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Creating a Tri-fold Brochure with Adobe InDesign

by Ron Kurtus (3 July 2012)

Creating an 11 X 17 inch tri-fold brochure with Adobe InDesign starts with defining the specifications for the brochure. Then you use those specifications in the New Document dialog box. Next, you set up your text boxes within the document. Finally, you enter your content.

Questions you may have include:

This lesson will answer those questions.


You should always define your specifications before creating a new document.

Total: 4.75 + 0.875 + 4.75 + 0.875 + 4.75 = 17 inches.

Parts of columns 1 and 2 are also split into two sub-columns 2.125 inch wide and separated by 0.5 inch. These are entered as text boxes.

Create new document

To create a new document, select File > New > Document.

New Document dialog box

The New Document dialog box displays. Set the Page Size to Tabloid, Orientation to Landscape and the other items according to the specification.

Settings for Tri-fold in New Document dialog box

Settings for Tri-fold in New Document dialog box

Click OK to create new document.

Set grid

The document displays. Select View > Grids & Guides > Show Document Grid.

Tri-fold document with grid displayed

Tri-fold document with grid displayed

Your preferences for the Document Grid can be set from Edit > Preferences > Grids. They should be set at Gridline Every: 1 in and Subdivisions: 8 to have the brochure parts lined to grids. The main lines are then 1 inch apart and the dub-lines are 1/8 inch or 0.125 in. apart.

Enter text boxes

To enter text boxes, click on the Text tool icon on the side panel.

Text tool icon

Text tool icon

Then click in the area within the brochure where you want a text box and drag the text curser to outline the box.

X and Y position of text box and Width and Height are indicated

X and Y position of text box and Width and Height are indicated

You can make exact adjustments of your text boxes by entering values in the X, Y, W and H indicators in the upper menu.

Then you can start to enter your text.


To make an 11 X 17 inch tri-fold brochure with Adobe InDesign, you first define the specifications for the brochure, then you create the new document, next you set up your text boxes and finally, you enter your content.

Be methodical in your approach

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