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Adobe InDesign CS5 Classroom in a Book Paperback – May 11 2010
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About the Author
The Adobe Creative Team of designers, writers, and editors has extensive, real world knowledge of Adobe products. They work closely with the Adobe product development teams and Adobe's Instructional Communications team to come up with creative, challenging, and visually appealing projects to help both new and experienced users get up to speed quickly on Adobe software products.
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Top Customer Reviews
Inside, the lessons are both useful & fun to use. The paper the book is printed on is of good quality, glossy enough to emphasise the colour diagrams & screen shots, but not too slippery either. And it comes with a nice CD comprising the lessons contained in the book.
All is just as it should be, given that this book is very similar to an actual & real User Guide; the absence of which in the software package is an atrocious bit of cheating by Adobe, given the price of the software. I have in front of me the User Guide for PageMaker, which is clearly from the same stable in both book size & layout, both of which are attractive. But I shouldn't have had to pay for this book, as it should have been provided by Adobe.
There seemed to be a couple of errors in the files on the CD, as there were some inconsistencies with the text, but nothing worth worrying about.
Overall, an excellent learning source.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
It will soon be eleven years since InDesign 1.0 shipped. Publishing is a very different environment, today, and Adobe has responded with ID CS5 able to serve not just print but PDFs, Flash projects, and the ability to export to Dreamweaver. It's one very powerful app and even with as much background as I have, if I'm going to master ID, I need some touching up. I've been to Adobe TV and lynda.com to update my InDesign skills. For me, the learning experience which the Classroom in a Book (CIB) series offers is a way to not only learn, but to retain.
If you are a Photoshop (Ps) or Illustrator (Ai) CS5 user, it's easy to dive into InDesign and feel right at home. The interface and functionality is quite similar on both the Mac and Windows platforms. Chapters 1 and 2 of ID CS5 CIB brings you up to speed on the nuances of the ID elements which are unique compared to Ps and Ai. It should be easy for anyone to pickup on. if you are completely new to Creative Suite apps, don't speed through it. Take slow, let it all sink in; take breaks. By the time you have finished chapter 3, you should have an excellent understanding of pages and type. If you're coming from the world of Word or Pages, you'll find ID simple but with a very different set of methodologies. It's not different for the sake of difference. ID is not a word processor, it's the premier toolbox of typographic professionals. CIB guides you through it, carefully, and with creative working samples, to inspire and motivate you.
InDesign CS4 and CS5 brought plenty of new functionality to placing, controlling, and managing objects plus the introduction of a new "gridify" and captioning feature. They're fabulously useful and innovative but I didn't feel I was mastering them to the level I preferred. Chapter 4 of CIB grew my proficiency and introduced me to a clever text frame reshaping technique that I cannot believe I did not know about. This is a well placed chapter which provides a breather before chapters 5, 6, and 7 gets back to the intricacies of type. As with chapter 5, the sixth chapter takes you into some of CS5's new story editing features. These three chapters should make you feel that ID has the tools for design professionals.
If you are not an experienced design professional, the eighth chapter on color is not only a how-to for ID's features, but a glimpse into the technical proficiencies needed for a preparing a document for offset or web presses. Some highly experienced Dreamweaver professionals have told me that they are so used to how that app handles cascading style sheets (CSS) that they could not easily jump into styles in ID chapter 9 should resolve that.
Unless you study lesson 10 you may be missing out on some of the power of bringing in and managing Photoshop and Illustrator graphics. There's a valuable section on libraries, snippets, and Bridge. In a resent discussion with some of the most seasoned InDesign users on the planet I fully understand that they needed more knowledge of libraries and snippets. They've been in ID for a while but appear to have escaped some people, over time.
Chapter 11 on tables is another one which Dreamweaver (Dw) users will find extremely important. Dw and ID have some similarities between them, but for a web designer who needs to offer PDFs, mastering ID's tables is essential if you are to perfect them, especially since ID fulfills needs which are not applicable to web designed tables.
Transparency is another power tool for designers. Chapter 12 is another one with a nice set of working samples which should inspire you and make you feel empowered. I was pleased to see the inclusion of the Effects panel. That's a feature set which is also often overlooked.
Lesson 13 does an impressive job of exploring the output and exporting options in InDesign. This too is key to professionally managing these assets Understanding ink management, ID layers in PDFs for Acrobat, and proofing is not simple to grasp unless you have expertise in these areas.
I know of no more easy way to create Flash files but in InDesign this is a new and powerful feature set for ID CS5. There's a whole new set of panels for this. Lesson 14 shows designers how to create interactive Flash projects for the web, presentations, PDFs and other SWF needs. It's worth the price of the book, alone. The closing appendix includes on-screen proofing, display calibration, and color synchronization is applaudable.
If you carefully follow every page of this book and do all of the lessons, you should be able to say you are an InDesign master. It's more than a how-to; it's a desk reference.
Edit: I have since gone through the entire book and do have to say that the book gets much better after the first few chapters. I would still recommend a newbie start out with another book which I ended up doing and then reading this one and then it made sense. There are some good hints in it and it does get the job done but I don't use it for reference as much as others and would not recommed it if it is your only beginning book.
As for the complaints I have received. I need a book to do step by step and if something is missing I get frustrated, that is why this one disappointed me, especially in the beginning of the book. I did not know InDesign and needed the step by step with nothing left out. For those of you who did not like my review because I did it after only one chapter-sorry but I needed to learn the program yesterday and was so lost after the first chapter I gave up on the book until I read another one. That is not a good thing for a beginner and I gave my honest opinion, if you do not like it, skip my review.
For whatever reason, the book doesn't go through super simple basics that I wished it would have: curved lines, some typography basics, custom page numbering, etc. I know they can't include everything, but why wouldn't they include a basic pointers section? I think a lot of new users would be attracted to this book because of the title and it's written by the Adobe team.
The book walks through projects, and if what you're doing isn't in their projects, it's not going to explain how to do it. Luckily, the Adobe website has good support and directions for some of the things the book was missing. All in all, I used the book for quite a bit, then figured out how to get the tips to work for the project I was designing. If I wouldn't have had some prior experience, the book wouldn't have helped much.