This blog is about Graphic Design, Vector Art, and Cartoon Illustration

Should you use Adobe InDesign?

InDesign is a remarkable, powerful program. Like its predecessors, Quark and Pagemaker, it is correctly described as "desktop publishing". And while that was a derisive term when it was first applied to this type of software in the 1980s, it isn't anymore.

Before "desktop publishing", in order to create a quality piece for print, you had to go to a typesetter, then get the photos prepared for reproduction by a reprographics business. It was quite an ordeal. And people who did this sort of thing scoffed at the ability of a computer, on a desktop, being able to do all of this. They were wrong. These programs could do it all, and ultimately, even better.

Almost twenty years of refinement to InDesign has made it the very best "desktop publishing" program there is. Its closest competitor, Quark, isn't even that close any more. And while Pagemaker is still offered, it really isn't InDesign. And other programs, like Publisher, are even weaker and more watered-down.

So the question you have to ask is - do you need to use InDesign? For most people the answer is no. If you are producing a newsletter for your company, Microsoft Word will do. And it will do quite a lot, including the ability to save to a pdf. And another advantage of using Microsoft Word is that LOTS of people know it. And if the document needs some editing, you will find every administrative assistant on the planet can do it.

If you make the mistake of creating a document in InDesign, you will be stuck when you need to edit it. Very few people know InDesign, as opposed to Word, Excel, or Powerpoint.

InDesign is for premium quality, offset-litho CMYK printing. If you don't need that, don't use InDesign.