Adobe Certified Expert - InDesign CS2
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Feature-by-Feature Review of InDesign CS5

May 6th, 2010 | Michael Murphy

My exhaustive review of InDesign CS5 went live on today. It’s a detailed, feature-by-feature exploration of the new version. complete with a sample SWF animation and SWF slideshow created in in IDCS5, three short videos demonstrating cool new transformation features and, of course, the usual less-than-subtle use of baby photos.

The article’s broken up into multiple pages covering the following:

If you want to know what’s new and whether or not it’s time to upgrade, this review tells you everything you need to know.

Episode 53: Acrobat-Friendly Form Design, Part 2

December 15th, 2009 | Michael Murphy

Checkboxes and radio buttons and comb fields…oh my! After the podcast’s longest hiatus ever, and a cliffhanger gap worthy of The Sopranos, The InDesigner returns with a new episode that (finally!) finishes off the topic of designing smart for Acrobat forms.

In this episode, I take a look at adding form elements to an InDesign layout to create Acrobat-friendly checkboxes, radio buttons and comb fields, all of which can be achieved with a little help from anchored objects, GREP find/change and tables.

You may also notice new feature added to the podcast starting with this episode: chapters. You can now jump right to a specific part of the lesson using the chapters built into the video file.

Watch the episode here (15:30 | 45.5MB), or you can subscribe via iTunes.

Happy Birthday, InDesign

August 30th, 2009 | Michael Murphy

On August 31, 1999, Adobe announced the immediate shipping of the very first commercially-available version of InDesign. The question ten years ago was not so much, “is it better than QuarkXPress” so much as “does it have a chance of unseating an entrenched page layout standard?” What a difference ten years make.

I first saw an Adobe demo of the yet-to-be-released InDesign 1.0 at the HOW Design Conference in Dallas in June of 1999, a few months before its release. I wasn’t looking to switch, didn’t have the budget for it personally or at my job, and didn’t really believe that it was possible to steer the page layout software industry in a new direction. But I was intrigued. I saw a respect for typography that had been missing on the desktop for the past ten years. I saw some innovative features, and an elegant interface and toolset that reminded me of PageMaker, which I had long ago been forced to give up because of the industry-wide shift to QuarkXPress. But I hoped—really, sincerely hoped—that it would succeed.

I didn’t start dabbling with InDesign until version 2.0, and didn’t start using it in earnest until InDesign CS, at which point, I turned my back on the old regime forever. Since then, InDesign has quite literally changed my life. That’s not something you can say about most software, but it’s entirely true in my case. InDesign has transformed how I work every day, and how I approach my work. My passion for the product has also taught me a lot about myself. Since embracing it and learning all I could, I looked for a way to share that knowledge and that transformation with my fellow designers. That resulted in The InDesigner podcast, which opened the door to magazine articles, seminar workshops, teaching assignments, consulting work, a book, and more exciting projects on the horizon.

My personal association with InDesign has not only made my working life easier, it has broadened my professional life in amazing ways. I have become connected to a global community of fellow designers and many other brilliant software experts. I’ve learned as much, if not more, about myself as much as I have about techniques, features and workflows.

So, today—on InDesign’s 10th birthday—I’d like to thank all of those Adobe engineers, designers, type experts, product managers, and anyone else who had a hand in bringing this product into the world, as well as to all of those who’ve shepherded it along into healthy maturity in the ten years since. My story—and I’m sure that of many others—is likely an end-result of their efforts that was never anticipated. Raise a glass…pat yourself on the back…however you reward yourself: you’ve earned it.

Restore Style Mapping Presets: Report This Bug!

May 25th, 2009 | Michael Murphy

UPDATE: The bug detailed below has been fixed in the 6.0.4 update of Adobe InDesign, released 22-Sept-2009. See details in this related post.

If you haven’t already noticed, a very useful feature that’s been around since InDesign CS has been broken in InDesign CS4. I noticed myself when preparing for a recent seminar in Washington, D.C. After creating a Style Mapping preset from the Microsoft Word Import Options dialog, I opened a template and tried to import a Word file using that preset only to find that none of the 20 or so style associations I’d just made had been preserved in the preset. While the preset name was available from the preset menu at the top of the dialog, none of the settings associated with that preset were preserved.

This is a known bug. Adobe is aware of it, but as of now it is not on the agenda to be fixed within the lifespan of CS4. In order for this to be acted on, InDesign users need to get Adobe’s attention focused on it. … (read more)

The InDesigner on Twitter and Facebook

April 7th, 2009 | Michael Murphy

With Facebook and Twitter all the rage these days, I’ve finally thrown my hat into the social networking arena (kicking and screaming, and later than everyone else, as ususal).

Actually, it’s more like a toe in the water. I’m still grappling with the real value of these networks, but I’m starting to use them as ways to update fans of the podcast and my book in a more immediate way than the blog does. Of course, the blog will continue, and the podcasts are starting up again very soon, but this is one more channel to provide quick updates for those interested.

You can follow me on Twitter, or join my Facebook fan pages for the book and the podcast. My status updates and tweets on these networks will include information about upcoming classes, seminars, projects (and there are some good ones coming up!) and conferences, but I won’t clog your mobile phones with mundane details like what I’m watching on TV. For now, at least, I’m keeping it strictly business.

If you dare–and if you care–follow along!

Update on Scott Citron and a Chance to Help

September 9th, 2008 | Michael Murphy

This is a “guest post” from my good friend Noha Edell from Adobe who has been keeping in regular contact with Scott during his amazingly fast recovery from his auto accident in late July. In it, she mentions a way in which those inclined to help can do so. A recent InDesign User Group in New York boasted its biggest raffle ever and an auction where people very generously bid on items to help send some financial support Scott’s way. Here’s Noha’s update: … (read more)