Adobe CS6 Arrives

InDesign CS6 overhauls digital publishing workflow to offer versatile new options and format capabilities

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Adobe CS6 Arrives

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Besides InDesign’s existing Single-Line Composer and Paragraph Composer to control how your lines of text break within a paragraph, there are two new options: World-Ready Single-Line Composer and World-Ready Paragraph Composer. These take into consideration the requirements of eastern languages when breaking lines of text.

Placeholder text use is also improved: You can now fill a text frame with placeholder text not only in Roman script, but also with Cyrillic, Greek, Hebrew, Arabic, Japanese, Korean, Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese. In addition, InDesign now supports Indian languages, including Hindi Marathi, Gujarati Tamil, Punjabi, Bengali, Telugu, Oriya Malayalan, and Kannada.

General improvements

Even if you’re not involved in ePub, tablet publishing, or creating PDF forms, InDesign has plenty of enticing new features to make your workflow more efficient. For example, all frames that contain placed content now have a Link badge that indicates the status of that content—just Option-click the link to see it in the Links panel. The New in CS6 workspace marks new CS6 menu items in blue, while CS5.5 items appear in purple. This is truly helpful if you skipped a version. A grab bar has been added to the top and bottom of panels to resize or move them—much easier than trying to click on the tiny icon in the bottom-right corner or the right edge of a panel.

Other improvements are based on specific user requests. Previously, InDesign could perform simple addition and multiplication in its measurement fields, but now it can resolve complex functions. You can now zoom in to a linked object from the Links panel. The Extension Manager now lets you save, enable, and disable extensions in groups you define. You can now export objects, pages, or your entire document to PNG format, a lossless image file format. Saving your InDesign document for backward compatibility is more intuitive—the File -> Save As and File -> Save a Copy dialog box now includes InDesign CS4 or later (IDML) as an option. When viewing at Actual Size (100 percent), InDesign now takes into account your display’s resolution so that your design appears closer to its output size. The Align feature borrows a trick from Illustrator: you can choose a Key object to align other objects to.

If you’ve applied Header and Footer styles to a table, and that table is linked to an external Excel spreadsheet, then when that table data is updated, then the Header and Footers will now retain their appearance.

Macworld’s buying advice

If you use InDesign to produce digital publications such as ePub or to create digital PDF forms, the CS6 upgrade will easily pay for itself in time saved. Text-handling improvements also make this a must-have upgrade for producers of near-east and far-east publications. If you enjoy InDesign’s interface and workflow conventions, you’ll appreciate this upgrade's many user-requested timesaving features.

[Jay J. Nelson is the editor and publisher of Design Tools Monthly, an executive summary of graphic design news.]

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At a Glance
  • Pros

    • Vastly improved tools for repurposing content
    • Many user-requested feature enhancements
    • New tools to create PDF forms
    • ePub creation tools now usable
    • Can save documents back to CS4
    • Multiple layouts in one document

    Cons

    • Liquid Layout rules difficult to master
    • Parent/Child item linking lacks flexibility
    • Yearly paid upgrade cycle
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