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  • What is InDesign?

    Posted on 17th May 2023 by Greta Powell

    What is InDesign?


    One of our most popular courses is the Introduction to InDesign Training Course and InDesign is possibly the most popular pieces of desktop publishing software on the planet. Being one of the major components of Adobe Creative Cloud means it integrates perfectly with the other apps apps such as Photoshop and Illustrator.


    But what is Adobe InDesign exactly?


    Adobe InDesign is:

    InDesign has always been desktop publishing software used for creating magazines, books, newsletters, flyers, tenders, brochures etc. And today for many people it’s the central piece of software which pulls together vector artwork from Adobe Illustrator and photo’s from Adobe Photoshop. Once the graphics are imported you then design and export a wide range of publications to create professional and creative layouts and spreads.


    It is part of the Adobe Creative Cloud whose applications are used by marketeers and design creators to create and design for print, video and social media.


    InDesign is so versatile that you can even import files from Microsoft Office, including Word documents and Excel spreadsheets which can then be edited in InDesign. One of the most powerful features involved in this process is the ability to swop out Word styles for those in InDesign.


    Who uses InDesign?


    It might be easier to identify who doesn’t use it as InDesign has a place in most companies these days. Over the years we have trained content creators, social media designers. bid writers, designers, publishers and more. The depth of InDesign is truly amazing, it supports both professional print and interactive PDF’s so is fully versatile.


    With InDesign’s interactive features you can import video, audio and media files to publish documents online.


    Adobe InDesign Training Courses Online & Onsite

    A little history of InDesign


    InDesign came into being as a product known as PageMaker released by a company called Aldus and was, in its day, considered the best desktop publishing software on the market.


    Its birth as PageMaker was in July 1985 and during that incarnation ran a good race against QuarkXpress.


    However by 1994 Aldus PageMaker was losing ground to Quark which is when Adobe stepped in and purchased the majority of Aldous apps including PageMaker. Eventually PageMaker was purchased by Adobe and on 31 August 1999 became Adobe InDesign and the rest, as they say, is history.


    How is InDesign used?


    It is used to put together spreads and layouts for flyers, magazines, reports and just about every other document you can think of.


    InDesign’s strength lies in its ability to create multiple pages, page numbering, character and paragraph styles to create and design beautiful single and multi page spreads and layouts. And, it is into these spreads and layouts that the visual content such as images are dropped.


    Being part of the Creative Cloud family means that it works superbly with the rest of the collection such as Photoshop and Illustrator. For example photographs that have been enhanced in Photoshop and vector artwork designed in Adobe Illustrator work perfectly.


    Documents designed in Adobe InDesign can then be published out to print or for digital export. Some people even use it for social media design.


    InDesign & Interactive PDF’s


    Adobe InDesign Interactive Panel - InDesign Training CoursesInDesign creates professional and beautiful documents for print but is also extensively to create and design interactive PDF documents as well.


    You have great freedom with the software and can see many of its interactive features in the image on the left of this. 


    What are Interactive PDF’s?


    You can create online documents such as digital magazines, tender documents, slide shows, manuals and more by incorporating rich media such as video, audio and animations into your document.


    These are then published online to be viewed and digitally signed if necessary. (It’s not limited to interactive PDF’s either – you can also design eBooks in the software as well.)


    This feature of is, of course great for marketing & sales teams because it gives the ability to insert video and audio files directly into the document which is then published directly online to be viewed by their clients.


    Anyone who needs to collect data for their work will be pleased to know that InDesign lets you design and publish your own forms to PDF directly in the software. Admittedly the form feature in InDesign isn’t as powerful as the one in Adobe Acrobat but if you just need some quick and easy data collection then InDesign forms are ideal for this.


    Find out more about our Adobe InDesign Interactive Course


    InDesign 2023 /2024 – Favourite New Feature


    Our favourite new feature in InDesign really has to be the style packs. These become available once your document contains more than a thousand words and let you choose from groups of multiple styles which ‘match’ with one another instead on single individual ones.


    Read more about InDesign Style Packs here


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