InDesign 2.0 review: InDesign 2.0

The handy Book palette groups multiple documents into a list and numbers pages sequentially for you. From this palette, you can print selected files, package them for the typesetter, and synchronize colors and paragraph and character styles across the book for consistency. Adobe has added the ability to generate indexes and tables of contents, letting you save a group of Table Of Contents settings as a style--quite useful if you need several types of lists in a book, for example, separate lists for figures and tables. Quark boasts a similar and just as useful long-document feature. However, neither InDesign's nor Quark's book tools are as powerful as FrameMaker's, which can assemble lists of imported files, fonts, markers, and cross-references.

Sophisticated tools
Although InDesign is no substitute for a full-blown illustration program such as Illustrator or CorelDraw, its subset of drawing tools (which includes a Bezier pen, pencil, eraser, smoother, and scissors) is quite convenient for simple graphics. New in version 2.0 are nifty transparency controls that let you apply drop shadows, feathering, and other editable transparency settings to text, graphics, and images. The program also maintains transparency in native Illustrator and Photoshop files and imports and exports transparent Acrobat 5.0 (PDF 1.4) files.

Multiple publishing options
For quite a while, Adobe has thumped the multipurposing drum, claiming that InDesign's advantage is its ability to create one document and use it for print, Web, and e-book readers. So far, Adobe seems to be following through on its promise. InDesign lets you save a single file in many different formats: PostScript, PDF, HTML, XML, and SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics, which lets you view an image on a screen of any size and resolution).

Not perfect but getting there
InDesign's one major deficiency? Its Search And Replace feature lets you search only for text and special characters. There's no way to search for a style and replace it with a different one, something that FrameMaker allows. Neither can you search for figures, tables, or special formatting breaks. We also miss automatic numbering, bulleted lists, and footnotes--items often found in long documents that are tedious to typeset by hand. But Quark also lacks these features.

On the whole, however, InDesign 2.0 is polished, elegant, and multifaceted, and we think it offers more than QuarkXPress. If you're looking for the top of the line in desktop publishing, this is it.

InDesign's new Table Of Contents feature lets you assemble lists of paragraphs and assign new styles to them.

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  • Category creativity application
  • Compatibility PC