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Adobe InDesign 101: Top Ten Tools and Functions

Most Technology Training classes will be delivered online until further notice.

Before each sesson, Tech Training will provide a Zoom link for live online classes, along with any required class materials.


This introductory InDesign class covers basic principles of typography and graphic design. You will have the opportunity to learn about InDesign tools and functions used to design visually effective designs in newsletters.​


No prior InDesign experience is necessary. Just bring your creative and open mind.
In this class you will have the opportunity to learn how to create a visually compelling four-page newsletter by going step-by-step in InDesign. The top InDesign tools and functions will be demonstrated and used to design the newsletter. Best typography and design practices are an integral part of the class so that the visual components of your layout will be effective in conveying the subject matter and drawing the viewer in. Create visually effective designs to convey your subject matter and connect with your audience by learning and applying best typography and design practices. 
By the end of this class, you will have learned how to navigate and design with InDesign. The vehicle for learning the top InDesign tools and functions will be the design of a newsletter. You will be introduced to page layouts (headings, body text, placing images and graphics). You will learn and apply best typographic practices with step-by-step instructions in InDesign to create your own design solution. We will explore these design objectives:

  • Adobe InDesign: Top 10 Tools and Functions with step-by-step learning to create the design
  • Elements of Typography & Design: hierarchy, rhythm, movement, contrast, color, balance
  • Typographic composition: size, scale, weights, placement
  • Font selection: serif, sans-serif, subject
  • Working with images: image file preparation, placement


  • Principles of Typography: best practices, leading, kerning
  • Elements of Graphic Design
  • Adobe InDesign: setting up documents, type tool, using layers, paragraph styles, color modes and swatches, working with images, file preparation for production and posting online
Tim Schwartz

My teaching experience includes graphic design and typography courses as a faculty member of the Visual Communication department at Northern Arizona University (2017-2021) and Colorado State University (2015-2016).

Custom training workshops are available for this program

Technology training sessions structured around individual or group learning objectives. Learn more about custom training

University IT Technology Training sessions are available to a wide range of participants, including Stanford University staff, faculty, students, and employees of Stanford Hospitals & Clinics, such as Stanford Health Care, Stanford Health Care Tri-Valley, Stanford Medicine Partners, and Stanford Medicine Children's Health.

Additionally, some of these programs are open to interested individuals not affiliated with Stanford, allowing for broader community engagement and learning opportunities.