April 13, 2001 / InDesign / Spring 2001

Ten Best Features of Adobe InDesign

Written by Rhonda O'Dea, CJE

InDesign is the latest desktop publishing design software from Adobe, and it offers many new features, including components from other Adobe favorites, like PageMaker, Photoshop and Illustrator. InDesign is not only convenient, but allows superb control over page elements and overall design

1. Walsworth is Prepared to Make Our Schools’ Transition
to InDesign Smooth and Easy

As the technology leader in the yearbook industry, Walsworth has already committed resources to the planning, preparation and creation of InDesign tools and enhancements. We are prepared to provide our schools with the tools necessary to produce yearbook pages easily and quickly. Customers will be provided with enhancements such as WPC Designer Series Library, WPC Color Libraries, WPC Image Numbering, online menu help with WPC Yearbook Help and a new WPC Graphics Express containing modular design elements to be dragged and dropped directly onto pages.

2. An Easy Transition from PageMaker
As with other Adobe products, the user interfaces such as the tool box, the palettes, and the menu bars are very similar. From keyboard shortcuts to context menus and import features, the creators of InDesign have provided a smooth learning curve from other Adobe applications

3. Automatic Clipping Paths
It is no longer necessary to first put an image in Photoshop to create a clipping path. Transparent backgrounds around COB photos, now can be done quickly and easily in InDesign. The program looks for the edges of a graphic and simply creates a clipping path along its apparent edges.

4. Text on a Path
This graphic feature, previously only available in Illustrator, is now as simple as drawing a path and placing the text along the outline, directly in InDesign. Simply click on the text tool and create the text in any shape or form. Great for headlines and graphics, this is one of InDesign’s hottest new features.

5. Drawing Tools
From drawing shapes to creating paths, lines and graphics, InDesign has a variety of freeform tools. The pen tool, pencil tool and eraser tools allow the user to sketch and create shapes or figures. The corner effects in InDesign also allow for a great deal of user creativity.

6. Optical Margin Alignment
This hanging punctuation feature has been long requested by PageMaker users. InDesign adjusts the position of characters and improves the appearance of text by creating a clean edge and putting punctuation outside the edge of the text block.

7. Character and Paragraph Styles
PageMaker users are accustomed to using and applying styles to text blocks, but this feature in InDesign makes it quick and easy. Using the eyedropper, the user can copy and apply up to 20 separate character attributes to a variety of text blocks.

8. Drop Cap Controls
A step above what was available in PageMaker, the drop cap feature in InDesign is part of the actual paragraph style and can include multiple characters. The surrounding text is automatically adjusted when the drop cap is edited.

9. Optical Kerning
To get better spacing and better word fit on a line, InDesign examines character shapes and adjusts the kerning automatically. Previously unavailable in other applications, this feature allows users to see more precise kerning in body copy as well as larger type.

10. Multi-Line Composer
This feature is great for page designers concerned with inadequate line spacing. InDesign can examine multiple lines of text at a time to determine the best place to break for spacing and hyphenation. Most other programs use a singleline composer, and designers are forced to artificially adjust spacing problems.

System Requirements for Macintosh

  • PowerPC® G3 or faster processor
  • Apple System Software version 8.5, 8.6, or 9.0
  • 128 MB of installed RAM with virtual memory on.
  • 100 MB or more of available harddisk space for installation
  • CD-ROM drive
  • 832×624 monitor resolution (highresolution 24-bit screen display recommended)
  • Adobe PostScript Level 2 or higher required
  • Internet connection recommended

System Requirements for Windows

  • Intel® Pentium® III or faster processor (300 MHz or higher recommended)
  • Microsoft® Windows NT® 4.0 Workstation with Service Pack 4, Windows® 98, or Windows 2000 operating system
  • 128 MB of RAM
  • 100 MB or more of available harddisk space for installation
  • Video card that supports 256-color at 800×600 monitor resolution (highresolution 24-bit or greater Super VGA video display card recommended)
  • For PostScript printers: Adobe PostScript® Level 2 or higher required
  • Internet connection recommended.
Rhonda O'Dea, CJE

Rhonda O'Dea, CJE, is a former teacher and yearbook adviser from Salem High School in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The books she advised were recognized on the local, state and national levels for excellence in journalism and design. Rhonda now enjoys a successful career in sales with Walsworth Yearbooks, first as a sales representative and now as a regional sales manager.