Basics

What is InDesign and who is it for?

A professional page layout application for print and digital publishing, Adobe InDesign lets you design, preflight, and publish a broad range of content for print, web, and tablet apps. It offers precise control over typography, built in creative tools, an intuitive design environment, and tight integration with Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Acrobat, and Adobe Animate.

InDesign is built for designers, prepress and production professionals, and print service providers who work for magazines, design firms, advertising agencies, newspapers, book publishers, and retail/catalog companies, as well as in corporate design, commercial printing, and other leading-edge publishing environments. Learn more about InDesign.

And because InDesign is part of Adobe Creative Cloud, you get access to all the latest updates and future releases the moment they’re available. With a Creative Cloud All Apps plan, you can also access Adobe Digital Publishing Suite, Single Edition* from within InDesign to design and package unlimited single-edition iPad apps for submission to the Apple App Store. Learn more about Creative Cloud.

Where can I learn more about new features?

See the What's New page for details.

How does InDesign compare with earlier versions?

Check out the InDesign version comparison.

How does InDesign integrate with other Adobe products?

InDesign tightly integrates with Photoshop, Illustrator, Acrobat DC Pro, InCopy, and Flash Professional. InDesign shares a common user interface, commands, panels, and tools with Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash Professional, and InCopy, so it’s easy to apply what you know about one program when you’re learning another, and to move efficiently from program to program. Because you can import native Photoshop and Illustrator files, it’s easier to lay out, enhance, and update graphics. Native support for PDF files gives you reliable, consistent output whether you publish to print, the web, or devices. Strong integration between InDesign and Flash Professional means you can hand off your page layouts with great fidelity and maintain animation, sound, and video files placed in your documents. In addition, InDesign and InCopy work together to provide robust editorial workflow management for small creative teams.

Does InDesign work with Adobe Experience Manager Mobile (formerly Digital Publishing solution)?

Yes, you can access. create, and upload fixed-layout content from InDesign to Experience Manager Mobile. AEM Mobile enables design and creative teams to easily create beautiful mobile apps without writing code, and is an enterprise solution available through a separate subscription. Learn more about Adobe Experience Manager Mobile.

What is the InDesign family of products?

InDesign leads an integrated publishing family that also includes InCopy and InDesign Server. InCopy is a professional writing and editing program that integrates with InDesign to provide collaborative editorial workflows among designers, writers, and editors, and it is also included in a Creative Cloud All Apps plan. InDesign Server brings high-end composition and layout to a server platform, introducing new levels of automation to editorial workflows, collateral creation, data-driven personalized publishing, and template-based web-to-print solutions.

Does InDesign provide a solution for large publishing environments?

Yes. If you require a custom solution built on top of core InDesign technology, systems integrators worldwide can provide publishing systems that are compatible with InCopy and InDesign. Learn more about custom editorial publishing solutions.

Should QuarkXPress users convert to InDesign?

Yes. Publishers from small design firms to major publishing organizations worldwide have adopted InDesign. Supported by a vibrant partner ecosystem, backed by an industry leader, and user inspired, InDesign is the right choice for fast-paced publishing environments.

In what languages can InDesign files be created and shared?

All versions of InDesign share a common file format, so you can open and modify Indic, Japanese, Middle Eastern, Chinese, and Korean layouts in Roman and Indic versions of InDesign, and Roman and Indic files in Japanese, Middle Eastern, Chinese, or Korean versions. However, the Roman versions of InDesign do not have the typographical, layout grid, and frame grid tools for editing Middle Eastern and Asian text that are available in the Japanese, Middle Eastern, Chinese, and Korean versions.

What is InDesign Server?

InDesign Server is a robust, highly flexible, and scalable layout and composition engine that offers the ability to automate the design, layout, and typographical capabilities of InDesign. Based on the same code base as InDesign, it can power many types of automated publishing solutions, including web-to-print, VDP, and editorial workflow solutions, while delivering the same output quality you would expect from InDesign. Most solutions powered by InDesign Server use templates created by designers using the desktop version of InDesign.

How does InDesign differ from InDesign Server?

Although InDesign Server shares its code base with the desktop version of InDesign, there are a number of important differences:

  • InDesign Server is an engine used to power larger automated publishing solutions.
  • InDesign Server is a headless application with no built-in user interface. A customer or solution partner would design a user interface tailored to the automated publishing solution that InDesign Server powers.
  • Like InDesign, InDesign Server can be driven through scripting or C++ plug-ins. However, it can also be driven through a SOAP interface or Java APIs. Additionally, the Flex framework and Adobe Flash Builder (available separately) can be used to build compelling rich Internet applications (RIAs) running within web browsers or as stand-alone clients using the Adobe AIR runtime, with InDesign Server as the scalable and robust back-end server component.
  • Automated publishing solutions powered by InDesign Server can scale as requirements change, with support for multiple instances running on multiple processors.
  • InDesign Server has been rigorously tested to help ensure that it delivers long periods of continuous uptime.
  • InDesign Server has been designed and tested to work on the server versions of Windows and Mac OS, including Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2.
  • InDesign Server is not included in Creative Cloud and must be purchased separately.

For help evaluating whether InDesign Server is the right technology for you, call Adobe Sales at 888-649-2990, or download a trial version by clicking the Try link on the InDesign Server product pages.

Technical questions

What are the minimum system requirements to run InDesign?

See the system requirements for information.

Is InDesign extensible?

Yes. Developers can fully extend and automate InDesign using standard programming technologies including ActionScript, C++, JavaScript, AppleScript, and VBScript. Developers can also sell and distribute their extensions to the entire Creative Cloud install base using Adobe Exchange, which is integrated with InDesign.

The InDesign software development kit (SDK) provides documentation, tools, and sample code to help customize and build InDesign plug-ins. For more information, visit the InDesign Developer Center. Learn more about automating publishing tasks in InDesign with scripting resources.

Can I change the InDesign user interface from dark gray to light gray?

The darker UI in InDesign is set to match other Adobe professional products such as Photoshop, Illustrator, and Adobe Premiere Pro. You can easily change the brightness in the Preferences dialog box: Choose Edit > Preferences > User Interface (Windows) or InDesign > Preferences > User Interface (Mac OS).

Is InDesign compatible with Windows 8.1?

See the system requirements for information.

Is InDesign compatible with Mac OS X Mavericks (v10.9)?

See the system requirements for information.

Free trials

Where can I get a trial version of InDesign?

With a free Creative Cloud membership, you can download a trial version of InDesign — and other applications in Creative Cloud. When you upgrade to an All Apps plan, you’ll be able to download the full version of every Creative Cloud application.

Can I convert my trial version to a paid membership?

If you were prompted to enter your payment details before downloading InDesign, the trial automatically converts to a paid plan after the trial period ends. Otherwise, you can purchase a plan directly from the Creative Cloud website.

Purchasing options

How can I purchase InDesign?

Learn more about purchasing options on the Creative Cloud plans page.

Learning InDesign

How can I get started with InDesign?

Check out InDesign Learn & Support for all you need to get started, with video and step-by-step-tutorials as well as comprehensive product support from Adobe and our knowledgeable community.

Where can I find the manual?

You can find web and PDF versions of the InDesign manual on the InDesign Help page.