Photo: Adobe

It’s become pretty much standard that every June we anxiously await the latest product announcements from Adobe—and this year, it didn’t disappoint, announcing a number of new product updates.

Since our focus is on publishing, we generally are most interested in layout and design products, but don’t let that stop you from checking out these other cool updates. Everything is available in Creative Cloud now, and that includes more collaboration tools and the ability to work wherever, whenever, across multiple devices.

Adobe Stock

A new addition to your Creative Cloud, Adobe Stock “offers 40 million high-quality, curated photos and graphics to jump-start your creative projects.” You’ll be able to access and purchase directly from within your apps. Image prices start at $9.99, with packages ranging from $29.99 to $199.99 per month.

What’s New in InDesign

There’s a lot to sift through in the various updates, but here’s what you can expect from InDesign CC 2015 (check out our new handbook, Using Adobe InDesign CC 2015, to learn about these new features in more detail):

Publish Online

Yes, they really mean it. This new feature allows you to publish your InDesign documents online for others to view on multiple platforms. This feature publishes your current InDesign document out to an Adobe server and then provides you with a URL that can be shared with others and used to access your published content. This includes the ability to share the URL via email, Facebook, and other social networking sites. You can also choose the option to share the document directly through your Facebook account. Your work can then be viewed in a web browser or in Facebook on a computer, phone, or tablet. Documents can be multipage and even include animation, audio, and video. This is an exciting new technology that is in the preliminary stage of development—and it’s just the beginning. We’re looking forward to future enhancements.

Improved CC Libraries

Oh my! CC Libraries can now store several new categories of assets, including Color Themes, Paragraph Styles, and Character Styles (which replaces the Text styles from the previous version). Each of these panels as well as the Swatches panel have an “Add to my current CC Library” button that lets you add the selected asset(s) directly to the corresponding categories in your current CC Library. The New Character Style, New Paragraph Style, and New Color Swatch dialog boxes have an option to add all new styles and swatches automatically to a selected or new library. Assets selected on a page can be added by clicking on one of the activated buttons on the bottom of the CC Library panel. Character and Paragraph styles added to the library and then applied in another document will add these new styles to the respective panels and include any nested or “based on” styles from the original style definitions.

Graphics created in applications other than InDesign and placed from CC Libraries are handled as linked assets that are listed in the Links panel. If the asset was created in InDesign, it will be placed as an InDesign snippet, not as a linked object. Assets can be linked to either the original file or to the asset in the CC Library, and can be modified and then updated in both the CC Library and the document where they’ve been placed.

Paragraph Shading

We’ve waited a long time for this one! The Paragraph Shading feature lets users add shading behind a paragraph. The shading can be used as a tool to highlight a paragraph while a document is still being edited, or it can emphasize a particular paragraph in final published documents. Because paragraph shading is applied through paragraph formatting, it allows the shaded area to expand or collapse as the text is increased or decreased during editing. Parameters can be set in the Paragraph Shading dialog to specify the color and tint, the location for the top and bottom edges, the width of the shading, and any desired offsets. There is also a Clip to Frame option that clips the shading at the edges of non-rectangular frames. Paragraph shading is ignored during printing or export when the Do Not Print or Export option is chosen. This is great for many applications, including proofing, forms or repetitive-style documents, and more.

Graphic Cells in Tables

Anchors away! Images can now be placed directly into the cells of a table. Tables can be created with both text and graphic cells. Previously, a graphic had to be added to a cell as an inline-anchored object, which was very inconvenient, especially during edits to the table. With the new graphic cells, it is easier to place and then edit images. Resizing a table, columns, or rows affects the size of graphic cells just as it does with text cells. Big time-saver!

PDF Export Viewing Options

Better views. The PDF Export dialog now includes Acrobat view setting options for PDFs exported from InDesign so you can specify the default view of a PDF when users first open it. The initial view can be set to actual size, fit page, width, height, or visible, or 25%, 50%, 75%, or 100%. The initial layout can be chosen from options including single page, single-page continuous, two up, and two-up continuous. You can also choose to have your PDF open in full-screen mode.

Document Drawing Performance Improvements

Who doesn’t love faster? Although geared toward users working on HiDPI displays, the InDesign document-drawing performance improvements are beneficial to users working on standard displays as well. Enhancements have been made in the following areas:
• Zoom in and zoom out
• Scroll using the mouse wheel or Page up and Page down keys
• Generate page thumbnail in Pages panel

Learn about these features and more in Technology for Publishing’s latest handbook edition, Using Adobe InDesign CC 2015.

Note: According to a post from, unless you turn the feature off, installing InDesign CC 2015 will by default uninstall previous InDesign CC versions. If you want to keep previous versions installed, you have to click on the arrow next to Advanced Options (to view those options) and then uncheck “Remove Old Versions”. Also see Adobe’s Before You Upgrade to Creative Cloud 2015 page for more details.

We have lots of useful info to help you in your creative role: Check out our weekly tips blog every Tuesday, as well as highlights of interesting and noteworthy stories from the publishing world every Friday.

Also sign up for our industry newsletters TFP’s This Week in Publishing, Media Metrics, and Publishing Innovations. Think we missed something great? Let us know! Leave a comment below or drop us a note.

Posted by: Monica Murphy

Monica Murphy has worked in the publishing industry for over 30 years supporting publishing operations of various sizes. In her role as Technical Product Manager for Technology for Publishing, she shares her publishing application expertise supporting a broad range of publishing clients in InDesign best practices, cross-platform content workflows, and InDesign Template strategies. Her weekly tip and blog posts have a committed following in the InDesign community, and as a long-time participant in the InDesign pre-release community, she regularly analyzes and provides feedback for upcoming features. Monica manages the authoring and publication of Technology for Publishing’s handbooks on InDesign, InCopy, and other associated titles.