Cons Weak interface support for two-monitor setups; minimized palettes can display only one at a time. Bottom Line Macintel designers rejoice: InDesign has gone Universal. And there are plenty of new features and enhancements to satisfy everyone else, too.
Factor in integration with the rest of Adobe Creative Suite 3 and InDesign is the best choice for desktop publishing on any platform. Adobe seems to be moving toward a suite-wide interface redesign, as InDesign shares the same new docked palettes seen in Photoshop and several other though not all Creative Suite applications.
This is the good kind of homogeny, providing an almost seamless transition from one program to the next. But one limitation in this design seems a bit more critical here than it does in Photoshop: When you've minimized palettes down to the icon level, only one can be open at a time.
This means you're more likely to keep palettes expanded, perhaps moving them onto your second monitor. And while we're on the subject of dual monitors, I have the same complaint regarding InDesign that I had with Photoshop: Some dual-display presets and interface options would be most welcome. The Best Online Collaboration Software for The Control panel that runs across the top of the interface window offers a lot more actual control than I found in previous versions.
It's now packed for the full length of a widescreen monitor with commonly used options and settings, saving you the trouble of hunting through menus and palettes for the controls you need. And one more nice interface touch: The Pages palette now displays thumbnails of the actual pages in your document.
It never occurred to me before that these thumbnails were "missing," but now that they're there, I wonder how I got on without them. InDesign CS3's sexiest new feature brings a healthy dollop of Photoshop magic to the page-layout program.
The new Effects palette lets you apply drop-shadow, bevel and emboss, and glow styles to objects and text, via an interface like that of Photoshop's Layer Styles.
I love how easy it is now to add eye-popping dimensionality to printed pages, all without a side excursion to Photoshop. Also nice are the feathering effects and enhanced transparency that this palette delivers.
Adobe has stated that this was the new feature that users requested the most, and it's a welcome improvement, one that makes it much easier and faster to apply and maintain consistent formatting in tables.
If you've worked with InDesign in the past, you know how tedious the process of placing a large number of images or text clippings used to be. The ingenious new Multi-file Placing feature now lets you load the Place cursor once with a multitude of different items. A small preview near the cursor shows the item about to be placed; you can toggle through the loaded items using the arrow keys until you find the one you want, click to place it, and then move on to the next item without having to reload the cursor every time.
I found this to be a fantastic timesaver when laying out complex pages. Though these are InDesign CS3's most significant new features, in my mind, there are plenty of other useful enhancements. It's now easy to nest one InDesign document inside another with a live link to the nested file, and then update the master document when changes are made to the linked document.
This makes it easy for several people to work on different elements of the same page simultaneously. And InDesign's former integration with the late GoLive has been replaced with useful options for exporting to Dreamweaver.
All in all, InDesign CS3 has an excellent balance of new design and performance features, making this a compelling upgrade for the program's user base. More Publishing reviews:
Nor does the new version extend the program into new areas, as InDesign CS2 did with its bevy of additional text-management functions. InDesign CS3 will grow on you as its improved utility becomes more obvious in day-to-day work. The new docks keep the layout window inside of them, so there are fewer objects to overlap your document window, and the ability to collapse panels previously called palettes into small icons on the dock really frees up space. And thanks to a new glyph-oriented pane, the new dialog box also makes working with special symbols effortless. Designers will also like the expanded special effects features, which invokePhotoshop-style effects such as Bevel and Emboss and Inner Shadow. Publishers of specialty documents such as catalogs and research papers will get a lot of use out of the new Text Variables feature.