There’s so much to cover when pondering a review of CS4. The number of applications alone is mind boggling. My copy of the CS4 Master Collection includes InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, Acrobat, Flash, Dreamweaver, Fireworks, Contribute, After Effects, Premiere Pro, Soundbooth, OnLocation, Encore, Bridge, Version Cue, Device Central and more.
Think you’ll never use Soundbooth? Think again. I can’t believe how much better the audio sounds on my recordings. No idea what Fireworks and Flash do? It’s time to learn, my friend.
For today, however, I’m going to discuss two features of an application you’re probably already using: InDesign.
The feature that most impresses me in the latest rendition of InDesign is the Preflight. I know, I know: InDesign has always had a great preflight function; however, the gang at Adobe has taken it up a notch or two or three thousand.
Two things stand out about CS4 preflighting. The first is the ability to create your own preflights that look for just about any potential printing problem.
Like previous versions of InDesign, users can search out RGB in images, missing links and more. Now users can select from dozens of potential problems for InDesign to detect before a file goes to print or is converted to PDF. My favorite preflight criteria is the ability to find OPI links in images. You may not know the difference between OPI and LZW, but InDesign knows and will share its knowledge with you before you have a printing issue.
Something else that you will love about InDesign’s new preflight: It provides a continuous preflight as you work. That’s right. There’s a little green light in the bottom corner of InDesign’s desktop. If that light turns red, watch it.
That means you’ve hit a snag. Man, I could have used that ten years ago. To test the new feature, I created a preflight that included the following checks, among others:
- missing links
- OPI information
- RGB images or text
- lab and spot colors
- overprinting of white text
- CID fonts
- missing fonts
- image resolution problems
Next, I created three InDesign documents that each contained some of these issues. Guess what? Yes, InDesign caught them all. Every single error. Every CID font. Every photo with RGB. PDFs with OPI information.
As we’re forced to do from time to time in the South, I had to sit and have a cool drink before looking any further. Not to worry. You’re going to love what I found next.
You’ve seen them: Those cool magazines and newspapers on Web sites that allow you to grab the corner and turn the page. That’s right. You can create a Flash (swf) file that contains everything you need to convert your newspaper to a Web publication in InDesign CS4. I am not lying. I’ve done it myself.
Soon after discovering this incredible treasure, I received a request for advice from an advertising group in New York. The question: Should they purchase a system that would create Flash documents like this of their magazines and other periodicals? I quickly opened a 30-page outline that I give to classes and exported it as a Flash file from InDesign CS4, then uploaded the file to a Web site so they could see it. I received an e-mail a few minutes later: “We just ordered InDesign CS4.”