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InDesign CC 2017 Review and New Features

  • Published on November 9, 2016
InDesign CC 2017 Review and New Features

With updates  to the Creative Cloud apps it is a good opportunity for AGI to provide an InDesign CC 2017 review and new features overview. If you already have a subscription to the CC apps, it likely makes sense to get the latest version of the Creative Cloud, as InDesign makes it difficult to share files with users of older versions of the app.  Because of this, even if you don’t need the features added with InDesign CC 2017, if you share InDesign files with others for collaboration or workflow, you will still want to update to the latest version.

Adobe’s InDesign CC 2017 new features are what you might expect from an application that has been around for more than a decade. They are minor enhancements rather than significant changes. They range from working with footnotes and certain types of fonts, to minor changes relating to the way InDesign can handle a list of numbers such as 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. These functions are likely to appear in the most advanced of our InDesign training classes, and will have little impact on new users to InDesign. We review InDesign CC 2017 new features here:

Footnotes in InDesign CC 2017

Traditionally footnotes were placed under a column, and InDesign CC 2017 lets designers place footnotes that run across the entire page, across several columns. This formatting can be applied to individual pages or to all pages in a document. The new option is enabled by selecting the checkbox Span Footnotes Across Columns located in the Document Footnote Options dialog box. The new default option is for footnotes to be placed across multiple columns when creating new documents, which is a change in the InDesign footnote functionality. Existing documents retain the default setting of placing footnotes at the bottom of a column and only across the width of the column.

OpenTyle with InDesign CC 2017  

InDesign has supported the use of OpenType fonts for more than a decade. What’s new in InDesign CC 2017 is that a small icon is added to the bottom of a text frame to access OpenType options. With in-ports and out-ports for linking text, options for scaling a frame, adjusting rounded corners, this is just another thing to accidentally click within the text frame. The InDesign designers could benefit from some UX training to make their interface less cluttered and allow designers to focus on their core page-layout tasks. Rather than placing these in a context-only menu (right click), the option to apply OpenType sits at the bottom of the text frame. Another change with InDesign CC 2017 is that OpenType stylistic sets will display the name assigned by the designer rather than the generic name of Set 1 or Set 2, as had been used previously by InDesign.

Ordinals and Ligatures with InDesign CC 2017

Ordinals are numbers such as 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. When selecting an ordinal in an InDesign CC 2017 document, it provides the opportunity to apply an Ordinal property, positioning the letters above the numbers. This is similar to the way InDesign makes it possible to more easily format fractions. In a similar change, InDesign CC 2017 offers context options for handling ligatures. Ligatures are pairs of characters that a type designer has indicated should be joined together, such as the letters f and l in the word fly, or s and t in the word street.

InDesign CC 2017 fixes Hyperlinks bugs

InDesign was originally a print design tool, then they later added capabilities for interactivity, including hyperlinks. This makes it easier to define links when designing a document, rather than needing to apply them in Adobe Acrobat or in the HTML code. While InDesign included a hyperlinks panel, it was slow to open and often painful to use due to its poor performance. Adobe has made efforts to improve the speed of the InDesign hyperlinks panel.

Scaling InDesign Arrows Separate from Lines

The pointed tips of arrows in InDesign have been set at a specific value, much like they have in Illustrator, since they first appeared a decade ago. With InDesign CC 2017 the pointed tips of arrows – or arrow heads – can be scaled separately from the line stroke weight. To adjust the thickness of arrowheads separate from the thickness of arrow line in InDesign, use Stroke panel and set the scale value for the arrowhead.

Control Panel changes with InDesign CC 2017

The InDesign control panel runs along the top of the interface, immediately below the menus. The Control Panel can be customized directly from the panel rather than going through the Options menu by clicking the gear icon that has been added to it. The addition of another icon to the already crowded Control Panel is likely to cause more confusion within the interface.

About the author

Christopher Smith is president of American Graphics Institute in Boston, Massachusetts. He is the publisher and editor of the Digital Classroom book series, which have sold more than one million copies. At American Graphics Institute, he provides strategic technology consulting to marketing professionals, publishers and to large technology companies including Google, Apple, Microsoft, and HP. An expert on web analytics and digital marketing, he delivers Google Analytics training along with workshops on digital marketing topics. He is also the author of more than 10 books on electronic publishing tools and technologies, including the Adobe Creative Cloud for Dummies. Christopher did his undergraduate studies the at the University of Minnesota, and then worked for Quark, Inc. prior to joining American Graphics Institute where he has worked for 20 years.