Review of CS4: InDesign

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by Patric King

 adobe CS4 InDesign

About the Author

Patric King is a Print contributing editor and visual designer living and working in Chicago, Illinois. He owns and operates pretty, a small design consultancy.

InDesign sports several improvements geared towards helping designers work in multiple output media. Special attention has been given to items that repeat and other template-like work. Items that are the same, but vary in different contexts (a title, for instance, which changes style from a table of contents to a spread) can actually be treated as what they are: one item. Think of the advantages when it becomes necessary to change an item in multiple places and multiple visual styles in a single document!

A new implementation of conditional items for multi-channel publishing is conceptually similar. For example, if a magazine is to be published in two versions—say, a short version for print and a longer version for downloadable PDF—those versions are considered different views of a single document.

InDesign’s smart guides feature is much improved over previous versions. It now auto detects patterns of spacing between objects, so it’s easier to evenly space them in a document. A tool taken from Photoshop gives the ability to rotate spreads onscreen without affecting the actual orientation of the file, making it easier to get at oddly-positioned bits of typography.

It’s now easier to design prototypes of Flash sites in InDesign to hand off to a full development team. This makes sense considering many properties’ beginnings in the world of print, and subsequent extension into the world of interaction. InDesign can handle basic types of interaction, such as buttons and simple page transitions, which can then be output to PDF or SWF for purposes of prototyping for video or web. Additionally, and very powerfully, still compositions can now be exported directly to Flash from InDesign for final production in cases where a design must retain consistency across media. PATRIC KING

Adobe Creative Suite 4 review

* Main introduction to CS4.

* Bridge “In Bridge, a designer can manage a campaign and its assets across print, video, web, and mobile media.” Click to read more about Bridge.

* Photoshop “Some of the greatest differences between CS3 and CS4 can be seen in Photoshop.” Click to read more about Photoshop.

* Illustrator “Illustrator’s biggest improvements are found in the program’s smaller details.” Click to read more about Illustrator.

* Flash, Fireworks, and Dreamweaver“Dreamweaver is now basically reborn with several new, useful concepts powering it.” Click to read more about Flash, Fireworks, and Dreamweaver.