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Learn What’s New in InDesign CS5

Adobe InDesign Creative Suite 5 (CS5) has lots of new features for creating web pages and interactive documents that used to be created only in Flash or Dreamweaver. In addition, you'll find selecting page sizes easier in InDesign CS5.

Because Adobe is just starting to add web and interactive design tools to InDesign, you’re better off using Dreamweaver to create web pages or Flash to build most interactive projects, although you can start the design process in InDesign. Interactive documents are just starting to get used, and because the iPad does not support the Flash format to which InDesign exports, you’ll be limited primarily to PDF as the export option.

Create web content

The first time you create a new document, you see that InDesign lets you create more than print documents. In the New Document dialog box, you specify whether you’re creating content for web or print and, if you’re creating for the web, you can specify measurements in pixels (the measurement used on computer displays) rather than inches or centimeters, which you might use in print.

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If you plan to create for the web, you can have InDesign create Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) when you export to XHTML.

Create interactive documents

InDesign CS5 provides three new panels you can use to create and work with interactive documents:

  • Media panel: When you create interactive documents, you want to be able to include movies, so Adobe now lets you import FLV and MP3 files into an InDesign layout.

    After you import the movies, you can use the new Media panel to specify which frame from the video is displayed as the placeholder — the poster — and you can set options, such as whether the video plays only one time or should loop continuously.

  • Animation panel: You can use the new Animation panel to create animations, or if you want to animate an object in your layout using a preset option, you can take advantage of the new motion presets. You can also animate objects along a path by creating a motion path.

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  • Timing panel: The new Timing panel lets you set the time when objects play, and the States panel lets you create buttons that look different when the mouse rolls over them or when they’re clicked.

Export selected items on a page to Adobe Flash Player, and when exporting to Flash, choose more options such as resolution and background color.

Set multiple page sizes

Before this version of InDesign, all page sizes within a document had to be the same.

Now, using the Pages panel, you can select specific pages and change the page size. Master pages, which act as templates for document pages, can be of varying sizes as well.

As a designer, you might want to create a business card, letterhead, and envelope all in the same file — even though they’re different sizes. Or, brochures and publications may have a gatefold that allows for a page to fold out from a design.

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