EightShapes, LLC is a user experience design firm specialized in web sites and web applications.

Deliverable Templates

A deliverable template is a standard starting point to create a paginated deliverable document.
There are four options for starting a deliverable, each exactly the same except for page size and orientation:

  • Letter landscape (/deliverables/deliverable.letter landscape.indt)
  • Letter portrait (/deliverables/deliverable.letter portrait.indt)
  • Legal portrait (/deliverables/deliverable.legal portrait.indt)
  • Tabloid landscape (/deliverables/deliverable.tabloid landscape.indt)


The deliverable template includes two pages by default: a cover page that includes document title, author, date, and version, and an interior page that is the standard layout of most of the remaining document.


The template includes a few different masters that you’d use most often:

  • 4 column: An interior page with four content columns, which is the default.
  • 6 column: An interior page with six content columns.
  • Chapter: A chapter page for segmenting your document.

Avoid applying the Background master, which is only meant as a common backdrop to the 4 column, 6 column, and chapter masters.

Grids & Guidelines

Guidelines are setup for the 4 column and 6 column masters. Additionally, the document grid is based on segments of 10, particularly for the rapid creation and orientation of diagrams (like a site map) on their own as well as relative to type flowed within the guideline columns.


By default, the deliverable template is equipped with three layers: content, document metadata (for PDF purposes), and printing metadata (for paper printing). The content layer is the primary layer for you to author content, although some authors choose to add additional layers for added flexibility and organization. It is recommended that you do not remove, alter, or even unlock the document metadata and printing metadata layers except to customize your template.


By default, the deliverable template is equipped with a range of predefined colors available. These colors are built into many symbols, page patterns throughout the system. Colors include:

  • Black and white
  • Scale of grays: 5%, 10%, 15%, 20%, 30%, 40%, 50%, 60%, 70%, 80%, 90%
  • Standard colors: Orange, red, blue, green, olive, light yellow, light purple, light cyan, dark yellow
  • Gradients: Olive, orange, magenta, yellow, cyan, gray
  • EightShapes: Orange, Maroon

Orange is the default annotations color used in markers, callouts, and other symbols. However, you can customize this color by redefining styles in the object styles > annotations folder.

Key tasks

  • Define a page title
  • Create a table of contents
  • Apply a style via “Quick Apply”
  • Fix fonts
  • Publish a document as a PDF
  • Publish a document as an interactive SWF
  • Define document metadata via text variables (document title, author name, version, etc)
  • Customize the deliverable template


All four deliverable document templates are available in the /deliverables/ directory.


To start a new document, double click or open a deliverable template in Adobe InDesign. By default, an untitled document (separate from the template) will open with page two displayed. At this time, it’s recommended that you:

  1. Name and save the document file in it’s intended folder.
  2. Define document metadata such as document name, author, and even version.


Use the deliverable template whenever you are starting a new deliverable document.


The deliverable template enables you to quickly start a document in a consistent, powerful way. By incorporating styles and lists, grids and guidelines, table of contents, page titles, variables, and much more, designers have a shared foundation for creating documents. That said, the deliverable templates are very flexible and thus intentionally light. Reusable page layouts and symbol elements are abstracted out into separate files. Therefore, the core template maintenance is eased, file size minimized, and broad applicability  sustained.

While the letter landscape has been long adopted as the default page size and orientation, other options are available – it is up to the designer to suitably choose. That said, all page pattern layouts are intended for letter landscape display.

How Much

Use the template once for each document you start.