Adobe InDesign

Adobe InDesign [ ə ˌ doʊbi in̩'di'zaɪ̯n ] is a professional layout and typesetting program for desktop publishing, which was initially developed by Aldus under the name K2. Following the acquisition of Aldus by Adobe, it was built as a competitor to QuarkXPress. InDesign is the successor to Adobe PageMaker, which was originally developed by Aldus and acquired by Adobe, but no further development in the form. From the version 3.0 of the program was part of the Creative Suite and contributed to CS6 as suffix its version numbering. The last Creative Suite version is called CS6 and was also the last, which was sold as Boxprodukt through retailers. From the summer of 2013, the last version of InDesign (like most Adobe products ) can be subscribed to only as a subscription service. InDesign CS6, Version 8, however, continue to be offered as a download version for sale. With version 9.0, Adobe starts the branding as Creative Cloud, although new versions are still planned, all of which are sold commercially in Branding Creative Cloud without additional number. Every three months or a dot- release comes with new features that appear in between Bugreleases, but also with functional changes. About every 12 to 18 months is planned a major release.

Areas of application

InDesign is used mainly in advertising agencies and graphic designers as well as free in printers and publishers. Along with content management systems, it is often found in combination with other editorial tools and word processing applications in the professional newspaper and magazine production. Further applications include the production of leaflets, brochures, catalogs, leaflets, posters, business stationery, rare and PDF slide shows with embedded movies, Flash and interaction as well as database-based publishing applications. Since version 5.5 CS Adobe builds out the functionality for (interactive ) e-books.


With InDesign, it is possible to create a visually - or multi-page layouts in any page formats. The program supports the layout in the allocation and management of pages and arcs.

Elements, referred to as "objects" program are installed on the sides in the form of frames, which can be filled with different contents subsequently. Mainly they are used for positioning of text, tables, images and graphics, but also music and videos can be inserted into the document.

All objects can be grouped to accommodate different levels and in an arbitrarily deep nesting. The processing options include, inter alia:

  • Framework and content color
  • Vector processing
  • Character and paragraph attributes
  • Table, cell and object formats
  • Typography
  • Contour styles
  • Transparencies
  • Corners and overlay effects

For the processing of vectors, the same basic tools as Adobe Illustrator are available in InDesign.

Many parameters can be freely and flexibly defined and stored in style templates for reuse. InDesign mastered the basic features of the XML format for import and export, which has just been established largely in the context of database publishing.

Cooperation with other applications

InDesign has an interface similar to many Adobe programs. Furthermore, InDesign supports output in the common house Portable Document Format (PDF), an ISO-certified standard for prepress and print, as well as many related functions for professional users such as preflighting, color separation or a color management. From InDesign printable PDF files can be created on both the export and the print function and using the Distillers. Interactive slide shows and transparencies, however, can only be transmitted over the program's internal export function in the PDF to be created.

InDesign allows direct collaboration with other Adobe products such as Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver and Flash. Also, opening QuarkXPress files up to version 4.x and PageMaker files in version 6 is possible, the program internally in the current InDesign document version converted, can be edited and saved as such. Plugins other providers allow you to open Quark files up to version 7, though, as with any conversion, the quality of the results strongly depends on the complexity of the layout. The documents created in InDesign (. Indd ) are not backward compatible.

Through the acquisition of Macromedia by Adobe Systems has teamed up with InDesign CS3 interoperability increases with Flash and Dreamweaver. Adobe InDesign CS3 comes with the Adobe Creative Suite 3 Design Premium and Standard and is also contained in the Creative Suite Master Collection.

InDesign is delivered as the other Creative Suite applications using Adobe Bridge. This provides a direct access to the InDesign data, whereby, without opening a file, edit the metadata or can read the colors and fonts used. In addition, this offers the possibility to automate operations using JavaScript via the Tools menu.

Languages ​​and scripts in InDesign

Depending on the character set allows InDesign to access Unicode characters and has both Windows and Mac OS X support for Latin OpenType fonts.

Central European languages ​​that are written in Latin characters ( eg, the Czech and Hungarian), can be processed with the Western European versions from InDesign CS2; before there was a separate version for InDesign CE (Central Europe ).

InDesign supports The shipped by Adobe in the Western world version no right-to -left languages ​​such as Arabic or Hebrew; for there is a separate version for the Middle East: InDesign ME (Middle East). Also for the East Asian languages ​​Chinese, Japanese and Korean have their own versions with the necessary typographic special functions ( control of punctuation, sentence level, furigana, etc.). Documents that were created in foreign InDesign versions are retained when opened in the version for European languages.

With the published 2007 version CS3 ( 5.0), the program supports the old spelling and both versions of the spelling reform (1996 and 2006). Swiss Standard German is known as " German: Switzerland " ( old spelling ) and as a reformed version ( spelling reform of 2006 ) integrated. The separation algorithms used by Adobe for German languages ​​have invariably come from U.S. companies proximity.

InDesign CS4 for European languages ​​supports the following languages ​​and language versions: Bulgarian, Czech, Danish, German Old Spelling German New Spelling German reform in 1996, German reform of 2006, German-speaking Switzerland German Switzerland 2006 reform, English GB, English Canada, English U.S., English U.S. medicine, English U.S. law, Estonian, Finnish, French, French Canadian, Greek, Italian, Catalan, Croatian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Dutch, Dutch reform 2005, Norwegian Bokmål, Norwegian Nynorsk, Polish, Portuguese, Portuguese Brazil, Romanian, Russian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish standard, Czech, Turkish, Ukrainian and Hungarian.

Other Features

Furthermore, the program since version 2.0 transparency effects that can be applied separately since CS3 for texts and their frames contours and surfaces. Several FrameMaker -like features have been added, including text variables and lists.

InDesign allows you to reuse existing layouts by stores an existing INDD file into another InDesign document.

With version CS4 also the Live Preflight was introduced, which checks the document to problems during operation and indicates the preflight status in the information field of the document window and in a control panel.

Graphics import and export

InDesign allows you to place almost all popular graphic formats. Transparencies are supported for formats AI (Adobe Illustrator ), PSD (Adobe Photoshop ), PDF, TIFF, and INDD (Adobe InDesign). Attention will be paid the prescribed in the practical requirements for the final product, such as color space, color management and resolution, most of which are predefined in prepress. For EPS formats, the program's internal overcrowding can not be applied.

InDesign CS3 documents can be exported to the Mac version in addition to the native file formats in the following formats:

  • Adobe PDF
  • EPS
  • InDesign Interchange format INX
  • JPG
  • Compressed Scalable Vector Graphics ( SVG)
  • XML

With InDesign CS4 came this:

  • SWF
  • XFL - exchange format for Flash CS4
  • IDML: InDesign Markup Language

The SVG support accounted for CS4.


In order to automate repetitive work routines, such as the formatting of the headings or numbering of pages, InDesign offers several interfaces. The automation of such work is realized in InDesign via scripts. Possible programming languages ​​for this are JavaScript (. Jsx ), VB script (. Vbs ) or AppleScript (. Scpt respectively. Applescript ). On Windows, can be developed using JavaScript or VBScript, and Mac OS X with AppleScript and JavaScript.

For the creation of scripts Adobe InDesign offers the supplied " ExtendScript Toolkit " on which includes an editor and a debugger. The InDesign scripting languages ​​are based on an object- oriented class model that derives all the objects of the base class "Application" or just "app".

Native file formats

Revision history

  • InDesign 1.0, the end of 1999: versions for Windows and Macintosh
  • InDesign 1.5, May 2001
  • InDesign 2.0, February 2002: first version with support for Mac OS X, transparencies and drop shadows
  • InDesign CS (3.0), December 2003: from mid-2004 as " InDesign CS PM " edition with advanced plugins
  • InDesign CS2 ( 4.0), May 2005: Nested Styles, magnetic handle, object styles
  • InDesign CS3 (5.0 ), June 2007: first Mac - Intel - native version; GREP and object search, cell and table formats, XHTML export, transparency effects
  • InDesign CS4 (6.0 ), November 2008: conditional text, GREP, and line styles using character styles, paragraph formats, Profile -driven Live Preflight, enhanced Links panel, IDML (InDesign Markup Language ), SWF and XFL export, interactive, intelligent ( " magnetic" ) guides, documents tabbed window, 90 ° rotatable sheet views, cross -references, new hyperlink functionality panel, page transitions.
  • InDesign CS5 (7.0 ), April 2010: inter alia, export to Adobe Flash, different page sizes within a document, output as an e -book, split across paragraphs, PDF export in the background, levels of individual elements can be switched off
  • InDesign CS5.5 (7.5 ), April 2011: paid interim update, mainly improvements in the ePub export, new products panel, new possibilities for anchoring objects in a text flow, new tag attribute for HTML, ePub and PDF export in the paragraph and character formats
  • InDesign CS6 (8.0 ) announced in April 2012, will be delivered from 7 May 2012: Improvements in e-publishing, place of HTML snippets for HTML and ePub export, ePub 3.0 export opportunities, HTML5, Export to PDF - Forms: already create fields in InDesign Liquid layout, alternative layouts (same content, different layouts parallel), PDF export for grayscale profiles, primary text frame on the master page, integration of HTML snippets, text frames, auto size function
  • InDesign CC, Version 9.0 Indesign as part of Creative Cloud, June 2013
  • InDesign CC, version 9.2 Indesign as part of Creative Cloud, January 15, 2014 2013