Adobe MAX 2019: Accelerating Your Creativity

During today’s MAX keynote, CEO Shantanu Narayen’s presentation addressed the idea that creativity and collaboration are slowed by the time constraints we all experience. In response, the Adobe Creative Cloud team unveiled numerous time-saving tools and innovations that were being either released today or coming in the near future. Narayen also became nostalgic when speaking of the recent 20th anniversary of InDesign and the strides made by Adobe in the past 30+ years.

Among the product announcements was the release of the iPad version of Adobe Photoshop, the updated Creative Cloud Desktop app and library, the augmented reality app called Adobe Aero, an enhanced version of the painting app Adobe Fresco, and future products like Illustrator for the iPad.

What’s New in InDesign

Throughout the past year, Technology for Publishing has been part of the prerelease program that has been testing new versions of InDesign. Many of the features that have been added were on our wish list!

Here’s a list of what you can expect from Adobe InDesign 2020. (Notice the name change? The “CC” has been dropped.)

Column Rules

Column rules can be automatically added between columns in a multi-column text frame. Column rules can be drawn from the ascent of the top line of text to the descent of the bottom line of text. In the case of an empty text frame with Insert Column Rules on, rules are applied from top inset to bottom inset of text frame. As soon as there is one or more characters in the text frame, column rule is applied from the ascent of the top line to the descent of the bottom line of text in frame, such as a paragraph. To add Column Rules, select the feature in the Text Frame Options dialog (Object>Text Frame Options) or in the Object Style dialog

Find Similar Images

In addition to the feature available in the CC Libraries panel, users can now find similar graphic assets directly from placed graphics in their InDesign layouts. To find similar assets a user can right-click the graphic asset in the InDesign document and choose Find Similar Images, select the graphic asset and choose Edit>Find Similar Images, or  select the graphic asset and click the Find Similar Images button in the Properties panel. InDesign will search in Adobe Stock and the CC Libraries panel. The search can be made more specific by cropping portions of the source asset. Any matching assets will be listed in the CC Libraries panel.

Spell Check Enhancement/Reverse Spell Check

Similar to the Find/Change dialog users now have the ability to change the direction of their search. Users no longer have to worry about skipping a word by mistake and having to cycle through the entire document or story to find that word again. This is a major time-saver, especially when spell checking a text heavy document.

Variable Fonts

InDesign now supports Variable Font, a new Open Type font format supporting custom attributes like weight, width, slant, optical size, etc. Slider controls available when you click in the Control panel, Character panel, Character Styles panel, and Paragraph Styles panel allow a user to change the custom attributes.

Assign Shortcuts to Styles Using Keyboards Without Number Pad

In previous versions of InDesign, both desktop and laptop users who did not have a keyboard with number pad were unable to assign shortcuts to styles. Users now have the ability to assign almost any keyboard shortcut to styles using keyboards without number pads.

Home Screen

In the previous versions, to view the home screen users would have to close all open documents. Now, there is a new Home button that will open the home screen whenever you want. The new icon lets users move between a document and home screen by clicking the arrow button or the InDesign icon.

In addition, menus that were previously part of the app bar (View Options and Screen Mode) have been added to the toolbar.

Creative Cloud Search

The search feature found at the top of the home screen has been improved. As you type, search phrase suggestions begin to appear in a drop-down box, along with previously searched items. The search bar is now displayed in the center of the home screen and displays the matching items from Help/Support, Stock, and the user’s work documents.

Sorting in Links Panel with the Scale Option

The Scale factor in Links panel can now be sorted as numbers. In previous releases, the scale factor was sorted alphabetically, as seen below.

Text Engine Support for South-East Asian Languages

A new text engine, Harfbuzz, is added under World-ready composer. This engine helps improve the rendering of scripts for the following South-East Asian languages: Thai, Burmese, Khmer, Lao and Sinhala.

SVG Import

VG and SVGZ format files can be imported into InDesign and InCopy documents. Previously, SVGs from CC libraries were imported as PNGs in InDesign, but now, these will be imported as SVGs. SVGs, as well as Native Animation (SMIL), are supported by InDesign and can be exported to HTML and ePub. This option is available in both Object Export Options dialog (ePub and HTML Export tab) and the HTML, ePub Export dialogs.

Look for our new handbook, Using Adobe InDesign 2020 coming soon. This handbook will provide detailed explanations of all new features within the context of the overall application, and is a complete guide to all things InDesign.

For InDesign tips and information regarding industry updates, check out our blog and sign up for our newsletters.

Want to learn even more? Check out all our best-selling handbooks, and our new book on Amazon: Mastering InDesign Templates, (available in eBook and paperback).

Note: Information contained in this post is current at the time of posting. Visit the Technology for Publishing News & Events blog for the latest info on Adobe software releases and functionality.

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.