Review of CS4: InDesign
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