Adobe InDesign 2020 running on macOS Catalina
|Initial release||August 31, 1999|
CC 2021 (16.0) / October 2020
|Operating system||Windows, macOS|
|Available in||24 languages|
Adobe InDesign is a desktop publishing and typesetting software application produced by Adobe Systems. It can be used to create works such as posters, flyers, brochures, magazines, newspapers, presentations, books and ebooks. InDesign can also publish content suitable for tablet devices in conjunction with Adobe Digital Publishing Suite. Graphic designers and production artists are the principal users, creating and laying out periodical publications, posters, and print media. It also supports export to EPUB and SWF formats to create e-books and digital publications, including digital magazines, and content suitable for consumption on tablet computers. In addition, InDesign supports XML, style sheets, and other coding markup, making it suitable for exporting tagged text content for use in other digital and online formats. The Adobe InCopy word processor uses the same formatting engine as InDesign.
InDesign is the successor to Adobe PageMaker, which was acquired by Adobe with the purchase of Aldus in late 1994. (Freehand, a competitor to Adobe Illustrator and also made by Aldus, was sold to Altsys, the maker of Fontographer.) By 1998 Page Maker had lost almost the entire professional market to the comparatively feature-rich QuarkXPress 3.3, released in 1992, and 4.0, released in 1996. Quark stated its intention to buy out Adobe and to divest the combined company of PageMaker to avoid anti-trust issues. Adobe rebuffed the Quark offer and instead continued to work on a new page layout application. The project had been started by Aldus and was code-named "Shuksan". It was later code-named "K2" and was released as InDesign 1.0 in 1999.
The new InDesign software was initially launched in the UK through a series of promotional hotel meetings. The marketing concentrated on mention of new software architecture -- a small central software kernel (about 2Mb) to which add-ons would be bolted as the program's functionality expanded in later versions. This sounded impressive. However, the PS Printer Driver for InDesign 1.0 was an external app that tended to acquire frequent corruption problems, requiring periodic re-installs of this item. Copies of InDesign 1.5 were usually given away when it was found that a host of bugs had to be corrected. By InDesign 2.0 the temperamental Printer Driver became embedded within the main software. The celebrated 'kernel' architecture was never mentioned again.
InDesign was the first Mac OS X-native desktop publishing (DTP) software. In version 3 (InDesign CS) it received a boost in distribution by being bundled with Photoshop, Illustrator, and Acrobat in Creative Suite.
Later versions of the software introduced new file formats. To support the new features, especially typographic, introduced with InDesign CS, both the program and its document format are not backward-compatible. Instead, InDesign CS2 introduced the INX (.inx) format, an XML-based document representation, to allow backwards compatibility with future versions. InDesign CS versions updated with the 3.1 April 2005 update can read InDesign CS2-saved files exported to the .inx format. The InDesign Interchange format does not support versions earlier than InDesign CS. With InDesign CS4, Adobe replaced INX with InDesign Markup Language (IDML), another XML-based document representation.
Adobe worked on the provision of a 'Drag and Drop' feature and this became available after 2004 but was restricted to dropping graphics and images, not text. Adobe developed InDesign CS3 (and Creative Suite 3) as universal binary software compatible with native Intel and PowerPC Macs in 2007, two years after the announced 2005 schedule, inconveniencing early adopters of Intel-based Macs. Adobe CEO Bruce Chizen had announced that "Adobe will be first with a complete line of universal applications". The CS2 Mac version had code tightly integrated to the PPC architecture, and not natively compatible with the Intel processors in Apple's new machines, so porting the products to another platform was more difficult than had been anticipated. Adobe developed the CS3 application integrating Macromedia products (2005), rather than recompiling CS2 and simultaneously developing CS3. By this time 'Drag and Drop' of type was made available.
InDesign CS3 initially had a serious compatibility issue with Leopard (Mac OS X 10.5), as Adobe stated: "InDesign CS3 may unexpectedly quit when using the Place, Save, Save As or Export commands using either the OS or Adobe dialog boxes. Unfortunately, there are no workarounds for these known issues." Apple fixed this with their OS X 10.5.4 update.
In October 2005, Adobe released InDesign Server CS2, a modified version of InDesign (without a user interface) for Windows and Macintosh server platforms. It does not provide any editing client; rather, it is for use by developers in creating client-server solutions with the InDesign plug-in technology. In March 2007 Adobe officially announced Adobe InDesign CS3 Server as part of the Adobe InDesign family.
|Internet media type|
The MIME type is not official
Newer versions can, as a rule, open files created by older versions, but the reverse is not true. Current versions can export the InDesign file as an IDML file (InDesign Markup Language), which can be opened by InDesign versions from CS4 upwards; older versions from CS4 down can export to an INX file (InDesign Interchange format).
InDesign Middle Eastern editions come with special settings for laying out Arabic or Hebrew text. They feature:
InDesign has spawned 86 user groups in 36 countries with a total membership of over 51,000.