Adobe InDesign - from dissertation layout to poster design

This course will explore the countless possibilities of Adobe InDesign. It will teach you how to create attractive and functional layouts for different types of publications, such as theses, books, posters, resumés, and presentations. For PhD candidates, postdocs, students, and staff.

You will be introduced to the program's workspace, and with the help of tailor-made exercises, you will discover how to layout and edit your thesis, posters, etc. At the end of the course, you will be equipped with the necessary knowledge to combine photos, illustrations, tables, and text with striking ease. No previous knowledge of the program is needed.

Learning objectives

This course teaches you the main functionality of Adobe InDesign. You will start navigating the different tools and functions to build a reliable workflow. You will learn how to format text, images/objects, and tables. You will understand the use of master pages (templates), paragraph & character styles, and how to use them to create complex layouts such as Ph.D. dissertations. Finally, you will hear about the differences between print (CMYK) and screen colors (RGB) and exporting different sorts of files (e.g., jpeg, png, tiff, pdf). You will learn to layout several kinds of files and design your templates.

This course provides a manual you can skim upfront, to save time on the first session, and use afterward to refresh the theory. This allows the course sessions to focus in-depth on the tools, tips, and tricks to layout your long-text documents (e.g.thesis) or short-text documents (e.g., posters, cv, brochures, and figures). The assignments will make you confident to work on your design challenges at the end.

InDesign will become the more straightforward and prominent alternative for Adobe Illustrator to layout scientific artwork and design simple illustrations and figures. Remember that Adobe Illustrator is used for drawing detailed illustrations and vector graphics, while Adobe InDesign to layout documents, from single figures to books. To draw detailed artwork & infographics, we advise you to follow the other course provided by Iliana (Adobe Illustrator - Scientific Artwork and Infographics with Adobe Illustrator.)

Instructional method

The course is split into four sessions. The first two sessions focus on a thesis book's layout and multiple-page documents. For the last two sessions, we will focus on the layout design of different files such as a figure, a poster, a cv, or a brochure. All days will have theoretical and practical parts. The assignments are tailored-made to practice the tools and methods discussed, with the help and supervisor of Iliana. You will also get the chance to work with ongoing projects of your own and recreate templates given in the course or found online. Lastly, we will pay extra attention to the importance of print and screen colors, so you will never have to deal with unexpected results. The exercises and the manual of the course are given beforehand.


To follow the course, you need a laptop with Adobe InDesign installed in English. Also, remember to have a mouse or a graphic tablet to work since the laptop's mousepad will make the work difficult. At last, since the course is online and the sessions interactive, a microphone and a camera are obligatory for participation.

Study load

In addition to the scheduled sessions, you should consider an extra study load of approximately 12 hours. This study load generally consists of homework assignments in preparation for the next session.

Group size: 8 to 15 participants