Adobe InDesign CC Ships

Hey, in case you missed it? Adobe shipped InDesign CC last night! As you may know, there are not a lot of new features in IDcc (or IDCC or however you want to initialize it), because Adobe undertook the massive job of decarbonizing the app on the Mac OS and making it 64-bit capable. There are a few cool new features however, including:

  • A new font menu in the Control and Character panel to allow “fuzzy” searching for font names (think of it like Quick Apply for fonts).
  • The Dark UI (which you can, fortunately, make lighter? though never as light as CS6 was)
  • A Hi-DPI interface, so that it looks awesome on Retina and other high-resolution displays (which required hand-redrawing thousands of icons, by the way)
  • Ability to make QR codes in your documents
  • A Preview button in the New Document dialog box
  • And a lot of enhancements to EPUB export. In fact, if you are doing EPUB, you are going to want to upgrade as soon as possible.

Here’s a screen shot of the new UI:

InDesign CC dark UI

New Adobe Application Manager

One of my favorite new “features” isn’t InDesign-specific at all? it’s the new Creative Cloud application manager menulet, which looks like this on the Mac:

Adobe Application Manager

You just click on the little menu and it shows you what’s new, what needs updating, and what you can download. It’s very slick, and much nicer than the old application manager.

Some Missing Features

Note that Adobe hasn’t shipped everything they’ve promised yet. For example, the Typekit feature that lets you download fonts to your desktop and use them in any program? that’s coming “soon.” Adobe is sure to roll out all kinds of features over the next few months — in fact, that is part of the whole reason they’re going to a “cloud” distribution model: They don’t have to hold up the release of these programs until that stuff is ready!

For More On InDesign CC

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36 Comments on “Adobe InDesign CC Ships

  1. I?ve been on Creative Cloud for the past 8 months or so already, so switching over to the new CC wasn?t a huge change for me. t really like the new Application Manager that Adobe has implemented for CC (Mac) ? the old one was pretty bad, but the new one is really slick; great improvement.

    I don?t see a way to port my keyboard shortcuts, etc. from CS6 over to CC, tho ? which is a bummer for my ID workflow.

    Tho, I guess I?ll never have to go thru a migration again?

  2. One small change, but very useful – in CS6 I had to double-click in control panel to select value, now one click in enough.

    @Daniel – go to folder c:\Users\XX\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\InDesign\ and copy everything from Version 8 to Version 9. This way you’ll get old settings in CC. But you’ll still need to re-select your keyboard shortcuts profile.

  3. Here are my first impressions:

    I agree with Daniel, there is still no official way to copy settings (I copied a few of the settings files over from ~/Library/Preferences and it sort of worked. However, I’m not 100% sure but I think it is responsible for InDesign now crashing every time I quit it with a segfault somewhere in the menu implementation). I would also hope such a feature would turn out better than the settings migration command in Photoshop, that one only recognized an old CS5 installation, not my CS6 Creative Cloud (and it didn’t recognize CS5 back in CS6). I’m also really hoping for them to bring the settings sync feature from the other applications into InDesign soon (in fact I was shocked to find that it wasn’t in this release).

    The new interface isn’t in itself a real feature that is beneficial to end users, it is more of a necessity for the future due to the Carbon 64 bit problem. Personally, i found the control spacing in the old version and the overall look a bit more elegant. I do wish they had at least updated their interface to the look of the dark controls introduced in Photoshop CS6 (like the settings bar and panels) rather than just use the rather flat one from the digital video products without any changes. It is simple details like the background colors of text fields for the transform values or the look of the scroll bars that makes the InDesign version of the dark UI look unnecessarily cluttered and a bit too high-contrast compared to Photoshop’s.

    I also find it a bit strange that the document window title bar is kept in OS color, while the rest of the interface is dark gray. It just draws too much attention visually. Also, no scrubby sliders again. I’ll also have to get used to buttons in all dialog boxes being positioned at the bottom, but that’s just a matter of using it a bit I suppose. Some of the new cursors are uncomfortably huge. Still, this is the first version, so I’m sure the focus was on getting it all done and there will be improvements over time.

    I am quite excited, however, to have InCopy included in the Creative Cloud subscription. Ideally, I wish they would give us something like 3 floating licenses we could freely distribute (and revoke/reassign after a project) to collaborators and clients to be able to give them control over the text side of a publication, with a cloud-hosted place to collaborate on the files (though Dropbox works perfectly fine for this in my experience). Maybe even a browser-based way to edit the content.

    The QR code feature is extremely handy, but a bit strange in the way it is implemented. Ideally you should be able to control the color by selecting a code with the direct select tool and using the swatches panel, not using a control page in a dialog box. That dialog is also missing a “Preview” checkbox. It also lacks a warning that most QR code readers have trouble reading codes that are not dark on a light background. I guess quite a few designers will have to learn that the hard way.

    I don’t see much use for the “new document” preview ? in all cases where I really needed a preview of my margins in the past, I just created a document with default settings and then used “Margins and Columns”. It is much easier to experiment when there is already dummy content on the page for testing, so I will probably continue to do it that way.

    I also found that there are still separate versions for all sorts of languages. I had really hoped they would finally merge the CJK features into the regular InDesign now that we already have a license through Creative Cloud. Maybe even include access to one or two Asian font foundry subscriptions like the are planning to do with Typekit. Similar things go for the ME version. These days, making a multi-language brochure just shouldn’t involve running 3 different versions of the same program with 3 different interface languages.

    Overall, I’d say this is a bit of a mixed release. Printing and Export stability improvements are always nice (though I don’t think the Background Tasks panel, which was the source of most export issues for me, was finally rewritten, hard to tell since it is still completely blank if there isn’t a huge export going on, but I suppose it is still Flash since it occasionally shows a weird flicker), the new font menu is nice, and QR codes are really handy, but if I was a CS6 perpetual customer, I would see very little incentive to upgrade to InDesign CC so far. I hope that now that the transition from Carbon is out of the way, we’ll see some real features again soon soon (like the long-ago-demoed HTML5 export, improved tables and footnotes and so on).

  4. Do this: draw text frame, create new table. Givevrex frame with table a dropshadow. Now try to select any row in the table. Crash!

  5. @Benjamin: I agree with Peter that it is dangerous to copy CS6 (or earlier) settings into the CC folders. Adobe has never made it easy to migrate keyboard shortcuts, menus, workspaces, preferences, and so on from one version to another, and I have not heard them say anything about making it any easier for CC. Unfortunately, most customization needs to be recreated in each version.

  6. I just downloaded the new InDesign CC. (I have been working in InDesign CS6 Creative Cloud for the last eleven months). The new darker interface uses black text with a grey background for the text fields in the menu bar. I find these difficult to read. I can’t find any way to change this setting. The new photoshop uses a black background with white text and it is easy to read. Can Adobe standardize this to the photoshop style or at least provide a simple way in preferences/Interface to adjust the text and background colours in the text cells?

    • Open the Interface pane of the Preferences dialog box. You can change the Appearance to Light. I agree that I would still like an option to make it a greater contrast, though.

      • Thanks David. I did try the ‘light interface’ yesterday and the grey in the text cell background is marginally easier to read but then you have to give up the Dark frame around your work. It’s a win/lose situation

        I do a lot of work with Autocad and they provide fantastic flexibility in allowing users to adjust the appearance of their interface. I know it’s a little issue but my eye’s are older and they get pretty tired by the end of a ten hour day. Perhaps the InDesign team should sit down with the Photoshop team and ask them about what they have learned about the usability of their dark interface.

  7. “As you may know, there are not a lot of new features in IDcc”

    Unfortunately, there were not a lot of features in CS5 or CS6 either. At least not features that are helpful to my workflow. I know that eBooks are super cool and I am excited with the many advantages they provide over print, but the reality is ebook work is not where my income is coming from. It is not that I am resisting that type of work it’s just that I can’t find many people that are interested in paying me to do it. The other layout work I do provides a steady income. In order to upgrade my software I need to see a return on investment. The new features have to translate to improving my work flow not just adding more ebook support that no one is willing to hire me for.

    We need to wake up to the fact that ebooks are still a niche category and I believe they will remain a niche for a long time to come. I simply know too many people that prefer paper books to a screen; particularly after they have just spent a long day at work staring at a computer screen.

    Adobe doesn’t seem to be acknowledging the fact that people use ID for many different lines of work. The upgrades seem to be based around a one size fits all solution. They are focused mainly on one niche rather then providing customers with the basic tools that nearly everyone needs. Niche software is for plug-ins to take advantage of, not Adobe. Adobe needs to focus on the basic feature functionality first. They have now put out three major ID updates and I can barely come up with enough reason to update. That is a really big problem.

    “…because Adobe undertook the massive job of decarbonizing the app on the Mac OS and making it 64-bit capable.”

    My fear about apps starting to move to Cocoa is that Apple will drop support for Carbon once enough apps have moved over. Therefore this argument of “if you are not ready for CC then buy CS6″ I don’t believe is valid. When you buy CS6 you are paying for software that will most likely be unsupported very soon.

    • @Kip: Apple already dropped support for Carbon several years ago. That is the reason why there is no official 64-bit version of Carbon, and that is why pretty much all Adobe applications had to be ported to Cocoa (or rather a cross-platform interface library, the Mac version of which is based on Cocoa) in order to be 64-bit ready. Not the other way round.

      • @Peter Yes, you are right that they never made a 64 bit version of Carbon. You can however still run those Carbon apps in 32 bit mode on the latest Mac OS. What I meant to say is that Apple will eventually make it so that Carbon apps will not be able to run at all (in fact this is the iOS works, iOS will not let you use Carbon at all.) If you look at Apple this last decade they have been removing lots of old tech from Mac OS X. First they killed support for classic apps, then quickdraw, Appleshare, etc. I am guessing it will only be another 2-3 years max until Apple comes out with a version of Mac OS where you won’t be able to open a Carbon app. At that point ID CS6 will no longer work.

  8. I just started InDesign CC and I noticed that they changed the coursers and there are huge improvements in that, one that I love is the text tool when you are over a frame it now have a full circle around and you could clearly see that you will type in the path.

  9. I’ve just begun some testing of CC for a small studio.
    The first thing I noticed in InDesign CC is that it doesn’t preserve alternative layouts from CS6 files.

    Anyone else having this problem?

  10. Here we go again – no improvements to footnotes? Just need them to span columns and I will never bother Adobe again!

  11. Be careful with CC if you are planing to reopen the document back in CS6 you will not be able to do that only if you make a IDML file

  12. Guys, it was the first Q on the tip O’ my keyboard ? getting those keyboard shortcuts in there. And this one’s really new (could not do this in the past) ? put your fave keyboard shortcuts into the folder where Adobe CC is now storing them. Apps/IDcc/Presets/IDshortcutsets/en_US trash the defaults. rename your shortcut set to Default.indk.

    This will be the default and as long as Adobe has not moved menu commands around, they work. But as in the past, they are bracketed ? as are your old ones ? and locked. You can make a copy from that set and continue to modify.

  13. Why all the hype about CC? Its one more way for big brother to reap all your information, creative thoughts and hard work and ideas. I for one am done with Adobe software they wont rape me with continuous subscriptions. You should see Creative Macs video clip of “Adolph Hitler’s response” to Adobe Cloud. Is as funny as it is sinister. Those of you who have in the past bought their software demand its full release for you to use however and whenever you wish – support or no support.

    • Gary, nothing forces you to store files on Creative Cloud. You decide if you need to share/distribute/move files that way.

      I seriously hope that there would be an alternative as leasing (rent& get apps after a given period) but there are maybe technical & legal reasons that prevent them implement that now.

      Remember that your “perpetual” software will only last as long as the compatible computer they run on. For instance, Rosetta apps don’t work on new OS.

  14. Yeh I’d like the option to purchase the full software license to use whenever I want. I mean maybe after about a year I could buy a full license for the balance of the products I have used?

    Can’t honestly see our place of business paying per month for a product for the rest of eternity. Have CS 5.5 and works just fine. Nothing added to CS6 or CC has me intrigued in anyway. Not like when Grep Styles, and Grep Find, and Variables etc. came into the program – they were reasons to buy it.

    The only thing that would intrigue me if there was a ePub wsiwyg editor for InDesign – and you simply export the ePub and don’t have to do any other work on it.

    But an added feature of a QR code generator? When QR codes are not really used – at least that I know of. And there’s tonnes of free QR code generators already on the web – even creating EPS files that you can edit yourself.

  15. Okay, I know this is a stupid question but I have had trouble finding a definitive answer for it: Will CC work on my computer if I have a 32bit processor? Or do I need to upgrade my Mac? I assume you can’t open an INDDcc file in CS6

  16. How is CC going to maintain compatibility with plugins and applications like xpance? No business that uses these specialized addons is going to want there entire operation breaking down because Adobe slips in some update that breaks everything. In that sense, clear versions work better than CC. CC what? How are IT departments going to deal with this?

    • This is an important and excellent point. But there are no clear answers at this time. Developers I’ve talked with are concerned, but hopeful that it will work out.

      • I don’t understand why Adobe would roll something like this out without clearly specifying how plug-ins will be handled. The current release cycle is so bizarre. It takes Adobe a full year to make new ID versions stable so by the time they come out with the following version the previous version is finally stable enough to use! At the 18 month time table this meant that you would at least have a 6 month period (at the end of the product cycle) where the current product was stable but now they are going to shorten the time period even more? Huh?

        What I think would make more sense is to put out annual updates that have fewer features then the last few versions so that they would be able to put out a product with a shorter bug list. Customers would be happy to have products that are more stable and yet they could still rely on plug-ins to provide them with features that they need immediately. The plug-in developers would be happy since they wouldn’t have to worry about their software constantly breaking.

  17. I brought the IDCC and now I am having a trouble opening my files which saved as indd. Is there is anyways I can open them ?? I usually work at college and they have the cs6 but I have the new version I have it in my laptop.

    • @Marwah: If you create an InDesign CC document, you can only open it in CS6 (or earlier) if you save as IDML. But you should be able to open any CS6 (or earlier) file in CC without any trouble.

  18. David,
    Just got around to reading the article. Great rundown.

    But one little thing.

    CC couldn’t have “shipped.”

    Shipped implies shipments of physical goods that travel from one point to another.

    But with Creative Cloud apps, there are no shipments.

    InDesign CC Streams (or is released) is more precise.

  19. When I try to open any CS6 INDD file I get the error code 4 and a note that it is damaged, but if I open it in CS6 (thank God I didn’t uninstall it yet) it works without any problems at all. Anyone know why this is?

  20. I Have just started using IDCC and I can’t get cropping/masking an object to work just by changing the frame as I used to do in CS6 – is there a setting I need to change? Any help would be very much appreciated as it’s getting quite annoying! Cheers

    • Amber: Not sure what the problem could be. The Forums is probably a better place to discuss problems like this. Nothing changed between CS6 and CC with what you’re talking about.

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