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

1: Interfacing The Future

The first thing that becomes appar­ent when using both the new pro­grams is the new inter­face’s behav­ior. While peo­ple are of many minds about the new icons, one thing every­one will agree on, we think, is the new panel-oriented inter­face.

InDesign/InCopy’s new pan­els still dock to the side of your screen, but instead of snap­ping under the edge of the screen like a draw­er, now min­i­mize to mean­ing­ful icons with more read­able text. All one needs to do to expand them is to click on the icon in the min­i­mized pan­el and–zing!–out it springs. Clicking on the pan­el springs it back just as quick­ly when you’re done. Combine this with the abil­i­ty to save work­spaces and for those of you on 17″ single-monitors it’s wel­come back, screen real-estate!

Of course, for those of you with big mon­i­tors, you can stick pan­els not only above and below each oth­er but side to side. What’s you’re most con­ve­nient view? InDesign/InCopy can relate!

2: Those Controls? A Custom Job!

InDesign’s Control Palette was always a nim­ble thing, pre­sent­ing just what you need­ed just when you want­ed it. CS3’s Control Panel takes this whole expe­ri­ence to the next lev­el, adding customization–have just what you want just when you want it, and it’s as quick as open­ing the Control Panel fly­out menu.

3: Your Menu, Sir

The cus­tomiza­tion does­n’t just stop at pan­els, either–the new inter­face allows cus­tomiza­tion of the menus them­selves. Never use cer­tain func­tions? Get rid of ’em! Keep for­get­ting where that one menu item is that you absolute­ly need? Next time you use it, col­or it red (or any one of eight col­ors). This is tru­ly menus your way.

4: ID/IC Is Just All Thumbs

We’ve all been there: we see a page or an item we want to ref­er­ence in the Pages palette but it’d be nice to see how the whole doc­u­ment is devel­op­ing with­out hav­ing to zoom out to an out­ra­geous degree. Well, say hel­lo to the new Pages panel–with live thumb­nails that show you what’s on each page. Those are selec­table too–if you just don’t need that, you can turn it off. But we think you’ll love this one.

5: Passport to XHTML

InDesign 2 had a love­ly lit­tle thing–you could export a doc­u­ment as HTML. Since CS, how­ev­er, there was no such thing–it was Package for GoLive, which was fine…if you used GoLive.

Now, thanks to Dreamweaver’s entry into the suite, we have not just HTML, but XHTML Export. Needless to say, this should make repur­pos­ing your con­tent for web a…well, a dream. And with XHTML, InDesign is ready for the present as well as the future.

6: That Table is Just My Style

Styles are essen­tial: doing lay­out and design with­out them is…well, unthink­able. Adobe has extend­ed the Styles par­a­digm from Paragraph and Character to Nested Styles, pro­vid­ing a quan­tum leap in for­mat­ting pow­er and flex­i­bil­i­ty; then extend­ed it to the Object lev­el in CS2. Now, you can do it with Tables as well. In both InDesign and InCopy, cre­ate a table and style it any way you want, then save it as a Table Style, apply­ing it wher­ev­er need­ed across your doc­u­ment in a flash.

7: Sneak Previews

The pre­views of place doc­u­ments in InDesign and InCopy have been turned up to 11 with this one. The place cur­sor, always infor­ma­tive, now dis­plays a thumb­nail of the item you are about to place if an image or the first sev­er­al words of a tex­tu­al doc­u­ment. Just know­ing what was about to be placed will save at least a step or two of undos and make flow­ing text and plac­ing pic­tures much more intu­itive

8: Set Phasers to Gaussian Blur

Users of the Suite have always had the advan­tage of being able to jet over to Photoshop or Illustrator in order to come up with cool image effects that can be quick­ly reim­port­ed to InDesign or InCopy. With CS3, Adobe has final­ly brought a bunch of Photoshop effects, all with thi­er famil­iar names, into InDesign and InCopy. Blending modes are there, too. Photoshop will, of course, always be an essen­tial tool, but some­times you don’t need to fire up PS to get this job done; result, increased pro­duc­tiv­i­ty.

9: InDesign Files Have a Place Here

InDesign has always han­dled a vari­ety of placed con­tent with aplomb, but when one needs that bit of design in anoth­er doc­u­ment, there was the prob­lem with inter­im files. No more. InDesign CS3 now allows place­ment of oth­er InDesign files. Collaborate with oth­ers who have the full range of InDesign pow­er avail­able to them, and sim­ply place thi­er doc­u­ments with­out hav­ing to con­vert.

10: Find and Change...anything

The InDesign Find/Change func­tion has always been use­ful and pow­er­ful, but those code­heads at Adobe can nev­er leave well enough alone, and we’re the win­ners. See, when we weren’t look­ing, they took Find/Change…and attached an after­burn­er.

The new Find/Change does every­thing it used to, and more: you can now search, find and change in mul­ti­ple doc­u­ments; save search­es; cus­tomize search­es to include mas­ter pages, foot­notes, and locked or hid­den lay­ers; do a search and destroy on straight quotes, and through the pow­er of a fea­ture called GREP (search­ing by reg­u­lar expres­sions) run pattern-based and high­ly com­plex search­es. No fea­ture of your doc­u­ment can hide from you now!

11: And the rest....

Anyone who’s played musi­cal chairs will know that pick­ing ten of any­thing means you’ll be leav­ing out some things that you want­ed to include, and this is no execp­tion. So, here’s a rock­et ride though some points that we hate to leave out:

  • Object Effects: this is like hav­ing even a lit­tle more of Photoshop in InDesign. Feather gra­di­ents, bev­el and emboss…Amazing visu­al effects.
  • Expanded Quick Apply: Now use the faith­ful Quick Apply to search menus, com­mands, text variables…oh, yes, it also will let you apply styles.
  • InD goes Long: Now more than 100 doc­u­ments can be added to a book. Long doc­u­ments, meet InDesign
  • InCopy bulks up with the new abil­i­ty to drag and drop sto­ries on the Assignments pan­el to add them to a sto­ry; email-based assign­ments; Ghosting of unas­signed sto­ries lets an edi­tor know right away what needs to be dished out; and sto­ry order can be main­tained in the Assignment pan­el. And those are just a few.

Adobe have been hard at work: wel­come to the brave new world of CS3, where there is, indeed, some­thing for just about every­one.

Pariah Burke

Author, consultant, trainer, guru: Digital Publishing, ePub, InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, Quark. Empowering, Informing, Connecting Creative Professionals™

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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!