Lessons 1 & 2 (Interactive PDFs)

So today I started on InDesign CC: Interactive Document Fundamentals and went through the basic starting videos of setting up my workspace in InDesign.

Whenever you create a new document in InDesign, the default workspace is “Essentials”, but I created a custom one based off the “Interactive for PDF” workspace to create “Interactive Documents.”

There are quite a few more panels in the workspace I created than there are in the “Essentials.” As I go through each video, I’m starting to realize more and more how beneficial it is to create your own workspace to fit what you are doing. It makes it easier and more efficient when creating documents.

Finally, I went through creating a new document with a Digital Publishing intent in the New Document dialog box, which is the second dropdown box. I created the document by setting the margins then created 12 columns with a 16 px Gutter.

In Lesson 2, I didn’t really go through any exercise documents, but we went through the strengths and weaknesses of creating PDFs. The strengths of creating PDFs are the design control, simple workflow, can be viewed anywhere, and the interactivity. The weaknesses are mobile app support (some mobile devices don’t support certain functions in PDFs), no responsive design (it’s a fixed layout), and limited options for selling (iPads, iBooks use ePUB while Kindle uses .mobi or KF8).

PDFs can be created in a number of different programs such as Microsoft Word, Acrobat and Illustrator, but InDesign is just as effective.

One thing I never even considered that InDesign could do is create presentation that are usually created in Keynote or PowerPoint. The advantages of using InDesign, as opposed to Keynote or PowerPoint, are: using InDesign tools, create something unique (after a while different layouts in Keynote and PowerPoint can start to seem ubiquitous), works anywhere, self-contained and portable (files are smaller), interactivity and media. But just as there are advantages there are also disadvantages like lack of animation support, basic transitions, and more complicated and time-consuming.

I could live without flashy animations and transitions, and think that overall putting in the time could be beneficial in the long run depending on what you’re making the presentation for.