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Hey buddy, what's your problem? No, wait, we're not trying to be obnoxious; we really do want to know what your problem is—well, as long as it involves Adobe InDesign. After all, that is our job: listening to problems and coming up with breakthrough solutions.

In fact, we've spent much of the past couple of years listening to seminar attendees talk about their problems, teaching new and advanced users, working with clients, reading online InDesign forums, and talking with other InDesign trainers. We discovered that there are certain questions that are asked over and over again—questions about importing Microsoft Word documents, putting guides on master pages, using transparency effects, printing and exporting PDF files . . .

This book is a compendium of those commonly encountered problems, and—more importantly—their solutions! Some solutions are simple, such as pointing out a feature that you might never have known about. Other solutions are complex, requiring multi-step procedures and waving witchbane around your head while standing on one foot.

A few solutions involve problems with InDesign CS which were fixed in InDesign CS2, while some are more concerned with new problems that popped up in this most recent version. Most of the solutions in this book are applicable to both CS and CS2.

Of course, with all this talk about problems and solutions, you might get the feeling that we think InDesign is buggy or causes headaches. No way: We love InDesign and it is among the most stable, functional pieces of software we own. But we've been around long enough to know that all software has bugs—and they usually bite you just before a big deadline. And every major application can cause you to reach for the Ibuprofen at the end of a long day.

InDesign is the best page-layout software we've ever used (and we've used a lot of them), but if you don't encounter any frustrations with it, then you're just not working hard enough.

How to Read This Book

As much as we'd love to fly out to [insert name of your city here] and sit by your side as you work, we just can't right now. That's where this book comes in: Each chapter of this book covers an area we know people have problems with—text, for instance, or exporting PDF files. We don't expect you to read the whole thing cover to cover. Rather, skip around the book, gathering what you need when you need it.

You might strategically leave this book wherever you go when you have a major problem: For David, it's next to the refrigerator. Anne-Marie prefers the deck where she can face away from her office.

For More Information

Note that we have no intention of this book covering every feature in InDesign. Sure, we cover a lot of ground, and we take an in-depth look at some areas that often cause confusion with users. But we expect that you'll use this book in conjunction with other resources on InDesign. For example, we don't cover how to script InDesign or import/export XML. Fortunately, there are other resources out there. Here's a few places you can go for more information.

  • Real World Adobe InDesign CS2. While we are a bit biased (this book was written by David Blatner and our friend Olav Martin Kvern), this is also the book recommended by members of the InDesign development team at Adobe.

  • Adobe InDesign CS2 Visual QuickStart Guide. Sandee Cohen offers a wonderful step-by-step introduction to InDesign. We tend to like this better than the Adobe InDesign Classroom in a Book, though that one is good, too.

  • Adobe InDesign Web Site. Most corporate Web sites are filled with marketing materials. You'll find plenty of that at Adobe, but it's alongside excellent useful information, too. It's definitely worth a trip to www.adobe.com/products/indesign. Also, the answers to many of your most puzzling InDesign questions can often be answered by the knowledgeable and helpful volunteers in the InDesign User to User Forums at www.adobe.com/support/forums/main.html

  • InDesign Magazine. There's only one magazine in the English language that focuses solely on InDesign issues. Creativepro.com, in conjunction with our own David Blatner, launched InDesign Magazine in July, 2004. The PDF-based magazine is packed with in-depth features, reviews, and tutorials. You can find more information at www.indesignmag.com

  • InDesign Users Groups. At the time of this writing, there are InDesign Users Groups in San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, Atlanta, Portland, Reno, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Boston, Tampa, Washington, DC, New York City, and Melbourne, Australia; we expect more soon. See www.indesignusergroup.com to see if you've got one near you.


Just like our bubbe used to say: It takes a village to write a book. We'd like to give special thanks to a few of our favorite Village People who helped us turn a quivering mass of digital notes into the book you're now holding.

First, many thanks to the folks at Adobe who produced a great product and have helped support this book, including Will Eisley, Michael Wallen, Chad Siegel, Mark Neimann-Ross, Dov Isaacs, Thomas Phinney, Olav Martin “Ole” Kvern, Eric Menninga, Matt Phillips, Tom Petrillo, Patty Thompson, Nick Hodge, Paul Sorrick, Zak Williamson, Tim Cole, Molly Ruf, and Whitney McCleary.

Thanks to Peachpit publisher Nancy Ruenzel, who liked the idea of making this the first Blatner Books title. To our editor, Nancy Davis, for her extraordinary patience and (usually) gentle nudges to get it done. And to Lisa Brazieal for her astonishing calm in the face of chaos. To Pamela Pfiffner, our champion embedded inside the Peachpit fortress. To Don Sellers, for his excellent copyediting and proofing and to Jeff Tolbert for his blindingly fast production work and design sense. And to Caroline Parks, our indexer extraordinaire.

Our sincere appreciation goes to Sandee “Vector Babe” Cohen, Joe Grossman, Clint Funk, Scott Citron, Steve Werner, Diane “DTP no haha” Burns, Eda Warren, Cari Jansen, Peter Truskier, Jim Birkenseer, Branislav Milic, Chris Murphy, the InDesign beta testers, and participants in the BlueWorld InDesign mail list and the InDesign User to User Forums.

David: “My profound admiration and gratitude goes to my patient wife, Debbie, and to our sons Gabriel and Daniel, who encourage me to stop, breathe, and play. And thanks to Ted Falcon and Ruth Neuwald Falcon, for lunch, inspiration, and humor.”

Anne-Marie: “I couldn't have done this without the enthusiastic support and abiding patience of my StudioB agent, Lynn Haller; and of my clients, DesignGeek readers, colleagues, family and friends. Thank you!”

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