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Learn how to create Instagram carousels in Adobe InDesign

When tasked with creating Instragram Carousels, it's not uncommon for designers to fire up Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop to get the job done. While those are both great tools more than capable of handling the task at hand, what if I told you InDesign has a hidden feature that allows you to build out a carousel and design it how you would using Artboards in Ai or Ps?

It's true!

In this tutorial, I will go over how to set up a six-slide Instagram Carousel – highlighting one of my recent posts on 5 Tips to Help Manage Your Time. For this, we'll activate InDesign's "Allow Document Pages to Shuffle".

Before getting start, you can find the lesson files available for download to follow along in this tutorial.

Document Setup

  • Go to File > New > Document or click the New File.

  • Set the width and height fields to 1080 x 1080 – the size of an Instagram post.

  • Set the number of pages to 6 and leave Facing Pages unchecked.

  • Set the Margins to 90px all the way around.

  • Click Create.

Here's a look at the settings for the page setup using the steps mentioned above:

Now that the document is set up, open the Pages panel where you will see all six pages – ordered from 1 to 6 positioned vertically. As you likely know, this is how you would typically see the pages displayed in a new document. However, I am going to show you a technique to position each page in a single horizontal row, which will make creating the carousel much easier.

For this, we'll activate the Allow Document Pages to Shuffle option, which can be found in the Pages panel options.

Allow Document Pages to Shuffle

  • Click on the Pages panel options – this can be located in the the hamburger icon in the upper right corner of the window.

  • From there, click – or deselect – the Allow Document Pages to Shuffle option. In other words, this allows you to shuffle or arrange the pages horizontally!

  • In the Pages panel, click Page 2 and drag it to the right of Page 1. Click Page 3 and drag to the right of Page 2. Repeat the process until you have all six pages displayed horizontally.

Here's a look at how it will appear when you've completed these steps:

How cool is this? You're used to working in this mode in Illustrator and Photoshop, but having this option in InDesign is a complete game changer.

Follow along in the rest of the lesson and I'll go over how to design the post and discuss what makes an effective Instagram carousel.

Here is the IG carousel we'll create in this lesson.

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