The Top 10 New and Cool Things About InDesign/InCopy CS3

So, you’ve just heard about Adobe’s next gen­er­a­tion Creative Suite, and CS3 sure looks sexy, and, accord­ing to Adobe, those aren’t just good looks…there’s some seri­ous toys under the hood for the dig­i­tal cre­ative.

But we’ve all, writ­ers, edi­tors, users, what-have-you, heard the phrase feature-packed often enough that we’re all a lit­tle jad­ed. So, when Adobe says feature-packed, just what does that mean? Well, in the case of InDesign CS3 alone, we count no less than 83 new fea­tures, and a fair num­ber for InCopy CS3. With a new fea­ture stack like that, there should be some valu­able good­ies for every­one.

Not everyone’s work­flows are the same or have the same demands, of course, so you may not find your­self using every new fea­ture. So here, for your con­sid­er­a­tion, are 10 new fea­tures that we found par­tic­u­lar­ly drool­wor­thy.

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36 Responses

  1. woz says:

    Excellent list! Just one ques­tion: Will CS3 open my CS1 doc­u­ments the same way? No ‘new text-engine’ or what­ev­er? And can we save back one satep to CS2 if we want to?

  2. Yes to both, Woz. Now that my gag is lift­ed :-) I can per­son­al­ly con­firm that. The sav­ing back con­tin­ues in CS3 the way it began in CS2--by cre­at­ing INX Interchange for­mat files. INXs saved from CS3 can be read by CS2, and even by CS1 with the INX plug-in.

  3. woz says:

    Thanks Pariah! (An .inx-file from Indi CS2 is not always eas­i­ly read­able for Indi CS1, though. It will open okay if you dis­able col­or­man­age­ment, but crash­es can (and will) occur if you leave it on or acti­vate it lat­er on…)
    BTW, how is your CS3 book com­ing along?

  4. Mjenius says:

    I may be alone on this, but I’m actu­al­ly excit­ed to check out the new and improved Bridge CS3. I’m not quite hap­py with the cur­rent ver­sion. I read some­where that it’ll have some fea­tures from Lightroom. That’ll be icing on the cake, but I won­der how exten­sive those fea­tures will be. I’d hate to have to also pur­chase Lightroom on top of the suite.

  5. Vincent D says:

    So is quark dead yet?

  6. It’s a fair ques­tion, I sup­pose.

    I’d not say that QuarkXPress is “dead” or even real close to it. It still has a huge installed cus­tomer base and it still has a com­mit­ted com­pa­ny behind it. The release of Quark Interactive Designer and the con­sid­er­able improve­ments to QuarkXPress that have found their real­iza­tion in v7 show that Quark, Inc has got­ten seri­ous about keep­ing XPress in as a force.

    But IMHO InD CS3 has put QXP in the catchup posi­tion again. On many lev­els that seem to be in high demand (trans­paren­cy, usabil­i­ty, func­tion­al­i­ty) Adobe has answered quite a few of Quark’s improv­ments; Object Effects and fil­ters have elim­i­nat­ed the advan­tage that QuarkVista had, for instance. XHTML export makes InD a stonger tool if you repur­pose con­tent, espe­cial­ly when the Design Premium has Dreamweeaver in now.

    I don’t think it’s dead or dying, but Quark now needs to catch up to InD again. It may be on its way to being the minor­i­ty platorm…still big, but in 2nd place.

  7. woz says:

    It’s not dead… yet. It should play catch up and find new ways to help cos­tumers solve dif­fi­cul­ties. Only com­pe­ti­tion keeps Adobe on it’s toes! After all we would not want Adobe to get lazy like Quark use to be. (The split­ting of Acrobat and Photoshop and all those dif­fer­ent Suites looks a lot like mar­ket­ing to me).

  8. woz says:

    THIS IS BAD, very bad…
    INX from CS3 (on Mac A) to CS2 (on Mac B) : Images are not vis­i­ble !
    INX from CS3 (on Mac A) to CS3 (on Mac B) : Images are not vis­i­ble !

  9. Woz,

    The InD CS2 4.05 update was released today. It fea­tures sev­er­al bug fix­es and an update to the INX import. Update and then try open­ing the CS3 INX again.

    Also, do you know in which build of CS3 the INX was cre­at­ed? Keep in mind, CS3 is still in beta, so issues are to be expect­ed. (That’s why many ana­lysts are wait­ing to final­ize and print reviews; got­ta give the prod­ucts a fair chance.)

  10. woz says:

    Jep, the update fix­es CS3 -> CS2 inx prob­lem.

  11. rorogio says:

    Indesign seems out of con­curence!
    Doesn’t it mean Adobe will have monop­o­list sta­tus?

  12. woz says:


  13. woz says:

    Excuse me, type error.

  14. spaceless says:

    Hi this is cool

  15. UNIV says:

    InDesign/InCopy work­flows SUCK!!!
    InCopy is so slow you need a vaca­tion to view a file. Our design­ers where all excit­ed to start test­ing InDesign/InCopy untill the Editors start­ed tak­ing hours to update text.

    Word of advise to all pub­lish­ers think­ing about InDesign/InCopy and K4 the speed is like QPS 1.2 don’t waste your time. We just got QPS 7 for test­ing and it’s a real eye open­er, This puts Softcare and Adobe back in the dark­age.

    Thankyou Adobe for cre­at­ing the com­per­ti­tion and mak­ing Quark inno­vate , QPS 7 buy our loy­al­ty to Quark for the next 3 years

  16. Paul Chernoff says:

    We have been using K4/InDesign/Incopy for 1.5 years and are very hap­py with it. We moved from QPS 3.5/QXP 6.5 and have nev­er regret­ted it.

    We have no prob­lems with the speed. We occa­sion­al­ly but rarely see arti­cles long enough to slow down check­out.

    What kind of hard­ware and soft­ware did you run K4/ID/IC on?

  17. UNIV says:

    Paul. we had XServes of the serv­er with 6GB Ram for 20 users test­ing and all G5 work­sta­tions, Intels where worse. Now that QPS can have a MSSQL back­end we are com­bin­ing are 4 QPS serv­er on 1 and all clients,

    Why would any­one move from QPS after see­ing the capa­bil­i­ties of the new serv­er? XPress and ID are now on a lev­el field, CopyDesk is far bet­ter than InCopy and K4 will be left try­ing to catchup with QPS. It took Softcare years to copy the old QPS and now Quark Jumps for­ward again.

    How Quark tech­nol­o­gy has changed over the past 18 months takes me back to the days Tim Gill was lead­ing the charge over at Quark.

    It feels like the wait is over final­ly, they killed us for 12 years and then hit you with somthing so cool you just have to look at it

  18. Miguel Pena says:

    I’m work­ing at a pub­lish­ing com­pa­ny for med­ical mag­a­zines. We are cur­rent­ly using Quark for a long time now. Now our man­age­ment now plans in link­ing and pub­lish­ing in XML. Can Quark do this? How about IND?

  19. Paul Chernoff says:

    I export our entire issue into XML from InDesign. Since I use K4 for doing export­ing (and then run­ning XSLT’s with­in the exporter) I can­not com­plete­ly com­ment about doing every­thing from with­in InDesign, but I can com­ment on insert­ing XML tags.

    I real­ly like insert­ing XML tags in InDesign. Most of the work can be eas­i­ly auto­mat­ed IF you use char­ac­ter and para­graph style sheets. You first map stylesheets to XML and then any addi­tion­al XML tag­ging by hand (every time you do the automat­ted tag­ging any man­u­al tag­ging is delet­ed, so beware). I even cre­ate dum­my styles that do noth­ing except are used in the stylesheet to xml tag­ging. For exam­ple, I do a find for all cas­es of ITC Galliard Std Italics in a sto­ry and have my Italics char­ac­ter stylesheet auto­mat­i­cal­ly applied. Then I do the stylesheet to XML map­ping. InDesign’s Story Editor is very help­ful in work­ing in XML.

    I don’t include any graph­ics in my XML files. In ID CS2 this involves man­u­al work. I can­not com­ment if this has been improved in CS3, though the abil­i­ty to export to DreamWeaver does cre­ate a file that will work with any html edi­tor.

    In QuarkXPress 6.5 and ear­li­er I used a Gluon prod­uct for XML export. I didn’t like it that much and it couldn’t con­vert char­ac­ter style sheets to XML tags. I sug­gest look­ing at QXP 7.2 XML export (I would love to hear from some­one how it works).

  20. nk says:

    Greets and salu­ta­tions!

    Friendly jibe: there seem to be quite a lot of tech­ni­cal folks post­ing on this site, but judg­ing by the amount of spelling and gram­mat­i­cal errors, there are obvi­ous­ly very few EDITORS that are post­ing com­ments here! (; (“UNIV”, this means YOU!!)

  21. Miguel Pena says:

    I see. We are look­ing also a pub­lish­ing soft­ware that can import from a data­base like SQL serv­er. You see our pub­lish­ing infor­ma­tion are inputted on dat­base, our goal is to get data from it and import direct­ly to the pub­lish­ing soft­ware. After edit­ing the infor­ma­tion inside the soft­ware, we must be able to export it to XML. Do you think Indesign can do these things bet­ter than Quark? What do you guys think?

  22. Paul Chernoff says:

    I am find­ing that com­bin­ing ID with K4 does a good job of deal­ing with XML. One key is to do XML tag­ging as late as pos­si­ble (we do it once we send our PDFs to our print­er). Once that is done it goes pret­ty quick­ly.

    ID can import from XML but I have not done it myself. The option is to con­vert XML tags to char­ac­ter and para­graph styles.

    I can’t com­ment on QuarkXPress.

  23. Miguel Pena says:

    oh, sor­ry I did not get that. What’s a K4?

  24. Miguel Pena says:

    Ok. Anyway, to save me some time, I’d like to ask those peo­ple who have used Quark and ID to express an opin­ion, regard­ing “Which of the two is best for Importing XML and Exporting XML and which is less cost­ly and more accu­rate”

  25. Paul Chernoff says:

    Sorry about giv­ing a def­i­n­i­tion. I’ve been writ­ing about k4 on a few of these dis­cus­sions, but I guess not this one.

    K4 is a work­flow solu­tion for InDesign (just as QPS is for QuarkXPress). K4 is dis­trib­uted in the US by Managing Editor (http://​www​.maned​.com). It glues togeth­er InDesign, InCopy and pro­vides all sorts of tools for man­aing your edi­to­r­i­al work­flow. Due to costs it isn’t suit­able for small shops, but thank­ful­ly there are a num­ber of less expen­sive (though less pow­er­ful) work­flow solu­tions for InDesign/InCopy.

    One fea­ture of K4 is an XML exporter. This exporter can be com­bined with XSLT to give you more con­trol over your exports. We use the exporter in 2 ways:

    -For our web pub­li­ca­tion, InCopy users use a spe­cif­ic InCopy tem­plate for writ­ing their sto­ries. An edi­tor will do some stan­dard find & replace com­mands to apply char­ac­ter styles to bold and ital­ics type, and then check in the sto­ry with “XML Export” checked. Within a few min­utes they will get e-mailed a HTML ver­sion of their sto­ry.

    -After we com­plete our print issue, I make sure that all arti­cles are prop­er­ly tagged using InDesign, do an XML export from K4, which cre­ates one file with all of the arti­cles from the cur­rent issue, and then run some XSLTs to fix up the XML the way I want it, and then cre­ate a sep­a­rate XML file for each lay­out and then e-mail it to me. From there I use XML edi­tors to fin­ish prepar­ing each XML file for our archives.

  26. UNIV says:

    QPS also has exten­sive xml export fea­tures now, with xsl sup­port for trans­for­ma­tion, much the same as the K4 stuff but with full sup­port for CopyDesk and project export on lay­out down to arti­cle.

  27. UNIV says:

    As for export­ing direct from xpress and sup­port­ing stylesheets to tags, the stadard xml export will work but it’s man­u­al for auto­mat­ed easy­press does the Atomik XT’s that are great for auto­mat­ed export of xml from xpress.

  28. UNIV says:

    NK thanks, your right defi­ant­ly no edi­tor, but then what Editor could eval­u­ate soft­ware, your lucky if they can use email. that’s why you have things like CopyDesk and InCopy.

  29. nk says:

    LOL! You took that well, mate! I read on one of your ear­li­er posts that you’re with a pret­ty heavy­weight Euro pub­lish­ing fir­m…? Which one is it, if I may?

  30. UNIV says:

    Division of IPC

  31. Miguel Pena says:

    Based on your answers, this is real­ly tough to decide what to use. What about the tables in lat­est ver­sion in Quark? Is it con­vert­ible to XML? We have so many prob­lems with the pre­vi­ous ver­sions of Quark where we can’t deter­mine which is the head­er, foot­er body.. there­fore we just can’t auto­mate it to XML.

  32. UNIV says:

    Do you use stylesheets to define head­ers and foot­er?

    Also I was told the Quark serv­er does a fan­tas­tic job of decon­struct­ing doc­u­ments to xml and gives back table xml much the same as wordml describes tables.

  33. Aje says:

    I work for a legal pub­lish­ing com­pa­ny and we have just start­ed using Atomik Roundtrip with QPS 6.5. It’s ok part from the fact that load­ing a well formed XML doc­u­ment over 500kb takes for­ev­er and when QPS final­ly have loaded the file it becomes slow as hell to work with. Anyone had this expe­ri­ence?

  34. Miguel Pena says:

    How much is the K4 solu­tion? I need an esti­mate so that we could bud­get it.

  35. Paul Chernoff says:

    Best to con­tact Managing Editor about K4. When I was com­par­ing solu­tions I was able to work with list prices from all inter­est­ed par­ties.

    Plan on a ded­i­cat­ed serv­er. We bought a Xserve G5 (dual proces­sor). Our clients com­put­ers were up to snuff. If your clients are already run­ning InDesign and InCopy then you are fine.

    We bought InCopy direct­ly from MEI. The list price is $250 but I am sure we got a dis­count.

    You will now be buy­ing the K4 Server and K4 Client licens­es. The client licens­es are con­cur­rent licens­ing. If you are run­ning InDesign & InCopy on the same com­put­er at the same time, that is 2 licens­es.

    There are var­i­ous options such as Notes Manager plug-in and Overset Manager plug-in. We bought a few of these and deter­mined lat­er if we need­ed more. Adding the web client would have boost­ed these costs.

    Then you need to fig­ure out instal­la­tion and train­ing. This is done on a per day basis plus trans­porta­tion, room & food costs.

    And plan on an annu­al main­te­nance fee based on list prices of K4. 14-18% is stan­dard for this type of soft­ware.

    When includ­ing soft­ware, sup­port and the new hard­ware we need­ed we spent over $100,000, though the cost was soft­en by dis­con­tin­u­ing our QPS main­te­nance con­tract; if we weren’t using any­thing the cost would have been much more of a shock­er. This includ­ed 35 con­cur­rent licens­es and 34 copies of InCopy. Note that we didn’t need a K4 license for every user since it is rare that every­one would try to be con­nect­ed to K4 at the same time. We learned this from our QPS usage.

    If we decid­ed to go with Woodwings SmartConnection Enterprise we would have seen a sub­stan­tial sav­ings, but SCE was miss­ing some essen­tial fea­tures (for us) that would have made the imple­men­ta­tion less suc­cess­ful.

    This is a major pur­chase, though I just got an esti­mate for a new serv­er room air con­di­tion­er that made my jaw drop ($40,000). I am wait­ing for a 2nd opin­ion on that one.

  36. Amber says:

    My aunt and I just recent­ly took over a small adver­tis­ing paper and have been look­ing for some type of soft­ware that would make our lives much eas­i­er and allow us to be more orga­nized and on the same page even when we’re 30 miles away. I’m so excit­ed that I found this site. Thanks for post­ing this Top Ten List.…we’re buy­ing our copies this week­end for sure!