Los Angeles InDesign User Group

What's New in InDesign CC 2014 and Muse CC 2014

Thursday, September 18, 2014

REAL Creative Space, Westchester, California

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By Alvin Takamori


The September meeting of the nomadic Los Angeles InDesign User Group took place at REAL Creative Space. It’s a cozy facility just north of LAX, where Kathleen Marinaccio and Tina Cho do valuable work helping to promote the arts. They have educational programs like creative workshops and kids camps, and their facility is available to be rented on an hourly or daily basis for meetings or just to have a temporary workspace.



What's New in InDesign CC 2014


The LAID meeting began with the usual logistics. The real substance started with a presentation on the latest features in Adobe InDesign from our co-manager DeShawn Burton. He said that upgrades in software can be categorized either as new features or improvements to help users be more productive, and then provided historical perspective on the program’s evolution. There was a time when it took two days to rip a four-page 11”x17” document. Since then, the program has under gone numerous upgrades, most of which, initially, were designed to improve the printing process. These ranged from the ability to handle transparency to pre-flighting documents. Then there were features added like table creation and more layers. Later, features were added in response to tablets and smart phones, such as fitting controls, alternate layouts and PDF output.


It has all led to the development of a mature software program and to what DeShawn refers to as TBPE. Is this a secret acronym from Adobe? No, it’s Mr. Burton’s abbreviation to drive home his opinion that InDesign has evolved into, “The Best Program Ever.”


Here are some of the latest features that support his opinion. Adobe InDesign supports QR codes. What’s that? Quick Response codes are those black and white pixilated-looking squares that are showing up on more and more products. They are similar to bar codes, but carry a lot more information. The code can contain website information, tracking information, business contact information, coupons, etc. All a person has to do to capture this information is scan the code with their camera on a mobile device or their smartphone then run it through a reader.


InDesign now has synchronized settings for workspaces. When you have all your tools and panels set up where you like them on the desktop, you can save the arrangement and then jump to another computer and recall that same workspace.


Other new improvements include, instant font previews, EPUB interactivity, scaling of effects, enhanced footnotes and searching. There is also integration with Behance. If you have a set of colors that you created for an Illustrator project that you’d like to use in InDesign, you can import them using color groups. How would you like to go into a table and take a column and move it and all the information within that column, over to another location in the table. Now you can and you can move rows with their information too.


If you want more details about any of these upgrades and more, go here.



What's New in Muse CC 2014


After a break for cookies, chips and water, we were privileged to learn about Adobe Muse from Chana Messer, who has spent a career teaching others at UCLA, USC, Walt Disney Company, and a couple of Adobe Certified Learning centers. She began with some valuable commentary. Knowledge about how to use a program like InDesign, doesn’t make a person a designer. Software is just another tool and it still requires a skilled designer to use it, in order to create good design.


As an aside, Chana noted that Adobe Exchange is a great source for add-ons for all Adobe programs. You can also go to AdobeTV.com or use Behance to connect to the Adobe community and become more educated about Adobe products.


Chana opened a new site in Muse to show us some features. The master page is like a map, where you can plan a website. You create all the pages of the site and how they link to each other. It’s easy to rearrange and edit the pages too.


This year, Adobe Muse was updated so that its user interface more closely resembles other Adobe programs. The Muse preferences open up the same way they do in other Adobe programs. If you look at the color and swatch panels, they now look familiar, because they are the same as panels in other programs. Some features, like widgets, rollover and layers have been enhanced. Elements from one page can be dragged and dropped onto another page. Swatches can be loaded from other applications.


A new feature is in-browser editing of content. You could give another login to someone, like a client, and allow them to change the content of a file, while they look at it in a browser. Also, Muse websites can now be published anywhere. They’re no longer restricted to Adobe hosting. Upload using any FTP you want. When you package jobs to publishers, they auto save as a PDF, but you have the option to save to iDML.


Chana wrapped up by making it clear that the program has its limits. Muse is an application for designers who want to create websites, but don’t want to deal with code. In you want to set up a website with shopping carts, chance are, Muse wouldn’t be your program of choice.



Raffle Prize Winners


Following the two presentations came the distribution of goodies. Tom Luth picked up a ticket to the next LA Web Professionals meeting. Azenith Gueco traveled all the way from Temecula and was rewarded with a one-year subscription to InDesign magazine. Azenith was also a raffle winner and took home a book, Adobe InDesign CC, The Professional Portfolio.


Other lucky raffle prize winners from the Los Angeles InDesign User Group September meeting included Hannah G. Kim who won the book Adobe Creative Suite 5 Design Premium How-Tos; Chantelle Whong and Kelli Fenn-Troc, who each won a Fotolia subscription for three months; Trish Weber Hall, who won a Stock Layouts subscription for three months and ColliderScribe for Illustrator from Astute Graphics; Kelvin Mac, who won an eDocker CREATE! subscription for six months and Stylism for Illustrator from Astute Graphics; Scott Rovin, who won an iDML iPAD App for iPAD from DTP Tools; Karen Lemieux, who won Font Agent Pro 6 for Mac from Insider Software and Barbara Fier, who won both FlightCheck 7 for Mac from Markzware and in5 from Ajar Productions.



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