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Getting Asian Features in InDesign with an English UI

You may know that there are Chinese, Korean, and Japanese versions of InDesign. And you may know that you can open an Asian InDesign document in an English copy of InDesign. But did you know that the reason this works is that the American/International English versions of InDesign actually have built-in all the features required to do typesetting in Asian langauges?

The problem (for some of us) is that Adobe won’t let us get to the Asian features with our English user interface (UI). It’s like a computer manufacturer putting a DVD player in a computer without adding a slot to actually insert the DVDs!

Diane Burns writes about this in the current issue (#12) of InDesign Magazine, and she’s asking people who want Asian typesetting and layout features but want to use an English UI to fill out a survey here:

Diane’s article discusses some clever workarounds to this problem (including a cool template you can download). But I think a better option would be for Adobe to sell an extra plug-in that simply “turns on” these features for people who need them. What do you think?

David Blatner

David Blatner

David Blatner is the co-founder of the Creative Publishing Network, InDesign Magazine, and the author or co-author of 15 books, including Real World InDesign. His InDesign videos at are among the most watched InDesign training in the world. You can find more about David at
David Blatner

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9 Comments on “Getting Asian Features in InDesign with an English UI

  1. This is what I want to Know, David. As I told you during the Conference, although we prefer an English interface of the programme, we need to use the Chinese Verison of ID to use some features. So I really hope that we can choose english or chinese interface in CS3 but keeping the chinese typesetting features.

  2. Please, please, le me know when this plugin is available. We are trying to get the inChinese plugin, but when this will come only god knows … So if there is a quicker and better way. I would apreciate it when you let me know.

    Thanks in advance!

  3. hi david, i know this is a rather old post , but do you have any updates on that plug in?
    i’ll check out diane’s website. thank you.

  4. If you have de English and the Simplified Chinese version of InDesign, can you use the CJK plugins in the English version?

  5. I have an international client who has revisions on an Asian type set layout but I cant set the type in Asian characters, only English. Do I have to buy another complete version of InDesign with Asian capabilities so I can do this?

  6. This workaround is quite good.
    But when it comes to tables … the installed asian features do effect tables in a bad way.
    The behavior of inline graphics in tables changes. So be aware before installing the asian version on top of your version if you are using inline graphics in tables.

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