Adobe Talks InDesign CS 3

Digital Media Designer has a summary/sneak peek of some of the new features of Adobe InDesign CS 3, not due out for another year.

First up, the next release of InDesign will feature enhancements to the Transparency palette. In the past, adjusting the transparency of an object in InDesign affected all of the elements within that object. Now, however, each element can have its transparency adjusted independently, including fill, stroke and text. It also has the ability to adjust blending modes (overlay, multiply, screen, etc.) independently.

This is great. I run into this all the time. Here’s a simple example.

Let’s say you want to put some text in a colored frame, and have the background screen over an image. If you put the text in the same frame as the screened background, you get the result on the left. The text is transparent, too. On the right is the current workaround. You need to put the text in a separate frame with 100% transparency. To make sure you don’t run into flattening issues, it’s best to put the text on a separate layer above the transparent frame. Not impossible, but can get a little bulky.

InDesign sample

The new InDesign would let me set the text at 100% with the object at 50% all in the same frame. Very nice. Even better, if it’s in the same frame it means (I assume) that I can use Object Styles to save settings across frames and documents.

Somewhat related to this is the second of three new features we got to see in InDesign: the ability to apply live effects to objects. As with the new transparency options, the live effects can be applied to fills, strokes and text independently.

Great. InDesign’s drop shadow is already pretty nice. This will save a lot of trips to Photoshop. I especially like what I see in the screen shot…“Gradient Feather”…will make even nicer perspective shadows. With InEffects now only available for the dark side, this is a very welcome feature.

There are still a few features that I’m hoping to see in InDesign CS 3…

My current workflow:

  1. Do a document in InDesign
  2. Save to VersionCue
  3. Export to PDF
  4. Open Acrobat 7
  5. “Send for Review” to send editable PDF to colleagues who can open it in Adobe Reader and make comments/changes (no one else has the full version of Acrobat)
  6. When changes come in, open in Acrobat 7
  7. Bounce back and forth between Acrobat and InDesign to make the requested changes
  8. Repeat from Step 2 until approval

It would be killer for me if I could save out an editable PDF right from InDesign. Then when the comments come in, I’d love to open the comments in a palette/window in InDesign to make the changes. I think this would tie in to VersionCue beautifully. Right now I have all these changed documented in VersionCue, but the reasons why I made the changes are in separate PDF files that aren’t tracked with the original document. A small text window when I save the version doesn’t cut it. The time has come to bring this all together under one roof.

I’d also love to see a “favorites” menu on the font menu. I use the same fonts over and over again. I’d like to have them at the top of the list.

How about the ability to find/replace based on object attribute (color, stroke thickness, rotation, etc.) not just text content.

Let’s see what comes from Adobe in 2007.

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One response to “Adobe Talks InDesign CS 3”

  1. I’m sharing your troubles with opening a PDF from InDesign. There is http://www.recosoft if you are willing to spend a couple hundred dollars for the software, but that’s a lot to ask when I’m just doing a friend a favor.