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Adobe InDesign CS4


Adobe Systems, USA

Operating system:

Mac, Windows, Linux

Native filetype:



Layout design software for print and digital publishing

Next version release:

Expected for late-2010



See also:

Adobe Systems


Creative Suite




LEARN, The Catalogue 


Official Support
Post a question to Media Centre


InDesign provides extensive layout and desktop publishing functions.  It is typically used to layout and publish (print) such things as presentation posters, flyers, brochures, magazines, booklets, and books.

Primary functions:

InDesign's primary functions include:
1.     Placing and layout of a wide range of formats into a single document. InDesign doesn¿t exactly import images rather it references them.  For this reason, when placing and laying out various images in a single poster or booklet document in InDesign, it is important to remember to keep all your external (referenced/placed) files together in folders.  For more information.
2.     Publishing to print or digital media is usually achieved by exporting the InDesign document to PDF before either releasing the PDF to print or presenting the PDF in digital format.  In either case it is necessary to export your InDesign document as a PDF as an initial step.  Printing directly from InDesign causes significant issues with the postscript on the printers often jamming them, causing delays and lost work.  See more here for preparing files for output.

Similar to InDesign in terms of functionality is QuarkXPress.  Although as with Illustrator and Photoshop , InDesign is now the industry standard.

Primary outputs:

Primary outputs for InDesign are;
1.     Presentation posters
2.     Digital presentation
3.     Booklets can be printed using InDesign in conjunction with various third party applications and techniques.  See Booklet Printing.


InDesign is part of Adobe's Creative Suite.  As such it shares 90 per cent of its layout and keyboard short cuts with the other programs of the Suite.  In this way, if you are familiar with one you will find working in InDesign for the first time easy and logical.

InDesign's interface is logical and graphically oriented.  All tasks and functions are accessed via graphic menus and tool boxes.

The program is fully interoperable with other Creative Suite programs.  One of the great advantages of working across multiple programs within the Suite is the File>Place function.  With File>Place InDesign places a document, say a photo, onto the canvas of the open InDesign document.  Now, any changes made to the original photo file in Photoshop will be updated in the InDesign document upon saving the change in Photoshop.

InDesign exports and imports in all the necessary filetypes. 



Learning support:

Good software manuals issued by

To get you started Media Centre suggest the following tutorials:
Beginner A: Introduction
Beginner B: Starting a new document
Beginner C: Using keyboard shortcuts
Beginner D: Placing an image

Intermediate A: New document layout
Intermediate B: Master pages
Intermediate C: Importing content

Advanced A: Pagination
Advanced B: Webdesign features and HTML
Advanced C: Using the links panel


You'll also likely find interesting:
Video Tutorials at Lynda  



External links:



First published Mon. 1 Feb. 2010