid Green'. In terms of the 'Stroke', I'm going to click back on that little arrow, and there's the 'Stroke'. At the moment it has a little red line, red line means none. I want no 'Stroke' around the outside. Say if I want to put a 'Black Stroke' around the outside, you see, I clicked on it, it added a stroke and you can kind of see it there. There's the stroke, its the line around the outside.

To adjust the size of that stroke you can see, just next to it, there's a '1 pt'. It's always done in points, not millimeters or inches. I can increase it up, and I can make a nice thick stroke around the outside. What I actually want from this rectangle is, I want to have no stroke. So I'm going to go back to 'Stroke', I'm going to click 'None', and this top one here, I don't want this green, I want the light green. Awesome. If its not changing, you've got to make sure you've got it selected, so grab the 'Selection' tool and then make these adjustments.

What I want to do is, I want to stretch it out because, remember, we're using 'Bleed' in this case. We looked at 'Bleed' earlier on. What we're going to do is-- It's really hard to see the edges, so I'm going to zoom out a little bit. Zooming is 'Command -' on a Mac, or 'Control -' on a PC. I'm going to go back to my 'Selection' tool, the 'Black Arrow'. I'm going to grab this bottom right, drag it. Do I drag it to the edge of the white, or all the way out to the red? The answer is, red. Same with this one here. If I leave it just there, remember, the 'Bleed' might get trimmed, and it might leave a little white line around the edge because we need a little bit of overhang to make sure it can get chopped off nice, clean, crisp, and clear, and remember, anything over this edge here is going to get probably chopped into the bin.

So that is how to color a background in InDesign. There's no way of going in, and setting the default bit of this to be anything but white. I'm going to 'undo'. And we do it with a nice big rectangle.

That's it for this video. Let's go and start looking at importing, and scaling, and flipping of images. See you in the next one.