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InDesign CS3 Sneak Peek Shows Strong Committment to Page Layout


We got a sneak peek at InDesign CS3 today in a private press briefing. InDesign CS3 is not slated for release until Q2 of 2007, and it is extremely unusual for Adobe to discuss features this far in advance.
However, while it was made clear that we saw only a small sampling of InDesign CS3’s feature set, what we saw proved that Adobe is not resting on any laurels. They are clearly committed to innovating and helping design professionals engage their audience.

Adobe showed us four cool features of CS3:

  • Object Effects: We’re already familiar with applying drop shadows or feathering objects. Now, object effects will let us apply Photoshop-like effects such as bevel and emboss and inner shadow to any InDesign object (including text).
  • Universal Binary: The demo was run on a MacBook Pro and was clearly running as a Universal Binary program, showing that Adobe is indeed hard at work converting their programs to this new platform.
  • Finer transparency control: Following the lead of “ol’ man” Illustrator, transparency effects could be applied to an object’s fill, stroke, or contents individually.
  • Selecting Multiple Files: You will be able to select more than one graphic or text file in the Place dialog box, and when you click OK, you’ll see a small thumbnail of each image next to the Place cursor. You can then quickly place each image or text file into a frame with a “click, click, click.” Even better, you can cycle through the images “loaded” in the Place cursor with the arrow keys before clicking.

Adobe pointed out that adoption of InDesign CS2 is extremely strong, especially in the magazine market.
While none of these features are life-changing, seeing this level of “completeness” almost a full year before shipping leads us to expect that the final version of CS3 will be well worth the wait. More than anything, we’re pleased that Adobe is keeping up their momentum in making InDesign the clear leader in the page-layout space.

Update on 3/27/07: CS3 Information has now been released and posted here.

David Blatner is the co-founder of the Creative Publishing Network, InDesign 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
  • Peter Gold says:

    Thanks for the update! It’s great to see how serious Adobe is about continuing to develop InDesign.

  • I am wondering if CS3 will offer a web friendly options for PDF exporting and not just constrating on press PDF.

  • Paul Tomzak says:

    It is realy great to know that Adobe is really trying to improve an already great product.

  • Scott F says:

    Any mention of the numerous bugs that need fixing? Is INX backwars compatible with ID3?

  • Anne-Marie says:

    Scott, we could only post what we were allowed to discuss publicly, sorry! We’ll keep working on it though.

  • Interesting news, and not really surprising?for the past one or two cycles, Adobe has cross-pollinated their products and features from one have found their way into another. InDesign’s adoption of Illustrator and Photoshop features reminds me of Illustrator’s adoption of the InDesign type engine previously.

  • […] My esteemed colleague, David Blatner, beat me to press with an overview of the InDesign CS3 features we were both shown. Read David?s post on the new InDesignSecrets blog, but return here to fill in the details of InDesign CS3?s Object Effects, attribute-level transparency, and vastly improved content placement features. […]

  • Diane S says:

    Thanks for keeping us up. We’ve heard quite a bit about Photoshop. Now, if we could only export Paragraph and Character style sheets like Photoshop does with actions…

  • Scott Citron says:

    Clearly, Adobe’s strategy to leak a few morsels this early about CS3 was meant to take some wind out of the sails of QuarkXPress 7.0, which is about to officially announce itself any day now. Good move, Adobe!

  • Grant says:

    It would be wonderful if InDesign would come up with a style sheet to allow headlines to span more than one column. I remember this simple style option in a program called Ventura and loved it. Another would be an down rule option when creating a layout with more than one column.

  • Matt Davis says:

    Would like to see Kerning tables as per QuarkXPress, even though the Adobe type engine is better it gives you options for clients typeface kerning.

  • Darren Crook says:

    Re: Matt Davis’ comment on kerning tables, it’s really important to have the kerning tables (like QuarkXpress) if InDesign is to truly take the place of Quark in our industry, without this I can’t convince the powers that be to agree to swap to InDesign.

  • Sam Wilczak says:

    Its well worth watching the video. I think its what you are after and it supports multiple users. Theres a demo so I might give it a blast! Theres also a kerning plug in avaliable. Hope that helps.

  • Sam Wilczak says:

    I meant theres also a tracking plug in! Whoops :)

  • Sam Wilczak says:

    Diane if you want to import paragraph or character styles from another document just use the fly out menu and click on load all styles, pick the document you want and there you go! Sorry to post so much and change the flow of the blog just thought it may help:)

  • This new feature of loading a cursor with photos will be extremely helpful in doing the large amounts of real estate ads for our newspapers. We are constantly trying to trim and streamline the workflow particularly with time consuming docs as these.

  • Pam Shoulder says:

    It would be REALLY good to manage style sheets better. A folder/set to group styles, a display in the palette for linked styles and be able to arrange them in the pallete.

  • Pierre says:

    Please! OH, please! I hope they add tables to the Object Styles. It’s hell right now having to format one after the other.

  • Mary Moore says:

    Will the CS3 have spell check? Definitely need that.

  • Chris Curtain says:

    I would like to see InDesign become the hub of a total corporate media workflow. By this I mean using InDesign to pull all the components together to produce the layout. Source/link its text and graphics assets from an SQL database (that can be edited by other parties with permissions and updated ‘on the fly’ into InDesign), auto hand off/update the layout to a corporate templated website and be able to provide ‘print on demand’ facility via a print house. That is, InDesign outputs an RGB pdf or ‘loose’ content for the web and CMYK pdf for ‘print on demand’, triggered by a request on the web site. The web site request activates a command to forward the CMYK pdf for printing at a print house and is then mailed out to the customer.

  • orangeu says:

    Mary, CS2 already has spell check(cmnd+i). No need to wait until CS3

  • […] Adobe offers a sneak peak into InDesign CS3 and here […]

  • Bennie says:

    Adobe shoultn’t worry that Quark 7 may capture folks. Indesign is MILES ahead of Quark.

  • Get InDesign to handle XSL in the way that it uses Character and Paragraph and Object styles. If you could have true XML integration that would meet a massive demand…

  • […] Jeszcze go nie ma, a Adobe ju? pobudza apetyt wypuszczaj?c w ?wiat informacje o nowo?ciach, które znajd? si? w najnowszej wersji Indesign. Tutaj krótko, a tu obszernie. […]

  • Christer Hellholm says:

    I would like to see built-in support for Index (Author, Subjects etc.) and Cross references. With those two function, InDesign can replace FrameMaker (which is no longer supported on the Mac platform).

  • Becky says:

    I would like the ability to build a character style based on a paragraph style.


  • eobet says:

    I would like to know if Adobe will use Macromedia’s wonderful interface for CS3, instead of their horrid, old toolboxes now that they bought Macromedia (I mean, they both sued each other over their GUIs before the buyout).

  • David says:

    eobet: I’m hoping for a UI overhaul, too. But Adobe specifically told us we could not show any screen captures of CS3 yet. One Web site showed a couple of dialog boxes, but Adobe went after them to take them down. We’ll certainly post images as soon as we’ve gotten the okay to do so.

  • Anne-Marie says:

    Hey everyone, it’s great so many are chiming in with feature requests, but be sure to also post your requests to Adobe’s actual feature request form.

    I think the little graphic on top of the Tools palette in the CS2 apps should link to that feature request page, wouldn’t that make sense? Instead of its current link to the product page for whichever program you were in when you clicked it.

    Or better, make that little graphic link to the Bug Report form!

    I’ll think I’ll submit this as a feature request ;-)

  • Regista says:

    I would like IDvCS3 to become everything we all want it to be so we can spend the money we now waste on Quark licenses (and lost time due to its many issues) on other worthwhile products and technologies.

  • Rubber chicken says:

    4 features?!?! Think I’ll stick with QuarkXPress thanks. Adobe is obviously worried and are not showing anything as revolutionary as Job Jackets or Composition Zones….

  • cynical says:

    Mr Chicken: Do you think Quark will do something as “revolutionary” as include single keystroke shortcuts to switch between the tools in the tool palette? (I mean proper switching not just holding option key to temporarily switch) Because almost every single program I can think of for designers has had that for oh, lets see… a decade. Except for Quark.
    In my opinion, you are the worst kind of fool. Or trying to start a flame war. Have fun with your little has-been program.

    Oh yeah, notice how Quark has totally dropped the ball on Universal Binary? Revolutionary.

    On topic: I’m fairly pleased to see CS3 is being worked on significantly, but do we really need to be pinching flashy little ooh-ahh effects from photoshop? I agree with others here who would like to see IDcs3 become a layout solution with every possible typographic control, aimed at design studios – not magazine production offices or desktop publishers looking for bells and whistles..

  • JMS says:

    As a daily user of P.S., ill., and Indesign CS2, I would like to see this next CS3 pull together similar features to all act/operate the same way. i.e. Such as working with color and swatches. After all, they do call it a Creative Suite.
    More new features are not interesting to me. But knowing one way to work with a feature across the three programs would speed productivity for us.

  • Okay, hold on, folks. Let’s not get into a “QX vs. ID” war here. Quark is doing some very cool things with QX7 and Adobe is doing some cool things with CS2 and CS3. Enough said.

    As Anne-Marie pointed out, we encourage people to go to Adobe’s Feature Request Page to ask for new features in InDesign. They really do read those posts!

    For people who want to compare and contract QuarkXPress and InDesign, take a look at They have been accused of being too InDesign-biased, but I think they’re usually quite fair-handed.

  • […] InDesignSecrets ha tenido acceso a una sesión informativa privada en la que Adobe ha mostrado cuatro de las nuevas características que incluirá la próxima versión de InDesing. Aunque no está prevista su salida hasta el segundo trimestre de 2007 junto al resto de la Creative Suite 3, parece que Adobe quiere restar algo de protagonismo al reciente lanzamiento de QuarkXPress 7, el rival más directo de InDesing. […]

  • Tim Macking says:

    Is it true that a beta of CS3 was released to testers this week? I just saw/heard a rumor… Tim Macking MCSE

  • Darren Crook says:

    Hi Sam thanks for the tip. but unfortunately it means inputting the pairs manually for every font etc, this would take months to even get any where near the level I already have, I just wish the ID developers could programme a interface where you could just import them like Quark.

  • JOV says:

    Will you be able to make footnotes across 2 columns in a 2 column layout in CS3? I really need it. Ventura has had the feature for at least 10-15 years…

  • conceptx says:

    like everyone else, am very glad Adobe is not making me regret for investing my time in learning InDesing…
    I was getting worried when I read about some proggys new features, but phew… InDesing still rules ;)
    thanks for the post David.

  • Rubber Chicken says:

    Wow, they’re showing Universal Binary but can;t show any screenshots, that to me suggests that UB is not that finished. Quark has really beat them to it on that one. QXP7 will be UB this Summer, and I am not gonna bother even launching ID on a MacBook Pro until they make it UB and that won’t happen until next April according to Brucie Boy Chizen.

  • Mr. Chicken, please note that while Adobe wouldn’t allow me to post screen shots, the demo was done entirely on a MacBook Pro and it ran great. I assume they’re not letting screen shots out because the UI may change over the next 10 months.

    That said, there is no doubt that Quark is going to release a UB before Adobe. But Quark only has to update one program. Adobe unfortunately has to wait until they update InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, Acrobat, and GoLive (or Dreamweaver, or whatever they’re going to include).

  • How long before CS is the Application and Photoshop, Illustrator, Indesign, Golive, etc are mear plug-ins? How much Mac would you have to have to run that application smoothly?

  • graphicdiva says:

    Yes, but will Indesign CS3 give us some basic functions still missing in CS2 (i.e., fade to trasparent gradeints, user-friendly build booklet features, etc.)

  • Tim Macking says:

    The fade to transparent gradients functionality was originally supposed to be in a revision of CS2. It’s not fair that we have to pay for CS3 to receive functionality that was promised over a year ago!

    Tim Macking – CCNA – Dad

  • Just-Not-Impressed says:

    For many years, we have used FrameMaker (most recetly FrameMaker 7 on System 9.2.2) to produce a wide variety of conventional and ebooks that are straight forward. By straight forwward, I mean, documents that have covers, front matter, TOC, LOF, sections, chapters, figures, tables, an index, and so on. FrameMaker has very powerful capabilities for cross referencing, indexing, and inserting hyperlinks, etc.

    When, pray tell, will Indesign or Quark ever reach the point were basic book and document production that is a piece of cake in FrameMaker be possiblei in either of these so-called state of the art layout programs. I hope to live so long.

    It also is particularly annoying (not to mention costly and timeconsuming) that neither Indesign nor Quark have import filters that will read FrameMaker files.

    Sorry, people. I am just not impressed.

  • Just-Not-Impressed says:

    And, another thing: You really have to wonder what kind of morons in the marketing departments of both Adobe and Quark would attempt to market very complex products without providing a robust library of examples that illustrate clearly what the products can do. Without such examples, far too much time is required to get on top of what is new and how it can and might be used.

    By the way, we have all three of these products (i.e., FrameMaker, Quark, and Indesign.)

  • Anne-Marie says:

    JNI, I know first-hand how surprised FrameMaker users are when they see that neither QuarkXPress nor InDesign can do “simple” things that FM can do… typically things having to do with structured long documents. I’m not an FM user myself but I can tell you that it is a different “class” of layout program than Quark/ID/PageMaker; so it’s a little like comparing apples and oranges. FM has a tight structure and rigid rules, but if you can follow those, it does a ton of automation for you.

    Quark/ID/PMkr are far more flexible programs for the designer/layout artist, but only have *some* automated features built-in for structured documents. I’m positive that Adobe is well aware of the long doc features that people want to see in InDesign, but I’m not privy to their internal decisions as to if they’ll ever bring over most of FM’s features to ID, assuming it’s possible. For some companies it may make sense to do some documents in Framemaker and others in InDesign.

    Re your comment about not being able to convert or import FM docs to Quark or ID, you might want to join DTPTools’ beta program for their FrameMaker Import plug-in (Mac/Windows).

  • […] We know that InDesign CS3 (due out in the Spring of 2007) will offer some special effects such as inner shadow. But what if you need that effect today? Here’s a quick step-by-step that gives you a credible inner shadow on any path. […]

  • Typo says:

    A good solution for kerning and tracking please. Lots of fonts are still poorly kerned. And kerning every document over and over again is not an option. For that reason I still use Xpress a lot.

  • Personally, I find that the Optical Kerning feature in ID is very good in most cases. But for custom kerning, I would suggest people kern the font itself using a tool from

  • […] He emphasized that these features were only a tiny fraction of the cool stuff that would be in CS3, but for various reasons he could not elaborate on or demo other features. Deke McClelland and I finished the session with a description of other CS3 features that have been made public and some fun tips and tricks for InDesign and Photoshop. […]

  • Benscoter says:

    I’m curious to know what imposition feature will replace InBooklet in CS3 Since ALAP was aquired by Quark.

    Will Adobe create an imposition feature of their own in the program or will a third party plug-in be necessary?

  • Adobe hasn’t made any further announcements about new features, including what imposition software will replace InBooklet SE. I agree that it’s probably a pretty safe assumption that Quark won’t be re-licensing that to Adobe! ;)

  • simple question – hoping for a simple answer – in IDcs2 is there a way to allow multiple users to work in a multiple page document at the same time?


  • Well, InCopy (or the InCopy plug-ins, which actually work with both InCopy and InDesign) lets multiple people work on different stories at the same time. But no, there’s no way for different people to work on different layouts (moving frames around, for example).

  • Bran MacEachaidh says:

    I know this was posted in fairly early days for the coming new version. That said, though, I for one would like to see Adobe concentrate on adding document capabilities to IDCS3 that are missing from Creative Suite completely — such as cross-references within a document — rather than grafting features into this single app that can already be achieved by using the CS as a whole.

  • […] Adobe discusses the new features of InDesign CS3 […]

  • B deR West says:

    But isn’t Acrobat already update to UB? Acrobat 8 came out last week.

    An Photoshop CS3b is out as well. Although it’s a beta it runs natively.

    So they’re slowly transitioning. All that’s left is InDesign, Illustrator and GoLive.

    But they should leave GoLive out, IMHO.

    I’m not saying don’t update the app, just don’t include it in CS.

    Although, I suppose it IS creative and therefore SHOULD be included in their suite.


  • I believe that Adobe has made it clear (at least they have implied) that GoLive will not be part of the Creative Suite. It’s being replaced by DW. But it is still being developed and I suppose that means it will be released as a separate product. I agree with you: It’s the “creative’s” web design tool, so it should be in the Suite.

  • Tim Macking says:

    Ok, so the CS3 beta is for real now. Wow, nice changes. Great filter abilities now. Now if they could only make the installs designed for Corporations so that you didn’t have to download updates to each PC / MAC. A central storage point on a server perhaps? Damn, that makes too much sense. Tim Macking MCSE, CCNA, MCT

  • Ok, well I have Photoshop CS3 but where is the rest of the suite? I am still awaiting my central storage area too! Please Adobe make it easier for Mr. Tim. Give me CS3 that has centralized downloads within a corporate environment.

    Timothy Macking

  • Prepress says:

    Great, more raster features/filters for morons to use and screw up with.

    Raise your hands if you have no idea what prepress is and call yourself a ‘designer’.

    Sorry guys, but in this day and age, maybe you should learn properly or hire someone with a ‘clue’ to do your artwork.

    Indesign is making ‘design’ available to losers/morons and it is a disgrace to our industry.

  • Steve G says:

    Or how about it just working properly on new Duo Core machines. Is anyone else having extreme issues with CS2 (Illustator and InDesign) working properly on a Core 2 machine? I can’t use any pathfinder functions in Illustrator, or paste anything from Illustrator into InDesign without it crashing. I can’t wait for the Intel-native CS3. PS CS3 works like a dream. (1 out of 3 that I use everyday).

  • Goodness, Prepress, you have quite a chip on your shoulder! ;) The funny thing is that you’re just echoing comments made about QuarkXPress and PageMaker back in the late 1980s. I fondly recall strippers and typographers who had nothing but harsh words for these upstart publishing tools. Wherever those folks are now, I wish them well.

    Steve: There is no doubt that CS3 will be optimized for the Mac-Intel machines, and these crazy problems will clear up. I agree that it has been frustrating. As one person noted: How weird is it that InDesign for Windows runs better (and some have reported faster) under Bootcamp or Parallels than ID-Mac under Rosetta?!

  • TiaR says:

    I’d like to echo the wish for a “straddle column” feature that Grant (10) expressed. This feature was available in FrameMaker years ago when we used that program, and it would be huge for the long mixed-column docs that we produce. We’re using Quark now but thinking of switching–that would clinch it for me.

  • Tim Macking says:

    Well all that hype for CS3 and now everybody has it. Photographers like me are psyched! I’m lovin it!

    Tim Macking MCSE MCT

  • sohail says:

    I want to put two kind of footnote for two defrent authers who explaning a book in one page dynamiclly like this:

    the mine(1) text(ii)
    (1) the first auther.
    (ii) second auther.
    can anyone help me>>

  • Nico says:

    Is there a built-in Photoshop if I install a InDesign CS3???

  • @Nico: No, InDesign does not come with Photoshop. You can buy the Creative Suite to get Photoshop.

  • […] trovare l’intera prova nel sito di InDesign […]

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