Adobe InDesign is an industry-leading application specializing in page design and layout work. This page will go into great detail about the specific requirements and best practices for Adobe Stock InDesign templates.
On this page:
General: Templates Categories
InDesign Best Practices: File Type | File Setup | Text | Text Styles | Object Styles | Style Overrides | Images | Colorspaces & Swatches | Master Pages
Submit templates for the following categories:
- Print category: books/magazines, brochure/pamphlets, business cards, flyers, invitations, posters, stationery sets
- Web category: presentation/pitch decks, social media kits
- Mobile category: digital magazines, eBooks for tablet and mobile devices, social media kits
InDesign Best Practices
Follow these best practices to ensure acceptance of your files to the Adobe Stock marketplace. If you would like to see examples of how files are correctly set up for acceptance, check out these free InDesign templates.
InDesign template files must be submitted as .indt. The difference between an .indt and a regular .indd file is that the .indt will open up as an "Untitled" file. This allows end users to save the template as a new file when they edit it, and ensures that they do not overwrite the original template file.
To save your file as an .indt, select the InDesign template format
Use standard paper and screen sizes accepted by Adobe Stock. Layout formats that are not listed are subject to rejections. Do not leave any elements outside of pages.
Do not combine digital and print assets in a single file (such as combining a social media set with a stationery set) - you must submit your template in a single category.
Utilize alternate layouts to create alternate page sizes, such as US Letter and A4 versions of a layout within a file.
Limit the number of pages to approximately 20 within a document (suggested guideline).
Do not use 3rd-party plugins or add-ons - these are not included in the template and will not work for end users.
Organize layers by grouping Text, Placeholder Images, Graphic Elements, and Background. Apply grids and guides consistently.
Each page/screen within a template file should be organized with separate layer groups
Include bleed for all print layouts, especially if there are background color or design elements that are mean to extend all the way to the edge of the paper. This ensures users can properly print files without running the risk of having a white border (blank paper) revealed along the edge of the printed piece.
Bleed should be set up using File > Document Setup, when applicable. Do not include additional crop marks or bleed lines.
Margins should be clear of text and images (unless they are intended to bleed to the edge) to ensure that users can properly print files without issues.
All text must be editable and use Adobe Fonts - do not outline text. Users expect the ability to edit and customize text to their needs.
The minimum acceptable font size is 8 pt. Anything smaller is subject to rejection for legibility reasons.
For more information, see Text in Templates.
Large sections of text, such as in multi-page layouts with multiple text boxes and columns, should use text threads to connect the flow of text between the different text boxes. This allows users to continuously edit large amounts of text without needing to manually adjust it for each text frame.
For more information, see Threading text in InDesign.
All text in an InDesign template should be assigned a paragraph and/or character style to allow users to format and customize the file easily and consistently. The majority of your text must have styles assigned.
Paragraph styles are used to set the attributes (eg. font, size, spacing, color, etc) for large amounts of text.
Set paragraph styles for body text
This makes it easy for users to change the look of their text quickly. Text is assigned a paragraph style and updates itself any time that paragraph style is changed.
Character styles are used to set the attributes (eg. font, size, color, etc) for smaller amounts of text, usually within a paragraph style.
Because of this, they do not have as many controls as paragraph styles. Paragraph styles can control text alignment, format bulleted lists, and so on, while character styles cannot.
Character styles should be used for setting attributes such as bold text, while paragraph styles should be used for large areas of text
Character styles should not be used to replace paragraph styles. A character style can be used in addition to a paragraph style in order to change a small portion of text while still holding onto the larger text’s styling.
Here are a few examples of when to use paragraph styles and when to add a character style:
Paragraph Styles (for bigger areas, more controls)
- Body text for a magazine
- Title of a catalog or brochure
- Bulleted or numbered list
- Text that needs to be center aligned
Character Styles (for smaller areas, less controls)
- Bold a word or sentence
- Highlight a sentence
- Change the color of a letter
- Change the size of a paragraph of text
For more information, see Paragraph and character styles in InDesign.
Object styles control the design and/or behaviors of graphics, shapes, and text frames. They can set color and transparency, text wrap, inset spacing, and more.
Similar to text styles, object styles allow users to make changes to all objects assigned to that style easily and quickly.
For more information, see Object styles in InDesign.
Text overrides occur when text attributes (eg. color, weight, size, font) are outside of the paragraph or character style they are assigned to.
The title text color was changed to blue while its paragraph style, “Title – 60pt.”, still indicated it should be black. This creates an override, displayed as a + beside the style name (“Title – 60pt+.”)
To avoid overrides, always update text attributes from within their assigned paragraph and/or character styles, or create a new style entirely.
Update attributes such as color within the style panel
Object overrides occur when object attributes (eg. fill color, stroke weight, inset space, etc) are changed outside of the style they are assigned to.
In the image below, a stroke was added to the header via the header tool instead of from within its assigned object style, “” (or a new one entirely). This creates an override, displayed as a + beside the style name.
A stroke was added to the header via the header tool instead of from within its assigned object style, “Pink Fill”. This creates an override, displayed as a + beside the style name ("Pink Fill+").
To avoid overrides, always update object attributes from within their assigned styles or a new style entirely.
Update attributes such as stroke within the style panel
For more information, see Use object styles to format objects in InDesign.
Images must be embedded in the template. Adobe Stock templates are single files that do not allow for packaging of external files. Do not link images in your template - they will not appear for the end user.
Embedded images must be saved as .jpg, .png, or .tif files. We do not accept images in .psd or .ai format in InDesign templates because end users may not have access to all Creative Cloud apps.
Make sure that embedded images have the same effective ppi as the resolution of the document - a web/mobile template at 72 ppi must have embedded images also at 72 ppi; a print template at 300 ppi must have embedded images also at 300 ppi.
For more information, see Images in Templates.
Colorspace & Swatches
A document must be set up in CMYK for print templates, and RGB for screen-based templates.
Change the color setup in Edit > Transparency Blend Space
Swatches are named and saved colors, tints, gradients, and patterns. Using swatches in InDesign files allow users to keep track of the colors being used and makes it easier to change them across the entire document.
Do not include spot colors (such as Pantone) - only CMYK or RGB swatches should be used. All swatches in a file should match the document colorspace.
- A Print template with CMYK colorspace must have CMYK swatches
- A Mobile or Web template with RGB colorspace must have RGB swatches
Repeating elements – page numbers, running headers, background colors, etc – should be placed on a master page that can then be applied to spreads and pages within a layout.
This master page has several running headers and page numbers set up. It has been applied to the layout page shown to the right.
Multi-page documents such as booklets, brochures, reports, and magazines should include page numbers. When adding page numbers to a document, you must use InDesign’s auto-pagination feature.
Under the Type Menu, select Insert Special Character > Markers > Current Page Number to create auto page numbers (indicated by the "A" text)
Elements that do not repeat should not be placed on master pages. For example, the master page shown below includes body text that should only appear once in the document. Because it was placed on the master page, this text will appear on any page with the master page applied to it. This becomes a problem because it may cover images and design elements as a result.
Do not put body text in master pages because it will appear on any page the master page is applied to and may unintentionally cover up design areas.
For more information, see Learn how to use master pages in InDesign.
Last Published: October 25th, 2019
Top image credit: Template Depot