Celebrating years of inspiring online art/design education
Online InDesign Course course at Sessions College

Online InDesign Course

60 hours

4228: InDesign Basics

Learn the ins and outs of the industry-standard page layout program

Layout designers today need the skills to move seamlessly between print and digital projects. Luckily, Adobe InDesign can handle it all. In this online InDesign course, you’ll explore a host of essential InDesign techniques and focus on developing efficient workflows. The course will impart a working knowledge of InDesign's main capabilities, everything from basic features to using master pages, importing and manipulating objects, controlling text flow and style, and organizing content with tables, layers, links, and conveyor tools. Projects give you training in a range of real world print/digital publishing projects, from brochures to catalogs, magazines to ePubs, and even an interactive folio for the iPad.

Make it all happen in InDesign

Course At A Glance

Course Features

  • 100% online
  • Project-based
  • Instructor-led
  • Study at your own pace
  • Complete this course in 6-8 weeks


The course is taught by the following instructor(s):

Course developed by: Jose Ramos

Take this course as a standalone or as part of the following program(s):

Course Projects

    1. Kickstarting Document Design

      The term "publishing" is no longer reserved for printed matter. The scope of publishing has transcended the printed page and now spills over to digital media. In the first lecture we'll introduce you to InDesign and learn the basics of a workflow that integrates both print and digital publishing. You'll begin with a comprehensive tour of InDesign's workspace, and learn how to prepare your first document and load it with text and graphics.

    2. Polishing the Document Design

      Pages are fun, but without style, they're pretty bland. In week two, you'll learn how to enhance your documents (and your workflow) with character, paragraph, and object styles. You'll also explore the basic principles of text formatting and learn how to use the Swatches panel to create color schemes.

    3. Managing Page Elements

      Once you get beyond the basics, you'll discover that InDesign is brimming with esoteric tools, commands, and features. How do you make sense of them all? This week's class tackles the many complex panels and tools in the program so you can learn to flow text between frames, manipulate objects, manage layers, and organize using tables. You'll also learn about some crucial content tools: the conveyor tools and the Links panel, which help you select, convey and keep track of content.

    4. Managing Multi-Page and Liquid Layouts

      What happens when you want the same design to adapt to different outputs? That's where liquid and alternative layouts come in. This session, you'll explore the ins and outs of page management tools—including master pages—as well as liquid and object rules to help your designs gracefully jump between platforms.

    5. Book Layout and Design

      Today, we can fit a thousand pages in a wafer-thin device. This week's class introduces you to the world of book design with an eye firmly focused on ePubs. You'll learn basic rules for book design and how and when they apply to ePub design. From there, you'll explore InDesign's robust features—including continuous text frames, object anchors, GREP searches, and automated tables of contents (TOCs)—that help ease the burden of book design.

    6. Adding Interactivity to Your Publications

      As you enter the final lecture, you're ready to get a glimpse at the powerful reaches of the InDesign feature set. You'll learn how to add interactivity to your page layouts, both for a PDF and for the iPad-specific folio format. From movies to hyperlinks, you'll see how InDesign makes incorporating user-friendly interaction a smooth process.

Sample Student Work

by Jessica Plumridge

Course Outcomes

What Are The Course Projects?

Earn and apply InDesign skills by working on industry-standard layout projects, including a brochure, catalog, magazine, and interactive eMagazine.

What Software or Supplies Do I Need?

  • Computer with Internet connection.
  • Adobe InDesign CC.
  • Adobe Photoshop or equivalent digital imaging program.

What Will I Learn?

Students in this course can expect to learn to:

  • Properly set up and structure documents, including importing and placing text, working with the Story Editor, and using frames for the placement of images and graphics.
  • Format text using character and paragraph styles, and build color themes, including gradients.
  • Create a brochure with a two-fold configuration that incorporates properly formatted text and graphics.
  • Use swatches and styles to streamline a workflow and prepare documents for collaboration.
  • Manage page elements, including flowing text between frames, using the Links panel to keep track of linked and embedded images, aligning and arranging objects, using layers to manage page content, and incorporating tables to organize data.
  • Create a full-color catalog that features a design with clear visual hierarchy.
  • Manage multiple pages with a variety of techniques, including master pages, content duplication using text linking and conveyor tools, and paragraph rules.
  • Plan for alternate layouts using liquid and object rules.
  • Produce an attractive cover and interior of a magazine for both print and tablet output.
  • Develop an understanding of technical and aesthetic book design fundamentals for both print and ePub workflows, including an automated table of contents.
  • Add interactivity to documents, including hyperlinks, videos, and navigation controls.
  • Produce an interactive magazine and use the Digital Publishing Suite to export iPad-ready folios.

Getting Started

Course Registration

  • Enroll today, start tomorrow
  • Study at your own pace
  • Complete within 3 months

Course Tuition and Fees 
Registration Fee* $50
Total Course Price $999

Registration fees are nonrefundable after 5 days from enrollment. All tuition includes a digital materials fee for course content.

Click Register Now to enter your information and desired start date. An Admissions Advisor will contact you to arrange payment and provide you with an Enrollment Agreement.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


What Are The Courses Like?

Our courses are project-based. There are no set logins, so you can study at your own pace. In each course you’ll complete a series of lectures and projects designed to stretch your creative skills.

How Much Time Do I Need?

This course can be completed in 60 hours or less. You’ll have three months from enrollment to complete the course studying at your own pace. Extensions are available for those who need more time.

Who Are The Instructors?

Our courses are developed and taught by our faculty of professional artists, designers, and photographers. This means that you’ll learn in-demand skills, get feedback on your work, and build a portfolio of creative work.

Is Sessions College accredited?

Yes. Since 2001, Sessions College has been accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC). The Distance Education Accrediting Commission is listed by the U.S. Department of Education as a recognized accrediting agency and is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).