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*** From the Archives ***

This article is from August 31, 2009, and is no longer current.

Happy 10th Birthday to You, InDesign!


My, how time flies! Ten years ago today, InDesign was born (that’s the technical term for “Adobe shipped 1.0”). In the early days, like any infant, it was unready and required constant care and vigilance. Many people were concerned about its future, noting that it was slow and occasionally unresponsive. Fortunately, a few believers (including its considerably large group of parents) kept at it — urging, encouraging, and (dare we say it?) teaching the little bugger new tricks until it was ready to toddle on its own.

Looking back over the past 10 years, I can think of nothing but jingles, lyrics, and marketing slogans:

  • “ready or not, here I come!”
  • “we’ve come a long way, baby.”
  • “what a long, strange trip it’s been.”

Thanks to Rufus Deuchler for pointing out the original August 31, 1999, Adobe press release.

I’ll continue this discussion in the next issue of InDesign Magazine, including a number of reminiscences from industry leaders. But in the meantime, eat some cake, pull some party crackers, and join me in singing… Happy birthday to you, feliz cumpleaños a ti, Joyeux Anniversaire Adobe InDesign, Zum Geburtstag viel Glück!

(Feel free to add your greetings in other languages, or other memories you may have of the “10 years of InDesign” below.)

David Blatner is the co-founder of the Creative Publishing Network, InDesign Magazine, CreativePro Magazine, and the author or co-author of 15 books, including Real World InDesign. His InDesign videos at LinkedIn Learning ( are among the most watched InDesign training in the world.
You can find more about David at

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  • Wow. Has it been 10 years already? I feel so… old :)

    :) Mordy

  • Nadya Miloserdova says:

    Happy anniversary!

  • Mike Coyle says:

    Tanti auguri InDesign. Ti voglio bene.

  • Ralf Hobirk says:

    Sretan rodjendan, InDesign!

  • Feliz Aniversário InDesign!! lol

  • For those of you who are fluent in French, click on my name to read my InDesign 10th anniversary story.

  • Bob Levine says:

    And the price hasn’t gone up one dime in ten years. :)

  • Haeme Ulrich says:

    Swiss nativ:
    Ganz härzlichi Gratulation

  • Tanti auguri per il tuo compleanno InDesign! 10 candeline sono davvero tante nel mondo del software. Auguri!

  • Sheila says:

    Happy birthday also to the InDesign community of bloggers and users who have given us all so much generous information and help – I appreciate all of you.

  • Murrey Walker says:

    Happy Tenth!!

    The last keystroke I hit in QuarkXpress was almost that long ago (8 years), when you saved me.


  • David Evans says:

    Mr. Blatner – congrats. You had a truly profound impact on the development of InDesign, and your guidance to the product team and passion for helping professional publishers and designers get the tools they wanted and needed have helped shape it into what it has become. Kudos to you my friend.

  • I’m wearing my ancient promotional tradeshow Adobe t-shirt today in honor of the occasion: on the back, it reads “Part of the IN crowd?”

    Proud to say, “yes, I am!”

    Happy birthday, little butterfly.

  • Martin says:

    Happy birthday InDesign!

    And thanks David and Anne-Marie for all your work!

    PS: I started with InDesign CS2 and it was great.
    PPS: I never opened Quark.

  • James Fritz says:

    Way to go ID, you are really growing up so fast. I can’t believe that you already in the double-digits!

  • Klaus Nordby says:

    Gratulerer med 10-års fødselsdagen, kjære InDesign!!!

    I’m proud to say that I jumped from QuarkXPress to ID 1.5 in the spring of 2001 — I saw The Future already in that 1.5 version, I knew Adobe was super-committed to developing it, despite teething problems, and I have never missed QXP for a second since then.

  • Robert Bouscholte says:

    Millions of thank you to Branislav Milic who has believed in InDesign many years before other believed. Since 1999 he was the one who made the Indesign success in Europe that has become now.

    For my team and for me and for thousands of graphic designers he is Mister InDesign and his influence has been big in desktop publishing.

    Thank you Mister Milic.

  • Sorin Hasegan says:

    La Multi Ani, InDesign! from Romania

  • Pierre Labbe says:

    Bon anniversaire !

    Merci Adobe.

  • Anne-Marie says:

    qoSlIj DatIvjaj, InDesign! majQa’!

    — from Qo’noS (Klingon homeworld)

  • James Wamser says:

    Ten years went by rather quickly. Happy Birthday InDesign!

  • Harbs says:

    Wow! A blast from the past! FRAEMZ PS Who remembers that?

    Now why has no one developed a more modern equivalent to FRAEMZ PS? …

  • seuzo says:

    >form Japan.

    #woops, Japanese characters is not possible to display.
    #My message wrote my blog.

  • we are so old man….HAPPY BIRTHDAY InDesign :)

  • Dijana Mironov says:

    Vse najbolj?e InDesign!

  • Quentin Devlay says:

    Maybe that should become a new benchmark to recognize industry standards – when a program is older than some of its users ! :D ID seems well on his way…

  • Ed says:

    Sure? I’m confident it was in ’92. I was in Australia at the time and man, did you get a bargain on a cross-upgrade from Quark. Almost bought it then and there.

    But I waited till I was home (in Holland). And man, no bargain at all! I asked the Adobe guy, and he had to dive into it (first denying there was an cross-upgrade at all) Then he phoned back; Aussies were not likely to change from Quark to Indesign. That’s why there was a bargain. Dutch however where the most likely in the world(!) to step over. So there was no bargain at all for me and all fellow Dutch.

    It was the first time I hated being ‘best’. That’s why I vividly remember. What version of Indesign was released in ’92 that took over the world? It was in most (if not all) magazines as I recall.

  • Bob Levine says:

    It was ’99 for sure. Did you look at the link to the original press release?

  • @ Ed my how things have changed here in Australia.

    Does anyone have screen shots of the original ID…

    I can vaguely remember it… it would be great to compare tool bars against CS4 Tool bars…

  • Robert San Juan says:

    It is so good that I am using the #1 publishing software in the industry! Congratulations on your 10th birthday!

  • Tim Gouder says:

    Herzlichen Glückwunsch InDesign!

  • Paul Backhurst says:

    Proficiat en gefeliciteerd op uw verjaardag! (Dutch)

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