I have a background in web design I've used many adobe products over the years. I run the website Petite Purls http://www.petitepurls.com and I am currently attempting to convert the current issue into an InDesign file to learn how to make magazines for the ipad.
I know how to create swatches for colors, but back many years ago I remember in Illustrator and other adobe apps if I created a SPOT color it became like a monochromatic version of itself meaning I could pick a color I wanted and then make it paler or darker but it didn't effect the color hue. Now when I select spot nothing changes? They must have changed how its done I can't find it. I often like when I design to make 1 color then make a second swatch of identical color but of a more faded version etc.
I have the Adobe InDesign book which helped me setup my pages and margins and guides and I was able to put a footer in with the page number and a background image on all the pages.
Now I am trying to put some content in and I find then I go to SCALE it down instead of scaling it, it just crops the box and image. I can use the "scale" option which only lets me put in a numerical value which is a bit of a pain, why does it work this way vs like photoshop that lets you visually scale something and tweak into oblivion? Using the % numbers is not really a quick way to do it.
I remember years ago being told for illustrator to import the image in, at the exact dimensions you want it, is that the deal here? Its for a digital presentation you would have thought inDesign could compress and handle the scaling on its own when you imported, do I really need to get it right in PS or illustrator first? I was also really disappointed I could not copy and paste a dashed box out of fireworks. I actually had designed the site in fireworks first. For example this page:
If I try to copy and paste my happy vector text and circles and dotted lines, it comes into InDesign as bitmap and flat :( boo!! Whats up with that?? Why wouldn't I be able to copy and paste between them?
I would suggest looking at Lynda.com. I've used them off and on for easily 5 years. Take a look at all the courses they have and the teachers.
It sounds like you need a good refresher on all the basics since the keystrokes and such have changed....for instance, to scale an image you have to press down shift/ctrl/alt on Win and drag versus just the shift key like in the old days.
So, it would probably be easier and faster for you to invest $25 for a months worth of fantastic video lessons online than to list all the stuff out here.
Personally, I've been doing so much front-end web dev these last two years that I only open InDesign if an AD laid something out in there! I need to get back into that!