Summary and Info
I have been a casual user of InDesign since 1.0. I upgraded to CS5 this week (from CS4) and having not used the program for a while I started looking around for a good intro/refresher tutorial source.
I looked at the built-in help stuff, but wasn't overly impressed. I went to the local book store and looked through the 4-5 InDesign CS5 books there, and ended up with this one.
It's a nice size for a reference book (about one inch thick), is reasonably priced, printed on quality matte paper and in full color throughout.
The thing that drew me to it is that it's basically a collection of tasks and how to do them, without a lot of detail or expository that insists on telling you everything you could know rather than just what you actually NEED to know.
So If I want to know how to, say, place a graphic, I can look up Graphic in the index which has lots of sub-index items but the primary reference takes you to the Placing Graphics task. Each task is a numbered bullet-point list of step by step instructions. Do this, click that, etc., a very no-nonsense approach. Want to do X? here are the steps to get it done in a page or two of steps with illustrations of the dialogs involved, etc.
The simple version of a task is generally followed by more complex variants for including special options, etc. there are also "For Your Information" and "Did You Know" boxes in a few places that offer additional asides/detail.
A great book to keep on the desk as a quick reference when you're learning InDesign. It doesn't go into great depth, and there's very little introduction if you have no idea what Indesign is for, but for the person who says "I know what I want to do but I don't want to read a 400 page book before I can do anything, just tell me how to do what I want to do", this is the book that I think will give you the quickest answer.
This book almost certainly won't tell you everything you need to know about InDesign, but it will quickly show you how to do the basics of pretty much every task you'll need while using the software, and if you then need more detail or depth, you'll at least know what to look for in the official help or a more detailed book. This is a "how to" book that doesn't concentrate so much on "why".
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