Professional publishers use Adobe InDesign: If you want to create professional looking documents or brochures, you’re going to need a professional page layout software. We sometimes hear the case being made that you don’t really need page layout software; these days MS Word is just fine for creating newsletters or company marketing materials. But this just isn’t true: even if your desired output format is .pdf, you simply can’t get the same professional glossy results using a Word Processing software like Word and then printing to .pdf.
What makes Adobe InDesign so ideal for layout? Using Adobe InDesign it is possible to produce fantastic brochures, posters, e-zines and books. For first-time users, the user interface can look a little intimidating initially but, once you’ve found your way around, InDesign offers significant advantages and is surprisingly easy to use.
Handle images more easily: Adobe InDesign is a page layout software, unlike Word, and it is designed to handle images. When you place images in your document you have complete control; anchor them in place, wrap text around them, layer text over them, layer images, frame images. You can’t achieve this in Word anywhere near as easily, as reliably or with as much control.
Greater control over typography InDesign makes it easy to standardise text; specify by character and/or paragraph. This is particularly useful when you want to create multiple documents in the same format. Create a master, specify the text conventions, and create all documents from that master. The control over the way text flows (threading from text box to text box or columns) is also much easier to control. Integration through Creative Cloud with Typekit and font finder give you so many more options.
Handle multi-column formats really easily: As well as the easier text threading (either by creating separate text boxes or specifying paragraph styles) you gain precise control over the size and layout of your columns.
Combine fine detail changes whilst retaining ‘the big picture’: Adobe InDesign enables you to make fine detail changes to adjust leading, tracking and kerning (the spaces between lines and characters), giving you complete control over the look of the document. Yet it’s also easy to get the big picture right; the snapping to place is a huge help.
Print-quality colours and simple colour management: Like all Adobe products, your colour management is straightforward and can be synchronised across applications and workspaces. You just don’t get print-quality output from Word documents; its print output can look particularly bad where you have text over graphics. Adobe InDesign gives you many more options and greater control over output. If you’re using Creative Suite, you also get access to and integration with Adobe’s e-publishing tools. This makes it easy to publish to i-Pad, Kindle or Nook using adaptive design tools.
Integration with other Adobe Creative software: Of course, this is a major advantage for professionals who need to use other specialist design tools for photo editing or illustration; Adobe leads the field here too. Their new licensing model encourages users to use the right tool for each job in order to get the most out of each application.
Inspired? Want to give it a try? Start with our introductory Adobe InDesign course on either a one-to-one basis or take one of our short courses which run in small, friendly groups of no more than 6, both online and at our London studios.