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This Week in InDesign Articles, Number 67

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As we mentioned on our most recent podcast episode, it’s “back to school” time. So every InDesign user needs to be thinking, “What new topic can I learn this month?” Whether you’re a beginning, intermediate, or advanced InDesign user, there’s a wealth of information out there (and on this site) to help you.

  • Planning on printing a little book? Or a big book? You’d better learn about binding (how the pages stay together). Here’s a fun little free (pay with a tweet) mini binding guide you can download and print.
  • We all know that PDF is “ubuiqitous,” right? Well, Adobe has taken a step farther and now has an iOS app called CreatePDF that can turn Word docs into PDFs. What I don’t understand is why Adobe charges $10 for this, why it doesn’t appear (from user reviews) to work very well, and why the product manager claims it can do things (like convert INDD files) when it apparently can’t. Worst of all, why is there still no Adobe Reader for iOS?! Here’s my favorite part: Forbes seems to think that this app is going to sell 40 million copies! That’s the most delusional thing I’ve read all month. (And I’ve read a lot of delusional things, I can tell you!)
  • Whether or not you’ve ever used Data Merge in InDesign, you must read this article by Michael Murphy (from a recent issue of InDesign Magazine). Hey, Michael is speaking at the Washington DC InDesign User Group on Monday, Sept 19 on the topic of styles. Be there!
  • Speaking of data, this is a good overview of the various options available for getting database (and spreadsheet) data into InDesign. That said, I’m not sure I agree with his comments about InCatalog, and he seems to leave out DataLinker and some other third-party solutions.
  • Oh man, now there’s another article about Data Merge recently out… what’s in the air these days?!
  • Not necessarily the most efficient workflow for comment and review, but I have to admit that I did gasp a bit seeing this bus route.
  • Want to see a fun, little free video? Check out my free videocast on QuickApply at!
  • Importing XML from disk is cool, but importing XML across the Web is awesome!


  • I’m fascinated by the idea of creating HTML layouts and turning them into iPad or tablet apps. I see that Baker Framework 2.0 is now out. (Anyone used it?) I also know of a great software company that we’ve discussed before who will be announcing its own InDesign to HTML5 solution very soon! More on that when I can talk about it.
  • Interesting thoughts on other ways that people can monetize ebooks.
  • As you have likely heard, Amazon’s new Kindle is likely to be pretty dang impressive, and may be actual competition for the iPad. Here’s some interesting info on it.
  • What do you most miss, now that you read ebooks? The smell of real books, of course!
  • I really enjoyed this little opinion piece about print books vs. ebooks, the historical comparisons to scrolls and codexes, and the tradeoffs one must make.


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
  • loic says:

    Hi David,

    Thanks a lot for these reccurent quotations to my work. Very apppreciated ;)


  • Steve Werner says:


    I agree with you, David, about the CreatePDF app. I was the one who pushed on the fact that it had listed as converting INDD files, which it does not (they’re going to add it in a update, they say). And it has a lot of other things it doesn’t work well with. Here’s a link to the user forum:

    This app actually sends the data to the Adobe CreatePDF online subscription service. It doesn’t do the conversion on the iOS device.

  • CreatePDF iOS app updated version 1.01 is available now and you can convert .indd file. You still need an internet connection because, like Steve said, it is using the CreatePDF online subscription.

    A quick test using an .indd file of 32 pages in my dropbox account. The results is unacceptable. All the fonts in my document have been replace with Myriad Pro. So I lost all the bold & italic and all bullets from list.

    Not yet worth the 10$ box…

  • Furry says:

    Loved the print books vs ebooks article. As a neanderthal who has not yet delved into ebooks (don’t own an iPad or a Kindle) it clarified a lot of things for me.

  • I had a question from a student: is InDesign able to link Word documents stored on Sharepoint without checking them out on local machine first?

  • I really struggle with Data Merge to get it to do what I want, especially in a middle of a existing document with several records per page all that little bit different from one another… Could ‘we’ put a table of comparison online to weight alternative options across the top 15 features?

  • Stix Hart says:

    Awww, they’re recalling all the smell of books cans, they say it isn’t related to the authors guild attacking them but I smell a rat… Awesome print books vs. ebooks article.

  • Alan Gilbertson says:

    The “Smell of Books” site is hilarious, but the parent company’s (Durosport) site is heavily flagged by Norton as a malicious website, with no less than 10 malicious redirects.

    The codex vs. ebook article was fascinating, and apt. I still buy and read “real” books for exactly the reasons outlined in the article: you can’t stick your thumb in an ebook (and no, bookmarks are no substitute). I can’t imagine enjoying “Real World InDesign” as an eBook, for example.

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