Adobe InDesign is a desktop publishing (DTP) software (computer layout-assisted publishing) used for creating paper media such as magazines, newspapers, books, brochures, catalogs...
InDesign is PageMaker’s worthy successor, which Adobe acquired by buying Aldus at the end of 1994. In 1998, PageMaker had almost lost all of its business users to its direct competitor (and mighty!) QuarkXPress, Quark announced its intentions to take over Adobe. However, Adobe refused this offer and worked hard to design a new desktop publishing software; in fact, it was Aldus who started the project code-named “Shuksan” and later “K2”, until it was published as InDesign 1.0 in 1999.
In 2002 InDesign became the first Mac OS X native desktop publishing software. Its integration in the Creative Suite along with Photoshop, Illustrator and Acrobat jump-starts the distribution of InDesign 3.0.
InDesign’s evolution since its release in 1999 has been regular with a new version being released almost every year or least once in two years.
It’s notable that InDesign has experienced some compatibility issues with Leopard on Mac OS X v10.5 – which were resolved with the Apple OS X 10.5.4 update. Since then, InDesign has been integrated with Adobe’s Creative Cloud. The current running version is InDesign CC (2015 version).
Adobe InDesign is a DTP, i.e. page layout software. Its purpose it to facilitate and optimize the use of space for the benefit of communication as well as to enable the integration of various graphic and textual elements in the same medium and their alignment at best. Layout professionals – who design magazines, newspapers, books, flyers and other catalogs – are particularly fond of InDesign (whose biggest competitor is Xpress) because it allows them to express their creativity in the presentation of documents, which wouldn’t be possible if they were using word processing software. Since its latest versions, InDesign allows even adding animation and sound to layouts, which will certainly please “webmasters”.
The integration of Adobe InDesign to the rest of the Creative Suite and now to Creative Cloud, allows for optimization of the documents created: in fact, InDesign contains tools for creating and some effects typical for Photoshop. Production workflow automatization allows DTP professionals to save precious time and use Adobe InCopy to improve collaboration between designers and editors. Last but not least, InDesign makes a number of professional typography features available for quality rendering.
Other tools, such as smart guides, quick applications, dynamic text redistribution, cross-references, looped and embedded styles editing, dynamic monitoring, exporting to EPUB format, utilization of transparency and support scripts, XML (non-exhaustive list) make InDesign a competitive DTP tool.
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