Jump to content

Adobe InDesign

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from InDesign)

Adobe InDesign
Initial releaseAugust 31, 1999 (1999-08-31)
Stable release
CC 2024 (19.2) / February 2024; 5 months ago (2024-02)
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 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]


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).[7][8]

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.[9][10] 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.[11] 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 [12]
  • Aligning objects with grids and guides[12]
  • Manipulating objects [12]
  • Organizing objects [13]
  • Importing text [13]
  • Formatting text [13]
  • Spell checking [13]
  • Importing images [12]
  • Parent pages [14] (formerly master pages [12])
  • Paragraph styles [12]

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.[15]
  • 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.[dubiousdiscuss]
  2. ^ "language versions | Adobe InDesign CS5". Adobe.com. 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". helpx.adobe.com. Retrieved December 6, 2019.
  7. ^ "How do I save my file using InDesign CS6 so that it can be opened with CS5?". forums.adobe.com. January 2013. Retrieved January 28, 2015.
  8. ^ "Can You Save/Open CS6 Files on CS5, CS4 or CS3 – and Vice Versa?". prodesigntools.com. February 20, 2013. Retrieved January 28, 2015.
  9. ^ "Adobe InDesign Server CS2 Frequently Asked Questions" (PDF). Adobe.com. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 4, 2007. Retrieved April 29, 2007.
  10. ^ Dunn, Max. "The Greatest Software Product of All Time: A Developer's Appreciation of Adobe InDesign". Medium. Silicon Publishing. Retrieved May 20, 2023.
  11. ^ "How to use InDesign paragraph styles | Redokun Blog". redokun.com. Retrieved May 4, 2023.
  12. ^ 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
  13. ^ a b c d Assadi, Barbara (2005). InDesign CS2 For Dummies. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-0-7645-9572-1. OCLC 940844080.
  14. ^ "Parent pages". Adobe InDesign User Guide. January 17, 2022. Retrieved March 27, 2024.
  15. ^ "Arabic and Hebrew features in InDesign". Adobe InDesign User Guide. Retrieved August 7, 2018.

External links[edit]