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InDesign CS3 Sneak Peek Shows Strong Committment to Page Layout

We got a sneak peek at InDesign CS3 today in a private press briefing. InDesign CS3 is not slated for release until Q2 of 2007, and it is extremely unusual for Adobe to discuss features this far in advance.
However, while it was made clear that we saw only a small sampling of InDesign CS3’s feature set, what we saw proved that Adobe is not resting on any laurels. They are clearly committed to innovating and helping design professionals engage their audience.

Adobe showed us four cool features of CS3:

  • Object Effects: We’re already familiar with applying drop shadows or feathering objects. Now, object effects will let us apply Photoshop-like effects such as bevel and emboss and inner shadow to any InDesign object (including text).
  • Universal Binary: The demo was run on a MacBook Pro and was clearly running as a Universal Binary program, showing that Adobe is indeed hard at work converting their programs to this new platform.
  • Finer transparency control: Following the lead of “ol’ man” Illustrator, transparency effects could be applied to an object’s fill, stroke, or contents individually.
  • Selecting Multiple Files: You will be able to select more than one graphic or text file in the Place dialog box, and when you click OK, you’ll see a small thumbnail of each image next to the Place cursor. You can then quickly place each image or text file into a frame with a “click, click, click.” Even better, you can cycle through the images “loaded” in the Place cursor with the arrow keys before clicking.

Adobe pointed out that adoption of InDesign CS2 is extremely strong, especially in the magazine market.
While none of these features are life-changing, seeing this level of “completeness” almost a full year before shipping leads us to expect that the final version of CS3 will be well worth the wait. More than anything, we’re pleased that Adobe is keeping up their momentum in making InDesign the clear leader in the page-layout space.

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

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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73 Comments on “InDesign CS3 Sneak Peek Shows Strong Committment to Page Layout

  1. A good solution for kerning and tracking please. Lots of fonts are still poorly kerned. And kerning every document over and over again is not an option. For that reason I still use Xpress a lot.

  2. Personally, I find that the Optical Kerning feature in ID is very good in most cases. But for custom kerning, I would suggest people kern the font itself using a tool from

  3. Pingback: InDesignSecrets » Blog Archive » InDesign CS3 Demoed at the InDesign Conference: Master Class

  4. I’m curious to know what imposition feature will replace InBooklet in CS3 Since ALAP was aquired by Quark.

    Will Adobe create an imposition feature of their own in the program or will a third party plug-in be necessary?

  5. Adobe hasn’t made any further announcements about new features, including what imposition software will replace InBooklet SE. I agree that it’s probably a pretty safe assumption that Quark won’t be re-licensing that to Adobe! ;)

  6. Well, InCopy (or the InCopy plug-ins, which actually work with both InCopy and InDesign) lets multiple people work on different stories at the same time. But no, there’s no way for different people to work on different layouts (moving frames around, for example).

  7. I know this was posted in fairly early days for the coming new version. That said, though, I for one would like to see Adobe concentrate on adding document capabilities to IDCS3 that are missing from Creative Suite completely — such as cross-references within a document — rather than grafting features into this single app that can already be achieved by using the CS as a whole.

  8. Pingback: Adobe CS3 — Photoshop beta this Friday « In Moderation

  9. But isn’t Acrobat already update to UB? Acrobat 8 came out last week.

    An Photoshop CS3b is out as well. Although it’s a beta it runs natively.

    So they’re slowly transitioning. All that’s left is InDesign, Illustrator and GoLive.

    But they should leave GoLive out, IMHO.

    I’m not saying don’t update the app, just don’t include it in CS.

    Although, I suppose it IS creative and therefore SHOULD be included in their suite.


  10. I believe that Adobe has made it clear (at least they have implied) that GoLive will not be part of the Creative Suite. It’s being replaced by DW. But it is still being developed and I suppose that means it will be released as a separate product. I agree with you: It’s the “creative’s” web design tool, so it should be in the Suite.

  11. Ok, so the CS3 beta is for real now. Wow, nice changes. Great filter abilities now. Now if they could only make the installs designed for Corporations so that you didn’t have to download updates to each PC / MAC. A central storage point on a server perhaps? Damn, that makes too much sense. Tim Macking MCSE, CCNA, MCT

  12. Ok, well I have Photoshop CS3 but where is the rest of the suite? I am still awaiting my central storage area too! Please Adobe make it easier for Mr. Tim. Give me CS3 that has centralized downloads within a corporate environment.

    Timothy Macking

  13. Great, more raster features/filters for morons to use and screw up with.

    Raise your hands if you have no idea what prepress is and call yourself a ‘designer’.

    Sorry guys, but in this day and age, maybe you should learn properly or hire someone with a ‘clue’ to do your artwork.

    Indesign is making ‘design’ available to losers/morons and it is a disgrace to our industry.

  14. Or how about it just working properly on new Duo Core machines. Is anyone else having extreme issues with CS2 (Illustator and InDesign) working properly on a Core 2 machine? I can’t use any pathfinder functions in Illustrator, or paste anything from Illustrator into InDesign without it crashing. I can’t wait for the Intel-native CS3. PS CS3 works like a dream. (1 out of 3 that I use everyday).

  15. Goodness, Prepress, you have quite a chip on your shoulder! ;) The funny thing is that you’re just echoing comments made about QuarkXPress and PageMaker back in the late 1980s. I fondly recall strippers and typographers who had nothing but harsh words for these upstart publishing tools. Wherever those folks are now, I wish them well.

    Steve: There is no doubt that CS3 will be optimized for the Mac-Intel machines, and these crazy problems will clear up. I agree that it has been frustrating. As one person noted: How weird is it that InDesign for Windows runs better (and some have reported faster) under Bootcamp or Parallels than ID-Mac under Rosetta?!

  16. I’d like to echo the wish for a “straddle column” feature that Grant (10) expressed. This feature was available in FrameMaker years ago when we used that program, and it would be huge for the long mixed-column docs that we produce. We’re using Quark now but thinking of switching–that would clinch it for me.

  17. I want to put two kind of footnote for two defrent authers who explaning a book in one page dynamiclly like this:

    the mine(1) text(ii)
    (1) the first auther.
    (ii) second auther.
    can anyone help me>>

  18. Pingback: InDesign CS3: uno sguardo al futuro -

  19. Pingback: Creativeprose: Adobe Reveals a Few Features of InDesign CS 3 |

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