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InDesign CS5.5 Now Shipping

May 3, 2011 is “Happy Ship Day” according to the tweet from @CreativeSuite.

Meaning, Adobe released Creative Suite 5.5, and all its individual CS5.5 products are now available for purchase/upgrade (or subscribing!) and then downloading from the store and other resellers.

InDesign CS5.5 is a significant upgrade for anyone working with EPUBs, Adobe’s Digital Publishing Suite, or accessible PDFs, For more information on what’s new with InDesign CS5.5, see this detailed post we wrote when it was announced a few weeks ago, visit Adobe’s InDesign product page, or read their May 3 press release on the availability of Creative Suite 5.5, which also has links to detailed pages about each product and pricing.

InDesign CS5.5 New Features, a new video tutorial from contributor James Fritz, is also now available on the site. A few of the videos are free, but you’ll need to be a subscriber (only $25/month) to see the entire title. You can use our free trial for one week of unlimited access to the library to try it out.

Anne-Marie Concepcion

Anne-Marie Concepcion

Anne-Marie “Her Geekness” Concepción is the co-founder (with David Blatner) and CEO of Creative Publishing Network, which produces InDesignSecrets, InDesign Magazine, and other resources for creative professionals. Through her cross-media design studio, Seneca Design & Training, Anne-Marie develops ebooks and trains and consults with companies who want to master the tools and workflows of digital publishing. She has authored over 20 courses on on these topics and others. Keep up with Anne-Marie by subscribing to her ezine, HerGeekness Gazette, and contact her by email at or on Twitter @amarie
Anne-Marie Concepcion

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34 Comments on “InDesign CS5.5 Now Shipping

  1. Will 5.5 live happily alongside 5? I’d like to tinker with the upgrade for a while before I plunge in completely.

  2. I develop content on PC versions of Design Premium CS5. Can I develop folio type content and use Digital Publishing Suite conversion tools fo this without a Mac.

    Also as a small publisher the costs of a subscription for the DPS is prohibitive. If I can create content as in the paragraph above can I distribute the files as a download from our web server for individuals to load on to their iPad?

    The work process for small publishers and developers like myself are a bit cloudy. Could you perhaps address this in a brief post or in one of your audio commentaries?

    Marie and David, James you all are great.
    S Cannon

  3. @Stephen – Good Question.

    You can use InDesign CS5 or CS5.5 to design and test folio’s (interactive “apps”) on a Mac or PC. However, if you want to sell them on the various app stores (apple, android, blackberry) you need to have a Mac for the Apple store since they require you to have a Mac for their developer program.

    When you create a folio or app, they are automatically uploaded to where you can share them with other users who in turn download them to their tablets with the Adobe Content Viewer. This is meant for testing purposes. I don’t know if there is a limit to how many people you can share them with.

    The Folio Builder Panel and support just went live today. Even though I was involved in the beta, I am still figuring out how the new distribution model works.

  4. Great overview, James. This is a nice, compact overview that drops all the new bits into place nicely. I’ve been recommending it to various friends in the biz (especially the ones still wondering about upgrading!).

  5. Be sure to check out the pricing construction for .folio publishing.
    After downloading the Folio tools for CS5 I have to ask what the difference is for 5.5, concerning the publishing tools for tablet apps (aside from the Indesign changes)?
    Also, can you create .folio files and use without charge? That would be nice for the odd experimenting and demonstration purposes…

  6. I do not appreciate this kind of marketing by Adobe. What’s next? .25 upgrades?! This is just ridiculous. Am I alone in this sentiment?

    Doug Arnold

  7. Absolutely not Doug. Although it’s a pretty significant update, it is a dot upgrade, and the price is a lot more expensive for Europeaners than Americans. But that’s a whole other issue.

  8. Does anyone know if CS5.5 fixes the problem with small caps not working when the “document fonts” folder is in use?

  9. @w. bravenboer

    There is no difference between CS5 and CS5.5 in regards to producing folio’s.

    You can create 1 folio at a time for free with CS5 and CS5.5. Here is the basic workflow. I am sure this will be explained in blog post at some point

    1. Design the magazine in CS5/5.5
    2 Add Interactivity
    3. Using the folio builder panel to upload the content to
    4. Download the folio onto your tablet with the Adobe Content Viewer (doesn’t currently work, waiting on update)

    Note: You can create 1 folio per workspace on with a free account. If you want to create another folio for testing, delete the workspace and create a new one.

  10. Very informative, James. Thanks.

    As a freelance designer working solo, and possessing (at best) a moderate level of technical aptitude, I feel some sense of relief at the prospect of using the 5.5 upgrade for InDesign. I viewed Anne-Marie’s InDesign CS5 to EPUB, Kindle, and iPad tutorial as soon as it became available. I definitely learned a lot, but by the end of Chapter 5 I felt like I was sinking in development minutiae that’s essential to the process. The editing and maneuvering required to achieve anything beyond a very simple design and to assure proper validation, demands much time spent on digital production. The apparent ease now offered by the drag and drop Articles panel?enabling the freedom to avoid using xml tags when managing content?is most appealing, as are style mapping and object export customization features.

    Having downloaded several of the magazines cited as examples using DPS, I’m happy to finally have a basic understanding of how the files went from InDesign onto the iPad. These videos also help me better understand best practices for designing with, and applying interactive features.

    Based on my understanding of the improved HTML export options, it still seems that writing one’s own CSS for content would better assure that the original InDesign file is more closely replicated than embedding CSS. Or does it depend on the intended end reading device? Meaning that for browsers toggling No CSSwould still be the best option, but for digital readers Embedded CSS would work okay, although the file needs to be tested in each digital reader. Am I understanding this correctly?

  11. @Rita

    If you are going to be using HTML export, then NO CSS will most likely be your best option. The goal, in my opinion, of an HTML export is get the content of your InDesign document out in as clean form as possible for the web. By having your content tagged correctly you can pass it over to a web developer who can add CSS and other content (divs, php, javascript, etc) to integrate it into your site.

    If your developer coded your site correctly, they could have a browser detecter. This way, if I came to your site from a mobile device like an iPhone, I would be given custom CSS optimized for that medium, if it was an Android Tablet it might get another, and on a desktop with Chrome 11, yet another CSS variant.

    For digital ePUB readers, it is a slightly different story. If you are are exporting just 1 ePUB, you probably want to start with the CSS exported from InDesign. However, you will probably want/need to tweak its contents depending on the device that it is going on.

    However, if you work in an environment where you are creating lots of ePUBs you will probably have a CSS template (like you would with a website). In that case you could have the exported PDF just link to your CSS file.

    Does that help?

  12. If you’re going to be working with the DPS tools, be sure to download the CS5.5 versions of those … they’re different than the CS5.0 versions.

    After you install CS5.5, choose Window > Extensions > Folio Builder, and click the Download Update button you’ll find there.

    Here’s the link it brought me to:

    I’m on a Mac using a U.S. English install, so I’m not sure if that link will work for everyone. Don’t see anything localised on the page or in the URL, but thought I should mention it.

  13. @Doug: Oh, isn’t it obvious? 3D holographic manipulations, on-screen die-cutting, and they’re going to take the Symbol Sprayer from Illustrator and put it into InDesign (but it will only work with text)… ;) Just kidding! Jeez, CS6 isn’t going to be out anytime soon, so just kick back and enjoy the present!

  14. I will bet you all the lint in my pocket that CS6 will still not be able to make footnotes span columns.

  15. David, a present by definition is free. I’ve checked the upgrade pricing and Adobe doesn’t appear to be leaving this one wrapped up with a bow under the tree. :)

    I understand that this is supposedly a “significant” upgrade, but it’s hard not to feel like Adobe is putting its loyal customers’ wallets through the wringer with this one. It really does feel like just the other day my studio paid thousands of dollars to move us all to CS5, and now we’ve fallen behind the upgrade cycle already.

    I hope Eugene is right and CS6 *doesn’t* let footnotes span columns, because if it does I’ll have to upgrade at once all over again!

  16. What about backward compatibility to CS5? If I have clients using CS5 and I move to CS5.5, is there going to be a way to save them to CS5 level?

  17. You need to export to IDML for the document to open in CS5. It is good that harddisks are cheap nowadays, I have CS3, CS4 and CS5 on my mac… ;)
    CS 5.5 is not very compelling for me, and the DPS tools are also for the CS 5 edition, so I can also experiment with Ipad creation.

  18. I had a pleasant surprise yesterday.
    A free version of InDesign CS5.5 dropped through the letter box.

    Mind you I only purchased my CS5 some 6 weeks ago. I’m glad that I held off buying the upgrade which I was tempted to after reading this blog.

    So I’ll forgive Adobe for making me buy a full version of CS5 as I they wouldn’t provide an upgrade from InDesign 2.
    A word of warning it seems they only provide upgrades going back a limited number of versions.

    Now to see if CS5.5 fixes some of missing bits in making ePubs.


  19. I’m an author based in Australia and finding an Apple approved Aggregator for a single title seems an impossible task. I would appreciate it if anyone can please advise me?

  20. @ James…

    Enjoyed your CS5.5 iD tutorial at but wanted to ask if you could clarify something.

    You mentioned that the Animation panel does not work when creating folio’s for iPad layouts. This is a bit of a disappointment as this would be perfect for the medium.

    Is there any workaround that you know of?



  21. @ J vd Westhuizen: Have you looked at some of the aggregators listed here:
    such as lulu, etc.

    @taoyoyo: The animation features in InDesign are all based on Flash animation, so there’s no way it’ll work in iOS. There isn’t really a workaround, other than creating frame-based animations (in some other program) and setting them up as image sequences. Frustrating, and insane that Adobe hasn’t come up with a built-in solution.

  22. @ David.

    Thanks for the reply.

    I figured it might be down to Flash (isn’t it always with Apple and Adobe?! ;)

    Used sparingly, animation would be of great benefit for iPad magazines… seems like a frame-based animation would be a long tedious process though I suppose there’s always the option of recording the animation using a screengrab app like Screenflow and converting it to a movie? (though you’d need to hide the player controls if that’s possible).

  23. @taoyoyo – You can not natively use ID animation features in folio’s, but there is a sort of work around that I wrote about here.

    Basically, you take your animation and export it as an FLA. Then using the wallaby application from Adobe, you can convert the FLA into HTML and CSS. Finally, place the HTML and CSS inside ID and use the overlay creator panel to control the HTML.

    FYI – the FLA > HTML conversion is not flawless and you will have to tweak the HTML/CSS code.

  24. @James…

    Thanks for the information and the workaround. I guess this is still early days for iPad design for but it’s nice to have an option with Wallaby (even if it’s not fully functional yet).

    I also had a question regarding image resolution…

    Is there any reason (other than file size) to not take advantage of the iPads 132ppi resolution? The references I’ve seen to resolution all suggest keeping to 72.



  25. I tried to download the 7.04 patch for InDesign and got a message that some parts did not download.

    Any advice?

  26. @taoyoyo

    File size can be a big problem as you mentioned, but performance is another. When you start to include multiple images in animations, backgrounds, etc, having larger files can slow down an iPad.

    Testing your layouts on an iPad before deploying is always a critical option to ensure that everything looks and operates as expected.


    Try downloading the update from adobe directly as opposed to running the updates from within InDesign.

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