What’s New in InDesign CC 2018
A bevy of feature improvements bring a sigh of relief to long-time InDesign users
Adobe has just released a major new version of InDesign—InDesign CC 2018. Following the precedent of CC 2017, Adobe released it in connection with its big Creative Cloud event, Adobe MAX 2017, held this year in Las Vegas.
Unlike InDesign CC 2017, which emphasized a new user interface more than new features, this release has major new features, some of which users have wanted for a long time. They include endnotes, paragraph borders, the ability to store an object’s size and position in an object style, and the ability to store shared text assets in CC Libraries. In addition, there are helpful new ways to filter fonts in the Font menu, an integration of the German Duden dictionary, improvements in export of HTML and PDF accessibility, and a number of other, smaller features.
As always, this major version upgrade brings a new file format. This means that if someone using InDesign CC 2018 creates a new file, and you open it using an earlier version of InDesign CC, the Creative Cloud must convert the file backward to your older version (or you can use the old “save as IDML” process). I’ll describe the process at the end of this article.
But first, heeeeeeere’s the new features…!
InDesign users have been able to add and manage footnotes in documents since version CS2. But until now, InDesign users have had to rely on third-party products or scripts to add endnotes at the end of a story or document. It has been more than 18 years since InDesign 1.0 was released, so to say we’ve been waiting a long time for endnotes would be quite an understatement. But the wait is finally over. You can use InDesign CC 2018 to create endnotes for either a story or document, and the endnote frames can be placed in various locations.
Creating an endnote
You can now create an endnote similarly to creating a footnote: Place your insertion point where you want the endnote text reference to appear. Then choose Type > Insert Endnote (or right-click and choose Insert Endnote).
By default, a new page is added at the end of the document, and an endnote frame is created where you can enter the endnote text. InDesign places your insertion point between two colored markers, where you can enter text for the endnote. Subsequent endnotes in the same frame will be placed within new pairs of markers.
The reason that consecutive endnotes are placed between markers is that, unlike footnotes, endnotes often include text that is not part of an endnote—for example, headings or chapter numbers. You should place that text outside of the markers. (Markers are not printable, and just visually indicate the area of an endnote.)
Clicking in the endnote and choosing Type > Go to Endnote Reference (or right-clicking and choosing Go to Endnote Reference from the context menu) takes you back to the referenced text.
By default, creating an endnote in another story places the endnote in the same document endnote frame. However, you can also choose to restart the numbering for each story in the same frame using a setting in the Endnote Options dialog box. Or you can set the endnotes to follow each story.
The endnote frame is a special kind of text frame. When the frame is selected, a special adornment on the bottom left indicates an endnote frame (Figure 1). To see it, you must select the frame with the Selection tool and turn on Show Frame Edges.
By default, an endnote frame is created based on the scope of the document. This scope means that it includes all the endnotes in the document, and it is created on a new page at the end of the document. However, in Positioning Options (in the Endnote Options dialog box), you can set the scope to Story. In that case, a new endnote page will be created at the end of each story, and it will include endnotes only from that story. If you choose Story as the scope, you can alternatively choose Load the Place Cursor and place the endnote frame wherever you like.
Setting endnote options
To change the defaults for numbering, formatting, or layout of the endnotes, choose Type > Document Endnote Options. This opens the Endnote Options dialog box (Figure 2).
TIP: Clicking the endnote text frame adornment also takes you to the Endnote Options dialog box.
Many of the Endnote options are the same or similar to those for setting footnotes. The numbering options are similar except that endnote numbering can be based on a story. The formatting options for the endnote reference number are similar to a footnote’s “Reference Number in Text” options. Prefixes and suffixes can be applied to a reference, to the endnote text, or both. Choices for Position, Character Style, Paragraph Style, and Separator are also similar.
Unlike footnotes, however, you can copy and paste endnotes and endnote frames. You can also move endnotes within documents and even insert endnote references in a table. (Sorry, no footnotes in tables yet.)
And, of course, the numbering of each endnote frame will auto-adjust based on the ordering of the endnote references in the text.
Document vs. Story-based Endnotes
Put all your endnotes at the end of the story, and now changed your mind? No problem! You can change the scope for endnotes between Document and Story.
For example, if you change the scope from Document to Story, InDesign creates a new endnote frame for each story. The previous document endnote frame and its page will be deleted. However, note that numbering will not be continuous when it is based on a story; each story has its own numbering and numbering restarts in each frame.
Unfortunately, you cannot place endnotes at the end of a book document, or in a separate document in a publication made of multiple documents and compiled using the book panel. This is a serious limitation, as so many book designs require notes in the backmatter.
Importing Word Endnotes
You can import Microsoft Word endnotes. You select this option in the Word Import Options dialog box (select Show Import Options in the Place dialog box). All the endnotes are imported and added to a new document endnote frame. When you import multiple Word documents at the same time, all the endnotes of the documents are imported into a single frame.
Paragraph Borders and Shading
Back in InDesign CC 2015, one of the most requested new features arrived: the ability to add shading behind a paragraph. But it was missing its companion feature—adding a border around the outside of the same paragraph.
That deficiency has now been remedied with enhancements to paragraph shading and the addition of a paragraph border feature in CC 2018.
Corners on Paragraph Shading
The original Paragraph Shading feature gave you the ability to put shading behind the text in the paragraph, while setting its color, tint, and offset values on each side (how far it should sit from the edge of the paragraph). You can also choose to clip shading to the frame and prevent printing or exporting.
New in InDesign CC 2018, Paragraph Shading also includes the ability to set Corner Size and Shape independently on all sides (Figure 3). Yes, that includes rounded corner shading!
Paragraph Borders Options
The new Paragraph Borders feature lets you create borders on all sides of a paragraph and apply them to one or more paragraphs. The borders can either be used by themselves or combined with Paragraph Shading in the same paragraph (Figure 4).
To add a border, choose Border in the Paragraph or Control panel, or Paragraph Border in the Paragraph Style Options dialog box.
TIP: As with many of the Control panel icons, Option/Alt-clicking the Paragraph Border icon opens the Paragraph Border options dialog box.
The top section of Paragraph Border controls is Stroke settings. You can independently create borders on each side of the paragraph using the four controls for Top, Bottom, Left, and Right. Setting the stroke weight to zero or changing its color to None turns off a border.
However, each of the four border segments must share other stroke attributes. Here you can set Stroke Type, Color, Gap Color, Tint, Overprint, and Cap and Join attributes. They cannot be set independently.
As with Paragraph Shading controls, the paragraph borders can have independent Corner Size and Shape, and the controls look the same.
Paragraph Borders also set controls for positioning similar to Paragraph Shading controls. These include offsets on each side, Top Edge, Bottom Edge, and Width (Column or Text).
There is one more option at the bottom that determines what happens when a paragraph border breaks across frames or columns. The default is to clip the border; if the option is selected, the border can be closed at the top or bottom of a column or frame.
These new paragraph-formatting controls are very welcome and pretty great. But there are features that should probably be added to future versions of paragraph borders. It’s difficult to set up both paragraph shading and borders on the same paragraph: many of the settings (offset, corner settings, etc.) will be the same in the two dialog boxes, but there is no way to link the settings to make it easier to edit them.
A second difficulty is that if you want a border to seamlessly continue across more than one paragraph, it’s complicated to set up and may require multiple paragraph styles if used repetitively. Adobe really ought to make “borders across multiple paragraphs” as easy as a checkbox.
Size and Position Options in Object Styles
There are times when you want to ensure that multiple objects share the same size and position on a page. Previously, if you needed to make any sizing or positions changes to the objects, those edits had to be made for each instance of the object separately. But InDesign CC 2018 adds the new Size and Position Options choice in the Object Styles dialog box, so you can make and modify certain page elements much more efficiently. Note that the new options support not only independent objects like text or unassigned frames; they can also be applied to anchored objects, tables, and image frames.
Setting Size and Position Options
For each object, you can set three size options: Width Only, Height Only and Height and Width. There are also three options for position—X Only, Y Only, and X and Y. And of course InDesign offers you a reference icon to choose from which part of the object the position is measured. Position can be aligned relative to either Page Edge or Page Margin (Figure 5).
In the example shown in Figure 5, I created two objects styles for a sidebar—one for left pages, one for right. (Unfortunately, the new feature doesn’t yet support a Relative to Spine command, which would allow you to use just one style.) The Width was set to adjust to the width of the column, but the Height might vary. The frame was positioned using the upper left reference point. Both the X and Y offsets were defined relative to the Page Edge.
Another way to work with reusing object dimensions and position is with the Eyedropper tool. This tool now has a new Transform Options choice, with options for Dimension and Position. With those options turned on, the dimensions and position are copied when you click on any object, and can then be applied to another object.
Adding and Sharing Text Assets with CC Libraries
For over two years, InDesign users have been able to store objects, color swatches, and paragraph and character styles in CC Libraries. (To learn more about CC Libraries, read InDesign Magazine #83, “Creative Cloud Libraries.”) These objects can be shared between InDesign documents and also used in Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop.
What has been missing is the ability to repurpose text assets (from a sentence to an entire story). Beginning in InDesign CC 2018, you can drag text or a text frame into a CC Library. This text can be used in either another InDesign CC 2018 file, or in an Adobe Illustrator CC 2018 document. As with other CC library assets, you can use them yourself, or you can share them with other users. Text assets retain their paragraph and character styles and other attributes, such as color, that are applied to them.
Adding a Text Asset to a CC Library
You can select any amount of text in a story with the Type tool, and click the Add Content (+) menu at the bottom of the CC Libraries panel. Select the Text checkbox, and click Add to add the text to the new Text category in the current CC library (Figure 6). You’re also given the opportunity to add paragraph and/or character styles or save the text as a graphic.
Alternatively, you can select the text frame with the Selection tool to add all the text in the frame in the same way. If you select a text frame, you can drag and drop it over a CC library to add the text.
Using a Library Text Asset in InDesign CC 2018
You can repurpose a saved CC library text asset in an InDesign CC 2018 document in one of four ways:
- In InDesign CC 2018, you can drag the text asset from the CC Library (or right-click the asset and choose Place Linked). This copies all the formatting from the original and also creates a link from the text frame to the text asset in the library. You’ll see a cloud icon on the text frame just as you would for a library linked graphic (see Figure 7C below). Use this method when you want assets to be kept updated to the library copy of the text.
TIP: Library linked text shows a Text icon in the Links panel, much like a locally linked text or spreadsheet file. The Link Info shows the path to the CC Library.
- You can Alt/Option-drag the text asset from the CC Library panel (or right-click the asset and choose Place Copy). This copies the formatted text from the library but doesn’t link it. If the library text changes, the copy won’t be updated.
- You can also Shift-drag the text asset from the CC Library to import the text without saving any previous formatting (or right-click the asset and choose Place Without Styles). You could use this when you want this text to match the styling of text already in your document.
- If your insertion point is already in a text frame, right-click and choose Place Inline to insert the text asset. The incoming text also forgets its styling and matches the existing text frame formatting.
Note that there is no option to link to text in a CC library without including formatting information. For example, you might want to put text such as a phone number in a CC Library and then link to it from several documents, formatting it differently in each file. That isn’t easy to do currently.
Exchanging text with Adobe lllustrator CC 2018
If you’ve ever tried to exchange formatted text between InDesign and Illustrator, you’ll be relieved to hear it is finally possible with CC Library text. (Of course you also need to be using the CC 2018 versions of both InDesign and Illustrator.) When text is exchanged, the applications maintain the styling to the highest degree possible. Any text property which exists in both applications will be maintained.
For example, if you created some text in InDesign which was formatted with Adobe Garamond Pro, 12-point size, with 14-point leading, a first line indent, the color blue, and Keep Options, Illustrator would convert all the values to matching values in Illustrator. But the Keep Options would be dropped, since that feature doesn’t exist in Illustrator.
To place the formatted text in Illustrator CC 2018, drag without a modifier key from the Library panel. Or, drag with the Shift key to place unformatted text. Unfortunately, at this time, Illustrator doesn’t support linking text to a CC library.
TIP: You can tell which application created the text if you view the CC library in List view. An AI or ID icon on a text asset indicates the originating application.
Editing a text asset in CC Libraries
You can edit a text asset in a CC library. To do so, either double-click the asset or right-click and choose Edit. A temporary file opens in the text’s original application. Make changes to the text and/or formatting, and save the file. InDesign-created text assets must be edited in InDesign. Illustrator-created text assets must be edited in Illustrator (Figure 7B).
If an InDesign file with a library-linked text asset is open when the asset is updated, the InDesign file is updated immediately. If it is closed, it will be updated when the InDesign file is opened (Figure 7C).
Font Classification and Font Similarity Filters
InDesign has added new font filtering features in the Character and Control panel Font menus in InDesign CC. Previously, we have been able to filter by favorites and by Typekit fonts. InDesign CC 2018 adds two more filtering features—Font Classification and Font Similarity (Figure 8).
You can filter fonts in InDesign’s font menus using a Type Classification filter. Over the years, typographers have devised various systems to classify fonts. Adobe picked eight of the most common categories for filtering fonts in InDesign CC, as well as Illustrator CC and Photoshop CC.
- Slab Serif
- Sans Serif
When the Font Similarity filter is turned on, InDesign will search for and display fonts that are visually similar to the currently displayed font. Illustrator CC and Photoshop CC have matching Similarity filters, and the results are usually very close to those you’ll see in InDesign.
Applied Filters Notification
It’s common for users to forget that font filtering is turned on and to think some of their fonts have disappeared. So another welcome addition is a black status strip that appears at the top of the font list whenever filtering is applied. This includes filtering for Typekit fonts, favorite fonts, font similarity, or font classification. You can see this black strip in Figure 8.
Duden Hyphenation and Spell Checking for German
For InDesign users who publish in the German language, a most welcome new feature in the upcoming InDesign CC 2018 will be native InDesign support for the Duden dictionary. Duden is a well-respected dictionary authority in Germany (similar to Webster’s in the U.S.) that allows for more accurate hyphenation and spell-checking of German words.
Additionally, InDesign will include a new, updated German language variant in the Language drop-down menu: “German: Austria 2006 Reform.” The new dictionary and Duden integration will also be supported in InCopy and InDesign Server, to smooth German language workflows that incorporate editorial rounds and automation.
InDesign has supported the Proximity and Hunspell dictionaries for German, just as for the other language dictionaries, but knowledgeable users of German consider them inferior. Often, they require the InDesign user or their editor to manually check every auto-hyphenated German word, many of which need correcting, before a project can be published. Using the new Duden options, InDesign’s auto-hyphenation and spell-checking will be much more accurate.
You can read the official Adobe announcement about the Duden dictionary support here. Also, Tim Gouder, author of the German language InDesign-Blog.de, has posted video showing the new Duden features.
If you don’t speak German, here’s how you’ll soon be able to use the Duden dictionary for the German language:
- Choose Edit > Preferences > Dictionary (Windows) or InDesign > Preferences > Dictionary (Mac OS)
- Select one of the following languages from the Language drop-down menu:
- German: 1996 Reform
- German: 2006 Reform
- German: Austria 2006 Reform (a new option in this release)
- German: Swiss
- German: Swiss 2006 Reform
- Choose Duden from the Hyphenation drop-down menu, if it’s not selected by default. At the bottom of the dialog box, under Duden Dictionary, select Show Duden Hyphenation Options.
Duden hyphenation options are available (1) when creating a paragraph style in the Hyphenation panel, or (2) in the Paragraph panel menu or Control anel menu > Hyphenation (Figure 9).
The following Duden hyphenation styles are available:
All: All hyphenations that are technically “correct.” For example, both Auto-bahn and Au-tobahn are correct.
All but unaesthetic: All possible hyphens (but no unaesthetic hyphens).
Aesthetic: Only hyphens that have been explicitly marked as aesthetic hyphens (Auto-bahn but not Au-tobahn)
Preferred aesthetic: Uses aesthetic hyphenation if possible, but falls back to normal hyphens for words longer than 6 characters and without aesthetic hyphens.
There are four spell-checking styles for the Duden dictionary, and based on the style you select, one or both the variants are accepted. Duden is selected by default. You can select other options from Preferences > Dictionary > Spelling. The following options are available:
Duden: Only the correct variation recommended by Duden is accepted. Other variants are marked as errors.
Conservative: Accept only old spelling variants like Delphin but not Delfin. Similarly, Graphik is accepted but not Grafik (ph instead of f).
Tolerant: Accept any valid spelling. For example, both Graphik and Grafik are correct. Similarly, both Delphin and Delfin are correct.
Press agencies: Same as Duden recommendations but with a different rule set agreed by multiple press agencies and publishing houses.
We’re sure that our colleagues who work with German text in InDesign will be more than pleased by this addition to InDesign CC 2018.
Export HTML Improvements
If you’ve ever tried to export HTML from InDesign, you’ve probably noticed that it loves to add class and id tags to almost every paragraph and object—it can be very overwhelming and a pain to clean up. Fortunately, a new item in the Advanced panel of the HTML Export dialog box—labeled Don’t Include Classes in HTML—allows you to exclude all these extraneous materials. It removes the class and id attributes present in the tag, and even many redundant div tags present in the HTML, to create clean-looking HTML and remove unnecessary grouping of content.
In addition, in the Edit All Export Tags dialog box (which you can find in the Paragraph Styles panel menu), you can now specify whether to include classes in exported HTML for individual tags (Figure 10).
There are also some minor (but welcome) new features and fixes.
Ability to Add Gradients to a Swatch Group
Several versions ago, when InDesign added the ability to group swatches in the Swatches panel, gradient swatches were excluded. Now, in CC 2018, you can add gradient swatches to a group, or create a gradient swatch directly within a group.
PDF Accessibility Enhancements
PDF accessibility has been much improved in InDesign CC 2018 with several enhancements. Professionals who need these accessibility features will find this InDesign version is a major advance. The enhancements include:
- Alt Text: In earlier versions of InDesign, you could not tag InDesign native objects and graphics as figures in an exported PDF. Now you can do that using Object > Object Export Options, and Adobe Acrobat and screen readers can read the alt text (Figure 11).
- Footnote Tagging is now properly supported.
- Anchored Text Frames and Anchored Groups Tagging are now properly tagged.
- Master Page Tagging is now handled properly: page objects on a master page now correctly show an artifact tag in Acrobat. When a master page object is overridden, it will now show the tags of such an object.
- Index Tagging: Now indexes are properly mapped to index only (rather than simply mapped to paragraph).
- Language is exported in the tagged text as set by the user.
- List Tagging: The correct structure of nested list tagging is exported.
- Caption Tagging: A Live Caption now gets a caption tag as a child of a figure tag.
- TOC: TOC tagging structure is now implemented. It is mandatory for a TOC with hyperlinks to have tags.
Start Screen and Recent Files Changes
- The Recent Files workspace previously introduced has been removed. Small improvements in organization have been made in the Start Screen.
- New Document Dialog Box for MENA Versions: Beginning with InDesign CC 2018, MENA (Middle Eastern and North Africa) versions can choose from a variety of templates previously only for Roman languages.
Ability to Remove Forced Line Breaks in TOC
There is a new option to Remove Forced Line Break at the bottom of the Table of Contents dialog box (Layout > Table of Contents). This automates one of the most common clean-up actions users take when building tables of contents.
Application Name and Version in Application Bar
In InDesign CC 2018 and some other Creative Cloud 2018 applications, the application name and version now appear in the Application Bar. That could make it easier to distinguish application windows. Unfortunately, this feature is more likely to be seen on a Mac, since Mac menus are part of the operating system UI and are displayed above the window. In Windows, the menus are on the Application Bar, and most Windows displays may not have the space to show the feature.
Stability and Speed
Many common sources of InDesign crashes have been fixed. Plus, Adobe’s internal tests show an average reduction in launch time in InDesign CC 2018 by 30% compared to CC 2017.
Bugs from Previous Versions Fixed
Over 20 bugs were fixed, including the following:
- Bigger Fill and Stroke icons in the Swatches panel and Tools panel
- InDesign CC 2017.1’s new “flat interface” made some fields (e.g., in Spell Checking) virtually invisible. These have been fixed.
- Paragraph Shading color no longer changes in a document when opened in a new InDesign version.
- Transformation values that appear near the cursor weretiny on a Retina display device and are now enlarged.
- Problems with scrolling in the Glyphs panelhave been resolved.
- The reference point widgets on the Control panel and Transform panel have been enlarged.
A Good Year for InDesigners
InDesign CC 2018 includes a pleasing mix of major new features and minor enhancements that should gratify a large audience. In addition, it makes progress with greater stability and faster launch speed, and it fixes bugs introduced in earlier versions. I’m looking forward to using it!