A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.

Adobe InDesign

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Adobe InDesign is a desktop publishing (DTP) software application produced by Adobe Systems. InDesign is the successor alternative to Adobe's earlier document design application, PageMaker.



Adobe InDesign Basics Class

This InDesign class will give you the basics on which you can then develop further skills and become proficient at using this powerful layout program. Further articles will be written to develop some subjects that might need to be taken more in-depth.

Bruno, Elisabetta. About.com. Resources>Document Design>Software>Adobe InDesign


Adobe InDesign Tutorials

Get up to speed on some of the exciting new features in Adobe® InDesign® 2.0 with the following tutorials. Each consists of a Flash movie as well as step-by-step instructions and sample files for download, so you can follow along within InDesign. For demonstrations of key features, take a video tour in the InDesign 2.0 overview.

Adobe (2002). Design>Document Design>Software>Adobe InDesign


Alphabetizing Menu Commands  (link broken)   (PDF)

Ever forget the exact location of a menu command in InDesign? You can use this tip to make your menu commands easier to locate.

Cole, Tim. Adobe Evangelists (2006). Design>Document Design>Software>Adobe InDesign


The Appeal of Adobe InDesign

Working with InDesign is interesting. On the one hand, it’s not really a tool built for technical writers. It’s intended for people laying out magazines, brochures, other heavily designed print matter. As such, some things can be confusing. Cross references, figure references, a table of contents — get ready to search the help to figure these out. On the other hand, the power of the InDesign is somewhat captivating. You’re only limited by your own ignorance.

Johnson, Tom H. I'd Rather Be Writing (2009). Articles>Document Design>Software>Adobe InDesign


Automate Your Designs with Nested Styles in Adobe InDesign

We’re all used to working with style sheets (or least we should be). With each new version of InDesign, there seems to be a new way to style your content. We started with paragraph and character styles, then we got nested styles, followed by object styles, and finally table styles in InDesign CS3. As you can see, nested styles is not really new but it’s something that you should be taking advantage of, so let’s get to it.

White, Terry. Layers Magazine (2009). Design>Document Design>Style Sheets>Adobe InDesign


Better Than Ginzu Knives: InDesign's Pathfinder Commands   (PDF)

Every avid chef has little gizmos and gadgets, designed for specific tasks, that find their way to the back of a drawer and are then forgotten. Like those special tools, the Pathfinder commands in InDesign are often forgotten or considered too sophisticated for non-artistic types. Yet they can slice and dice and combine paths in unique ways that add vastly to the repertoire of the InDesign chef. Added to InDesign's other ways to mix up text and graphics, Pathfinder can help you further push the creative edge.

Burns, Diane. Creative Pro (2007). Design>Graphic Design>Software>Adobe InDesign


Bridging the Gap Between Design and Editorial

With both Adobe InDesign® CS and Adobe InCopy® CS in your publishing workflow, writers and editors can compose stories in InCopy at the same time designers are laying out the pages using InDesign—without overwriting each other’s work.

Adobe (2003). Articles>Document Design>Software>Adobe InDesign


Broadcasting Type

Putting type on a path is not a new concept. However, Adobe InDesign CS adds a new twist to it. Not only can you put type on a path, but you can also link from path to path to have one continuous text flow. In this tutorial we’ll use this technique to replicate Apple’s new AirPort Express ad.

White, Terry. Layers Magazine (2005). Design>Typography>Software>Adobe InDesign


Common Questions About Creating EPUB Files with Adobe® InDesign®  (link broken)   (PDF)

Adobe InDesign is a professional page layout and design application that supports the creation of eBooks in the electronic publication (EPUB) file format. This white paper addresses the most common questions about creating EPUB files with InDesign.

Adobe (2010). Articles>Publishing>eBooks>Adobe InDesign


Compound Paths for Text Holes  (link broken)   (PDF)

You can use InDesign's compound paths and transparency features to create a recessed text compartment in an image.

Cole, Tim. Adobe Evangelists (2006). Design>Document Design>Software>Adobe InDesign


Conditional Text and InDesign CS4

InDesign has always supported the use of layers, but layers don’t always cut it when working with text. You can put a text frame on a layer and turn that layer on and off as needed, but it’s an all or nothing approach. What if you want to show and hide individual words or paragraphs and have the text automatically rewrap when you show or hide those words? With conditional text, it’s a breeze.

White, Terry. Layers Magazine (2009). Articles>Document Design>Single Sourcing>Adobe InDesign


Controlling Line Breaks with the Hyphenation Penalty Slider  (link broken)

Adobe InDesign 2.0 introduced a new feature that you can use to fine tune the way lines break in any given paragraph. You'll find the hyphenation penalty slider in InDesign's hyphenation dialog box. This document is meant to serve as an introduction to this feature so that you'll understand exactly how it works and how you can use it to control the way your lines break within paragraphs.

Cole, Tim. Creative Pro (2003). Design>Document Design>Software>Adobe InDesign


Create Custom Grids

Suppose you have a publication with set column widths. You may not want to reset your columns or drag out multiple guides just to create tables or gridded content. The guides and Step and Repeat features in Adobe® InDesign® 1.5 make it easy to quickly create a custom grid to structure your content. This tip tells you how.

Adobe (2003). Design>Document Design>Software>Adobe InDesign


Creating a Multi-Page Document Using AutoFlow

In this tutorial, we are going to create a simple layout for an existing text document.

Iowa State University (2001). Design>Document Design>Tutorials>Adobe InDesign


Creating Interactive Documents for PDF  (link broken)   (PDF)

Learn how to add movies, sound clips, and interactive buttons to an Adobe InDesign CS document. When you export the document to Adobe PDF, readers can view movies, play sound clips, and activate buttons in Adobe Acrobat. In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to add a movie and buttons that play, pause, resume, and stop the movie in the exported PDF document.

Adobe (2004). Design>Document Design>Software>Adobe InDesign


Creating Rich Interactive Documents with Adobe® InDesign® CS5  (link broken)   (PDF)

This white paper explores the expanded InDesign CS5 rich media and interactivity features; new, nontraditional publishing options for interactive documents created in InDesign; and the way that InDesign works with Adobe Flash® Professional CS5 software. You’ll learn how to create screen-based interactive documents and presentations and become familiar with the animation and interactivity toolsets in InDesign CS5. With these tools and techniques, you can expand your visual storytelling or maximize the impact of your sales message by offering readers content that keeps them engaged on a deeper level.

Adobe (2010). Articles>Publishing>eBooks>Adobe InDesign


Customizing Strokes Styles

With Adobe InDesign® you can create and edit custom dash, dot, and stripe stroke styles, giving you more control and freedom over how strokes look in your publications. You can also save the stroke styles you create, and then use them over and over again in other InDesign publications.

Adobe (2003). Design>Document Design>Software>Adobe InDesign


Designing a Distinctive Table

When you're working with complex data, a table may be your best option. Often, a logical series of rows and col-umns can communicate more clearly than paragraphs. Adobe® InDesign® 2.0 introduces a robust table feature that makes it easy to line up those rows and columns—and to format them in striking ways. Here we show you how you can make an easy-to-read table while using the graphical power of InDesign to integrate it into the style of your document.

Cole, Tim. Mac Design Magazine (2003). Design>Document Design>Software>Adobe InDesign


Designing Text to Flow Around Objects

Wrapping text around objects—from basic shapes or frames to images with clipping paths—can give any publication a unique look and feel. In this tutorial, you’ll learn several ways to work with text wrap in Adobe InDesign® to achieve the look you want.

Adobe. Articles>Document Design>Software>Adobe InDesign


Document Setup in Adobe InDesign CS

In this topic, you will set up a new document in Adobe InDesign CS.

Adobe. Design>Document Design>Software>Adobe InDesign


Dragging and Dropping

There are a number of ways in which you can use drag and drop to get content in and out of InDesign. Here are my favorites: If you ever get a lot of content for a layout delivered to you in a folder full of images, logos, text files, etc., there's a fast and easy way to get the files into InDesign that will enable you to avoid placing them one by one.

Cole, Tim. Mac Design Magazine (2005). Design>Document Design>Software>Adobe InDesign


Dragging and dropping into InDesign  (link broken)   (PDF)

There are a number of ways in which you can use drag and drop to get content in and out of InDesign.

Cole, Tim. Adobe Evangelists (2006). Design>Document Design>Software>Adobe InDesign


Easy Fixes for Microsoft Word Formatting in InDesign

Two free and easy-to-use scripts convert Word's local formatting to InDesign's character styles. Two more retain InDesign formatting when you export text formatted with automatically applied character styles.

Concepcion, Anne-Marie. Creative Pro (2009). Articles>Document Design>Microsoft Word>Adobe InDesign


Efficiency: It's Not Just for Production Monkeys

With a few free tools from software companies and other users, you can carve out more time for what you really love -- creativity.

Ashcroft, Sean. Creative Pro (2007). Articles>Document Design>Software>Adobe InDesign


Enhance Text Design with Nested Styles  (link broken)

Creating nested styles is a great way to add unusual text effects to your document.With Adobe InDesign® CS, you can apply one character style to the beginning of a paragraph, and then determine where that character style stops and the next character style begins. By creating a paragraph style that includes these nested styles, you can quickly apply the effect to multiple paragraphs.

Adobe. Design>Document Design>Style Sheets>Adobe InDesign



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