Adobe InDesign CS2

apparatus™'s picture


I have been designing for a few years now and have recently started using InDesign CS2 which from what I know about it is a great program, with a lot of untapped potential.
I really want to get to know this program thoroughly but am restricted in the jobs I have been working on.
I have always have a love and I feel an eye for typography and sensibilities of type but feel slightly restricted in what I know about this program.
I am after adivce from anyone on great ways to learn InDesign, to work in it as quickly and proficiently as possible.
Maybe if I had a project like say and annual report I would get a good grasp on things because I have to but at the moment I have basically been working on ads and low page number documents.
I hope I have made some sense hear. I really want to take this program seriously as I think it is the major tool in
my career as a designer.
I would love to here anyones experienced advice or anything that they think may help. I am in Australia if anyone knows of great short courses etc.

John Nolan's picture

Adobe's own InDesign forum is very useful. Here's the Mac forum:

Have a look at InDesign magazine:

Nick Shinn's picture

If you're looking to do a little moonlighting, pro bono work might be the answer.
If you have your own projects in that area, it can be useful when your boss expects you to work OT on his/her pet charity, for free, and you can respectfully decline.

Dan Weaver's picture

In Design can be as deap as you want to go as as a designer. Magazines, books, John is right on the right places to start, but be aware you can alonely just begin to learn about this program

Headjam's picture

Thanks for the responses. What about books? Also in regards to style manuals and standards for laying out long documents etc. Any comments?

**Headjam is my work account.

Forrest L Norvell's picture

The best book I've seen for getting up to speed on using InDesign as a production tool is Olav Kvern & David Blatner's Real World InDesign CS. It's missing the new features in CS 2, but its emphasis on real-world use has been invaluable for me. Its chapter on InDesign's typographical features is short but thorough, and that, at least, hasn't changed much between the last two versions.

It also explains how to design long-form documents in InDesign, but be warned -- although InDesign is better for designing books than Quark XPress (he said understatedly), it's not as powerful as the old FrameMaker or Ventura Publisher were. There are aspects of dealing with books that are pretty unwieldy in InDesign.

david h's picture

1. Great "book" - Help > InDesign Help

2. Adobe InDesign CS2 Hands-On-Training by Brian Wood (includes exercise files + demo movies)

3. Adobe InDesign CS2 One-On-One by Deke McClelland (includes exercise files + demo movies)

4. Adobe InDesign CS2 - Visual Quickstart Guide ( if you don't like to read/use the user manual)

5. DVDs by Total Training

Kristina Drake's picture

I have been using InDesign CS for over a year now, and just recently switched to CS2. I feel I know the text aspects quite well, but I simply haven't touched images and nifty design stuff.

I started by converting a 24 page saddlestitch book into ID, fiddled with headers and subheaders, etc, then created some pamphlets. Probably real hack jobs, but good for learning. I now edit a 600 page course calendar in InDesign. Frustrating and tedious at times, but that's just the learning process, and it has been well worth the effort.

Give yourself a project to do in your off time -- replicate the layout of a book you like using the fill feature to create lots of text, and then manipulate. Or find a writer friend and get them to let you layout a story or novella of theirs.

The only way you're going to figure out how the program works is by trying to do specific things with it, but that's my opinion. You can "know" the functions, but will not be able to work efficiently until you've used them a few times.

I found following the sample "projects" in books not very helpful, but then, the examples were never geared to the kinds of problems I was having or the work I was doing. I do have a copy of Real World, and refer to it when I'm stuck, but I also find the help menu handy, as well as the Adobe online forums. Generally, I learn best by beating my head against a wall until it clicks. (Just something I enjoy, I guess.)

Good luck!

Thomas Phinney's picture

I'm a big fan of the Kvern & Blatner "Real World InDesign" series. Unfortunately, they don't have a version out for CS2 yet.


Hildebrant's picture

The Total Training DVD instructional videos are nice. I find that actually folling mouse strokes on screen can be very helpful.

jay's picture

Go to your favorite non-profit and ask if they have a project you can do pro-bono. Make sure they undersand you're doing it on your own time-line, so you have time to experiment & make mistakes. Once you get it done, you have (a) experience, (b) a nice warm feeling, and (c) a decent tax-deduction if you fill out the paperwork correctly. (You can get the tax break in the States, anyway. No idea if (c) applies in Oz)


Hildebrant's picture


You can not get tax credit for donating services. (and I am referring to the US)

albertoxic's picture

Another promising InDesign book (not yet released):

Dan Weaver's picture

InDesign Magazine sponsored by Creative Pro is very good and timely. They even interviewed Mr.Phinney. Its an on-line magazine. You can download a free copy to check it out, just go to Creative

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