InDesign: Friend or foe?

Adobe creates products that are user friendly, if one has experience in using that interface.  InDesign is no exception.

Upon having experience with Adobe products, such as Photoshop and Premiere Pro, I thought that I would adjust easily to InDesign, but my adjustment to the program was not as smooth as I hoped it would be.

  1.  InDesign vs. other programs

One of the most common interfaces InDesign is compared to is Microsoft Office Word.  Though Word has significantly less features, InDesign can prove to be bulky, as some of the features that are so user-friendly on Word are not on InDesign.

Word makes editing documents easy with its straight-forward ribbon with text categories and subcategories.  When one adds a picture, two subcategories automatically appear with shortcuts to all of Word’s photo editing tools.  InDesign has features similar to this but not in such a user-friendly manner.

If one wanted to create a border, as I wanted to, one must either look it up and watch YouTube videos or drag lines in each corner that are not guaranteed to be straight.  (I did the subsequent because the lines for my borders need to be different colors.)  In Word, however, borders are an easily accessible and doable thing that can be applied to the whole document.

  1. Unity among pages

This brings me to my next altercation with InDesign, unity among pages.  When applying the border, as I could easily do on Word, it was very challenging to do to the whole document.  I had to drag lines on each page or copy existing lines to create the look I wanted.  This was a major hassle, considering the ease I am used to on programs such as Microsoft Office Word.

I want my newsletter to look unified as it is supposed to be a fluid design and InDesign gives you the unfortunate flexibility to create whatever you want on each page.

A disjointed newsletter. Photo source:

A disjointed newsletter.
Photo source:

  1. Text box obsession

This last critique is one I have when comparing Photoshop to InDesign.  I absolutely hate that one must always create a shape in order to add text.  In Photoshop, I can simply click anywhere I would like to create text and drag it easily.  I would need to be on the text tool to edit it, otherwise it was an easily movable entity.

In InDesign, I still have the ease of moving the text, but I am constantly obligated to create boxes for said text.  This results in a bulky layout in which I can constantly click and move wrong shapes.  Photoshop has the convenience of multiple layers that keep my shapes organized that I wish InDesign had.

InDesign is a good interface for creating a newsletter, but one must be willing to dedicate an excessive amount of extra time watching YouTube videos to gain the experience level competent enough to use the interface.


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