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What is Adobe InDesign?

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Quick Answer

Adobe InDesign is a program used to design and produce documents for use in print and online. It combines page layout and compositing functions with typographical controls and image manipulation to produce files for export to computer-to-plate printing systems, websites and other online portals.

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Full Answer

Although often used to design web pages and other online documents, the primary purpose of Adobe InDesign is to design and prepare publications for printing presses. First, graphic designers design a template for a publication. Then typesetters and compositors lay out the publication and import and format text, photos and art. Once the publication is edited, production staff vet the publication, using InDesign to proof colorspaces and color gamuts, insure that all linked art and copy are present, add registration marks and print match proofs to check for print readiness. InDesign then collects publication and supporting files for output or distills high-resolution PDFs or PostScript files to export to computer-to-plate printing engines or other press software.

Adobe InDesign represents an innovation in publications software because it was the first to include more than rudimentary image manipulation capabilities, such as drop shadows, and the ability to link directly to native Photoshop documents. Like other publications software, it has the ability to integrate with other Adobe software, such as Illustrator and Acrobat, to provide a single design environment.

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