Adobe InDesign

Category Graphic Design
Reviewed by Nitish Singh
Updated May 18th, ’22

Tekpon Score

9.4

Users Score

7.5

Adobe InDesign Review

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Adobe InDesign is an industry-leading desktop publishing software that you can use to create digital content, including the likes posters, pages, ebooks, etc. It comes with an excellent set of usable and beautiful layouts which you can use to design your creative. Adobe InDesign benefits heavily from being part of the Adobe cloud infrastructure and hence gets access to Adobe Stock templates, fonts, and much more. Also, it offers excellent collaborative features. The Adobe InDesign plans start at just $20.99 per month, where you also get access to 100 GB of cloud storage.

UI/UX

9.5

Ease of use

9.0

Value for Money

9.7

Features

9.5

Customer Support

9.5
Pricing Details

Starting from: $31.49/ month

Pricing Model: Subscription

Yes, has free trial

No free version

PROs
  • Nicely priced
  • Balanced interface
  • 100 GB of cloud storage
  • Easy to use and intuitive
  • Excellent template collection
  • Benefits from Adobe infrastructure
CONs
  • Buggy help interface
  • Difficult for beginners
  • Slightly on the expensive side
  • Can be slow in certain situations
Best for
  • Freelancers
  • Small business
  • Medium business
  • Large enterprises
  • Personal
Deployment
  • Cloud, SaaS, Web-Based
  • Desktop - Mac
  • Desktop - Windows

Adobe InDesign – a layout design tool

Adobe InDesign is a desktop publishing software that you can use to create your next design or page layout. Also, Adobe launched InDesign in 2000. However, it was not so popular because it had already entered a market where there were other players, especially the likes of QuarkXpress.

But, with time, Adobe capitalized as they constantly updated with new features, while QuarkXpress failed. Right now, Adobe InDesign is the industry standard when it comes to layout design and desktop publishing. You can design flyers, posters, postcards, eBooks, Page, resumes, brochures, menus, and presentations with it.

What is InDesign?

InDesign is Adobe’s software and hence part of their Adobe Creative Cloud. The pricing starts at just $20.99, where you get access to a complete package of tools, templates, and creatives to create beautiful graphic designs with excellent typography. Here, you can create a design and page layout ideal for creating and publishing flyers, ebooks, posters, postcards, menus, resumes, and eBooks.

Our Adobe InDesign review will look at what InDesign offers and learn if it is a great pick for you as a business or an individual offering desktop publishing services to clients.

What is InDesign used for?

InDesign is aimed at designers who create, design, and publish documents that contain images, text, and vector graphics. In other words, it is a layout design tool that makes it easy for designers to create their next graphic that can include any of‌ the following:

  • Flyer
  • Page
  • eBook
  • Postcard
  • Poster
  • Resume
  • Brochure
  • Menu
  • Presentation

Beginners may find themselves confused when picking up the right design software. Adobe offers prominent design tools, including the famous Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator.

Photoshop is a dedicated design software aimed at professional designers and hence offers tons of customization and control over the design. It is a pixel-based editing app.

On the other hand, Illustrator lets you work with vector graphics that can scale according to your needs. This means the Illustrator is a good pick for creating icons, logos, and other illustrations that can be placed on different graphics, including billboards, flyers, or cards.

This leaves us to InDesign. It is aimed at designers who want to create multi-page documents that comprise vector artwork, text, and images. Examples of such documents include resumes, eBooks, menus, etc. In addition, its typesetting feature enables you to use text in your design precisely.

How to add page numbers in InDesign?

To add a page number in InDesign, you need to use the Page number marker. Once added, the page numbering is automatically updated. The page number behaves differently depending on where it is used. For example, if used on the parent page, it shows the parent page prefix. If you use it on the document page, it will be automatically applied to other pages. However, if you use it on pasteboard, it will only display PB.

Anyway, the step to add page numbers in InDesign are as below:

  • Go to the Pages panel.
  • Now double click on the parent page.
  • From there, you need to add the page number.
  • Next, create a text frame where you need to put the page number. You need to pick the text frame large enough to include the highest number you want to be there.
  • Now, you need to add the text before and after the page number.
  • You need to put the insertion point on the page on the next page. This is where the page number will appear.
  • From there, you need to now go to Type > Insert Special Character > Markets > Current page Number.
  • In the last step, you need to apply the parent page to the document pages. Therefore, all your document pages should now show the page number.

If you want to change the page numbering style, then you need to follow the steps mentioned below:

  • Go to the Pages panel.
  • Select the page to which you want the numbering style to start.
  • Next, choose Layout and then Numbering & Section Options.
  • Fill up the options and then click OK.

How can a graphic designer use InDesign from Adobe?

As Adobe InDesign is a layout tool, the graphic designer can use the InDesign tool from Adobe to create multi-page projects where there is heavy use of text, vector graphics, and images. The best project that a graphic designer can utilize the InDesign is designing a booklet, brochure, or magazine.

So, the next time you get a text-heavy project, you need to fire up Adobe InDesign and let it do the heavy lifting.

InDesign Features

Adobe InDesign’s primary aim is to provide tools and features for designers to create text-heavy documents seamlessly with excellent typography. In this quest, InDesign offers an impressive collection of features. Let’s list them below.

  • Collaboration

Adobe InDesign offers excellent collaborative features that keep your team on the same page. The collaborative features ensure ‌your team is always productive. For example, the Share for Review features improves how you share your work with your peers, facilitating a faster response from reviewers. Additionally, you get seamless Adobe Creative Cloud integration, which improves how you collaborate with other team members taking care of unique design elements. The Experience Manager also changes how you share content across projects, including graphics and fonts.

  • Inclusive terminology

The new Adobe InDesign version has improved terminology, changing how you work on your projects. For example, Master pages are now called Parent pages.

  • Adobe Capture extension

Another new feature introduced in the latest version of Adobe InDesign is the Adobe Capture feature. You can easily capture color palettes, shapes, and fonts from any image. You can then save them for later use. We can do all of these using the new Adobe Capture extension.

Capture extension

  • Scalable user interface

InDesign recently added a scalable user interface. So, if you are using a high-resolution screen, you can easily resize the design UI to match your display resolution!

Adobe Stock templates: To provide seamless page and layout design, InDesign comes with standard templates for different ‌projects, including digital media and print. Using the template, you can create excellent professional design solutions using the available Adobe Stock images. These ready-to-use templates are professionally designed and fit directly into your project. Furthermore, you can find all the collections directly from Adobe Stock.

  • Layouts

Adobe InDesign has a lot to offer besides the templates for layout. Layouts give you the much necessary flexibility that you would want when creating a digital design. It is common for clients to ask for changes, and these layouts can play a crucial role in making it easy for you to implement changes. Currently, InDesign offers Liquid Layout, Adjust Layout, and Alternative Layout.

The working and purpose of each layout are as below:

  • Liquid layouts: The liquid layout lets you handle multiple page-sized projects using alternative layouts. The Liquid layout lets you customize the layout and add different rules, including scaling, centering, and other object-based rules. You are completely controlling the various page situations and related changes.
  • Alternative layouts: In alternative layouts work with liquid layouts to provide as much flexibility as possible for print o digital publication projects.
  • Adjust layouts: Lastly, we have the Adjust layouts that help designers amend page projects where you need to consider responsive page-design tools.

  • Digital publications

Adobe InDesign enables you to do digital publications directly from your interface. Here, you can create eBooks, digital magazines, or other interactive online documents. For example, if you are a writer looking for a seamless eBook publishing tool, then Adobe InDesign can let you do just that. Here, you can do everything from writing to designing and publishing the eBook. The result is that you get a polished ePub book, ready to be read online.

  • Online publishing

InDesign offers seamless online publishing. With it, you can publish directly on the web. Moreover, you also get to know how your content is performing thanks to the in-built analytics.

  • Adobe Fonts

Adobe InDesign is part of the Adobe Creative Cloud. It also gets access to Adobe Fonts. Adobe was very early when it came to fonts. They started back in 1998, and now they have one of the best fonts libraries in the world. Here, you get unlimited access to the Adobe Fonts library, both on the desktop and online versions. You also get an excellent Adobe Fonts search feature which lets you quickly go through hundreds of fonts in a very short time.

You also get Character Panel’s real-time font browsing, where you can see the actual font in action before picking it up. Right now, Adobe has more than 14K fonts. They also have access to some unique fonts not available anywhere else. To help you manage the fonts, you also get access to other features, including sort and filter, starred favorites, classifications, recently used, etc.

You also get access to SVG Open type Color Fonts that give you fine control over your fonts, and they ‌provide an excellent illustration to your design.

  • Ease of use

We need to cover InDesign’s ease of use as it will help you understand if it is for you or not. The first thing that you should know is that Adobe InDesign is not for beginners. To use it effectively, you need to have some design experience or have used Adobe programs in the past.

The real challenge begins when you first open up the solution — you are presented with a blank canvas and tons of tools to play with. It may look exciting and non-confusing, but you can find yourself stuck for a while when using the tools if you are a beginner. However, you can get started with Adobe templates that can give you a good starting point to explore the different functionalities offered by Adobe InDesign.

  • EPUB and HTML

Adobe InDesign offers an easy way to export your designs to ePub and HTML format. This means you can create eBooks and export them to Amazon Kindle Create. Moreover, you can also use HTML format to publish on the web.

  • Colors

InDesign offers excellent color support. This means you are free to play with colors using ‌tools including Color Picker, Color Panel, Swatches Panel, Control Panel, and Toolbox. If you want to know the exact color of the design you imported or saw on the web, you can use the Adobe Capture Extension.

  • Image Editing

While you get an image editing feature in InDesign, you do not get as powerful a tool as you get on other more refined and powerful software such as Photoshop. Here, you get the options to crop images, add textures, add transparency effects, and other effects through the FX panel.

  • Object management

You can easily manage objects within Adobe Creative Cloud InDesign. The options you get include:

  • Drag objects
  • Move objects with values
  • Copy/paste objects
  • Move objects with arrow keys
  • Move objects using XY coordinates

  • Pen and Pencil Tools

Adobe InDesign also comes with pencil tool options that let do hand-drawn sketches. These options are:

  • Smoothness
  • Fidelity
  • Edit paths
  • Keep selected
  • Fill new pencil strokes
  • Within: pixels

  • Animation

As for animation, you get an Animation panel from which you can apply any motion preset. You can also use a pen or direct selection tool to edit the object motion path or change the animation order using the timing panel. Lastly, you can also review the finished animation with the review panel. If you want to animate, you need to use a motion preset available under Animation > Preset.

  • Links

Links are a critical part of any design, and InDesign makes sure that you get the right set of tools to create and manage them. You can easily add links to your design texts with the Links tool. This way, you can add interactivity to your design. The ‌Links options include:

  • Bookmarks: enable readers to jump to a section or page of your eBook or design.
  • Create buttons: use buttons to allow users to do a specific action. These buttons will work even when exported in SWF, PDF, or EPUB format.
  • Add links: Simply add a link to an existing text.
  • Import links: You can also import links from Microsoft Word. You do not have to do double work after importing your Word document.

  • Text

InDesign is all about working extremely well with the text at its core. To facilitate complete control, Adobe InDesign lets you do a lot of text-related actions, including:

  • Fonts: Get access to tons of fonts directly from the interface. You can also add your fonts thanks to the OpenType SVG fonts.
  • Manipulate text: Easily change text and its position based on object orientation. InDesign offers Adobe Sensei wraps for an easy way to wrap text around image/object borders.
  • Tables: Create tables or import them.
  • Drop caps: Use drop caps to improve paragraph design.
  • Columns and paragraphs: Manage paragraphs and columns easily.
  • Alternative scripts: Get access to different language scripts so that you can embed the language of your choice.

  • Pages

Lastly, we have page control. These feature-set let designers create beautiful professional pages for their projects. The key features include:

  • Add objects: With the add object, you can add chapters, footers, headers, page numbers, and so on.
  • Scale objects: easily scale objects.
  • Create sections: Create sections for better page layout.
  • Master page: The master page layout enables you to put objects across multiple pages.

InDesign Pricing

Adobe InDesign pricing starts at just $31.49 per month. In addition, you can download InDesign on your desktop and get 100 GB of cloud storage.

You can also access all Adobe apps through their Creative Cloud plan, starting at $54.99 per month.

All the plans include‌:

  • Behance
  • Adobe Creative Community
  • Creative Cloud Libraries

  • Adobe Fonts
  • Creative Cloud Assets
  • Creative Cloud Market

If you are a student or a teacher, you get an additional discount. In addition, businesses have a different pricing plan which starts at $34.99 per month per license. Lastly, for Schools and Universities, Adobe offers different pricing plans.

You can try out Adobe InDesign with their free 7-day trial.

Adobe InDesign

Monthly plan

$31.49
Monthly

Adobe InDesign

Annual plan, paid monthly

$20.99
Monthly

Adobe InDesign

Annual plan, prepaid

$239.88
Yearly

See all Features

InDesign Alternatives

Adobe InDesign is very popular among designers and businesses who want competent desktop publishing software. If you are happy with what InDesign has to offer, then great! But, not everyone is satisfied with what InDesign offers. And that’s where InDesign alternatives come in. Let’s list the alternatives to Adobe InDesign below.

  • Affinity Publisher

Affinity Publisher is slowly gaining traction in the already competitive desktop-publishing market. It is feature-rich and also cheap. It also resembles many interfaces to InDesign, making it easy to transit if you are coming from InDesign. The pricing model is the best part here, as it is a one-off fee. So, if you are transiting from InDesign, you can easily do it as it also supports the InDesign file format. In addition, Affinity Publisher is available for Windows and Mac, but not Linux.

  • QuarkXPress

QuarkXPress is one of the best InDesign alternatives out there. It is one of the oldest desktop-publishing software as it started its journey in 1987. Moreover, QuarkXPress is a worth page layout software with industry-standard publication options. It is available for Windows and MAC, and you can get it for a one-off fee compared to a monthly payment of Adobe InDesign. Like InDesign, you can also create catalogs, flyers, brochures, ebooks, and even magazines.

  • Scribus

If you are looking for a free InDesign alternative, check out Scribus. It is a free desktop publishing software aimed at Indie publishers with a limited budget. Also, it is one of the few desktop-publication software available on Linux. However, Scribus is only recommended if you start fresh from scratch, as it doesn’t import files from QuarkXPress or InDesign.

  • Swift Publisher

Swift Publisher is a Mac-only InDesign alternative that offers excellent desktop publishing capabilities while on budget. It comes with 500 templates and many other creatives, including clipart images, image masks, etc. It offers an excellent layout and key features, including unlimited layers, customizable grids, and excellent export support.

  • Canva

One of the most common complaints about InDesign is its learning curve. It is complex and requires some prior knowledge to use effectively. In that case, Canva comes into play. It is a Software-as-a-Service(SaaS) platform focusing on usability and ease of use. Canva lets you create flyers, eBook covers, and other text-based designs with easy drag and drop tools and components. You also get access to tons of professionally designed templates. It also lets you publish or share directly from the software. Canva offers a free-to-use model with paid subscription options.

InDesign Review Conclusions

So, where do we stand with InDesign? Is it worth your time and money? The answer is an astounding yes. InDesign is an industry-leading page layout tool that offers excellent desktop publishing capabilities. On top of that, it is part of Adobe Commons Creative which makes it easy for you to work with other software such as Illustrator and Photoshop.

Another excellent positive is the collaborative features which help you gain excellent efficiency and productivity when creating your designs. On the pricing front, InDesign is poised in balance as it is neither pricey nor cheap. In addition, you get 100 GB of cloud storage which gives you enough storage to make your work sharable among peers.

Lastly, I am impressed by their layout options and the ability to customize almost every design aspect. In addition, the introduction of a scalable user interface makes it easy to use your full-screen resolution. The Adobe Capture extension is also a nice addition, as it lets you quickly capture text or color from any chosen image.

Overall, Adobe InDesign is a top-tier desktop publishing software that meets industry standards with excellent features and constant updates‌.

Do designers still use InDesign?

The market keeps changing with time. For example, around 2000, when they initially launched Adobe, it was not popular. Yet, QuarkXpress was a very popular page design and layout program. However, QuarkXpress fell off due to mistakes that InDesign capitalized on with time. From there onwards, InDesign has constantly improved and captured market share.

Right now, InDesign is ‌an industry-standard for desktop publishing. The reasons ‌InDesign is still relevant are as below:

  • Over 20 years of evolution
  • Excellent multiple format support
  • Ideal output features
  • Provides excellent collaboration
  • Adobe’s trust in quality and assurance