Looking for a complete listing of what's new in Adobe InDesign CC 2017? Here is a summary of the new features in InDesign across several versions that are sure to make your design projects easier, faster, and more integrated with the rest of Creative Cloud.

InDesign CC 2017

Footnotes that span columns

Details here.

OpenType enhancements

Details here.

In-context menu for text frame selection

Details here.

In-Context support for Ordinals and Ligatures

Details here.

Stylistic sets

Details here.

Hyperlinks panel performance

Details here.

Stroke arrowhead scaling

Details here.

Control Panel customization

Details here.

Panel tab height preference

Details here.

In-app search of Adobe Stock assets

InDesign CC 2015

Cleaner and bigger UI

Details here.

Network file stability

Details here.

GPU Performance (Mac only)

Details here.

Sort Swatches panel

Details here.

PDF language accessibility

Details here.

CC Library Read-only

Details here.

Adobe Stock integration

Details here.

Start  & Recent Files workspace

Details here.

Publish Online

Details here.

Style Override Highlighter

Details here.

Save As dialog default location


Touch workspace for Windows

Details here.

CC Libraries enhancements

Details here.

Paragraph Shading

Details here.

Images in Table Cells

Details here.

Print PDF Export viewing options

Details here.

InDesign CC 2014

CC Libraries

Details here.

Welcome Screen

Details here.

Version Conversion

Details here.

Create New Table

Details here.

Ungroup Remembers Layers

Details here.

Print Current Page

Details here.

Adobe Color Themes panel & tool

Details here.

EPUB enhancements

Details here.

Typekit enhancements

Details here.

Seamless Updates

Details here.

Table improvements

Details here. 

Color Groups

Details here. 

Find Previous

Detaills here.

Behance integration

Details here. 

Improved Packaging

Details here.

QR code data merge

Details here.

Footnote enhancements

Details here.

HiDPI for Windows

Details here.

Scalable effects

Details here.

Tool Hints panel

Details here.

Background Tasks panel

Details here.

InDesign CC


Details here. 

InDesign CS6


Details here. 

InDesign CS5

Multiple page sizes

You can define different page sizes for pages within a single document. This feature is especially useful when you want to manage related designs in one file. For example, you can include business card, postcard, letterhead, and envelope pages in the same document. To create multiple page sizes, use the Page tool to select a page, and then change the settings in the Control panel.

New Layers panel

The new InDesign Layers panel is now more similar to the Illustrator Layers panel. Each layer has a disclosure triangle that can be expanded to reveal the objects and their stacking order on that given layer for the active spread. By default, new page items are given generic names such as <rectangle> and <path>. You can give any page item a custom name by click-pause-clicking the item name in the Layers panel. You can change the stacking order of objects by dragging items in the list. The Layers panel also lets you show or hide and lock or unlock individual page items.

Custom page sizes

Instead of editing a text file to create custom page sizes, you can use the Custom Page Size dialog box to make custom page sizes available when you create documents.

Simplified transformations

InDesign includes several new selection and transformation features that simplify manipulating objects.

Content grabber: The content grabber appears as a circle when you hover over an image using the Selection tool. Use the content grabber to select and move the content of a frame with the Selection tool still selected. This behavior effectively replaces that of the Position tool, which is removed from InDesign CS5. If you rotate the content with the frame, a horizontal line appears in the center of the content grabber. This line mirrors the rotation angle of the content. The content grabber draws over each frame that is part of a group. Use the Selection tool to reposition content within a frame that is part of the group. If you don’t want the content grabber to appear when you hover over an image, choose View > Extras > Hide Content Grabber.

Double-click Frame edge highlighting: InDesign now temporarily draws the frame edges as you use the Selection tool to hover over items on a page. This method makes it easier to find the item you want before you select it. The color of the frame edge drawn matches the color of the layer the object is on. Groups are drawn with a dashed line. This feedback is especially helpful when working in Preview Mode or with Hide Frame Edges selected.

Path and point highlighting: When you hover over a page item with the Direct Selection tool, InDesign displays the path and display the path points. This feedback makes it easier to view the path point you want to manipulate. You no longer have to select the object with the Direct Selection tool and then select the path point. You can simply drag the point you want.

Rotate: As in Illustrator, you don’t have to switch to the Rotate tool to rotate a selected page item. With the Selection tool, you can simply position the pointer just outside a corner handle, and drag to rotate the item. When you stop dragging, the Selection tool remains the active tool.

Transform multiple selected items: You no longer have to group multiple items before you can resize, scale, or rotate them with the Selection tool. Simply select the items you want to transform, and you see a transformation bounding box around the selected items. Dragging a handle resizes the selected elements; holding down Shift resizes them proportionally. Holding down Ctrl (Windows) or Command (Mac OS) scales them. Holding down Ctrl+Shift (Windows) or Command+Shift (Mac OS) scales them proportionally. Including Alt (Windows) or Option (Mac OS) performs the transformations from the center of the selected objects.

Live Screen Drawing: In InDesign CS5, you see the content draw as you drag it. In previous InDesign versions, you pause before dragging to see the content draw. You can change the Live Screen Drawing setting in Interface preferences to use the previous behavior.

Favor the selected object: If you select one of several overlapping page items and begin dragging, the selected object remains selected. To select a different item, simply click a portion of that different item that is not overlapping or intersecting the currently selected item.

Live Distribute: When transforming multiple selected objects, InDesign CS5 lets you proportionally resize the space between the selected items instead of resizing the actual items.

Reordering of the Transformation Tools: The Rotate, Scale, and Shear tools appear under the Free Transform tool in the Tools panel. You can rotate, resize, and scale objects without having to switch from the Selection tool.

Gap tool

The Gap tool provides a quick way to adjust the size of a gap between two or more items. The Gap tool is a one-step way to adjust your layout by directly manipulating the whitespace.

Paragraphs that span or split columns

In InDesign CS5, you can make a paragraph span multiple columns without creating separate text frames. You can also split a paragraph into multiple columns within the same text frame.

Keep with previous

The Keep Options dialog box now has a Keep With Previous option that keeps the first line of the current paragraph with the last line of the previous paragraph.

Balanced columns

The Balance Columns setting in the Text Frame Options dialog box lets you automatically balance text across columns in a multiple column text frame.

Vertical justification in non-rectangular frames

In previous versions of InDesign, applying a non-rectangular text frame causes vertical justification settings to be ignored. In InDesign CS5, you can apply both vertical justification and corner effects and other irregular-shaped frames.

Live corner effects

Click the yellow square that appears near the upper right corner of a selected frame to apply corner effects to rectangular frames. In addition, you can now apply a different corner effect and a different corner radius to each corner.

Swatches in Control panel

You can apply swatches to objects directly in the Control panel. Select an object and choose the swatch from the Fill or Stroke menu in the Control panel. You can also drag the current color swatch displayed in the Control panel and apply it to other objects.

Grid place enhancements

When placing multiple files, simply start dragging, and then use the arrow keys to change the number of columns and rows of the placed images. While dragging, hold down Ctrl (Windows) or Command (Mac OS) and press arrow keys to change the gutter space.


Select the Auto-Fit option so that the image is resized automatically whenever you resize the frame.

Drawing multiple frames in a grid

When using frame creation tools such as the Rectangle or Type tool, you can press arrow keys to create equally spaced frames.

Duplicating objects into a grid

You can create a grid of objects while dragging a copy of a selected object.

Live captions from metadata

In InDesign CS5, you can generate captions based on image metadata using a number of methods. You can generate captions while you place images by turning on the Create Static Captions checkbox in the Place dialog box. You can generate captions from placed images. First, use the Caption Setup dialog box to identify which metadata is included in the image. Then choose an option from the Object > Captions menu to generate either a live or static caption. You can add a text variable to a text frame that display the metadata of the image that touches or is grouped with the text frame.

Mini Bridge

Mini Bridge is a subset of Adobe Bridge that is available as a panel within InDesign. Mini Bridge lets you navigate your file system and preview files as visual thumbnails without having to leave InDesign. You can drag-and-drop files from Mini Bridge to InDesign as an alternative way to place files into a document. Doing so loads the dragged images into the place cursor, just like dragging from Bridge. You can also drag selected items into Mini Bridge to create snippets.

Improved Adobe Bridge integration

InDesign CS5 and Adobe Bridge CS5 are more integrated in two ways.

Page Thumbnails: A new File Handling preference option lets you generate page thumbnails for more than the first page of InDesign files. The default number of pages to generate thumbnails for is set to 2, but you can change it to 1, 2, 5, 10, or All. You can now see previews of the pages within an INDD file in the Preview pane of Bridge. Choosing more thumbnail pages may cause your InDesign document to take longer to save.

View Links in an InDesign File while in Bridge: You can view the links inside an InDesign document while in Adobe Bridge, without having to open the document in InDesign. For example, suppose that you don’t remember the location of an image, but you remember placing it in an InDesign document. In Adobe Bridge, navigate to the InDesign file, and then display thumbnails of all the placed files contained within the selected InDesign file.

Interactive documents and presentations

FLV and MP3 import: You can import video files in Flash Video format (.FLV and .F4V), H.264-encoded files (such as MP4), and SWF files. You can import audio files in MP3 format. Legacy media file types like QuickTime (.MOV), .AVI, and .WMV are still supported. However, use FLV, F4V, MP4, and MP3 formats to take full advantage of the rich media support offered in the most recent versions of Acrobat, Adobe Reader, and Adobe Flash Player. Use Adobe Media Encoder to convert older media file types to .FLV.

Media panel: The Media panel lets you preview SWF, FLV, F4V, MP4, and MP3 files directly in InDesign. For FLV, F4V, and MP4 files, you can choose any frame in the video as the placeholder poster image. You can choose which video playback controls you want the viewer of your interactive document to have. The Media panel lets you create navigation points, which are time-code markers that you can target with button actions.

Motion presets: The Animation panel lets you assign a motion preset to any page item as a way to quickly create an animation. These motion presets are the same motion presets found in Adobe Flash CS5 Professional. Furthermore, InDesign can import any custom motion preset created in Flash, enabling InDesign and Flash users to collaborate to create animation effects.

Animation panel: Use the Animation panel to create or edit animation effects. You can edit supported animation attributes such as Position, Scale, Rotate, and Opacity. Save any custom animation created in InDesign as a custom motion preset that can be shared with others. Use the Animation panel to specify when an animated object is played, such as when the page is loaded or clicked.

Timing panel: Use the Timing panel to change the order of when animated objects play.

Object States panel: Use the Object States panel to create multiple versions of an object. For example, you can create a single page object with 20 different states, and each state contains a different photo. Anyone who opens the PDF or SWF file can click forward and back buttons to browse the photo gallery.

Preview panel: In InDesign, you can preview interactivity and animation of the current selection, the current spread, or the entire document using the Preview panel. You can also test interactive elements in a web browser.

Pixels as unit of measurement: You can now specify Pixels for your unit of measure in Preferences > Units & Increments. You can override the current unit of measure by adding “px” to your values in edit fields in the Control panel, dialog boxes, and other panels. When using pixels, objects and X/Y coordinates snap to whole pixel values, and the line weights listed in the Stroke panel also change to pixels.

Convert URLs to hyperlinks: Use the Convert URLs To Hyperlinks command to search the current selection, story, or document for URL strings and convert them to hyperlinks. You can also assign a character style to the found URLs.

Improved export to Flash Player

SWF file export can now include animation, video, audio, and remote rollovers. In addition, several new options let you control the final SWF file output.

Improved export to Flash Professional

InDesign CS5 exports to FLA format rather than XFL format for editing the file in Flash Professional. FLA export options support rich media content and offer more ways to handle text.

Improved export to Interactive PDF

InDesign CS5 includes separate commands for exporting print and interactive PDF files. InDesign CS5 exports all rich media content to the Rich Media Annotation Layer when exporting to Interactive PDF, resulting in more reliable playback in Adobe Reader. For best results, video files must be in FLV or F4V format and audio files must be in MP3 format. A few new options are available when exporting to interactive PDF, including initial view options, presentation settings, and page transitions.

Improved XHTML export

Exporting to XHTML is a way to extract your content out of an InDesign document and hand it over to a web developer who can repurpose it using a web application such as Dreamweaver. InDesign CS5 enhancements include the ability to match the attributes of InDesign text formatting, preserve local formatting, and control the order of content. InDesign Tables are now assigned unique IDs, allowing them to be referenced as Spry data sets in Dreamweaver.

Improved JPEG export

The Export JPEG dialog box includes several new options, including the ability to specify the color space, use document bleed settings, and simulate overprinting.

The foregoing was edited from the Adobe InDesign CS5 helpfile system.

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