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What is Adobe InDesign? An extensive guide

by Amelie Timm  |  November 24, 2019

3 min. read
A woman working on a design project.

Adobe InDesign has stunning potential and features that strengthen project layouts. Focus on learning the ins and outs to succeed with future design schemes. The following is a complex breakdown of the basic and advanced InDesign functions.

What is InDesign?

Adobe InDesign is a software tool used to create extensive print and digital projects, including things like newspapers, books and brochures. InDesign is typically used by graphic designers, though it’s not uncommon for marketers to use the tool as well.

The standard file format for InDesign is the INDD – the official InDesign file extension. Anytime a project is saved with InDesign, it will be in the form of INDD. Adobe InDesign is highly accessible, programmed to work for users on both the Mac and Windows operating systems.

A picture of the INDD file icon.
InDesign is used for both digital and print purposes.

InDesign basics

Adobe InDesign creates some of the most eye-catching brochures, posters and business cards. InDesign projects fascinate audiences in both digital and print formats. This desktop publishing software creates a wide array of content involving detailed design and graphics. Organizations, artists and graphic designers all need to understand the InDesign basics.

Adobe InDesign software is operational on both Windows and Mac operating systems. It quickly imports many common image file types. InDesign is optimal when creating projects with multiple pages. Take note of the basic ideas of the software to gauge how you could create beautiful, professional designs.

A screenshot of the InDesign logo functioning within a Canto system.
Learn the basics of InDesign to help captivate audiences in future projects.

Important advanced features

Complex functions improve content and design professionalism.  Learn the intricacies of Adobe InDesign to ensure project success and fulfill design campaigns. Examining specific functions of the software is a great start to improve project design. The following are three crucial features advanced users habitually reference:

  1. Master Page Function. If a project requires a multi-page design publication, the default software should be InDesign. This is due to the fact it automatically numbers pages and provides the master page function. This allows users to edit numerous pages using a single edit.
  2. Resizing Content in Frames. A vital part of InDesign is resizing content. Furthermore, learning to change the size of content separate from frame size is a big help to completing projects. Make sure you resize content to maintain integrity of images and alter publications correctly.
  3. Utilize Integrations. There’s a possibility that systems you already use have an integration feature with Adobe InDesign. Canto’s digital asset management, for example, allows direct links from InDesign to a digital asset management library. Investigate integrations such as these further to simplify projects.
A screenshot of the INDD logo.
Integrations are crucial for success with Adobe InDesign.

Explore these elements and add them to your repertoire to advance InDesign projects. Though these are crucial functions of advancing familiarity with InDesign, they’re only the beginning of a continuous process to master the system.

When to use InDesign

Pinpoint the campaigns that use the InDesign file extension ahead of time by learning which specific tasks are best completed using the InDesign system. The key thing to keep in mind is design with large amounts of text are the specialty of InDesign. This creates a blanket of publications that should be completed using the software, including things like books, posters and magazines.

When a project is multiple pages in length, Adobe InDesign should be the first software to use. As explained earlier, it works great with multi-page projects because of the auto-numbering and master page functions.

Gain a good foundation of knowledge for Adobe InDesign to kick start your future design campaigns. Begin adding valuable features to projects by understanding this important system.