Adobe InDesign CS2 review: Adobe InDesign CS2

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CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars Very good
  • Overall: 7.7
  • Setup and interface: 8.0
  • Features: 8.0
  • Service and support: 7.0
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Page-layout tasks streamlined with new Snippets and object files; expands integration with Photoshop CS2; improves type handling.

The Bad InDesign CS2 files differ slightly from those of InDesign CS, which could cause problems in large work flows.

The Bottom Line InDesign CS2 speeds the creation of complex pages, further challenging market leader QuarkXPress. Translating a print page design directly to a Web format is always problematic, but InDesign CS2 can get you close.

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Adobe InDesign CS2

The changes to Adobe InDesign CS2 are mainly evolutionary, aside from the new Adobe Bridge integration, which allows users to share assets with other Creative Suite applications. InDesign debuted in 1999 as the QuarkXPress killer, designed (excuse the pun) to unseat XPress's virtual monopoly in the page-layout market. Despite Quark's repeated missteps and slow updates with QuarkXPress, InDesign hasn't yet outsold its rival. Nevertheless, Adobe has made serious inroads with its print production software, thanks to advanced typography, transparencies, and nested styles, plus support for Mac OS X, Windows 2000, and Windows XP. The result is a worthwhile upgrade for multitasking designers who like to switch between Adobe apps.

Most notably, Adobe InDesign CS2 expands its integration capabilities, especially with Photoshop CS2. To start, InDesign CS2 lets you turn on and off layer visibility from Photoshop and PDF files. And InDesign CS2 makes it easier than ever to import Word and RTF files, drag and drop formatted text from other programs, and support XML documents. You can also save files back to the older InDesign CS, enhancing compatibility.




The interface of InDesign CS2 has loads of palettes for making layout tweaks

The major features introduced by InDesign CS2 are the time-saving Snippets and Object Styles. InDesign CS2 lets you save items, such as text, as Snippet files. You can send the Snippets to other users or even drag and drop them with their formatting intact into other InDesign documents. Object Styles allow you to create InDesign objects and preserve their attributes, such as font types and drop shadows, for later use. Ideally, you could use this feature to quickly create documents that repeat formatted elements, like programs such as Microsoft Word allow.




The new Help Center feature offers searchable help topics locally, augmenting Adobe's online help forums.

Adobe InDesign CS2 shares with the rest of the Creative Suite the new Adobe Help Center, a window that allows you to look up topics or ask questions. However, simple queries sometimes return irrelevant answers. The Help Center's More Resources button takes you to the familiar options of online training, tips, and tutorials, and forums. Phone support for installation and product-defect issues is free, via a toll number. Expert Support calls cost $39 per incident, and unlimited calls require a $159 annual subscription.

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  • Category creativity application
  • Compatibility PC