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Thinking outside the page with InDesign CS5

By Abbie Yarger

In his second session of the morning, “Creating Interactivity with InDesign CS5,” Keith Gilbert offered a hands-on glimpse of the easy-to-use tools offered with Adobe InDesign CS5.

The newest edition of the software encourages designers to think outside the page, and instead look at InDesign as a means to create layouts for anything, especially technologies that allow their publications to be read on a screen, like the iPad. The intuitive format of CS5 gives designers the tools to do this by exporting their files into numerous outputs including PDF, SWF, ePUB, HTML and more.

There is a bit of a catch with the new technology, however, as not all of the interactive features, such as video and animation, are entirely compatible with all of the output types. This is something that will likely be fleshed out in future versions of the software, as Gibert only sees an increase in the amount of these types of features. But regardless of the current limitations, the benefits and possibilities presented by interactive tools are enough to get designers excited to play around in CS5.

Most designers aren’t incredibly “techy,” as Gilbert puts it, so the more technical features of CS5 are easy for the right-brained creative types to figure out.  Simple animation and timing tools add a rich experience and enhance the skill sets designers already have. Using these features brings finished pages to a whole new level that maintains the level of design excellence we know and love, while providing an engrossing experience for readers. With CS5, Gilbert explains, “the sky is the limit.”