Adobe InDesign CC Overview

Indesign CC is a subscription app for print and digital page layout

InDesign CC 2019 splash screen

Adobe InDesign CC is a professional-level page layout application that is used by many offset commercial printing companies. It is a must-have application for graphic designers, particularly those who work with print media. It is the gold standard in publishing software, a field that was once dominated by QuarkXPress and the discontinued Adobe PageMaker. However, InDesign CC isn't only for print publishing. Current versions include features that create documents for online and tablet viewing.

How to Buy InDesign

Adobe InDesign CC is available as a monthly or annual subscription from Adobe Creative Cloud, either as a stand-alone application or packaged with other Adobe CC applications and services. A free trial is available.

InDesign can be installed on multiple computers and you can log in on up to two computers (such as a desktop and a laptop), but you can only use the application on one computer at a time. Adobe no longer makes boxed versions of the software. InDesign CS6 was the last boxed version.

Adobe updates its applications regularly, and all updates are immediately available to anyone with a subscription.

Because InDesign is installed on the computer, no internet connection is needed to use it.

Learning InDesign CC

InDesign offers extensive typographic and color controls and brings together images, vector graphics, charts, PDFs, text, and decorative elements in one location to generate a complete digital file for either print or online use.

With so many features and capabilities, InDesign presents a substantial learning curve for graphic artists and publishing technicians who have never used it. To find help, search the internet to find tutorials on InDesign CC.

InDesign tutorials in Learn section of home screen

The application comes with several tutorials. Go to the Learn section of the home screen to find these tutorials. Instructional videos cover topics such as:

  • Getting started with InDesign
  • Adding and transforming graphics
  • Formatting text
  • Applying color and effects
  • Publishing a document online
  • Adding interactivity to an online document

The Adobe website has a library of video tutorials specifically for InDesign, sorted for beginners and experienced users. After you master the basics, work in the application to learn about the advanced capabilities of InDesign.

InDesign CC Uses

InDesign handles both single page documents and publications with hundreds of pages. It's ideal for setting up brochures, magazines, business cards, envelopes, invitations, flyers, newspapers, and books for print.

InDesign also supports formats to create e-books, digital magazines, and other content for viewing on tablet computers. Also, InDesign CC includes collaboration tools so users can work with writers and editors of publications simultaneously.

InDesign CC Features

Key features of Adobe InDesign CC include:

  • Seamless integration with Adobe applications including Photoshop and Illustrator.
  • Enhanced productivity tools including smart guides, quick table creation, multiple file placement, and the capability to create pages of different sizes in a single file.
  • Text composition including styles, text wrap, and drop caps.
  • Built-in drawing tools.
  • Cross-media publishing.
  • Enhanced creative tools such as built-in Photoshop effects, transparency controls, gradients, and support for 3D Photoshop artwork.
  • Prepress preflighting abilities to detect problems.
  • Alternate layouts to design for different devices in the same file.
  • Form fields for export in PDF.
  • Split window view for a side-by-side comparison of layouts in the same document.
  • Textures and special effects for objects.
  • Vector drawing tools.
  • Table footnotes.
  • Huge selection of downloadable fonts.

Interactivity in InDesign

Although InDesign was originally all about print design, it has expanded to embrace new technologies. InDesign offers interactivity features for documents destined to be viewed on screen.

Select Digital Publishing from the workspace switcher next to the Publish Online button at the top of the screen. Add hyperlinks, buttons, forms, animation, audio, and video to a document using the digital publishing workspace.

When you're ready, select Publish Online at the top of the screen and fill in the specifications for the document and the permissions for viewers.

Publish Online workspace in InDesign

The digital version of the document works in any modern web browser and on any device. Publish directly from inside InDesign and manage the published documents in the program.