What Is Adobe InDesign Used For?
The Adobe Creative Suite contains a variety of powerful applications, including Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. These three are most popular in the graphic design community.
Photoshop is specialized software used for photo editing, web design, UI/UX design, digital art, and advertisements. Illustrator, on the other hand, is excellent for designing logos, icons, illustrations, branding materials, and packaging.
More About Adobe InDesign
Adobe InDesign is a software tool that can be used to create designs for books, magazines, newspapers, brochures, flyers, posters, business cards, and more.
It has advanced print preparation features, including bleeds, color separations, crop marks, and preflight. These features ensure that when the design you create is printed onto paper, cardboard, vinyl, or any other material, it comes out exactly as you see it on your computer screen.
In terms of complexity, Adobe InDesign is meant for professional graphic designers and has a moderate to advanced learning curve. If you have some experience with Photoshop or Illustrator, you can probably get the hang of it with a few tutorials. If you’re an absolute beginner or want to expand your skill set, you’ll want to check out the courses offered by ONLC Training Centers and read our post about how long it takes to learn InDesign.
As for pricing, Adobe InDesign is a subscription-based paid software. You can choose from the following three plans:
- $20.99 per month (annual plan)
- $31.49 per month (monthly plan)
- $239.88 per year (prepaid annual plan)
You’ll also need storage space of about 4.5 gigabytes to download the program onto your computer and run it smoothly.
Versions of Adobe InDesign
The very first version of Adobe InDesign was released in 1999. Since then, Adobe has revised the software several times and improved its performance drastically. Here’s a quick review of the versions released to date:
- Adobe InDesign 2.0: Released in 2002, this version made significant improvements to certain features such as transparency, long document support, and enhanced typography.
- Adobe InDesign CS: In October 2003, Adobe InDesign became a part of the Adobe Creative Suite.
- Adobe InDesign CS2: In 2005, the second version of the Creative Suite was introduced. It came with an improved version of InDesign, featuring object styles, Adobe Bridge integration, and enhanced PDF capabilities.
- Adobe InDesign CS3-CS6: Similar to CS2, these versions featured updates to various features such as minor upgrades like typography controls, interactive elements, and improved workflow integration.
- Adobe InDesign CC: In 2013, Adobe’s Creative Suite transitioned to Creative Cloud. InDesign versions released as a part of Creative Cloud did not have any significant improvements.
The latest version of Adobe InDesign is version 18.3, which was released in May 2023.
Core Features and Capabilities of Adobe InDesign
Here are some of the key features of Adobe InDesign:
Layout Design and Composition
- Multiple pages: You can easily create and manage multi-page documents such as books, brochures, and magazines—all in one file.
- Grids, guides, and alignment tools: These enable you to achieve precise alignment and layout consistency.
- Text and image frames: You can place and manipulate text and image frames as desired. InDesign gives you complete control over the flow and arrangement of content.
Typography and Text Formatting
- Advanced typographic controls: InDesign offers creative typography options and an extensive range of typographic controls, including kerning, tracking, and advanced OpenType support.
- Paragraph and character styles: Users can create and apply paragraph styles as well as character styles. It ensures consistent formatting throughout a document.
- Text threading and flow: You can efficiently manage large bodies of text by enabling text threading across multiple frames.
Image Manipulation and Integration
- Importing and placing of images: The tool facilitates the import and placement of images from various sources.
- Image editing and manipulation tools: Basic image editing functions like cropping, resizing, and adjusting image properties are all available.
- Image formats and optimization: You can export your designs in a wide range of image formats. You can also optimize images for print or digital output.
Interactive Elements and Digital Publishing
- Hyperlinks and cross-references: You can incorporate interactive elements like hyperlinks and cross-references in interactive PDFs and digital publications.
- Interactive PDFs and forms: Users can design PDF documents with form fields, buttons, and multimedia elements directly within the tool.
- EPUB and HTML publishing capabilities: You can export designed content in EPUB and HTML formats.
Are There Any InDesign Alternatives?
Most experts believe Adobe InDesign is the best software available for making professional print media designs. However, if the pricing doesn’t fit your budget or you want to try something less complex, here are a few InDesign alternatives to look into:
- Affinity Publisher
These programs may not be as advanced as Adobe InDesign, but they do offer all of the basic graphic design features required for creating print media designs. Of course, InDesign is king when it comes to graphic design, and ONLC can help you become an expert.