Adobe InDesign

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Adobe InDesign
Developer(s)Adobe Inc.
Initial releaseAugust 31, 1999 (1999-08-31)
Stable release
CC 2023 (18.3) / March 2023; 8 months ago (2023-03)
Written inC++[1]
Operating systemWindows, macOS
Available in24 languages[2]
List of languages
English, Arabic, Brazilian Portuguese, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish, Ukrainian, Zulu
TypeDesktop publishing

Adobe InDesign is a desktop publishing and page layout designing software application produced by Adobe Inc. and first released in 1999. 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.

InDesign is the successor to Adobe PageMaker, which Adobe acquired by buying Aldus Corporation in late 1994. (Freehand, Aldus's competitor to Adobe Illustrator, was licensed from Altsys, the maker of Fontographer.) By 1998 PageMaker had lost much of professional market to the comparatively feature-rich QuarkXPress version 3.3, released in 1992, and version 4.0, released in 1996. In 1999, Quark announced its offer to buy Adobe[3] and to divest the combined company of PageMaker to avoid problems under United States antitrust law. Adobe declined Quark's offer and continued to develop a new desktop publishing application. Aldus had begun developing a successor to PageMaker, which was code-named "Shuksan". Later, Adobe code-named the project "K2", and Adobe released InDesign 1.0 in 1999.

InDesign exports documents in Adobe's Portable Document Format (PDF) and supports multiple languages. It was the first DTP application to support Unicode character sets, advanced typography with OpenType fonts, advanced transparency features, layout styles, optical margin alignment, and cross-platform scripting with JavaScript. 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.[4]

InDesign was the first native Mac OS X publishing software. With the third major version, InDesign CS, Adobe increased InDesign's distribution by bundling it with Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and Adobe Acrobat in Adobe Creative Suite. 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".[5]

File format[edit]

InDesign document
Filename extension
Internet media type
Open format?no

The MIME type is not official

  • File Open formats: indd, indl, indt, indb, inx, idml, pmd, xqx
  • New File formats: indd, indl, indb
  • File Save As formats: indd, indt
  • Save file format for InCopy:
    1. icma (Assignment file)
    2. icml (Content file, Exported file)
    3. icap (Package for InCopy)
    4. idap (Package for InDesign)
  • File Export formats: pdf, idml, icml, eps, jpg, txt, xml, rtf[6]


Version Release date Icon Description
InDesign 1.0 31 August 1999 (codenamed Shuksan, then K2)

Subrelease: InDesign 1.0J (codenamed Hotaka): Japanese support.

InDesign 1.5 April 2001 (codenamed Sherpa).
InDesign 2.0 January 2002 (codenamed Annapurna): Release just days before QuarkXPress 5. First version to support Mac OS X, native transparency and drop shadows.
InDesign CS (3.0) October 2003 (codenamed Dragontail) and InDesign CS Page Maker Edition (3.0).
InDesign CS2 (4.0) May 2005 (codenamed Firedrake)

Subrelease InDesign Server (codenamed Bishop) launched in October 2005.

InDesign CS3 (5.0) April 2007 (codenamed Cobalt): First version to support Intel-based Macs, regular expression and table styles.

Server version: InDesign CS3 Server (codenamed Xenon) launched May 2007.

Serious compatibility issues 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."[7] Apple fixed this with their OS X 10.5.4 update.[8]

InDesign CS4 (6.0) October 2008 (codenamed Basil).

Server version: InDesign CS4 Server (codenamed Thyme).

InDesign CS5 (7.0) April 2010 (codenamed Rocket).
InDesign CS6 (8.0) 23 April 2012 (codenamed Athos) (last 32-bit version, last perpetually licensed version). Alternate layouts, Liquid layouts, Linked content functionality, EPUB and HTML enhancements, Extension Manager support, Productivity enhancements (Split window, Recently used fonts, Align to key object, Save backward to earlier versions, Export and proof grayscale PDFs, Export to PNG).[9]
InDesign CC (9.0) 15 June 2013 (codenamed Citius). Sync settings using Adobe Creative Cloud, Adobe Exchange integration, Font menu enhancements, EPUB enhancements, UI dark theme, HiDPI support, 64-bit support on Mac and Windows, QR code generator.[9]
InDesign CC (9.2) January 2014 Typekit Desktop Fonts integration, simplified hyperlinks management, EPUB enhancements.[9]
InDesign CC 2014 (10) 18 June 2014 (codenamed Sirius). In application - What's New dialog, EPUB enhancements, Improvements to Tables (drag-and-drop rows and columns), color groups, Enhanced search - Find Previous, Behance integration, Improved Packaging (ability to include a PDF and IDML file in any package), Enhanced data merge for QR code, Footnote enhancements (textwrap support), Scalable effects.[10]
InDesign CC 2014.1 (10.1) 6 October 2014
InDesign CC 2014.2 (10.2) 11 February 2015
InDesign CC 2015 (11.0) 15 June 2015 Mercury Performance Improvements, Paragraph shading, Images in Table Cells, Publish Online (Technology Preview), Adobe Stock integration.[11]
InDesign CC 2015.1 (11.1) 11 August 2015 Publish Online features: Multiple page spread, publish documents with multiple page sizes, text hyperlinks support, default image resolution changed to 96 PPI in published output, improved mobile experience.[11]
InDesign CC 2015.2 (11.2) 30 November 2015
InDesign CC 2015.4 (11.4) 20 June 2016
InDesign CC 2017 (12.0) 2 November 2016 Footnotes that span columns, OpenType enhancements (In-context menu for text frame selection, in-context support for Ordinals and Ligatures, name display for stylistic sets), faster Hyperlinks panel, stroke arrowhead scaling, UI enhancements, In-app search of Adobe Stock assets.[12]
InDesign CC 2017.1 (12.1) 14 April 2017
InDesign CC 2018 (13.0) 18 October 2017 Font search filtering, PDF export tagging support, HTML export improvements (removes class and id attributes as well as redundant div tags during export), adds option to remove forced line break while generating a Table of Contents, add or move gradient swatches in a color group.[13]
InDesign CC 2018.1 (13.1) March 2018 Space between paragraph styles, merge paragraph borders, richer analytics for Publish Online documents, use Photoshop and Illustrator shortcuts, export document as separate PDF pages, new mobile presets.
InDesign CC 2018.2 (13.2) March 2018
InDesign CC 2019 (14.0) October 2018 Layout adjustments, import PDF comments, properties panel, visual font browsing, openType SVG fonts support, add footnotes in tables.
InDesign CC 2020 (15.0) November 2019 SVG support, variable fonts, and faster launch times.[14]
InDesign CC 2020 (15.1) June 2020 (15.1 and 15.1.1 a few days later): Introduces “Share for Review” feature enabling nonusers to add comments in a way similar to a PDF, Auto-Activate Adobe Fonts, Place video from a URL, Copy Editor (Beta), Review panel enhancement and bug fixes.[15]
InDesign CC 2020 (16.0) October 2020 Seamless content reviews with text annotations, Document color location, Intelligent subject detection and text wrap, HSB values without RGB translation, Damaged document detection and recovery, navigation points in Media panel.[16]
InDesign 2021 (16.1) January 2021
InDesign 2021 (16.2) 19 April 2021
InDesign 2021 (16.4) 18 August 2021 Final version with built-in support for all Pantone color books including Neons, Pastels and Premium Metallics. Versions 17-17.3 only include CMYK, Solid, and basic Metallic books.
InDesign 2022 (17.0) October 2021 Master Pages are now called Parent Pages, Adobe Capture integration, scalable UI.[17]
InDesign 2022 (17.1) January 2022
InDesign 2022 (17.2) April 2022
InDesign 2022 (17.3) May 2022 Last version with built-in support for Pantone colors.
InDesign 2022 (17.4) August 2022 First version without built-in support for Pantone colors. All Pantone colors have been removed as of August 16, 2022. Separate paid subscription now required to access Pantone Connect extension and download color "fandecks".[18]
InDesign 2023 (18.0) October 2022 Content aware Auto Style (technology preview), Copy text between Illustrator and InDesign without format loss, support for HEIC, HEIF, WEBP, and JP2K formats. Duplicate page after selection, UXP Scripting, Document preview.[19]
InDesign 2023 (18.1) December 2022
InDesign 2023 (18.2) February 2023
InDesign 2024 (19.0.1) November 2023

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).[20][21]

Server version[edit]

Adobe InDesign Server

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.[22][23] In March 2007 Adobe officially announced Adobe InDesign CS3 Server as part of the Adobe InDesign family.


Paragraph styles are an essential tool for designers when working with text in Adobe InDesign.[24] Despite their menacing appearance, they are straightforward to operate and can save designers a significant amount of time. Other features that make InDesign a good tool for working with text and paragraphs include:

  • Creating frames and shapes [25]
  • Aligning objects with grids and guides[25]
  • Manipulating objects [25]
  • Organizing objects [26]
  • Importing text [26]
  • Formatting text [26]
  • Spell checking [26]
  • Importing images [25]
  • Master pages [25]
  • Paragraph styles [25]

Internationalization and localization[edit]

InDesign Middle Eastern editions come with special settings for laying out Arabic or Hebrew text. They feature:

  • Text settings: Special settings for laying out Arabic or Hebrew text, such as:
    1. Ability to use Arabic, Persian or Hindi digits;
    2. Use kashidas for letter spacing and full justification;
    3. Ligature option;
    4. Adjust the position of diacritics, such as vowels of the Arabic script;
    5. Justify text in three possible ways: Standard, Arabic, Naskh[further explanation needed];
    6. Option to insert special characters, including Geresh, Gershayim, Maqaf for Hebrew and Kashida for Arabic texts;
    7. Apply standard, Arabic or Hebrew styles for page, paragraph and footnote numbering.
  • Bi-directional text flow: The notion of right-to-left behavior applies to several objects: Story, paragraph, character and table. It allows mixing right-to-left and left-to-right words, paragraphs and stories in a document. It is possible to change the direction of neutral characters (e.g. / or ?) according to the user's keyboard language.[27]
  • Table of contents: Provides a set of table of contents titles, one for each supported language. This table is sorted according to the chosen language. InDesign CS4 Middle Eastern versions allow users to choose the language of the index title and cross-references.
  • Indices: Allows creating of a simple keyword index or a somewhat more detailed index of the information in the text using embedded indexing codes. Unlike more sophisticated programs, InDesign is incapable of inserting character style information as part of an index entry (e.g., when indexing book, journal or movie titles). Indices are limited to four levels (top level and three sub-levels). Like tables of contents, indices can be sorted according to the selected language.
  • Importing and exporting: Can import QuarkXPress files up to version 4.1 (1999), even using Arabic XT, Arabic Phonyx or Hebrew XPressWay fonts, retaining the layout and content. Includes 50 import/export filters, including a Microsoft Word 97-98-2000 import filter and a plain text import filter. Exports IDML files which can be read by QuarkXPress 2017.
  • Reverse layout: Include a reverse layout feature to reverse the layout of a document, when converting a left-to-right document to a right-to-left one or vice versa.
  • Complex script rendering: InDesign supports Unicode character encoding, with Middle East editions supporting complex text layout for Arabic and Hebrew types of complex script. The underlying Arabic and Hebrew support is present in the Western editions of InDesign CS4, CS5, CS5.5 and CS6, but the user interface is not exposed, so it is difficult to access.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lextrait, Vincent (January 2010). "The Programming Languages Beacon, v10.0". Retrieved March 14, 2010.[dubious ]
  2. ^ "language versions | Adobe InDesign CS5". Retrieved December 4, 2010.
  3. ^ Marsh, Ann (May 31, 1999). "Pride goeth before destruction". Forbes. Archived from the original on August 28, 2017. Retrieved February 5, 2013.
  4. ^ "InDesign developer documentation". Adobe Developer Connection. Adobe Systems. Retrieved November 24, 2013.
  5. ^ San Francisco - Live Coverage of Steve Jobs Keynote 1:00PM EDT, June 6th, 2005, WWDC 2005 - Live Coverage of Keynote, The Mac Observer
  6. ^ "Supported file formats for InDesign CS5". Retrieved December 6, 2019.
  7. ^ "Adobe InDesign CS3 5.0.2 Update Read Me" (PDF). Retrieved December 4, 2010.
  8. ^ Leopard 10.5.4 Fixes InDesign Nav Services Glitches By: Anne-Marie, June 30, 2008, InDesignSecrets
  9. ^ a b c "InDesign Help / What's new in InDesign". Archived from the original on May 1, 2014. Retrieved December 16, 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  10. ^ "InDesign Help / New features summary – InDesign CC (2014 release)". Archived from the original on September 20, 2014. Retrieved December 16, 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  11. ^ a b "New features summary | InDesign CC 2015 release". Archived from the original on August 15, 2015. Retrieved December 16, 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  12. ^ "New features summary | 2017 release of InDesign". Archived from the original on December 1, 2016. Retrieved December 16, 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  13. ^ "March 2018 and October 2017 releases of InDesign CC (version 13.x)". Archived from the original on May 29, 2018. Retrieved December 16, 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  14. ^ Hoang, Wayne (November 4, 2019). "Adobe InDesign 2020". Retrieved December 28, 2019.
  15. ^ "New and enhanced features | Latest release of InDesign". June 29, 2020. Retrieved December 16, 2022.
  16. ^ "Feature summary | InDesign (October 2020 release)". Retrieved December 16, 2022.
  17. ^ "Feature summary | Adobe InDesign (October 2021 release)". Retrieved December 16, 2022.
  18. ^ "". | Pantone Connect X Adobe FAQ. Pantone, Inc. Retrieved November 18, 2023. {{cite web}}: External link in |title= (help)
  19. ^ "InDesign 2023 version 18.0 (October 2022) release". Adobe. Retrieved December 16, 2022.
  20. ^ "How do I save my file using InDesign CS6 so that it can be opened with CS5?". January 2013. Retrieved January 28, 2015.
  21. ^ "Can You Save/Open CS6 Files on CS5, CS4 or CS3 – and Vice Versa?". February 20, 2013. Retrieved January 28, 2015.
  22. ^ "Adobe InDesign Server CS2 Frequently Asked Questions" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on June 4, 2007. Retrieved April 29, 2007.
  23. ^ Dunn, Max. "The Greatest Software Product of All Time: A Developer's Appreciation of Adobe InDesign". Medium. Silicon Publishing. Retrieved May 20, 2023.
  24. ^ "How to use InDesign paragraph styles | Redokun Blog". Retrieved May 4, 2023.
  25. ^ a b c d e f Rubin, Mira (2011), "Adding Media in Indesign", Interactive InDesign CS5, Elsevier, pp. 233–245, doi:10.1016/b978-0-240-81511-4.50014-6, ISBN 9780240815114, retrieved May 11, 2022
  26. ^ a b c d Assadi, Barbara (2005). InDesign CS2 For Dummies. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-0-7645-9572-1. OCLC 940844080.
  27. ^ "Arabic and Hebrew features in InDesign". Adobe InDesign User Guide. Retrieved August 7, 2018.

External links[edit]