Is there a way to set up layers without data & style sheets & color in a file and save as a template so that when I open a new document of that particular layout those layers are already there?

I know I can just take one and delete the data and save as a template and resave each time I create a file…I was just wondering if this can be saved as a page type under new docs?

Also, how do you edit and or delete a saved page preset?

3 Answers 3


InDesign no longer ships with the handy templates it once had, but for your particular situation there are two resources.

  1. The excellent Tomaxxi Layers script by Marijan Tompa (tomaxxi) allows you to set up custom layer sets, including a default such as I use (3 layers -- "bg", "gfx" and "copy" -- that are my starting point in almost any project).

  2. If you have specific templated starting points, with swatches, styles, etc., add the template files to a Collection in Bridge. If you keep them in one folder, you could even create a Smart Collection that automatically adds any InDesign document you put in that folder. This makes them immediately available no matter where you are in your directory structure in Bridge.

Collections and Smart Collections are two of the least-appreciated features of the Creative Suite's least appreciated tool. If you've not discovered Bridge yet, I invite you get into it and find how much time you can save.

To edit or delete document presets, choose File > Document Presets > Define.... The dialog lists all presets, including [Default]. Click on Edit to make changes, Delete to remove.

  • The tomaxxi link is dead :( Sep 8, 2016 at 15:35

You can also create "starting documents" for your own common sizes or project. (ahem, don't call 'em templates!)

If you create a document with layers, swatches, type styles, etc. you can save it as IDML and store it in a common place on your system or server. This way, you open it and the file has no filename or presumed directory location.

Yes, it's a workaround. I'd love if ID had more options to configure the defaults across any document. And specifically for Layers, it would be amazing to have "Paste Ignores Capitalization" to make "Paste Remembers Layers". I'd also love to see a way to map Layer 1 to another Layer I've named.

  • How exactly would this be different from a regular ("don't call them") template?
    – Jongware
    Oct 8, 2016 at 20:56
  • I think the built-in templates are only for page size, columns, etc., but not for any styles or layers. I'll have to check, but IDML files are also more portable, since you can share them with colleagues and friends rather than digging through the ID preferences and system subfolders. Oct 11, 2016 at 12:56
  • Why "built-in"? A template is just a normal document, with layers and styles and everything else. The only difference is that by default it opens As Copy. IDML is only a solution if you want to share with users of a lower version (and you'd need to take care not to use any features your colleagues don't have in their version).
    – Jongware
    Oct 11, 2016 at 13:05

Dont forget about master pages. https://helpx.adobe.com/indesign/using/master-pages.html

Hope this helps!

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    – JohnB
    Mar 18, 2015 at 5:13

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