Free InDesign Templates
Where can you find over twenty folders full of professionally-designed publication templates created in InDesign?
On your hard drive, if you have InDesign CS2 (the only version that comes with templates). (Edit: We’ve secured permission from Adobe to offer them for downloading on our own site. See their descriptions and links on our Free InDesign Templates page. )
The easiest way to find them and preview them is from within InDesign. You’ll need to re-open the InDesign Welcome screen (which you stopped from automatically appearing long ago) by choosing Welcome Screen from the Help menu, and when the splash screen appears click the New from Template button.
What happens next is a bit of surprise; Adobe Bridge starts up and shows you the contents of your InDesign Templates folder. Didn’t know you had a templates folder, did you? It was installed automatically with InDesign.
The InDesign Templates folder contains a bunch of Collections (saved Bridge searches) and further down, 21 subfolders with names like Menus, Presentations, Newsletters, and Forms. Double-click one of the folders or one of the Collections, and Bridge shows you thumbnails of the templates it contains.
If you change the view to Filmstrip (from the View menu in Bridge) you can investigate each template page by page without having to actually open them. In the screen shot above I’m looking at page 1 of a 2-page newsletter template in Bridge. The “Business Sets” folder I’m browsing contains six sets of branded business collateral for a total of 48 templates! Double-clicking a template opens an untitled copy of it in InDesign.
Even if you’re not the type to use a template, they’re great for investigating how a savvy InDesign user might put together a piece. The files contain interesting uses of custom colors and blends, and all make intelligent use of layers, guides, paragraph and character styles. Linked images are embedded, but you can use the Unembed command in the Links palette menu if you want to open them up in Photoshop or Illustrator.