Create new documents (Chinese, Japanese, and Korean only)


Equitable Language: We are replacing non-inclusive language from InDesign 2022 (version 17.0) onwards, to reflect core Adobe values of inclusivity. Any reference to Master page is replaced by Parent page in our Help articles for the English, Danish, Hungarian, Spanish, Italian, Brazilian, Portuguese, and Japanese locales.

Page design begins with the basics: starting a new document, setting up pages, and positioning margins and columns or changing grid settings.

When creating a document you can select from two workflows, either Layout Grid or Margins and Columns.

Note: Whichever workflow you select, the file type of the document will be exactly the same. You can view a layout grid created in the document using Margins and Columns, or hide a document layout grid created using the Layout Grid option by switching between views.

The workflow based on typesetting composition using Layout Grid is only available in Asian language versions. When you select Layout Grid, a grid of squares will be displayed in the document. You can set the number of individual squares (number of rows or characters) from the page size settings. Page margins will also be determined by this. By using a layout grid you can position an object accurately on a page using grid cell units.

The Margins and Columns workflow option is the same as in Western workflows. Western workflows are configured from Margins and Columns, and objects are arranged on pages without layout grids. You can set the writing direction to horizontal or vertical using either the Margins and Columns or Layout Grid workflow.

A document showing a layout grid (left) A document showing margins and columns (right)

Create a new document

  1. Choose File > New > Document.

    The New Document dialog box combines the Document Setup and the Margins And Columns dialog boxes, so that you can set up the page size, margins, and page columns all in one place. You can change these settings at any time.

  2. Specify document setup options. (See New Document options.)

    To specify the dimensions of the bleed and slug areas, set a value for any side of the page, for example, 3 mm (in milimeters or .12 in inches), and click the unbroken chain icon so that the same value is used for the BottomInside, and Outside.

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    Create New window in InDesign Japanese version

  3. Click OK to open a new document with the settings you specified.


To set default layout settings for all new documents, choose File > Document Setup or Layout > Margins And Columns, and set options when no documents are open.

Create a new document with a layout grid

  1. Choose File > New > Document.

  2. Change the number of pages, page size, and other options. To specify the dimensions of the bleed and slug areas, click More Options.

  3. Click Layout Grid dialog, and then specify the layout grid settings. (See Layout Grid options.)

  4. Click OK to open a new document with the settings you specified.

The layout grid is for layout purposes only. To add text to your document, add frame grids or text frames.

Create a new document with margins and columns

When creating a document with Western style workflow, use Margins and Columns. If the general layout settings such as margins and number of columns in a document are already known, use the Margins and Columns dialog box as the simplest method.

  1. Choose File > New > Document.

  2. Specify options using the New Document dialog box. Each option is the same as when creating a document using a layout grid.

  3. Click Margins and Columns and select your options using the New Margins and Columns dialog box. The options are the same as in the Margins and Columns dialog box. (See Change document setup, margins, and columns.)

  4. Click OK.

Even when a document has been created using Margins and Columns, you can view its layout grid by choosing View > Grids & Guides > Show Layout Grid, and you can modify the layout grid settings by choosing Layout > Layout Grid.


To set the default settings for all new documents, choose File > Document Setup, Layout > Margins and Columns, or Layout > Layout Grid Settings, and set options when no documents are open.

New Document options

Document Preset

Choose a preset that you have saver earlier.


If you are creating a document to be output to PDF or SWF for the web, choosing the Web option changes several options in the dialog box, such as turning off Facing Pages, changing the orientation from portrait to landscape, and using a page size based on monitor resolution. You can edit any of these settings, but you cannot change the Intent setting after the document is created.

CS6: Digital publishing intent has been added for publications aimed for the Digital Publishing Suite.

Number of pages

Specify the number of pages to create in the new document.

Start Page #

Specify which number the document starts on. If you specify an even number (such as 2) with Facing Pages selected, the first spread in the document begins with a two-page spread. See Start a document with a two-page spread.

Facing Pages

Select this option to make left and right pages face each other in a double-page spread, such as for books and magazines. Deselect this option to let each page stand alone, such as when you’re printing flyers or posters or when you want objects to bleed in the binding.

After you’ve created a document, you can use the Pages panel to create spreads with more than two pages or force the first two pages to open as a spread. (See Control spread pagination.)

Primary Text Frame

CS5.5 and earlier: Select this option to create a text frame the size of the area within the margin guides, matching the column settings you specified. The primary text frame is added to the A‑Parent. (See Using text frames on parent pages.)

The Primary Text Frame option is available only when you’ve chosen File > New > Document.

Primary Text Frame

CS6 only: select this option to add a primary text frame on the parent page. When you apply a new parent page, the story in the primary text frame automatically flows into the primary text frame of the new parent page.

Page Size

Choose a page size from the menu, or type values for Width and Height. Page size represents the final size you want after bleeds or other marks outside the page are trimmed.


Click Portrait  (tall) or Landscape  (wide). These icons interact dynamically with the dimensions you enter in Page Size. When Height is the larger value, the portrait icon is selected. When Width is the larger value, the landscape icon is selected. Clicking the deselected icon switches the Height and Width values.

Columns and Column Gutter

In the Columns tab, specify the number of columns you want for the document. In the Column Gutter, specify the space you want to give between two columns in units.


The Bleed area allows you to print objects that are arranged at the outer edge of the defined page size. For a page of the required dimensions, if an object is positioned at its edge, some white area may appear at the edge of the printed area due to slight misalignment during printing or trimming. For this reason, you should position an object that is at the edge of the page of the required dimensions a little beyond the edge, and trim after printing. The area is trimmed and discarded after the printing process. Bleed area is shown by a red line on the document.


The slug area is discarded when the document is trimmed to its final page size. The slug area holds printing information, customized color bar information, or displays other instructions and descriptions for other information in the document. Objects (including text frames) positioned in the slug area are printed but will disappear when the document is trimmed to its final page size.

Objects outside the bleed or slug area (whichever extends farther) do not print.


You can also click the Save Document Preset icon to save document settings for future use.

Document window overview

Each page or spread in your document has its own pasteboard and guides, which are visible in Normal View mode. (To switch to Normal View, choose View > Screen Mode > Normal.) The pasteboard is replaced with a gray background when the document is viewed using one of the Preview modes. (See Preview documents.) You can change the color of this preview background and guides in Guides & Pasteboard preferences.

Document and guides in Normal View Mode

A. Spread (black lines) B. Page (black lines) C. Margin guides (magenta lines) D. Column guides (violet lines) E. Bleed area (red lines) F. Slug area (blue lines) 

Document window notes:

  • Lines of other colors are ruler guides which, when present, appear in the layer color when selected. See Layers.

  • Column guides appear in front of margin guides. When a column guide is exactly in front of a margin guide, it hides the margin guide.

Create custom page sizes

You can create custom page sizes that appear in the Page Size menu in the New Document dialog box.

  1. Choose File > New > Document.

  2. Choose Custom Page Size from the Page Size menu.

  3. Type a name for the page size, specify page size settings, and then click Add.

Define document presets

You can save document settings for page size, columns, margins, and bleed and slug areas in a preset to save time and ensure consistency when creating similar documents.

  1. Choose File > Document Presets > Define.

  2. Click New in the dialog box that appears.

  3. Specify a name for the preset and select basic layout options in the New Document Preset dialog box. (See New Document options for a description of each option.)

  4. Click OK twice.


You can save a document preset to a separate file and distribute it to other users. To save and load document preset files, use the Save and Load buttons in the Document Presets dialog box.

Create a document using a preset

  1. Do one of the following:.

    • Choose File > Document Preset > [name of preset]. (Hold down Shift while choosing the preset to create a new document based on the preset without opening the New Document dialog box.)

    • Choose File > New > Document, and then choose a preset from the Document Preset menu in the New Document dialog box.

    The New Document dialog box displays the preset layout options.

  2. Make changes to the options (if desired) and click OK.


To skip the New Document dialog box, press the Shift key as you select a preset from the Document Preset menu.


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