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Adobe InDesign and Adobe PressReady reviews
D'Lynn Waldron, Industry Insider

Adobe's InDesign and PressReady,
a match made in heaven

by D'Lynn Waldron, PhD ©99

"Adobe Indesign makes it easy to do awesome things"

I like InDesign far more than any page layout program I have ever used. I like the familiar Adobe interface. I like the great built-in features. I like how easy it was for me to learn to use InDesign.
__ InDesign was easy and intuitive to use right out of the box. The Help file is very well structured, and I found it more useful than the printed manual. I did the tutorials in Adobe's excellent InDesign Classroom in a Book and in a few hours was fully up and running with InDesign's many wonderful features.
__ InDesign has many things built-in that you have to buy as third party extensions in Quark, which this makes the final cost of InDesign much less than Quark.
__ I can remember the limitations of hot type, so I am awed by InDesign's Multi Line Compositor, which produces the best line breaks possible in any section of text which you designate. With this innovation, DTP has gone far beyond what conventional typesetting.
__ As one who works in multi page color spreads, I am delighted with InDesign's Multi Page View which at last lets me see how the design elements look through the whole document.
__ Being a Photoshop devotee, I like the ability In Design gives me to design my pages in layers. I also really like how easy it is to do gradient frames and fills in InDesign and to use the pen tool to adjust vector objects. (Take a look at the InDesign interface screen in a new browser window)
__ It is a great convenience to be able to import Illustrator and Photoshop files. InDesign presently only supports Paste and Drag and Drop with Adobe Illustrator Clipboard Format files; you must bring all other file formats in through the Place function.
__ If you find InDesign runs slow, set the display of graphics to Preview mode.

Printing out of InDesign
My service bureau has had no problems with InDesign in their image setters, but for desktop printing and proofing there are some very important limitations you must know about.
__ According to Adobe's technotes available through its site, InDesign supports only Postscript Level 2 and Level 3 printers, and may not produce proper results with non-Adobe Postscript emulators, such as are found in some HP printers. Also, InDesign PDF files will not print with HP emulators. (Note: If you have trouble exporting to PDF, install Acrobat 4 and be sure to get rid of any bits and pieces left over from Acrobat 3, such as Preferences files.)
__ You must use true a true Adobe Postscript software RIP to print on QuickDraw printer. These RIPs are available in:

  • StyleScript from Infowave is a Postscript software RIP with drivers for many inkjet printers, including Apple StyleWriters II, 6500, 4500, 4100, 2500, 2400, 2200,1500, 2200, 1200, Canon BJC-4550, Epson Color Stylus 500, 600, 800, 1520, HP DeskJet 1120C, 870C, 855C, 850C, 680C, 660C, 600, 550C. (List price $99.
  • Adobe PressReady is a fully featured Postscript Level 3 inkjet proofing and PDF prepress workflow system that currently supports the Epson Stylus Color 800, 850,1520 and 3000, the HP Deskjets 895C, 1120C, and 2000, and the Canon BJC 8500. ($149 See review below.

With InDesign, must use Adobe Printer driver 8.6 and you will find a number of interface changes. For maximum print are, the driver default you now turn off is called "Small Letter", and in InDesign the place to set the number of pages to print is in a separate General screen which you access under a pulldown menu.

Faxing Not Supported
Not yet covered by the manual or a Techdoc is that you cannot fax out of InDesign. That is a major problem for those who need to fax their billings (or anything else). The two alternatives with InDesign are print out a copy and send it from a hard copy fax, or to save the file as a PDF and fax out of Acrobat.

Most Quark files come in amazingly well, so making a transition to using InDesign can be quite easy. For problems with conversion from Quark or Pagemaker, check out Adobe's Techdocs.

Getting Techdocs
To get Adobe Techdocs, e-mail techdocs@ADOBE.COM with 180099 in the subject line for an index of InDesign techdocs. Then, as an example, with 323485 in the subject line, you will get back an chart showing the comparison of frames/boxes in InDesign, Quark and Pagemaker.

PRICES SRP price: $699
For current pricing with cross-grades (presently $299) go to:

Reference Books
Adobe InDesign Classroom in a Book, 437 pages, 7.5 x 9 inches, Paperback, CD, $45.
InDesign for Mac and Windows : Visual Quickstart Guide, by Sandee Cohen, Paperback - 295 pages - $14.39
[Both are highly recommended by The Designers' Bookshelf ]

D'Lynn Waldron. PhD

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