Price When Reviewed: 609 . 139 . 705 . 895
Pros: Adobe has boosted efficiency by improving workflow and style use. The ability to switch layers on and off in Photoshop and PDF images is valuable.
Cons: Still slower than QuarkXPress, while the XPress file converter can’t access documents from current versions. Tables can’t be saved
InDesign CS 2 is the page layout component within the Adobe Creative Suite 2, and is identified in the splash screen as InDesign 4.0.
Although you can still buy InDesign as a standalone application, it’s worth buying it within the full Creative Suite 2, not only for the other applications, but because the Version Cue server utility is particularly useful for managing collaborative working in small design or publishing studios.
Integration with Adobe’s separately supplied publishing collaboration tool InCopy CS 2 is tighter, and administrators can assign specific sections of InDesign layouts to different operators.
Version Cue’s new Alternates concept lets you make several live versions of the same document, for instance to present
a range of choices to a customer, or to make language or regional versions.
Creative Suite 2’s new Bridge utility can preview and manage InDesign documents and Versions. Bridge shows a thumbnail of the first page of a document, while its metadata panel shows all the information including creation details, fonts and colour used. Bridge also lets you enter new metadata such as captions or credits without opening the document.
As with the other CS 2 components, you can synchronize InDesign’s colour management settings for consistent transfer of colour between the applications. InDesign’s Colour Picker is now the same as those of Photoshop and Illustrator.
If it ain’t broke
Adobe has worked to improve the general workflow efficiency of InDesign CS 2, which takes prominence over fancy new layout features. To be fair, InDesign 2.0 and the first CS were so good that there’s not much left to ask for – as before the typographic control is excellent, the live transparency and drop shadow controls (below) are still breathtakingly good yet completely intuitive, and the switchable layers are solidly useful. With InDesign CS 2, the drop-shadow controls gain options for noise (to reduce banding) and spread (which controls the edge drop-off). The new WYSIWYG font menu is a great feature.