I'm looking at setting up a small (tabloid) not for profit/community newspaper and I was just wondering if anyone knows where I can find information about how to set them up technically, or perhaps some ready made templates for indesign. I've created business cards posters & brochures before but never even attempted a complex multipage doccument. Any advice would be forever appreciated!
I work for a custom publisher and we have converted three of the main four pubs we produce into InDesignCS files.
I would suggest first getting a general design sketched out with all tech components: page numbers, 'live area' guides, margins, folio's, etc. The reason being, once you get into putting content in, when you're working in preview mode all the guides and frame edges and such can lead to a messy screen. Yes, everything is under your control, but I've found that elements that were included on Master pages 'just in case we...." only serve to clutter the visual and, in the long run add to the file size. (If only a few K per document...but after a years worth of time...it all adds up)
Once you have the basics figured out, create a new document at the final/trim size. So, if you're going tabloid make it 11"x17" and for general guides that even the most thumb-endowed printers can handle, set margins at .25" all the way around. That will give you a quarter inch of white space around the entire page. For Bleed, enter .125" That's been the standard amount of area for bleed in the US for sometime. Bleed will be where the frames of pictures or ads that are supposed to fill the page will need to extend to.
I would recommend NOT choosing "Master Text Frame" in the set up. Especially if you are going to have multiple story items on a page. It depends on your design, but when you want to jump stories to continue in a latter part of the newspaper or even just over to the next page, you'll need multiple text frames anyway so it's just easier to manage text frames as you need them. As for facing pages, it may also be easier not to select that if you're not comfortable moving through multi-page documents. Just remember to keep page count divisble by four.
Auto page numbering and previous/next page number are invaluable for a newspaper/magazine. Go to the master page and create your folio. Control/right click and select Insert Special Character then Auto Page number. That will change as you add/delete pages. If you have stories that jump from one page to another, draw a text frame across the bottom of the text frame holding the content that needs to jump. Type "continued on" or whatever and then control/right click...Insert Special Character and choose Next Page" Then, go to whatever page will hold the continuing story, draw the text frame, draw another text frame much smaller that overlaps the one you just made and enter "continued from" or whatever and then Insert the Previous Page.
Thread the story from the first page into the second and the numbers will automatically appear! The great thing here is that as you move, add or delete pages, those numbers will change accordingly so you don't have to worry about incorrect page jumps.
I don't know if they have newspaper templates, but you might checkout stocklayouts.com. They have some nice stuff. Make sure you choose the high-end printing ones...not the ones for desktop/inkjet output.