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Released much later than its counterparts Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign was created to manage document layout. Publishers, newspapers, and magazines needed a way to design text-heavy documents and preserve the layout for multiple issues of the same style at a later date. InDesign was created and released at a time when print books, newsletters, and magazines dominated the world of knowledge. Fortunately, InDesign is a valuable tool that still has retained much value in the modern world of digital publishing, as it can be used to design the layout of eBooks, digital magazines, PDF presentations or brochures and other multi-page documents.
What Adobe InDesign Is Used For
InDesign is used to create and manage text layout. The program is often used in conjunction with Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop to develop visually-appealing texts. For example, if you are designing a PDF presentation in InDesign, you might use Illustrator to create the logo that appears on the first page of the presentation and Photoshop to create and crop company headshots in the biography section of the presentation. For documents that are mostly text and exceed one page, Adobe InDesign is likely your best choice.
What Is the Difference Between Photoshop and InDesign?
Comparing Photoshop to InDesign is like comparing apples to oranges. As the name suggests, Adobe Photoshop’s primary function is editing photos or other digital artwork. In contrast, Adobe InDesign is primarily used to format and layout text for a book or other multi-page document. When considering which tool is best, ask yourself if the concept will consist of mostly text or images. Photoshop has minimal ability to set and format text, while InDesign has limited functionality to edit and create photos or artwork. Because the programs are companions, you can design or edit a photo in Photoshop and quickly insert it into a text layout in InDesign.
If you plan to do the following tasks, Adobe Photoshop may be a better fit for you:
- Editing or adding filters to images
- Designing web banners or interactive graphics
Should I Use Adobe InDesign or Illustrator?
The line between Illustrator and InDesign is a bit fuzzy. Both programs can format typography and edit text and are used to create one-page documents, but that’s where the similarities end. Adobe Illustrator has a few limitations that InDesign is designed to address. Firstly, if you are planning to create a master template or plan to use the same format repeatedly, InDesign makes it easy to create “master templates,” a feature that is not available in Illustrator. Second, because InDesign’s primary purpose is the layout of books, magazines, and texts, InDesign includes a page-numbering feature, which is not available in Illustrator’s current iteration.
If you plan to do the following tasks, Adobe Illustrator may be a better fit for you:
- Design ads, banners, or notecards with limited text
- Design one-page documents with multiple graphics and minimal texts
- Design the cover for a book or eBook
What Does Adobe InDesign Do?
Adobe InDesign has a robust suite of tools to craft the layout of documents, books, magazines, and texts. The following are a few things that you can create with InDesign:
- Multi-page documents with text and images
- Layouts with multiple columns and pictures
- Split designs with one, two, and three column sections on one page
- Brochures, PDF presentations, proposals, and other handouts
- Book, magazine, or newspaper layout
- eBook and digital magazine layouts
- Coupons, ads, and newsletters
- Master layouts or pages to be reused
You can also add page numbers, change fonts and paragraph alignment, and split designs into multi-column sections on one page. If you’re learning InDesign, you’ll likely need to add photos and graphics to texts. Consider learning InDesign’s companion products, Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator in order to fully master the art of creating visually-appealing documents in InDesign.