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:

    Excuse me, type error.

  13. spaceless says:

    Hi this is cool

  14. 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

  15. 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?

  16. 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

  17. 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?

  18. 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).

  19. 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!!)

  20. 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?

  21. 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.

  22. Miguel Pena says:

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

  23. 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”

  24. 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.

  25. 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.

  26. 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.

  27. 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.

  28. 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?

  29. UNIV says:

    Division of IPC

  30. 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.

  31. 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.

  32. 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?

  33. Miguel Pena says:

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

  34. 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.

  35. 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!