7 Reasons to Use Adobe InDesign
One of the most famous Adobe programs is Photoshop. Many people think that all graphic designs are done in it. But they are not. I dare to say that Adobe Illustrator is head-to-head when it comes to graphic design.
Photoshop vs. Illustrator
Photoshop is a raster-based program. A raster image is one that is created out of pixels. A pixel is the basic and smallest unit of a digital image that is usually represented by a square. It can look blurry when scaled up. So, before starting to design, you should know the final size that your design will be produced in. Photoshop most common uses are photo editing and photomontages.
Illustrator produces content out of vectors. A vector is an image that is created using points and lines, not squared pixels. When scaled up, it uses mathematical equations to keep its quality and always look sharp. Its most common uses are logo design and illustrations. Which are usually designs that will be produced in a variety of sizes. That’s why logos are designed in Illustrator. Because you are going to adjust it into a variety of sizes without losing quality. You can’t do that with a raster image.
You can learn more about raster and vector images in my Skillshare class about file formats.
Some of the more well-known graphic design specializations can do their job with Photoshop and Illustrator. For example: a brand designer, illustrator, surface pattern designer, typographers, packaging designers, among others.
So, when to use Adobe InDesign?
One of the graphic design specializations that needs a bit more than only Photoshop and Illustrator are the editorial designers. Such as me! For that we use Adobe InDesign.
InDesign is the industry-leading layout and page design software for print and digital media. With it you can design and publish multi-page documents such as books, magazines, eBooks, interactive PDFs, catalogs, portfolios, brochures and more, and all of these you can publish them online through InDesign.
You can place Photoshop and Illustrator files in an InDesign document. Which is a very common workflow.
Save yourself some tears…
Many people design multi-page documents in Illustrator, and even Photoshop. But that's like not knowing how to swim and jumping into a pool without knowing the depth, only depending on a rubber duck to return to the surface. Wayyy to risky and a guaranteed headache (and some tears!).
Adobe InDesign Unique Tools:
Next, I will explain 7 of the unique tools that InDesign offers that makes it the best program to work with long documents.
1. Parent Pages (Master Pages)
“Parent Pages”, before called “Master Pages”, are pages that works as templates for your document. You can create as many as you need. They are usually identified by a letter.
After you design the layout that you want, you apply those “Parent Pages” to specific pages in your document. That saves the need to copy/paste or redo the same design over and over throughout your document.
If you need to edit the design, instead of going through every page one by one, you just edit the “Parent Page”. It will automatically update on all the pages that it was applied.
2. Automatic Page Numbering
Is there anything else that I need to say about this? Imagine having to go through a 300-page document, one by one, to number it. What a nightmare!
One of the most common uses of the “Parent Pages” is to number you document pages. After I design in a “Parent Page” the place, font, and style that I want my page numbers to be, I applied it to the document pages. All pages will have the page number in the same place and automatically correct numbering.
If I add or delete pages, InDesign will automatically make the necessary adjustments. Once set it up, you just forget about it!
You can have more than one numbering styles or order in one document. For example, books usually start with roman numerals until the first chapter.
3. Automatic Table of Content
Again, a 300-page book may have a lot of chapters. Are we going to go through the entire book looking for the beginning of each chapter to add it to the table of content? Absolutely not.
InDesign allows you to set a specific style to your chapters and then the program looks though the entire document and creates a table of content out of what it found. It automatically adds the page number.
If you make changes to the document and the page number changes, it will automatically update. This will avoid having errors in the final document.
4. Manageable editing process
Every multi-page documents always goes through a series of revisions and editing. Some are small details. Others are a bit more challenging.
Imagine that the editor notices that the word “water” has been mistakenly written “watter” in a biology book. Are we going to go through the entire document reading to delete the extra “t”. Well, that’s a way to do it.
But in InDesign, you just need to use the “Find” window, write the word you are looking for, and substitute it with the correct one.
This is only one example. There are many more corrections that can be done with just a couple of clicks what otherwise could take hours.
Many people think of an eBook as a PDF. But it is not, it is an ePub. A real eBook is interactive. You can choose between a variety of font styles and sizes, spacing between lines, navigate through an easy access table of content instead of going to the first page, make highlights to be saved in an easy to find section and more.
All of these require specific set up beyond just creating a traditional PDF. Adobe InDesign gives you all the tools to create an ePub that you can sell through Amazon or iBooks.
While PDFs are not eBooks, they can be way more than a simple text document to share. With InDesign you can export you document with links and text fields that anyone can directly write on and save, without the need to print the document.
7. Publish Online
One of the tools that most differentiates InDesign from any other program is the Publish Online capability.
When you Publish Online your document though Adobe InDesign you get a unique and private link with which you can share you document with anyone in the world.
Then you can access Adobe InDesign's analytics which will tell you how many times your document has been seen, for how long, and on what device.
The power of InDesign
As you can see, Adobe InDesign is like a merge of Microsoft Word advance capabilities with the design power of Adobe Illustrator.
Want to learn more?
I have a Skillshare class that can teach you the Publish Online tool. If you don’t have a Skillshare account, you can get a 1-month free trial here.
Are you interested in learning more about any of these tools in Adobe InDesign? Send me a message and let me know. I will happily publish more Skillshare classes and blog about them!
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