What do you like about InDesign?

I don’t have a lot of experience with InDesign, therefore, I don’t like it.
If I’m doing a 1 page event flyer that is graphics heavy with little text, it seems so much easier to just do it all in photohsop rather than saving each element then placing it in InDesign.
In those instances it seems the only advantage to InDesign is that it’s easier to set up bleed and safety margin, and add the trim marks.

From what I understand ID is best for multi page documents like brochures or magazines that require a lot of layout and words and stuff.

Tell me what you like about InDesign! What are it’s best qualities and what sort of projects do you use it for? What are it’s drawbacks?

I’ll often do these kinds of one-pagers in Illustrator, but almost never Photoshop. There are several reasons for this.

One big reason is blocks of typography, which is something Photoshop doesn’t handle well, nor is it meant to — it’s a photo/image editor.

Another reason has to do with resolution. The output resolution of printers (anything from a desktop laser printer to a printer’s platesetter) is typically 1000 dots per inch and higher. You’re unlikely to be working at those resolutions in Photoshop, which is why you want to keep everything on a layout, except photos and other bitmapped images, in a vector format.

There are instances where building a layout in Photoshop is just fine, but a flyer is not typically one of them. Of course, if your flyer is simple and has little text, like you mentioned, yeah, maybe — especially if there’s no small black type.


It’s quite simple really:

For page layout, you use a page layout software. For photo editing, you use a photo editing software. For vector graphics, you use a vector graphics software. For everything else, you use Microsoft Word.

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Or PowerPoint. :wink:

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I agree with Just-B; from experience, Photoshop does not do justice to “book-like” text. InDesign is designed with lots of tweakable features to handle text and text based layouts; if I make a catalog, brochure, magazine spread or text-heavy invitation, postcard, etc. it’s gotta be in InDesign. If I had to not use ID, I’d more likely design a one-off in Illustrator than Photoshop, just for the sake of print quality and scalability. Photoshop for photos, Illustrator for graphical and illustrative elements, InDesign to put it all together for print is my rule of thumb…helps to use each program for what it does best!

Indesign is an amazing page layout program. As an editorial designer of 15 years working with other graphic designers my take it that many graphic designers avoid it because they don’t know how to use it. Most start working professionally with a good understanding of Photoshop and Illustrator and so will go to what they know every time and get the job done, but usually not following best practise or optimal workflow. I’ve seen experienced employed designers take on multi-page editorial projects in Illustrator because ‘I don’t know Indesign’.
As a bendable rule for me, anything with body text would be done in Indesign. If this involved complex graphics, then I’d switch to Photoshop / Illustrator, make the change, switch back and update the image link. This was easily a preferable workflow (keyboard shortcuts, it’s ‘bing, bang bosh - done’) to losing Indesign’s, text, layout and output functionality.

My Idesign crashes everytime in High Sierra and i dont care to fix that program.
Libre office is smoother and more friendlier.

Your InDesign probably crashes because you are trying to use very old CS4 on a relatively new Mac OSX. Adobe and Apple are barely on speaking terms on a good day.

Indesign has a lot of features that I like as a printer. The color palette works a lot better than Illustrator, especially when applying swaps for colors. The multipage feature makes it easy to apply cut paths and crop marks to all the artwork in the doc, assuming the designer has followed certain conventions. There are a lot of different ways to do things in InDesign, and some of them would be the wrong ways. I swear I have one client who actively searches for devious ways to crash a rip or otherwise throw wrenches in the works.

It’s not the best software for projects if you are using a die-line for router cut graphics but in the grand scheme of things, we’ll deal with a die-line in InD over multipage docs in Illustrator. Illustrator multipage is NOT made for pagination purposes.

Also, I do large format print. InDesign uses a memory-conserving method of placing images that makes it very quick and easy to work with large images and transparency effects.

Illustrator tends to choke on placed images much over 500mb. Add any kinds of trans effects in Illustrator and, in some cases, you may as well go get coffee while it redraws.

You also don’t get the dreaded Illustrator error message “can’t move artwork off the artboard,” due to masked parts of images. Indesign will place containerized art as close to the edge as I want it. Sometimes I need to move stuff, or cut down the artboard size before printing. For example, if you put a postage stamp on a ledger art board, you really don’t want to be paying for the price of the ledger board. Multiply that in a printer using 16’ goods and you pay a lot of extra for wasted space. But that’s a whole other rant.


I’m not trying to use, I am using CS4.
which i think is too vast for what i am composing nowadays.
illustrator take meh, about 4 seconds to save, which i can live with.
CS4 Indesign works well using Snow leopard 2006, and Mountain Lion 2012 in 2020.

Yes, Indesign CS4 works on Snow leopard and Mountain Lion, even when using those OSX back-versions in 2020.
Indesign CS4 is NOT compatible with High Sierra 2017. There is a workaround posted on the Adobe Communities for making Illustrator CS4 and Photoshop CS4 load into and work with High Sierra, but InDesign CS4 is dead to that operating system. Or any OSX above for that matter. If you ever upgrade to Catalina, InDesign CS6 won’t even run. Catalina requires 64-bit software. InD CS6 is only 32-bit. So the old CS suite is effectively hobbled by Apple as of a few months ago. If you are gonna run old CS stuff, keep a clean install copy around of your earlier OSX installer software. Highly suggest creating a boot drive, as Apple no longer archives stuff below Yosemite (at least not that I’ve been easily able to locate.)

90% of my business is design and execution of technical content (think ‘installation instructions’), and I live in InDesign. I’d say it’s a near-perfect tool for assembling page layouts and subsequently, assembling pages into documents, particularly in an (almost) all-Adobe workflow like mine. InDesign’s typograhical controls are superior to anything else I’ve ever used, and that’s really where it is differentiated. Sure, if a project is to be composed and deployed primarily as a raster image, I may work only in Photoshop, and likewise, a vector graphic could be an Illustrator-only proposition. But if there is any text, in any project, beyond one or two instances of display type, the job goes to InDesign every time.

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InDesign is my go to for multi page layouts. There are so many great tools - I’m sure I don’t know all of them, I keep learning new tricks. It handles bleeds, page numbering, type, template designs and so much more exceptionally well, and sending soft proofs to clients is easier from there than any other program I have. (interactive pdf) I agree with previous posts on the use of Photoshop. My only exception there is if someone sends me hires pdfs for print, and I’m not sure about fonts I will sometimes rasterize them into Photoshop and save as pdf/x for print. Other than that, it’s an image editing program for me.

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