Adobe Changes Everything

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We wouldn't use the word flashy to describe most of the changes to InDesign, but the new version may help you work faster and more efficiently.

Nested Styles: In previous versions of InDesign, when you wanted to apply a character style to text formatted with an existing paragraph style, you had to apply the character formatting by hand. Now you can quickly apply character and paragraph styles simultaneously to the same text--including drop caps, inline headings, and table text. You can also specify the number of sentences, characters, and words to which they are applied.

Separations Preview: The Separations Preview palette lets you preview color separations. You can check potential problems such as knockouts and overprinting, and experiment with ink limits to see how your output might vary on different media and in various press conditions.

XML Support: If your workflow requires XML, then InDesign CS's built-in support for Document Type Definitions (DTDs) may make integrating it easier. For example, once you've imported a DTD into the Structure view, tags in the DTD automatically show up in the Tags palette, and you can apply them to templates or content. You can also map XML styles to character styles, so InDesign knows to style anything with the XML tag Byline in 11-point HTF Champion, say.

Speedier Performance: Since version 1.0, people have complained about InDesign's slow performance. Adobe says InDesign CS scrolls and redraws its screen 50 to 80 percent faster, imports Word and Excel documents 40 to 70 percent faster, imports PSD and EPS files as much as 70 percent faster, and prints complex PDF files 40 percent faster.

Interface Additions: Several small but significant items debut in InDesign CS. Drag a palette to the left or right edge of a window, and it will shrink into a sidetab and dock itself along the edge of the window. The new Info palette should look familiar to Photoshop and Illustrator users; it shows you everything from how many characters, words, lines, and paragraphs are in a frame, to the resolution of an image after you resize it in InDesign. The Measure tool has been brought over from Illustrator. This tool helps you calculate the distance between any two points on your layout. The context-sensitive Control palette functions much like the one in QuarkXPress. The Document Presets feature lets you save a group of settings you use often--say, page and margin size, column number and placement, and bleed and slug settings--so you don't have to specify the settings manually. --TERRI STONE

Tell Me a Story

No Transparency Trouble

Story Editor: If you cut your teeth on PageMaker (from Adobe or Aldus), you'll be glad to hear that a text editor reminiscent of PageMaker's is now in InDesign. Story Editor is a lightweight word processor that displays your text in a separate window, where you can edit text, and view and apply text formatting, character and paragraph styles, and XML tags. As you alter text in the Story Editor, your layout reflects the changes. (Story Editor doesn't replace InCopy, Adobe's writing, editing, and workgroup-management product.) Flattener Preview: The Flattener Preview palette is designed to address problems InDesign 2.X users have had printing files that include transparent elements. (PostScript RIPs can't output transparent objects natively, so you have to first flatten transparency.) The new palette helps you identify areas that might be affected by flattening, such as complex vector graphics and outlined text, and control the flattening process with greater precision.
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