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InDesign CC 2017 whimpers in esoterically, under the radar — 3 Comments

  1. The bottom line for me is that I’ll no longer promote InDesign with authors. I no longer believe it is or perhaps ever will be worth the $20/month that Adobe demands. Even $10 a month is iffy and only justified by features such as Behance.

    When ID’s team was in Seattle, I knew many of them and I was impressed with their zeal to butt heads with Adobe’s bean counters and genuinely improve ID. They spent two hours one afternoon questioning me about what ID needed and somehow found the resources to incorporated most of my suggestions, including searching backward.

    Now ID development has been moved to India. That could have been good or bad, depending on the leadership and team. It’s clear with ID-2017, that it is bad. A recent InDesign Secrets podcast interviewed the new ID program manager. It was clear that his “vision” for ID is pretty meager. In a world sometimes describe in terms of strong alpha males and weak beta males, he’s somewhere near the bottom of the Greek alphabet, perhaps a chi or psi male. His background was in quality control, which means he’s obsessed with details. No big picture. No major improvements for ID. Is he even quizing uses about what ID needs? Probably not. Depressing.

    Endnotes that span columns (useful mostly for scientific documents) is about as far as he seems willing to go. Indeed, in that ID Secrets interview he seemed to regard that as a big deal. The bean counters need not fret that he’ll be pestering them for anything as elaborate as endnotes. That’s pitiful and costs me a lot of time. Yes, there are scripts that can create the illusion of endnotes, but I’m not paying Adobe $240 a year to get stuck with third-party kludges. I work with science books that have thousands of endnotes. I want an ID that does that well.

    When Adobe shifted to their CC model, I was one of its champions. I made a strong point that it would mean that Adobe could continually update their apps and that new features coming months earlier than a major release would justify the cost. Adobe made similar arguments.

    Adobe isn’t delivering on those promises. Updates are coming en masse and for all products in that same, counter-productive 18-month-or-so cycle. Adobe management seems unable to shake itself of that habit. And the improvements that came with ID-2017 aren’t remotely worth the over $360 I’ve paid Adobe since ID-2015. I never would have bought a new version of ID this new feature-poor. In fact, I’ve not even upgraded to the latest. There’s bound to be a downside and none of these meager improvements seem worth even the mild hassle of upgrading my documents.

    ID-2017 is like giving a waiter a penny tip. It offers so little, it’s an open insult. For now, I’m stuck with it. But I’m sure as heck not going to be promoting it among writers. I may be stuck with paying them $240 a year, but I can steer several times that much business away from them.

    Two thumbs down to Adobe for ID-2017. If I had ten hands, it’d be ten thumbs down. Almost everything the critics of CC said is coming true. They were right and I’ve been proved wrong.

    –Mike Perry

  2. Sad to say: I have no argument against anything you are saying. InD is still the most creative software in which to write, though. Nothing comes close to completely creating a book by yourself in InDesign.

    Ole Kvern said the other day: somehow Adobe has the idea that software engineers do not need to know how to run the software.

    It’s possible no one in the Indian team actually uses InDesign.

  3. Thank you both for your thorough analyses. I’m still on CS5 for ID. I’m writing workbooks so my manuscripts are paper only. The only reason to upgrade is to get the latest OS on my Mac.
    Tom Clarke

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