InDesign Remains a Master of Publishing, But Consider the Cost
January 07, 2020

InDesign Remains a Master of Publishing, But Consider the Cost

Courtney Birnbaum | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with Adobe InDesign

Since our transition to full-time Adobe InDesign use in 2017, our publishing group inside the larger company has seen streamlined production, improved quality in graphics produced, and growth in the ability for each team member to contribute to the larger picture of good design and style. We use InDesign every day to prepare magazines and other publications for print and digital distribution, and InDesign continues to offer new assets to our team. As part of InDesign's fuctions, Adobe Typekit — when functioning properly — allows a uniform look no matter which user or computer our designs are viewed on, as we can trust that Adobe's quality fonts are also consistent in appearance for everyone (and the included licensing pleases our legal department as well).
  • Publishing design: The variety of design tools available in InDesign are impressive, helping limit some of the work that needs to be handled in a second program like Photoshop or Illustrator so that we can complete a design sooner. When a second program is necessary, InDesign is also quick to integrate work between Illustrator and Photoshop as well.
  • CSV integration: Comma Separated Values sheets lower our production time in the best way. One InDesign template format with a CSV form can be used to produce the thousands of pages we need each year with the same information for different groups with just a few clicks, instead of the copying and pasting from records that used to be required.
  • InDesign does not seem to have a simple way to combine many files into one book or document that can be used at the same time. Indeed, it unfortunately runs slower the more pages you put into the same document, and if all pages are in one document, the pages cannot be edited by different people at the same time — no group editing option.
  • Most of InDesign's tools work well, and even those that are not as natural to learn, it is simple enough to adapt to using these tools. Selecting objects within groups can be difficult to do without going into the Layers panel, however, and I believe the most difficult feature that I used the most often is the guides tool, which could definitely use better functionality in setup, adjustment and having objects snap to them.
  • Adobe InDesign has allowed us to tackle more projects in the same amount of time because of how well it integrates into our group's workflow.
  • For awhile, we struggled only with a slowdown in digital guides. Because, as I mentioned earlier, there is not a clear way to combine individual documents into one document quickly, some editors were forced to spend a long time transferring each page into the final document that would be used with Publish Online. We have since found a workaround that does not include using Publish Online.
Adobe InDesign, QuarkXPress and Affinity Publisher work similarly in the big picture. The newest on the market, Affinity Publisher takes many cues from its predecessors but still remains a less sleek product. Still, I use Publisher on my own and find it to have great functionality and potential. QuarkXPress was the previous choice of my current employer, and it is beloved by many in my office still. Quark and InDesign are almost identical in use, but it was Adobe's connected perks that finally convinced the decision-makers to make the switch; Typekit and interactive functionality like Publish Online do not have a match on QuarkXPress or Affinity Publisher. The need for other Adobe Creative Cloud products — Photoshop, Illustrator and Acrobat —made InDesign the obvious choice, since we were already paying for it in the Creative Cloud subscription.
In general, Adobe has been good to get back with our employees to discuss our needs or resolve our issues. I am unfamiliar with many specifics on support for my company as a whole, but personally I find Adobe's website to be filled with useful tutorials and other resources. My main holdout would be that I do not get responses when I report an error, and it is especially frustrating to feel that a response is not being issued fast enough when the same error happens repeatedly.

Do you think Adobe InDesign delivers good value for the price?


Are you happy with Adobe InDesign's feature set?


Did Adobe InDesign live up to sales and marketing promises?


Did implementation of Adobe InDesign go as expected?


Would you buy Adobe InDesign again?


InDesign is my preferred tool for publishing, but it is cost prohibitive, and it is not so far above other publishing software options to make it my 10/10 recommendation because of this price issue. For businesses, groups or individuals with 1) heavy software use, 2) ample budget, and 3) nearly constant work to be done, InDesign makes immediate sense. Designers who need web hosting will also find InDesign a great option, because the Publish Online tool is so simple and satisfactory. For those learning to use publishing or who cannot afford the monthly drain that an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription insists upon, another publishing program, such as Affinity Publisher or a free and open source (FOSS) option, would be more appropriate. Other reasons that might make the monthly commitment to Adobe InDesign and its fees unnecessary include if 1) you are only infrequently using layout software and don't use other Adobe products, or 2) you do not need the freedom and customization options and can do the work in a word processing software just as well.