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Product: InDesign 2.0
Company: Adobe
Estimated Street Price:
Review By: Julien Jay

More New Professional Features

Table Of Contents
1: Introduction
2: Features
3: Advanced Features


   Inserting an image in an InDesign 1.0/1.5 document wasn’t always very easy due to resizing process. Adobe InDesign 2.0 now comes with dynamic graphics preview: when you insert an image into a document and adjust what’s visible in a graphics frame, a live ghosted preview of the entire picture appears so you can see exactly what you’re doing.

A new overprint preview option lets you preview on-screen the overprint, blending, and transparency settings that you’ve manually applied to objects as well as the effects of aliasing inks. 

Working with long documents wasn’t very easy with the first InDesign versions. InDesign 2.0 now provides comprehensive support for long documents: related documents can be grouped in a book file to number pages sequentially, synchronize styles and swatches, and generate tables of contents, indexes and hyperlinks. When you create a book file, InDesign opens a new ‘Book’ palette: all the documents you have grouped are listed in this palette. A single document can also be associated to more than one book file. From the book palette you can see which documents have been opened, modified, are in use or missing. The book palette is a great enhancement for working with a team of authors and designers. The palette lets you drag the documents to the position of your choice: when doing so the document order is automatically updated as well as the pagination (if automatic pagination is on). The documents that constitute your book can be preflighted, packaged, printed or exported to Adobe PDF. 

Adobe InDesign 2.0 Book Palette

When working with long documents like books or magazines, InDesign 2.0 can generate one or more table of contents for any document or book file. Thus the table of contents can list all the chapters of your book, while another will list all the illustrations and a third will list the graphs that appear. Creating a table of contents is extremely simple: you just have to apply a paragraph styles to the text that should appears in the table of contents. Normally each TOC entry is formatted with the styles used in your document. But you can map those styles to TOC styles that specify different fonts, first line indents, tab leaders, and more… 

Another new feature aimed to professional printer is the indexing controls. InDesign 2.0 helps you create keyword or comprehensive indexes using the Index palette. An InDesign index entry is comprised or the topic, which is the subject of the entry and the reference which the page number. 

Adobe InDesign 2.0 Indexing Controls (click to enlarge)

The hyphenation module has been enhanced to offer a new hyphenation penalty slider that enables you to interactively make tradeoffs between spacing and hyphenation and preview the results on screen. 

InDesign 2.0 can build XML based structure into documents so you can deploy content to multiple channels (print, Web, handheld devices, etc.) without struggling to adapt your contents to a format to another. Using XML will tag content of your document so its components can be identified and reused by another software program.


As beautiful as your artwork can be, it is nothing if you’re having trouble with the printing process. Which is, and my experience is speaking, extremely frequent. One of the priorities of Adobe’s development team was to refine the printing process so users can experience a peaceful printing. The result is the fact InDesign 2.0 includes expanded support for printer drivers thus the software can fit into more print workflows. Indeed InDesign 2.0 no longer requires AdobePS printer driver. In case you use InDesign 2.0 to create PostScript files (known as prepress files) you can now save the file directly from the print dialog box. Being driver independent, you can specify if this file should be device independent. Using this setting will exclude driver and device information from your PostScript files to produce the most flexible PostScript file. 

The printing interface has been totally revamped to be more intuitive: the interface provides clearer feedback about what print settings are enabled and how they interact between each other. You can now specify all print settings throughout the printing dialog box like page sizes, custom page sizes, font downloading, PostScript level and image data format. The print dialog box now provides an effective visual feedback through a thumbnail preview to make sure your output will correspond to what you desire. That way you can check out the margins, the paper size in relation to the printable area and the way how the page relates to the media size, etc. Finally InDesign 2.0 reports all your print settings in a summary panel in the print dialog box. That way you can review your print setting on-screen or save them to a separate text file. InDesign 2.0 introduces the print style concept. Once you have defined print settings you can save the set of settings as a printer style. Those fast and useful styles let you reuse easily the same printing options and multiple times.  

Adobe InDesign 2.0 Printing Dialog Box (click to enlarge)

That’s not all. InDesign 2.0 lets you flatten transparent objects for output so you can achieve a high quality output. Using this transparency support lets you apply drop shadows to text, ghost back images, create unique special effects with blending modes and more. In addition, Illustrator and Photoshop assets can be incorporated preserving the integrity of the transparency. You can even proof overprint settings on desktop printers using the Simulate Overprint option. With InDesign 2.0 you get a much more complete control over color output thanks to the new options in the output panel of the print dialog box. It’s now possible to print files in Composite Grayscale to non-color or color printers or in Composite RGB to inkjet printers, film recorders and other RGB devices. The new ink manager lets professionals control the number of separations without altering the file. So print professionals can map or alias one spot color to another without touching the Swatches palette.


   When you compare InDesign 2.0 to previous version it’s very clear the software is much faster especially when you work with images. Adobe claims they have changed the text composition and database engines, improved the way images and other page items are cached and optimized the text and graphics import filters for PhotoShop, EPS, TIFF, JPEG, RTF and Microsoft Word files. This work has proven its efficiency since InDesign 2.0 is substantially and significantly faster than InDesign 1.0/1.5 when performing the most current operations (like opening, saving, closing, importing images, etc.).

However one major drawback of InDesign 2.0 is the fact the software isn’t able to export a composition as an InDesign 1.0/1.5 file. This is a true problem because if you’re going to hand off your artwork to a professional printer chances are high that he doesn’t have InDesign 2.0 while he might have InDesign 1.0/1.5. In that case you have to start the painful process of exporting your composition to an EPS or Illustrator file. If InDesign 2.0 can open files created with InDesign 1.0/1.5 the reverse isn’t true, unfortunately.

« Features Conclusion »


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