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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Adobe InDesign

A LibGuide to pair with the upcoming Adobe InDesign Savvy Researcher workshop; it goes over the basics of how to use the program and has other resources for it as well.


Adobe InDesign has many different tools within the program, represented by small icons on the left side of the screen. The following graphic shows what each of them are named, as well as multiple options for tools that have them. 

Screengrab of InDesign tools with each of their names and their different options.

From CNU's LibGuide on InDesign, another great resource. 


This table goes over some of the most used tools in InDesign and what they can do. 

InDesign Tool Name Use
Selection Tool Selection of a whole object; say, a textbox or a frame shape with a photo inside of it. 
Direct Selection Tool Selection of a part of an object; allows user to move the photo within a frame. Probably will be used less that the Selection tool.
Type Tool Allows user to create new text boxes. 
Rectangle / Ellipse / Polygon Frame Tool Allows user to draw and place certain frame shapes on the document, where graphics can then be placed.
Rectangle / Ellipse / Polygon Tool Allows user to create a shape that can have a fill or line directly onto the document.
Zoom Tool  Changes the view of the workspace to either be closer or farther away from the document.