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10 Years of InDesign

indesign1.jpgWell, who would have guessed? It's been ten years now, since InDesign 1.0 shipped (read the original press release). InDesign 1 included many groundbreaking features unmatched in page-layout products that were available at the time. Such as:

  • Multi-line Text Composer
  • Optical Margin Alignment
  • Hierarchical Master Pages
  • Extensive Multi-lingual support
  • Optical Kerning
  • High-resolution EPS and PDF display
  • Multiple Redo & Undo
  • Zooming from 5% to 4000%
I remember being very excited at that announcement, and could not wait to investigate it. The tag line was: "Page layout and design for the future of professional publishing", now how accurate and forward looking was that?
Sadly, version 1.0 did not answer the immediate needs of my fast paced production environment, so I let it go, and went back back to my usual workflow (and we can all guess what that was).
Just over two years later, on September 24, 2001, Adobe announced InDesign 2.0 (Press Realease), and I got all excited again. So when Adobe Italy started touring the country showcasing it's features in 2002, I took a day off my daily routine to attend one of their events; and this time they had me 100% convinced.
Come on! I mean stuff like:
  • Transparency (drop shadows, feathering, and opacity settings to objects)
  • Support of native files and transparency (transparent Photoshop, Illustrator and PDF files)
  • Table creation features
  • Long document support
  • Etc...
I got myself InDesign 2.0, worked on a rather complex project of 300 pages involving maps, transparencies, multiple languages on layers, and so on... I then took it to the printer, and it did print like a charm. A few weeks later, I sold my licenses of Brand X, got Certified (ACE), and never looked back.
Thank you InDesign, and Happy Birthday, or would one call this an Anniversary? How much you have grown, and how much my life has changed thanks to you.

Feel free to share your experiences of InDesign here.


Happy birthday, InDesign!

C днём рождения!
Long live InDesign!

No software never gave me the satisfaction I got from him ... I hope to see also twenty years later
then i go to happy retirement…

Wonderful! Thank you for the reminder, Rufus. I also wrote up a small article here. It's been a great adventure, and I'm curious to see what the next 10 years brings!

Like I said over at John Nack's blog too: I designed an illustrated book in Indesign 1.0. It crashed quite often, and I had some challenges getting it exported for printing, but I was so excited to use the new features (herarchical master pages, the beautifully composed lines coming from the multi-line composer (especially compared to what I was used to in that other application), multiple undos, native support for psd files! I was in heaven. I don't quite remember: Did v1.0 also save your progress since you last saves automatically, or did that feature come in a later version?

We saw InDesign 1 before it was released and couldn't wait to get ahold of the real deal. We started designing online PDFs for NBC, right away. It was always flawless. We were so used to Photoshop and Illustrator plus we went back to PageMaker 1 and QuarkXPress 3, that we were able to work with ID right away. We were days into designing with ID before we cracked the manual. It was so exciting that we were not going to miss out a moment by needing to read (eventually the manual was worn to pieces because we wanted to know EVERYTHING about it)!

Ooooh I feared the stability issues with version 1.0 but since 2.0 I've been a sure happy guy. It's the first product I've been following from version to version. The flexibility is second to none.

I started with the 1.5 version, switching from PageMaker. Despite the initial fear of losing all my work, I went on and converted a whole collection of books I was working on --and I never regretted.
Congratulations to everyone involved in the making of this great app!

Happy birthday, InDesign.

Working as a layout guy at a daily newspaper at the time, I started to play around already with the version 1 beta. The promises in the initial promo were just so good.

Unfortunately the 1.0 wasn't mature enough to replace The Other App in a production environment. However, I kept watching the progress closely and -- drum roll, please -- with the 2.0 I convinced the management to switch.

I keep thinking that ID is probably one of the coolest success stories in (design) software history. The Other App had such a strong position at the time as an industry standard and it seemed impossible that even Adobe can pull this off, to compete with the market leader. But here we are now, 10 years later ID has turned the layout software market pretty much upside down.

Being fully in the web realm now for several years I haven't used the app for a long time, but I just hope it's gotten only better over time.

Thanks for that cool reminiscence. InDesign on!

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