Adobe® InDesign CS6 Desktop Publishing Program for Multi-media Productivity
By Howard Berenbon
If you’re looking for that perfect document design program for mult-media productivity (also known as a typesetting program) for your PC or Mac, then you should check out InDesign CS6 from Adobe Systems Inc. This is the latest and greatest version of their professional typesetter for print, online, computer and mobile devices (design apps for the iPhone, Android, iPad and other tablets) updated from CS5.5. It’s available as a stand-alone program, or within several of their suites: CS6 Master Collection, CS6 Design & Web Premium, CS6 Design Standard and CS6 Production Premium. InDesign CS6 is perfect for any traditional paper printing projects or your multi-media assignments for online publishing. And now with Adobe Creative Cloud (you must subscribe—from $29.99 a month), you can use InDesign online and get help and feedback from their creative community worldwide.
Starting InDesign CS6
When you start the program, two screens appear: the main menu with your work area and a smaller screen in the foreground where you open an existing file, or create a new file (Document, Book, or Library). For online help, under Community, you can access InDesign Exchange, InDesign User Group, InDesign Partners and InDesign Plug-ins. Help is also available at Adobe.com by clicking Getting Started, New Features or Resources (lower left). You’ll find video and text tutorials (some pdf), plug-ins, templates, troubleshooting help, community access and more. You can also access Adobe TV for some excellent free InDesign design and layout instructions.
The main menu of InDesign CS6 looks very much like main menus on other Adobe programs products with some variations. At the very top you’ll find File, Edit, Layout, Type, Object, Table, View, Window and Help. To the right you have access to Adobe Bridge and the zoom, screen mode and arrange documents buttons. On the left edge of the screen you’ll find a vertical tool bar, which is moveable, for access the text and graphics tools.
To start an existing document, click on the Open Document box to display your My Documents folder, or you can just create a new document from the File menu. On the left edge, you'll see the floating tool bar, in the center is your document work area with the filename at the top left and your page controls just above. The Essentials panel is displayed on the far right with access to Pages, Links, Stroke, Color and Swatches. To enter text, click on the T symbol, then drag a text box in your document. You can add graphics and pages (objects) in several formats, including PDF, using the Place command. When your project is complete, you can save it as an InDesign document (.indd) or template, or save and export in various formats including Adobe PDF (print or interactive), JPEG, InCopy, Flash, Digital and Dreamweaver.
What’s New and Improved
Adaptive Design Tools. Radically improve the way you work. Efficiently leverage and adapt layouts for myriad page sizes, devices, and orientations without sacrificing pixel-perfect control over design and typography.
Liquid Layout. Apply liquid page rules to automatically adapt content when you create an alternate layout with a different size or orientation in InDesign.
Alternate Layout. Efficiently create and design multiple versions of a layout for different devices and print needs, all within a single InDesign file.
Linked content. Link content within or across InDesign documents so that changes (including interactivity) made to the parent text or object are applied to all linked children objects.
Content Collector tools. Grab text and objects from an existing layout using the Content Collector. In a new layout, use the Content Placer to add items in the order you want them to appear.
PDF forms within InDesign. Create form fields directly within InDesign before you export to PDF. You can also assign the tab order in InDesign using the Articles panel.
Middle Eastern language support. Buy and update the Middle Eastern version of InDesign directly from Adobe for easier localization of global documents and enhanced functionality.
Pages panel enhancements. Display alternate layouts in the Pages panel to organize content efficiently.
Split window. View two side-by-side layouts within the same document to compare the look and feel of the layouts and help ensure consistency.
Recently used fonts. Access fonts you use frequently. Recently used fonts appear at the top of the font list.
Persistent text frame fitting options. Set frames to grow with additional text, based on simple parameters. Expand and shrink frames automatically for headlines, callouts, or other variable content.
Key object alignment. Align selected items to a key object you define.
Complex calculations. Calculate values in panels and dialog boxes using complex calculations (for example, 12.5p/2x3).
Export to PNG. Export your InDesign document to PNG, a lossless format, for use on the web. You can export the entire document, part of the document, or individual items.
Indic language support. Use the World-Ready Composer, an alternate composition engine, to work with Hindi, Punjabi, and other Indian languages‡, as well as complex script languages such as Arabic and Hebrew.
Enhanced packaging support. Package InDesign projects for handoff in Adobe Digital Publishing Suite* workflows, including functionality such as overlays.
Grayscale preview. Preview your layouts in grayscale to see how they will look on a black-and-white device or when printed in black and white.
Hunspell dictionary enhancements. Access more than 100 open source dictionaries.
Enhanced split and span support. Keep lines together in paragraphs that split or span columns.
Enhanced zoom for linked objects. Zoom in to a linked object from the Links panel to evaluate it more clearly.
Include interactive HTML — such as Google Maps and animation developed with Adobe Edge software — in InDesign layouts. Interactivity is retained when exporting to HTML, EPUB3, or .folio for Adobe Digital Publishing Suite*.
Grayscale PDF export. Export PDF files in grayscale directly from the Print dialog box.
IDML support. Save in IDML format from the Save As menu to use the layout in an earlier version of InDesign.
Interactive PDF exported as pages. Export an interactive PDF as pages instead of spreads.
Extension set management. Enable or disable groups of extensions based on your current workflow.
Style mapping in linked text. Control how content in linked text is styled. Specify different text styles for parent text and children.
Adobe InDesign CS6 for PC or Mac sells at Amazon for $635.98 (upgrade from CS5.5 for $119) and will run on any multimedia PC with Intel® Pentium® 4 or AMD Athlon® 64 or faster processor, Windows 7/8, Vista or XP, 1 GB RAM (2 GB recommended), 1.6 GB hard disk space 1,024 x 768 display resolution, Adobe Flash Player 10 and a DVD-ROM drive. Also available for the Apple Macintosh with a Multicore Intel processor, Mac OS X v10.6.8 or v10.7, 1 GB RAM (2 GB recommended), 2.6 GB hard disk space 1,024 x 768 display resolution and a DVD-ROM drive. For more information or to order, visit Amazon.com.
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