InDesign is Adobe's powerful layout application that it hopes will be used in place of current industry favorite Quark Express. One of the main selling points of InDesign is its commonality and integration with Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop.
The book begins with a Quick Tour, which is actually a lesson in itself since it covers many of the basic text, page, and image-handling features of InDesign. Each subsequent lesson goes deeper into these topics. The files for each lesson are provided on the cross-platform CD-ROM. The lessons range from working with text and typography to working with graphics, using advanced frame techniques (frames hold text or images), and prepress document preparation. There is a color section with illustrations that clarify many steps, especially those that use color, and show the finished projects.
Each lesson begins with an overview of what's covered and ends with review questions. Don't worry: answers are provided on the same page. Reading the overviews and review questions first is a good way to decide whether that chapter can be skipped or should be read in depth. This makes Adobe InDesign CIB useful for both beginners and intermediates. For example, it is easy to jump ahead to the fairly advanced section on filling one block of text with a different block of text to which a gradient has been applied. The fact that executing this involved graphic becomes a simple process is a credit both to the InDesign application as well as to this book.
It should be noted that Adobe InDesign CIB does not come with a demonstration copy of the application, nor is a demo available on the Adobe Web site. Interestingly, you can follow along without actually using the application at the same time. However, the book is clearly meant for those who have already purchased InDesign and are convinced it will be the Quark killer the design world has been hearing about for months. --Angelynn Grant
Topics covered: Features of Adobe InDesign, including lessons on the work area and interface; creating and setting up a document; working with frames; applying color; importing and editing text; working with typography; placing and drawing images; color management issues; and preparing a document for high-resolution printing.