Top positive review
19 people found this helpful
Excellent especially for new users of InDesign
on 5 May 2009
In order to prevent potential users of this book from being put off by the only other reviewer who gave this book just 1*, I feel I should make the following early observations (although I'm only on chapter 3):
In lesson 2 (p31), you are shown how the Metadata panel in Adobe Bridge can be used to view information about the document, including which version of InDesign was used to create that document. This indicated that the lesson's work file on the CD-ROM was made with version 6 of InDesign, which is CS4. So I didn't suffer the other reviewer's file rejection problem.
I'm not sure which were the `two completely wrong instructions in the text' that upset the other reviewer. What I did find was that in the section in lesson 2 (p33) on using Preflight (the handy utility that monitors your work for potential problems later on), you need to examine the completed work file on the CD, not the start file (which you are working on at that time) in order to spot the errors mentioned in the text. In addition, the text states there are 33 errors when Preflight indicates there are 40. After this, everything seems fine so far.
So why am I giving 5* when I'm only on page 61 (of 406)?
I have previously worked through the InDesign CS2 Classroom in a Book (CIB) on which this CS4 book is based and updated with, thankfully, new work files and a new lesson on `creating rich interactive documents'. This covers (so the Index tells me) adding buttons, page transitions, and hyperlinks, as well as exporting as Adobe PDF or Flash, and converting a print document for online use.
When I was working through the InDesign CS2 CIB I had never used InDesign before. I thought at the time how well written the book was as an instruction manual and really appreciated the real-world examples it used during the lessons.
I've bought many a book and magazine on the strength that it was going to help me achieve something I was having a problem with - frequently only to end up disappointed for some reason. However, whilst reading the CS2 CIB I was able to put the instruction into immediate use as I went along to create a multipage house sale brochure. Stealing layout and formatting ideas from the CIB and using the templates built into Indesign, impressive, professional-looking results came fairly easily. However, I found it helps to know exactly what you wish to write beforehand and then import the text as Word files.
If you're new to InDesign, I'd thoroughly recommend reading the book from the beginning and doing every exercise, or at least from lesson 3 where you create a document from scratch. The CD contains all the files you need. Each chapter is self contained so you could jump around to non-consecutive chapters to read whatever topics are of particular interest to you. This would be useful if you hadn't used the software for a while and needed to brush up on certain areas.
The instruction is thorough without being pedantic, to the point without taking you through mind-numbing menu options, and, as I've already mentioned, the work examples are actually useful, not academic. I voted with my wallet - but then I am a fan of the CIB series.