InDesign Tutorial: What's New in Adobe InDesign?

InDesign CS5 book
Adobe InDesign introduces some significant changes to an already amazing page layout application. This tutorial shows you what's new in InDesign CS5 so you can benefit from these changes immediately.
What you'll learn in this lesson:
  • Using the Mini Bridge panel
  • Implementing Metadata captions
  • Drawing multiple frames in a grid
  • Exploring the Animation features

Starting up in InDesign CS5

This lesson provides an overview of the new or modified features in InDesign CS5 and does not require any lesson files.

Design and Layout in InDesign

Some great new options have been introduced in InDesign CS5 that make it much easier to layout your document and design more freely.

Mini Bridge

Since Adobe Bridge was introduced back in the original release of the Creative Suite, it has become a powerful tool for searching, navigating, and placing content into other Adobe and non-Adobe applications. InDesign CS5 introduces the Mini Bridge. Instead of switching to a completely separate application to browse and view files, a separate panel called Mini Bridge has been added that alleviates the need to exit InDesign to view and place files.

Mini Bridge

Mini Bridge allows you to view and place files directly from a panel within InDesign CS5.

Mini Bridge allows you to control the size of the image thumbnails and also allows you to place files directly from the Mini Bridge panel as illustrated in the figure above. Both the Bridge and Mini Bridge also allow you to see multiple pages of an InDesign file as well.

Bridge Enhancements

Bridge now can preview the first several pages of an InDesign document. In prior versions of InDesign, only an InDesign template provided page previews within Bridge, but now normal InDesign documents can be previewed. By default, InDesign writes previews for the first two pages of a document. By going to the File Handling section of the Preferences dialog box, you can increase the number of pages that a preview is generated for within InDesign.

Another very useful feature that has been added is the ability to view files that are linked to the selected InDesign document with the Adobe Bridge. This allows you to quickly see any files that are linked to the selected file in the Metadata panel under the Linked files category. Note, this section will not display for older versions of InDesign or for a document that contains no linked images.

Mini Bridge in InDesign CS5

The Bridge provides a convenient way to see files
that are linked in an InDesign CS5 document.

Metadata Captions

InDesign CS5 takes full advantage of the ability to view and utilize metadata that is embedded within a graphic file. When a graphic is placed in an InDesign CS5 document, you can right-click (Windows) or Ctrl+click (Mac OS) and choose Captions > Generate Live Caption or Generate Static Caption. A Live Caption will update when the metadata of the file updates, where a Static Caption will pull the current content of the caption for one-time use. You can determine which metadata field that InDesign uses as well as other options by right-clicking (Windows) or Ctrl+clicking (Mac OS) and choosing Captions > Caption Setup.

Metadata captions in InDesign

Choosing Static Caption from the contextual menu. The resulting caption extracted from the Description field of
the image’s metadata.

Draw multiple frames in a grid

When drawing with any of the frame-based tools, you can divide a frame up into a grid of frames easily using the new gridified tools. For example, click and drag with the text tool to begin drawing a frame, while dragging with the mouse, press the left and right arrow keys on the keyboard to add or remove the number of columns that are being drawn. Furthermore, press the up and down arrow keys to add or remove rows from the number of rows being drawn. This works with the Rectangle and Rectangle Frame tools as well.

Multiple frames in a grid

The new gridified tools allow you to draw multiple frames with a single drag of the mouse.

The new Super step-and-repeat works in a similar fashion as the gridified tools. With an object (frame) selected, press the Alt (Windows) or Option (Mac OS) key and begin dragging the object. Release the modifier key and press the right arrow key on your keyboard to add to the number of columns that are created and use the up arrow key to add to the number of rows that are created.

Super step-and-repeat feature

Super step-and-repeat allows you to visually step and repeat objects in a layout.


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InDesign Tutorial

Learn InDesign with this Adobe InDesign Tutorial based on the book written by AGI's Adobe Certified Instructors and used in AGI's Adobe InDesign training classes. This InDesign tutorial is provided free of charge for you to learn InDesign on your own and to see the quality of the InDesign book, InDesign training, and InDesign tutorials created by AGI. To learn InDesign with the help of one of our expert instructors please visit AGI's training website. If you are interested in buying this InDesign training book you can buy it on-line at or at your favorite local book store. The team at AGI hopes that you find this Adobe InDesign tutorial a useful way to learn InDesign.