New Features of InDesign CS5 - dummies

By Jennifer Smith, Christopher Smith, Fred Gerantabee

Every new version of Adobe InDesign Creative Suite 5 brings new features and new possibilities, and InDesign CS5 is no exception. The ability to track changes to an InDesign document, for example, opens up new collaboration opportunities.

If you are familiar with Adobe Illustrator, you’ll love the way layers are now handled in InDesign CS5. You’ll also love the millions of other little changes that make InDesign CS5 easier to use.

Track changes to your documents

When several people are working on the same document, determining what they have modified can be difficult. Adobe, borrowing an idea from Microsoft Word, now lets you track the changes made to the text of an InDesign document by each user.

Change to Story Editor view to look at your text and you can see any proposed edits, such as deleting, moving, or inserting text. You can then accept or reject proposed edits by using the Track Changes panel.


Work with layers

The Layers panel has been updated in InDesign CS5, making it similar to the one used in Illustrator.

  • View the stacking order of documents on a layer by clicking the triangle next to the layer name in the Layers panel.


  • Expand groups, buttons, and multistate objects to see the stacking order of objects and select them.

  • If you don’t like the default names of the program’s more generic objects, such as the shape type or text frames, which are named by the first few words within the frame, you can rename the objects using the Layers panel.

  • Just as with layers, you can move objects vertically within a layer to change their stacking order so that one object can appear on top of or below another object.

  • You can change the visibility of individual items on a page and lock or unlock them. Locked objects cannot be edited without first unlocking them.

Explore minor productivity changes

Adobe changed or added many smaller features in InDesign CS5.

  • Color swatches have been added to the Control panel. You can still access from the Swatches panel any color swatch used in a document.

  • Pouring content into your layouts is easier. If you frequently place many objects at a single time, merely select several items to place — either text or graphics — and put them on the page.

  • You can now more easily access the metadata and have it used as captions in documents. You can print lots of images and use their metadata as captions, such as the photographer name, product name, caption, or copyright information.

  • Mini Bridge makes it possible to locate and place images into documents without leaving InDesign. Mini Bridge provides a small panel in which you can navigate your computer or network, locate items you might want to use in the layout, and place them into your document.

    The window is rather small, and you might still find it easier to simply click and drag items from your operating system, or you can use the Place command.

  • Adobe has added new review and commenting features. You can share your designs across the Internet so that other people can provide feedback and input if you initiate them by using the new Review panel.