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InDesign CS3 Demoed at the InDesign Conference: Master Class

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Sorry for the delay in posts this week... Anne-Marie, Sandee, Steve, Pariah, and I have all been attending this week's The InDesign Conference: Master Class in Seattle. Aside from some astonishing and record-breaking rain from the Pineapple Express, the conference was a great success. Over 300 people attended sessions as varied as "Fundamentals of XML," "Transparency and Flattening," "Styles on Steroids," "PDF Workflow," and so on. It was a blast, and I personally learned a lot at the show.

I especially enjoyed hearing presentations by the Adobe engineers who made the long trek from their offices (across the street) to join us -- including Eric Menninga, Matt Phillips, Zak Williamson, Craig Rainwater, and many others.

One highlight was the first public demo of InDesign CS3 by Chad Siegel, senior product mgr for InDesign and InCopy. The short presentation -- run on a MacTel machine to show that it was, in fact, a Universal Binary application -- focused on the new transparency features of the upgrade. He first showed how a text frame could have different transparency (both opacity and blend mode) for a stroke, a fill, and the content.

Next, Siegel moved on to an even sexier feature: The ability to apply Photoshop-like effects to objects, such as bevel and emboss, inner glow, and so on. He selected the same text frame and applied a bevel effect, pointing out that the dialog box options were designed specifically to be similar to those we're already familiar with in Photoshop. When he changed the stroke width and style, the effect updated immediately, of course. (He ended up with a thick dotted stroke in which each "dot" appeared to be a beveled bump.)

He emphasized that these features were only a tiny fraction of the cool stuff that would be in CS3, but for various reasons he could not elaborate on or demo other features. Deke McClelland and I finished the session with a description of other CS3 features that have been made public and some fun tips and tricks for InDesign and Photoshop.

There was much more to the conference, of course: Attendees could sign up for guided tours of the Adobe offices; there were focused half-day tutorials on Flash, Dreamweaver, Javascripting InDesign, InCopy, and other things... To be honest, there was so much going on at the same time (often 5 different sessions simultaneously), it was quite overwhelming. But I wouldn't have done it any other way. Were you there? Let us know how you liked it!

Update on 3/27/07: CS3 information has now been released and posted here.

  • Date: 09/03/2015