Background Tutorials for InDesign

InDesign Transparency, Layers and Master Pages

InDesign Transparency Background Image WorkYou can use InDesign transparency settings to fade a background image so you can work over the top of it. But how do you stop accidentally and annoyingly selecting it whenever you want to move or change another element on the page? There are two ways to lock a background image for this purpose. One is to use locking Indesign layers, and the other is to use master pages.

Using InDesign layers to lock a background image

First create an Indesign document. I've given mine 5mm bleed so the background image bleeds off the edge of the page.

Place your background image and snap the outer edges of the bounding box to the bleed guides.

Open the InDesign Transparency Palette. In InDesign CS3 this is now called the Effects Palette. Select the background image and give it an opacity of about 25% (or whatever you're happy with).InDesign Transparency Background Image Work ).

Next, create a new layer by clicking the Create New Layer button at the bottom of the InDesign Layers Palette. This is the layer that will contain all the text, images and other elements of the layout. As long as the bottom layer containing the background image is locked, it'll stay in position.

Using InDesign master pages to lock a background image

The master pages within layout programs like Indesign and Quark XPress enable you to reproduce permanent features of a document layout (like page numbers and other repetitive design features) on every page of a document without having to recreate them for every single page.

InDesign Transparency Background Image WorkIn InDesign, everything on the master pages is locked by default. This can be overridden at page level if required as is demonstrated further down. In Quark, nothing that appears on the master pages is locked, so you need to be more careful not to move elements around by mistake.

Anything that appears on the master pages (you can have different master page designs applied to different document pages) will appear on every page which has that master page applied. For example, below you can see the master page is called A-Master. The only page in the Pages Palette has an 'A' in the middle of the thumbnail. This means that the A-Master is applied to it, so a background image that appears on the A-Master will also appear on every page with an 'A' showing on the thumbnail.

Double click the A-Master thumbnail in the Pages Palette. Place the background image and use the InDesign Transparency Palette to knock it back as described earlier. Then double click on the page 1 thumbnail to return to the main layout.

You can now place whatever elements you like over the background image and you won't be able to select, move or alter it, even though the layer that it's on isn't locked.

If you do want to release the background image on a page, select the relevant page thumbnail in the Pages Palette. Click the little submenu arrow (top right of the palette) and select Override All Master Page Items. This will release everything on the master page on the selected pages only.

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In Adobe Indesign, how can i import an image and use it as a light background which i plan to write over?

I am new to Indesign. I know its got something to do with layers but i'm a bit lost...

If anyone knows any websites that explain Indesign in 'basic terms', it would also be much appricated

Import the image by going to File > Place locate your picture you want to import then click open. Click anywhere on your page to place the image. Then to screen back your image make sure you have it selected then locate your transparency slider and change the percentage. Depending on what version of In Design your using this step may vary. In design CS3 it is under effects > opacity. Adobe offers books called Class Room in a Book for all of there programs available at any book store or Also you can always go to the HELP menu provided with every program located on the…

How to make an image background transparent in Adobe InDesign?

I heard you have to do in PhotoShop but I'm very new to the program and can't figure out how to do it. Please describe it simply, step by step! Thanks!

If you want to extract an image from a background, it's best to use a raster image editor to do it, Photoshop can certainly do it. Photoshop has much more advanced selection capabilities - and allows you to refine edges to get almost perfect extractions.

You could add a cliping path in InDesign to do it too, but you would get better results using Photoshop.

If you want to find out how to do it in InDesign - Google this "InDesign add clipping path to image tutorial"

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