Recommended Publishing Resources: Adobe InDesign Tips & Tricks

15 Apr

I always find it amazing to think about how much the graphics side of print production has changed in the last 40 years. When I was a kid, my mom was a reporter for our small town’s newspaper where, up until the early ‘70s, hot lead was still used to set the paper. Now we send probably 90% of our files to print as PDFs and the rest as packaged Adobe InDesign files.

Even when we first had graphics interns working in the publishing office, I was still taken aback by how much of their work consisted of running software: setting up preferences, using ongoing layers of checkboxes and pull-down menus, and memorizing a million different keyboard shortcuts. Learning all the ins and outs of graphics software is especially key because one seemingly miniscule setting being wrong can cause things to go haywire as well as then taking forever to figure out what the problem actually is. Resolving these issues is especially important when dealing with prepress problems that can crop up at the last second when files move from our office over to TSTC Printing Production.

Although the graphics interns are pretty well-versed in Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator when we get them, they are usually less familiar with Adobe InDesign. (I’ve always suspected much of that has to do with the fact that Photoshop and Illustrator produce actual graphics—very fun stuff!—where InDesign focuses on page layout—not so exciting—to use those graphics to send to print.) We’re always looking for good resource sites for our own use as well as for the interns and one of the best is InDesign Magazine. In particular, you can sign up for the free InDesign Tip of the Week or browse all the older tips people have suggested.

Finally, of course, the other big issue with all this design software is how frequently it is upgraded and rereleased. Now that Adobe Creative Suite 3 is about to come out, we’re sending our graphics specialist to Austin next month for a day of training on it. That will allow us to get an overview of what’s new (and not) with this bundle of graphics software that includes most of what we use on a daily basis.

Mark

 

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One Response to “Recommended Publishing Resources: Adobe InDesign Tips & Tricks”

  1. farbige kontaktlinsen October 20, 2009 at 11:56 am #

    Thanks for sharing this, it will really improve my use of twitter.

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