The main things it depends on is what you are using it for and how much you are using it.
I would say that with a few hours a day on page layout type tasks you'll be able to do most if you what you want in a few weeks and up to speed in a few months, given you are familiar with the software genre. There's some similarities with Pagemaker, if you google around you should be able to find some pretty good resources, most of them will be for older versions but don't let that put you off, the core functions of Indesign haven't changed much at all over the years, I was looking at a book I bought back with CS2 the other day and was surprised at how familiar it all looked.
I moved from Pagemaker and Quark to InDesign for production work about 10 years ago, and like Bob I learn something new every week. That said, I think it will probably take you longer to stop thinking like a Pagemaker user so you can get the most oout of ID than it will to learn the fundamentals, and NOT thinking like a Pagemaker user is the most important part of the transition. InDesign is not Pagemaker and while many things are done in similar ways, many are not (and in fact are more like Quark), and trying to force ID to behave like PM will be your downfall. Once you figure it out, you'll be able to work many times faster in ID than you ever hoped to do in any other layout application.
I went on a 2 day course and after that i had to start working in it. So go
for a short course to explain the basics, have a hand book and you are set. Try to do work in Indesign every
day, even if it is a small amount. Easy to forget what you learn if you dont continually work at it. If
you do the short course and continue using Indesign for work, you will know the basics in about a months time... From there you will just carry on learning the more advanced stuff. But the best way to learn fast is to do a short course.
I was 5 years using quark. Then switched to InDesign. It was a huge changeover, had to forget stuff I learned in Quark and learn the "InDesign Way".
I started a job using InDesign without ever using it. I've been learning it for the last 5 years.
I knew page layout and how to use styles, so that was a given, didn't help I was converting Ventura to InDesign, wahoo learn two packages simulataneously.
Adobe User 3000 wrote:
I was an expert using PageMaker 15 years ago and have just purchased the CS Suite along with 3rd party learning software that covers each component. I know the answer to this question depends on the individual, including your general computer/software/design capabilities, however I am interested in your opinions. How long did it take you to learn the InDesign package? How long have you heard it taking others to learn the package? Also, you may have a viewpoint on how long it takes to get a basic understanding versus creating more sophisticated documents. Thank You.
It might help if you gave an idea of the areas of PageMaker's design, layout, and production features in which you were most accomplished. Folks might then be able to be a little more specific about where they found it better to keep or drop PM's approaches.
Which learning materials are you using? Where have you found the material to be most effective or ineffective for your needs?
I worked in Quark for probably about 10 years and then switched to InDesign when I changed jobs. So my first job ever in InDesign was an 80-page magazine. :-D InDesign's very similar to Quark, so that was possible.
If Quark is a good comparison, it took me a few months to really know what I was doing (though I was functional at basic tasks earlier than that). I was working in a little bit every day.
I think if I were brand-new I would start with the video series at lynda.com (as others have suggested) -- especially if you can get a free 7-day trial! That'd be as good as going to school in my opinion. Their "InDesign Essential Training" video is about 10 hours long. Should cover all kinds of stuff. I've seen some of their other videos, and they were all fantastic.
Like others, I'm still learning new InDesign stuff all along (a lot of it from this board!).
Invaluable tips and tricks. You'll pick up new things all the time. Lately, revolving around the interactive and multimedia aspects, as they have covered just about every other feature of ID's core, poke thru the archives at this place, you could spend a week just catching up on the back articles, and it would be worth the time.
When this fellow was active, his 40+ videos were a great way to learn without reading. Although there is little past CS3 (maybe 4?) most of this info is still very pertinant.
I started with a 1 day course on QuarkXPress, about 11 years ago.
After muddling my way through that applicaiton for a time, I picked up a copy of InDesign 1.0 with the 1.5 upgrade. I've more or less kept up with InDesign since.
I've never used PM, so I cannot compare it to InDesign, but the transition from QxP was welcome.
In addition to the other resources mentioned (lynda.com and Sandee Cohen's Visual QuickStart guide), you can check out Michael Murphy's InDesiner blog. Although he hasn't updated since his twins were born in November, there is a wealth of freely available informaiton, podcasts and videos available.
InDesign Secrets is another website that has valuable information and tips.
Edit: Okay... what Daniel said... ^_~
Message was edited by: MT.Freelance
I think MT and I learned from the same sources..and he seems pretty on the ball.
Using Coreldraw and Pagemaker with a runtime version of windows back in 1988 or 89.
Moved to Indesign with the release of CS.
If I am not learning something new at least once a week I feel like I have missed out on something. This forum is tops for learning, read the subject matters to pick which headache you wish to avoid in your own work by reading others and the solutions to them.
Just the other day I found out you can option click and change the alignment of tabs instead of pressing the button on the tab panel