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InDesign CS5: Every Feature Revealed In Amazing April 1 Scoop!


[Editor’s note: This was our 2010 April Fool’s Post]

An anonymous employee has today leaked every major feature of InDesign CS5, a full 12 days ahead of Adobe’s official announcement. While we cannot officially confirm or deny any of these, we will say that these features do seem plausible and match many of the features that InDesign users have long been asking for.

Wii Support: While early beta software was being developed for the iPad (code named iDesign), it was recently dropped because many of the panels in the Creative Suite are built using Flash — and as everyone knows, Flash won’t run on the iPad. Fortunately, most of the codebase was able to be ported to the Wii platform. Both the Wii Remote and the Wii Nunchuk will be supported.

Export to Ragtime: In an obvious effort to attract new European users in high-end publishing workflows, Adobe has added the option to export InDesign layouts to the highly popular Ragtime format. Note that some document items will not translate completely, including tables, color swatches, and anything after the first page.

Holograms: As print features have been deprecated in recent years, Adobe has made great strides in three-dimensional imaging, including holographic and 3D printing. New InDesign CS5 tools include the Tesseract tool and the Time Manipulator.

Content-Aware Text Scaling: Taking a cue from Photoshop CS4’s popular Content-Aware Scaling feature (which deletes unimportant parts of images), the InDesign engineers added a Content-Aware Text Scaling checkbox to the Control panel. When a text frame’s content is full of run-on sentences and deadwood phrases, CS5 users can enable the new feature and then scale the text frame with the Selection tool. Instead of changing the size of the type, CS5 edits the text (removing the unimportant verbage) to reduce the word count while keeping the meaning of the content intact.

New Composition Highlights: In an apparent acknowledgement that the Highlight options in the Composition pane of the Preferences dialog box have been far from complete, Adobe InDesign CS5 will offer these new composition highlights:

  • Blue: for text about sad or depressing things
  • Eggplant (Aubergine): for purple prose
  • Black: for R-rated words and phrases, effectively making it safe for minors to view
  • Puce: for text that is colored puce (finally!)

Automatic Translation: Adobe, in an apparent effort to ally with Google, has incorporated Google’s translation features into the program (Internet connection required). Selecting text and choosing a language dictionary from the Language menu in the Control panel will work as before—associating the selected text with that language’s spelling and hyphenation dictionary—but in CS5, holding down the Option/Alt key as you do so will also translate the selection from one language into another.

New page sizes: InDesign CS5 can now create documents as small as 18 microns per side, and up to 53 AU. The smaller page size is a boon to the world’s grain-of-rice-artists and head-of-pin-writers who had been lobbying Adobe for months on getting this feature into InDesign. As for the larger page size—53 times the distance of the Earth to the Sun—software industry insiders are saying Adobe added it as a personal favor to  Zeus, the King of the Gods, who is a friend and close advisor to Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen.

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  • fantastic,

    i’m especially interested in the

    Content-Aware Text Scaling</blockquote

    feature ;)

  • Chad Chelius says:

    And once again they left out the feature to just move document items that come from a master page without having to override them a la QXP! When will they learn! ;-)

  • grefel says:

    sad story, i I REALLY NEED 8 microns pages…

  • Harls says:

    Love it! And who says Americans don’t have a sense of humour! :)

  • DrWatson says:

    I am geniously disappointed of the Content Aware Text Scaling feature. They got it all wrong. What I would have expected: it is scaling any simple three words messages into a full blown PR-speak memo, enrichening my humble message with all these nice web-two-point-oh-god-we-are-so-totally-fashionable-business-guys phrases I would never have dreamt of writing by myself.

    Gosh, I’ll skip CS5 alltogether, they screwed it up for me!

  • As a beta tester of CS5 ME, I would like to add that the translation feature into Hebrew is still a bit buggy with nikud and taamey mikra, sometimes incorrectly using the kamatz gadol when it should be a kamatz katan….

  • Lee says:

    Photoshop’s new Content Aware feature seems similarly incredible. I still can’t quite believe it could be real.

  • I’d like a feature that explains to my editor WHY fifteen equally-sized square pictures don’t evenly fit on a four-colum grid.

    He can’t seem to understand the concept of ‘add one more’ or ‘take one away’

    Then of course explaining that you can’t have a three-column grid (with equal width columns filled with text) across a SPREAD. Maybe we could have a ‘one-and-a-half columns’ feature?

    I honestly think my editor has never even seen a book or magazine.

  • You?ve heard of this? They say that InDesign CS5 will be able to zoom with factor 10 (the power of 15) m. The reason: the new measurement unit Femtometre = 10 (the power of -15) m)! So that LHC researchers (CERN) can draft AND visualize their proton/neutron scenarios 1:1 in InDesign.

  • dgurubaran says:

    I am very excited to see the features before an official confirmation from Adobe.

    As this information is posted here, I unable to believe as I suspect it is April 1 hoax!

  • dgurubaran says:

    I found myself difficult to believe! But as posted here in Indesign Secrets, I have to believe in!

  • dgurubaran says:

    OMG! It induces my curiosity to know more about CS5 features! I expect a great upgrade in ePub export, found to be missing here… I wish to get that too… on April 12 th release!

  • First April!
    April Fool Day :)

  • @dgurubaran: Unfortunately, Adobe decided to remove ePub from InDesign, stating, “If Adobe won’t let us put our Flash on their iPad, then we won’t put ePub in our InDesign. Nyah nyah nyah!” That seems to have made Steve J. relent, after noting that Adobe had promised to be his best friend forever.

    (Yes, April 1. Among my favorite days of the year.)

  • dgurubaran says:

    Oh my goodness! Thanx Blatner! I extremely crazy about Indesign and Indesign Secrets!

  • Jochen: It’s always great having a scientist around to help explain the practical applications of some of these new features! Thanks!

  • Peter says:

    I do realize the post is meant in a humorous way, but some of those features areactually not too unrealistic.

    For instance, that content aware text scaling thing would be doable in practice. Theoretically one should be able to compute an importance factor for each word by comparing to a reference corpus and then removing entire phrases or known fill words based on the sum of the importance of the individual words. A human would still have to check the result, but it might achieve usable results, or at least assist the user by giving suggestions (via highlighting) which parts might be candidates to be removed. I’m not kidding by the way, there have been experiments with such technology. I believe OS X even has a “summarize” command in the services menu, I don’t know how well it works and how much effort went into it. I mean, you couldn’t expect magic from such a feature, but it would work to a certain extent.

    Incorporating Google translate could also be done quite easily, even as a script, the only challenge would be to get the formatting back in after the translation process. But I doubt that such functionality would really be beneficial in practice, even though the quality of Google Translate has increased quite a bit in recent years.

  • Bob Levine says:

    I really think that Content-Aware Text Scaling should have been named Comment-Aware Text Scaling.

    There are users who are bound to be confused by this terminology.

  • Mike Rankin says:

    I also have it on good authority that there will be a new Easter egg whereby if you hit cmd/ctrl-shift-f-b, your last action is automatically sent to your Twitter and/or FaceBook status:

    The other thing is for laptop users, Adobe is integrating InDesign with FourSquare, so you can check a document’s history at a hyperlocal level:

  • I wonder if Adobe will add this kind of feature to InDesign CS6:

    I would love to make magazines for cats and dogs….

  • Jennie says:

    I agree with DrWatson on the expansion of sparse prose. I truly feel that ID should have added a 5 to 50:50 to 5 feature. Expand sparse prose and cut out jargon such as the educationalese and government speak I deal with daily.

    And, David, I thought you told me on the forum that the holograms were 4D. Did I misunderstand? I would have been able to adjust to dot-matrix only printing but I’m truly disappointed that I won’t be getting that 4th dimension!


  • ArcRaj says:

    I’m eagerly expecting the math support in InDesign CS5, but it seems CS5 also not having this feature. Anyone having any idea?

  • Mike Perry says:

    Alas, if CS5 really did include content-aware scaling, it would make my editorial work far easier. Simply scale a 300-page book down to 200 pages and let ID do all the work. That’d be delightful even it only worked on April 1 of each year.

    Realistically, I’m hoping for much improved ePub export, so we can create digital books that look at least a fraction as good as paper ones. The iPad is a marvelous platform for ebooks. It’s unfortunate that the books it displays can’t be must more expressive than HTML 1.0 was. iBooks on the iPad should be able to display books as complex and expressive and the Pages application can generate.

    I’m also hoping against hope that Adobe has taken seriously my suggestions for Named and Smart frame linking. Named frames would auto-link together frames with the same name and create a text flow that could jump ahead any number of pages (as in magazines and newspapers) with automatic “See page xxx” and “Continued from page yy” notices. Smart frames would autolink frames on a page and between pages based on rules such as the frame’s name, its position on the page, and the page it is on. Together, the two would save lots of time.

  • David Eisenberg says:

    You neglected to mention the style fixing feature related to conditional text. It allows writing in your personal style. Then, by checking the intended publication, it changes your style and facts to fit that presentation. This feature will be exceptionally useful for those writing for talk radio, late night comedy shows, and political speeches. With one click, you can toggle between Democrat, Republican, or Independent.

  • Hi David, yes that mashup between styles and conditions is pretty slick! We just didn’t want to reveal ALL the new features in a single post.

  • Chuck Nigash says:

    I thought Adobe would re-coin the command Auto Complete and just do the whole page for you. Rats!

  • Uwe Laubender says:

    Quote Darren Ketteringham: “Then of course explaining that you can?t have a three-column grid (with equal width columns filled with text) across a SPREAD. Maybe we could have a ?one-and-a-half columns? feature?”

    @Darren: if you never knew that, but: we already have that feature! It’s rather hidden, but it is there. ;-)
    Download an IDML version of a three-column grid across a SPREAD:*BuW-WzNcXAbw

  • Uwe Laubender says:

    OOPs. The forum software messed up my link to the download. So please, rather than clicking it copy the whole line to your browser?

  • Chris Matthews says:

    I’d really like to applaud the progress the CS5 team has made on this. These features are sooo incredulous that I’m wondering how long it will be before ID doesn’t need me to get out of bed in the morning and can have my work ready for me waiting on my desk when I finally do roll into the office around, say, 15:00.

    I’d like my favorite donuts and sweet tea prepared exactly the way I like it in one-click or less too.

    Thanks for the artifice to leaven the day.

  • Mike Klassen says:

    Export Layout to MS Publisher

    This is a great new feature for those clients who want you to do the template work for something they can regularly update with fresh content themselves in Publisher on their home or office computer.

    (Just to be sure, I did a Google search to make sure this didn’t actually exist in a 3rd party product. Turns out, a lot of people get this request from clients.)

  • I heard somewhere that they would also include a “Make the logo bigger” button.


  • ha! Kitty … that’d be great.

    Of course, it already has the “more white space” keyboard shortcut (Backspace/Delete)

  • loic says:

    What a laugh ! Thank you.

  • James Fritz says:

    Don’t forget to play pranks on your co-workers copy of InDesign.

  • I see no mention of the Escher filter in the Effects panel, that turns a frame (or any vector outline) into an impossible object. Perhaps they didn’t feel it was robust enough to make it into the release version.

    David… I was sad to see that Fill With Pi Digits didn’t make it into CS5. Perhaps CS6…

  • Alan, I think Adobe feels that the Escher/impossible object feature was delivered to end users as part of CS4’s new table editing interface in the Story Editor. Not 100% sure though.

  • rock solid says:

    Please welcome adobe cs5.

  • Zalman Goldstein says:

    Here’s a really good description of the upcoming Photoshop’s CS5 features:

  • Ryan Skinner says:

    now that is April 2nd I wish that I knew at least ONE new real feature of ID cs5. I always feel like it is the least focused on in the Suite when it comes to launch time. Sure it isn’t as widely used as photoshop but come on I used it 8 hours a day 5 days a week…. Does anyone have inside info on ID CS5? I am still holding out for native form creation.

  • antos says:

    Translation is a nice tip. It inspired me to make Indys Translator script, which uses Google translator engine directly within InDesign. Enjoy it for free.

  • Home Skooled says:

    Features for long documents are critical to us.

    What gives?

  • Kriss Laber says:

    I really did have a client asking for a hologram last month. Fortunately it was a quick-turnaround job so we were able to talk him out of it.

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