Skip to main content

Adobe InDesign CC Review

InDesign is a professional desktop publishing program (DTP) used by thousands of graphic designers and businesses. It has some of the best layout tools available, including snap-to guides, table creators and hundreds of fonts.

Our Verdict

You can make just about any type of page layout design in this desktop publishing software, but because of its steep learning curve, InDesign is best for professionals and dedicated beginners, not novices.

For

  • It is cross-compatible with other Adobe products, and there are hundreds of online video tutorials to help you achieve the results you want.

Against

  • This program has an art asset library; however, you must pay for a monthly art asset subscription to access everything.
Image 1 of 5

You'll find tutorials when opening InDesign.

You'll find tutorials when opening InDesign.
Image 2 of 5

You can have text wrap around an image in InDesign with the press of a button.

You can have text wrap around an image in InDesign with the press of a button.
Image 3 of 5

You can learn tricks for InDesign on Adobe's website.

You can learn tricks for InDesign on Adobe's website.
Image 4 of 5

Adobe InDesign gives you access to dozens of font options.

Adobe InDesign gives you access to dozens of font options.
Image 5 of 5

Create magazine layouts in Adobe InDesign.

Create magazine layouts in Adobe InDesign.

InDesign is a professional desktop publishing program (DTP) used by thousands of graphic designers and businesses. It has some of the best layout tools available, including snap-to guides, table creators and hundreds of fonts.

Unlike other publishing software we reviewed, you can only purchase InDesign CC as a subscription. There are different plans, and each comes with the choice of paying monthly or annually. The cheapest option is the Single App subscription plan. If you also want to use Photoshop, Illustrator or other Adobe software, you can select the All Apps subscription plan. Keep in mind that Adobe's programs don't come cheap, but they put top-of-the-line programming and graphic design tools to your fingertips.

Layout & Publishing

InDesign covers all the bases for page layout. At the click of a button, you can access the master page window, which lets you insert headers, footers and additional pages into your project. This DTP software helps you make aesthetically pleasing documents by keeping your images orderly. For example, it has a guiding system that allows you to resize your images while maintaining their proportional shapes. Additionally, this software has alignment lines to help you place your images and text symmetrically throughout your document.

You can import Photoshop PSD files and Microsoft Word files into this program, which minimizes the time you need to transfer information and increases your editing possibilities. The program also lets you make changes to existing PDF files and even allows you to export InDesign files to PDF.

Graphic Design

InDesign is commonly grouped with Photoshop and Illustrator as part of Adobe's creative suite, and they are intended to be used in conjunction with each other. Unfortunately, that means InDesign's photo editing tools are practically nonexistent. You can use limited vector graphics tools and basic effects tools for transparencies, gradients, text on a path, 3D effects and quick shapes, but you can't adjust image color or remove blemishes like red eye in your images. Fortunately, you can remove white space from an image, which makes it easier to format when you have wrap-around text. If you want a program with more photo editing tools, consider Xara Page & Layout Designer

Typography & Templates

With any InDesign subscription, you get access to Adobe Typekit, a living library that houses more than 500 fonts. This publishing software has its own word processor, so you can edit your text to look the way you want within the program. You can also use a spell-checker and fine-tune spacing between letters and words by adjusting kerning and tracking. Using format styles, you can easily repeat the same typographic look on multiple text boxes. In addition, you can create and edit tables in this publisher program; however, you cannot create charts and graphs unless you download more content.

Many other desktop publishers provide clip art and templates. However, Adobe places a dollar amount on these assets. So, even though there are literally millions more assets available through Adobe Stock than through any other desktop publisher, you must pay extra to access them. If you have a large business, this might not be a problem, but for the average user, it can be very expensive.

What’s New in InDesign CC 20e19?

Adobe made a lot of small changes to its software in this update, but there were a few big ones that really stuck out to us. InDesign’s new Content-Aware Fit tool helps designers by automatically resizing and fitting images within frames. It does this using Adobe Sensei technology, which identifies an image's main focus so it can maintain it while intelligently placing the image in any frame.

Another new, extraordinary feature is the Layout Adjustment tool. Say you’ve been working with an 8.5 x 11-inch template and you’ve been told you need to change it to a 10 x 10-inch template. Layout Adjustment automatically makes changes throughout your document to match the new template size. It can re-adjust images, text and other formatting. You definitely have to tweak things a bit to get everything to look just right, but this new feature is a huge time-saver.

We also loved the new Global Editing feature, which allows you to make changes to like elements at the same time. For example, say you have a logo dappling your document. Using Global Editing, you can make color, shape or stroke changes to one logo and the changes will show up on all the similar logos throughout the document.

Help & Support

One of the best things about using any Adobe product is the amount of support available to you. There are thousands of online tutorials, both from Adobe and from experienced users, so it's easy to find a video to help you achieve a specific goal. There is also a vast and lively user forum where you can get answers to questions and find hundreds of other users like yourself. Should you need to contact the company, you can do so via telephone or live chat.

Adobe InDesign CC is one of the best desktop publishing programs on the market. However, it isn't set up intuitively and the average beginner will find it difficult to use. Still, if you take the time to learn how to use this software, you can quickly create professional-caliber documents.