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A Review of Adobe InDesign

written by: cscribe2180•edited by: Daniel P. McGoldrick•updated: 3/3/2010
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Adobe InDesign is a desktop publishing program used by many newspapers, advertising agencies, and other creative pursuits for major publications. I can see why, and in this review, I will make the case for why you should consider using InDesign for your desktop publishing projects.

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    Get Started with Graphic Design

    In the publishing world, diversifying skills is tantamount to success. These days, professionals in the newspaper, advertising and public relations industries need a good mix of writing and graphic skills to produce quality print publications for clients. But what if you're still learning? A perfect place to meld these skills even with limited graphic design knowledge is through Adobe InDesign, a gem of the Adobe Creative Suite offerings. This sophisticated desktop publishing program opens up a world of creative possibilities even to those with limited design experience.

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    History of InDesign

    Adobe InDesign evolved from Adobe Pagemaker, an earlier version of the Adobe desktop publishing program that, while well-meaning in its purpose, proved limiting, especially to users with little graphic design experience. Adobe InDesign, part of the Adobe Creative Suite bundle of software, has taken the place of Quark Express as the standard for desktop publishing software in creative print industries such as news, advertising and public relations.

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    Text and Guide Features

    Adobe InDesign allows for quick and easy manipulation of text to create continuity and style in any print document through the use of its paragraph style feature. You can manipulate text by setting different font styles, weights and other properties and then saving the style you created to apply to other desired text within the document. A definite time saver!

    In addition, it's easy to move and place text within your Adobe InDesign document using the text tool, which creates text boxes and even enables typing at different angles or "paths" to add creative punch to your body copy. As you work, click and drag from either the vertical or horizontal rulers on your document to create instant alignment guides, and change the alignment of your text using the paragraph and text wrap tables.

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    Color and Graphics Features

    Importing photos and other graphics to your Adobe InDesign document is a snap with the rectangle frame tool, which unlocks other features to enhance and alter photos such as corner effects, drop shadows and feathering. Use the Swatches menu to easily change the hue and transparency of the colors within your document. It's also possible to create "gradient" color swatches that allow you to apply a fade effect to any designated space on your document.

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    Using the PreFlight Feature

    When you're ready to send your Adobe InDesign document off to print, wait a second! Make sure your graphics are properly formatted and all necessary fonts and colors are in place by using the PreFlight feature. This is a GREAT way to make sure your documents remain consistent as well as make life easier for your printers.