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InDesign CS6 Sneak Peek: New Content Collector Tools

Adobe has made no secret that Creative Suite 6 is going to be available in the second quarter of the year…and that means any day now. To generate excitement, they’ve been posting sneak peeks for many of their upcoming CS6 releases including a public beta of Photoshop CS6. With all the announcements, however, InDesign has been conspicuous by its absence.

That ended today with the first look at new tool set in InDesign CS6 called the Content Collector tools. These tools allow for easy re-purposing of content within a single document or multiple documents. Rather than try to describe it further, I’ll let Adobe’s Terry White take you on a short tour:

Or, you can find the movie on Adobe TV, here.

Bob Levine

Bob Levine

Bob Levine is a graphic designer and a consultant focused on providing InDesign training and guidance in developing efficient, collaborative workflows to those moving from QuarkXPress or PageMaker. An Adobe Certified Expert in both InDesign and InCopy, Bob has written articles for InDesign Magazine and is an Adobe User to User forums host. He has more than 15 years of industry experience and has been using InDesign since version 1.0. For more background, visit his website, or his blog,
Bob Levine

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36 Comments on “InDesign CS6 Sneak Peek: New Content Collector Tools

  1. It’s sort of nice to see what’s on the paste gun. I am certainly looking forward to more InDesign Demos.

  2. Looks cool, but how is this better than copy & paste [in place]? Maybe if you didnt want to maintain the content scale each time you use it elsewhere, or it maintains object layers?

    looking forward to the update.

  3. Agreed. It’s not much, just a fancy copy and paste. The real question is whether the new ID will let us repurpose content to various digital platforms, particularly ePub, Amazon’s KF8, and Apple’s new iBooks Author format.

  4. As someone who works primarily with large/long complicated documents (educational publishing, design and production), I can see that this will be incredibly useful for “make-up”. It is a great iteration of the library feature and the snippet feature, with a hint of bridge. I like it and can see it’s power. Maybe those who are not impressed don’t really have a use for it.

  5. Adobe please, no new features in next release. InDesign is sluggish, dificult to configure and has plenty of functions to keep it competetive for next 18 months. I think you would still sell plenty of upgrades even if the new “features” would be as unexciting as:

    – startup time down to one quarter
    – (much) lower memory consumption
    – faster screen redraws (especially when TABing the palettes on/off)
    – INX save/load times comparable to save/load time of native format
    – all preference files in text format (or XML in the worst case)
    – Linux support
    – …
    And biggest of all:
    Option to revert to (cmd)space zooming/panning for old timers
    Option to revert to old style handling of the centre of transformations for scaling & rotating

  6. I don’t care about Marcel’s ‘biggest of all’ (and I don’t know why he wants INX back), but I do want to see much more efficient processing. I’ve mentioned on the Wishlist that I have a nice multicore computer and InDesign grinds away on 100% of one core. True multicore processing and 64-bit support would be great.

  7. Rhiannon: INX is text based. That means it can go under version control. Also small corrutpion wouldn’t destroy whole document. If saving/loading INX would be fast enough I would switch to it immediately as to my default format.

    And I’m adding multiprocessor support to my list. It’s frustrating to watch the progress bar crawling and see seven processor cores under zero load at the same time.

  8. I’m assuming it doesn’t treat the content like an “Asset” where if you update say the image in one place it won’t update in the other places?

    Certainly looks like something I’d use. I’d make a catalogue from time to time and sometimes some products are bundled together and sold separately, so it would be nice to go from page to page collecting the bundles and then easily place them.

  9. How come his preflight check isn’t slowing everything done every three sections? I’d quite them to fix that – and the constant crashed – before adding new stuff.

  10. @Matthew:
    I suggest turning off live preflight until you need it. No reason to have it slow things down all the time when preflighting is something “most people” don’t need every moment of the day.

    And you shouldn’t be having constant crashes. There may be something wrong with a font (a frequent cause of crashes in many apps) or something else. My InDesign is pretty stable.

  11. @ LGFN

    So true. I’m convinced the feature request is nothing more than Adobe’s pacifier for the public. Make us think they’re listening, give us some kind of outlet, then do what they want anyways. And who’s going to put them in check? Quark?

  12. I agree with LGFN. Shoudn’t the first sneak peek be something that wows me and blows me away? I remember being wowed by span/split columns, multiple page sizes, ..etc for cs5…

    maybe there is additional functionality to this tool…

  13. @Dan

    The preflight thing is a pain. I shouldn’t have to turn it off as it should work by now, and I confess that little red light has saved my bacon many times. I think it should either work seamlessly or there should be an option to check every x minutes, not every 2-3 seconds. Alternatively, why not have ID only run the preflight check every time you save?

    I have an overclocked Core i7 and ID is installed on an SSD, but even a modest eight page document sees things stagger with the preflight checking things all the time.

    As far as I can make out, the problem with my regular crashes is due to the copy buffer. I don’t know why, but if I open ID, open a file or right-click to bring up the context menu and there’s something in the copy buffer from another program which it doesn’t like, ID will hang.

    This has happened from 2.02, thru CS3, CS5 and CS5.5 now – and across two Win XP machines and now here on Win7.

    (It’s things like this that make me wonder if any of the devs use it in the real world, on real projects for real paying clients. Even doing that for a week would be better than any lab-based testing).

    For all the fancy features Adobe will announce, I will be excited like a child with his Christmas presents. To be fair, I love ID – it provides my living and enables my creativity.

    But my heart will sink to the depths the first time I right-click in the new ID with something from Libreoffice (for example) in my copy buffer – and when CS6 then crashes just like it always has.

    If these two issues in particular aren’t sorted for CS6 I will be very disappointed. Sorting important things that affect the everyday is what progress is for – not just fancy new tricks.

  14. I’m optimistic, myself, I’ve always found something really great in every upgrade.

    And I still have hopes for “Content Aware Fill/Scale” for InDesign text frames, it would help my writing and editing immensely! :D

  15. I hope this new feature has a keep key setting in it.
    ie: collect data and tell it when placed on new page it stays available for multi pastes sort of like step & repeat

  16. > … And who?s going to put them in check? Quark?
    Time for InDesign Killer (hopefuly open source this time)?

  17. I also noticed the letters were Outline… does this mean the Content Collect Tool won’t be able to take up text frames?

  18. It looks like an interesting idea. I can’t even remember the last time I used the library panel, I would probably use this feature more if it was in the regular tool panel on the left side of the screen.

  19. Seems like another case or trying to add a feature so people upgrade. Something like this is not really needed IMHO. The library effectively does the same thing, altough this might be a little more functional to the workflow. These upgrades mever seem to improve performance of the product itself. Indesign is not exactly a speed demon.

  20. How about doing to improve the underpowered and unimproved merge feature. For example merge multiple records to a table. When is the last time that thing was improved?

  21. Could be a great tool if it did more… hopefully it does.
    Here’s what I make of it and hope it can do.

    A pasteboard that you can select objects from and reuse where desired… place them at desired location and size.

    Would be wonderful if it could add objects to its library (as it currently does) and then go to another document and collect more objects, etc (a bit like Snagit)… until you have all the objects you need from various documents and then repurpose them at the same time .

  22. Marcel: Yes, but why INX? Why not IDML? That is also text-based and can be version-controlled. And works fine (save and load times, while admittedly not quite as fast as native format, are certainly comparable).

  23. EnergonCube: The Wishlist is set up by the InDesignSecrets crowd, not by Adobe. I have no idea whether anyone at Adobe even looks at it (though I hope they do).

    Or did you mean the Feature Request/Bug Report form? You might be right about that one. It certainly seems very opaque. We have no idea what features have been requested there, nor how often.

  24. @Matthew: I’m working with ID CS5.5 on a non-overclocked i7 system with regular HDDs and I’ve never seen a slow-down, pause or hesitation from Live Preflight, even on documents that are >150 pages, and even with PS, DW, AI, Bridge, Outlook and a couple of browsers all running concurrently.

    You might want to dig a little deeper into that, because it’s not anything I’ve heard from other ID users I talk to, either. Are you running x86 or x64? That might make a difference, I suppose. I’ve not run ID on a 32-bit Win7, as all mine are x64.

  25. Quark 9 has conditional styles, which reminds me of ID’s next styles, but I think Quark has it a bit better, IMO. What do you guys think?

  26. That video may go down in software history as the worst taster ever. What the!? Er, adobe, we have libraries, snippets and, um, oh yeah, copy and paste!
    You do worry sometimes that the boffins forget that ID is a tool for design. We don’t spend hours wondering about how you can do things a bit differently. We’re after design tools that enable us to focus on design, not technology – especially in the digital arena…

  27. Do they really ignore feature requests? They sent me an email requesting if they could watch what I do; see how I use InDesign. I said, Yes! Yes! I index books for a living and there are so many irritating things about the indexing feature to be fixed. Boy do I look forward to CS6!

  28. I think the new ‘content collector’ provision sounds quite useful. I like the conveyor belt to pick and grab from which may have already appeared in 5.5. I’m still using CS5. I think Ian is being particularly harsh. While I agree the indexing is very clunky – I quite like the live pre-flight – it does keep egg off my face quite regularly.

    I wasn’t aware that a critique of the taster was required. It got the message across. My wish list is a quick way of making all images within a document for print CMYK.

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