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 andâ€“zing!â€“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 customizationâ€“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, eitherâ€“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 panelâ€“with live thumbnails that show you what’s on each page. Those are selectable tooâ€“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 thingâ€“you could export a document as HTML. Since CS, however, there was no such thingâ€“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.