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Version Comparison: Adobe Indesign CS5 vs CS4 vs CS3

March 4, 2014 | By | No Comments

Which Version of Adobe Indesign do you choose?

When I started my career in the publishing area, I started to use the software of Adobe Pagemaker. Now Pagemaker is not the mainstream software. Instead, Adobe Indesign is more and more popular. The newest version of Adobe Indesign is CS6. The plug-in is more and more powerful and the operation is more and more convenient. About the details of the changes for the different versions, please refer to the official website:

Now I want to share some personal experiences about the different versions.

CS3 to CS4: About this version change, I think the change is not very obvious. But there are some functions very useful.

  • Smart Guides: It can make you align the object directly.
  • Proportional place: I don’t know how to comment this function. Sometimes it is very useful when you replace an image as previously aspect ratio. But when you want to new one in the same frame, it may be a real headache. Because you need to set the ratio again.
  • Cross-references: When it is still in CS2, we need to buy a plug-in to make the cross-references. After CS4, it makes the work simple. I think it is the most important function of CS4.
  • Live Preflight: It make us convenient to check the files about the fonts, the links, the text and so on.

CS4 to CS5, CS5.5: I think CS5 is more different with CS4 and CS5.5 is the supplementary of CS5. CS5 and CS5.5 have all the functions of CS4, except their own characteristic. CS5 and CS5.5 are closer and closer to the web publishing. I think these are more useful as below:

  • Multiple page sizes in a single file: Because of the popular of the web, traditional print can’t meet our new needs. More and more manuals or UGs are published on the web. Due to the particularity of the web, the page size is diverse.
  • PDF export in background: I think this function is more friendly. It may save you many times to do other things.

CS5, CS5.5 to CS6: I don’t know how to comment this version. In the traditional printing area, the changes are not useful. But for the face of network publications, these new features are very useful. For example: Ability to export horizontal and vertical layouts from the same Indesign file, Pasting and placing of HTML content and so on. However, I find a few new functions are very useful for the traditional printing.

  • Export of interactive PDF as pages: This function is not only useful for the network publishing, but also for the traditional printing. Sometimes the customers can supply the printing pdf files only. They want to convert the pdf files into the Indesign files. In this situation, this version, CS6, of Adobe Indesign is very convenient. In the past, we should do many works to meet the customers’ needs. This function can save us both the times and the efforts.
  • Middle Eastern language support: I think when you see this function, you will be very happy just like me. Because in the previous versions of Adobe Indesign, there is another language version for Middle Eastern. Although there are many buttons that mentioned on the I can’t find, this menu of Adobe World-Ready composers exists. I tried, and I find it’s OK. But I just tried. I can’t ensure that it won’t make mistakes because the buttons missing.
  • Grayscale PDF export: I just want to say this function for the trouble customers is very useful. Once I received a work and the first request for the work is four-color. Then it changed to grayscale. And then four-color again. I remembered the color of the work has been changed many times. It would be fine if there was such function at that time.

Above, these are my personal views. About which version is better, I think it depends on your need. If your product need be printing, I think CS4 is just OK. If it is published on the web, CS6 is good. Of course, if possible, the higher version, the better.

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