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Creating a #10 Envelope Template - InDesign CS2 Tutorial

Jacob Van Ness


February, 2007

In this tutorial you will learn how to set up a #10 envelope template you can use over and over again to set up envelope designs. This template can be used for both #10 Window and #10 Regular envelopes. #10 envelopes are the most commonly used business envelopes. Tutorial Includes project files.


1. Open InDesign.

2. Go to File --> New --> Document to open the New Document Pallet. 


3. Here you will need to put in the dimensions of a #10 envelope. The width should be 9.5 inches and the height is 4.125 inches. The area highlighted with pink shows where you place these dimensions.


4. You also want to make sure that your orientation is set so that the 9.5 inch dimension runs horizontal, as shown highlighted in pink.



5. As a personal preference I like to have all my margins set to zero when I start so I can set manual guides for where I want my margins. You may decide to set your own margins here. Your own margins may depended on how much clearence the printer you are using needs. Where I work we need to have .375 inches around the outside but it may be different for different printers. So I will show you how to set manual margins.



6. Once you have the setting ready you can click OK to have it display your New Document. It should appear like the image below.




7. Now we will click and drag your guides to set your manual margins. I have decided to use the margins from where I work, .375 inch guides. To place the guide you just click and drag a guide down from the top measurements area and for the left margin you just drag from the left hand measurements area.


8. These guides will now tell you where the return address can be applied while leaving enough of a margin for the printer. You can choose to apply the bottom and right guides if you wish but they aren't required for this tutorial.


9. Next we will need to set the guides so we know where the window would be on a #10 Window Envelope. First thing we want to do is change the location of your 0,0 measurement. To do that we will click and drag the cross hairs found in the top left corner of your image window to where we want the 0,0 to be. The cross hairs are highlighted in pink and the red dotted line shows where we need to drag them to so we can set up our margins for the window of the envelope.

10. Now we need to set guides for where the bottom left corner of the window will fall. This location is .875 inches from the left edge of the envelope and .475 inches from the bottom edge. These guides are indicated in red in the image below.

11. Next we will set the size of the window with the Rectangle Frame Tool. Starting at the corner where your two new guides cross you will need to create a box 4.5 inches long and 1.125 inches high. Fill that box with black.

12. The windows on #10 envelopes have rounded corners so next we will apply that to the box we have just created. With first making sure the box is selected you will need to go to Object --> Corner Effects.

13. You will see a small window open labeled Corner Effects. You will see Effect and Size, both of which you can change. Next to Effect you will see None when you first bring up the small window. We need the corners rounded so we must change that to say Rounded.

14. Next we will change the size that appears to .25 inches. The higher the measurement the more rounded the corners will be. You can experiment with this.

15. Once you have changed both Effect and Size you can hit ok. You will see the corners of the box you made for the window changed to rounded instead of pointed corners.

16. Next we will change the box so that it isn't so dark and isn't so overbearing on the page. To do this we will need to pull up our Swatches. You can find them under Window --> Swatches. A small pallet pop up showing the colors for your document.

17. Change the Tint to 10%. This will bring the black box down to a light gray.  


18. This new gray box that we have created to indicate the window is NOT something we want to print. It is strictly there to show where the window would be and where you should avoid placing an image if you are setting up a #10 Window Envelope. So we want to make this box a Nonprinting item. The option for this is found on the Attributes pallet. You can find that under Window --> Attributes.


19. On the Attributes pallet you will see a box that can be checked next to Nonprinting. Make sure your light gray box is selected and then click on the box to make it checked. This will make it so this item will not show up when you print the envelope.


20. Now press Ctrl-O to bring your envelope into full view. You should have something similar to the image below.


21. One last step before saving this template. We want to add a text box in the return address area. To do that you just select the Text tool and create a text box starting at the corner where the guide from the top and from the left cross.  


22. Now we need to save this as an InDesign Template(.indt) instead of just an InDesign Document(.indd). To do this you will do a save as (ctrl shift-S). At the bottom of the window that pops up you will see Save As Type. You will need to change this so it says InDesign CS2 Template. You can name the file what you wish. I chose to save it as Envelope.indt.


23. Your template is now complete. To use your new envelope template you just do an Open and find where you saved the file. In my case I found Envelope.indt on my desktop.


24. When you open a template you will find that the file does not open with that file name. It opens as a new untitled document. This is nice because it allows you to open the same template file over and over again without the risk of accidentally saving over it. In order to save over it you would have to change the save as type to template again. When you save the file you are working on it will prompt you for a file name and will not save over your template. This is because it saves as a regular InDesign file.


The template we have created can be used for both #10 Regular Envelopes and #10 Window Envelopes. The difference is you may place an image over the gray window box if you are working with a #10 Regular Envelope. You may even choose to delete that box once you open the template. It seems to be easier having it there each time instead of having to create the window every time you have a #10 Window Envelope. Enjoy your new template!

NEW FEATURE: Download the original source files from this tutorial in Zip format Here

Copyright (c) 2007, Jacob Van Ness, All Rights Reserved


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