1 2 Previous Next 43 Replies Latest reply on Nov 12, 2012 10:34 AM by John Hawkinson

    New, Darker, UI for InDesign CS6

    Steve Perry Creative Level 1

      I love the new, darker, UI for Photoshop and Illustrator CS6 but why hasn't it been incorporated across the full suite? I'd love to see this in InDesign, too.

        • 1. Re: New, Darker, UI for InDesign CS6
          [Jongware] Most Valuable Participant

          Having separate development teams for Photoshop, Illustrator, Acrobat, and InDesign is one of Adobe's weirder corporate decisions.


          So I understand from this there is *still* no congruence in options, look, and feel of this "suite", even in its 6th incarnation? "You can now have a dark interface" was actually touted as "new! improved!" on the Illustrator forum.

          • 2. Re: New, Darker, UI for InDesign CS6

            Being a heavy user of design software at a large format print company, Adobe's lack of uniformity makes them seem like a very poorly managed company. The Dark interface is the latest example of that.


            I'm using the trial of CS6 right now, and switching from a dark Photoshop UI to a bright InDesign UI not only feels odd, but literally hurts my eyes until they adjust. This just adds to the pile of consistency issues, such as  to change the file's size in Illustrator you type Shift+O, In Photoshop Command+Option+C, and InDesign Command+Option+P.


            I wish they're get thir act together...they sure do love taking our money though...and lots of it...

            • 3. Re: New, Darker, UI for InDesign CS6
              Cerebral Ideas

              I just opened up the new InDesign from CS6 and was very disappointed that the dark UI is not available. InDesign has always seemed to be Adobe's red-headed step-child. It's such a powerful, important application that tends to be the most neglected. Sad.

              • 4. Re: New, Darker, UI for InDesign CS6
                John Hawkinson Level 5

                For what it's worth, a lot of us are glad that InDesign CS6 fixes hundreds of bugs and has features that people actually use. If Adobe put development resources into a dark UI, I would find that wasted work and effort that would take away limited resources from development that's actually important.


                (Additionally, the apps that deal primarily with photos and video are much more likely to benefit from a dark UI. In InDesign, where you're typically laying out items destined for white paper, the alleged benefit is much diminished).


                Anyhow, there are two sides to the story. Feel free to disagree, of course, but please realize that others have opinions counter to yours.


                I also think there are significant technical reasons why InDesign doesn't have a dark UI, relating to its transition to Mac OS's Cocoa API, which is still not there are of CS6, but is probably coming soon in the next version.


                I am puzzled at the characterization of InDesign as a "red-headed stepchild." It does not at all seem to me that InDesign is neglected compared to other Adobe apps. There are even ways in which it seems to get more resources than the others (in a good way).

                • 5. Re: New, Darker, UI for InDesign CS6

                  Hi John.

                  Your points are all valid, however...

                  The option to darken would be great, the word option being important.

                  Users such as yourself could still elect to continue with the lighter UI. I prefer the darker UI in the other apps, and prefer to have the ability to adjust it as needed, the current offering allows for no adaptation.

                  A final point: not all projects involve white paper.

                  • 6. Re: New, Darker, UI for InDesign CS6
                    John Hawkinson Level 5

                    Yeah, DT, I totally get that you're talking about an option. I guess my management-level point is that options have costs, and there are a lot of things I'd much rather see in InDesign long before the option to have a dark UI. (But I realize other people are more interested in a dark UI than I am; though curiously it does not seem to appeal to experienced InDesign users, much more to people who are very much enamored of the PS Dark UI.)


                    Anyhow, the technical hurdle remains. Presumably it will be cleared for CS7.

                    In the mean time, there's always the "Invert Display" option (just kidding, that's almost certainly not a viable option.)

                    • 7. Re: New, Darker, UI for InDesign CS6
                      DTLCB Level 1

                      Invert Display. Yeah, I'd go for that. Perhaps turn down the screen brightness too, or work with a spotlight in the room.

                      I am an experienced user (started with the first iteration of Id. Agree with you that there are more important issues.

                      Technical challenges aside, I do believe that a more consistent treatment of the software should be applied. This all points to legacy issues of Adobe buying out Macromedia, differentiation from Qark (it was a great application to work with, but too expensive).


                      When I was a lecturer it was so difficult to help students navigate through the significant differences in how the various CS applications are thought through. Baby steps I guess

                      • 8. Re: New, Darker, UI for InDesign CS6
                        RickGotham Level 1

                        I've been using InDesign since it's initial release, and PageMaker before that (although I preferred Quark 4 back then). The lack of Dark UI isn't a big deal—I’m still deciding if I even want to keep the dark option on Ps and Ai—it’s Adobe's constant lack of consistency and polish that irks me.


                        For all the money they charge for their products, they could at least clean up and unify their applications. I’m sure they employ enough programers and to get it done, they’re not a little shop developer trying to make do, mind you.


                        I wish they had a big competitor to keep them on their toes. Just about any company that lacks competition looses their edge. Microsoft was(is?) producing crap until they saw Apple and Android dominating the mobile market, and Intel really started to loose it to AMD until they revamped with the Core line. Competition breeds better products. Adobe if top dog, they just want to lay around and give us minor updates for premium prices.

                        • 9. Re: New, Darker, UI for InDesign CS6
                          John Hawkinson Level 5

                          For all the money they charge for their products, they could at least clean up and unify their applications. I’m sure they employ enough programers and to get it done, they’re not a little shop developer trying to make do, mind you.

                          Actually, I think that is pretty much the hardest thing you could possibly ask of them.


                          All the point products are managed by different management teams with different priorities. They have important priorities for their own constituencies, and generally those priorities get more attention than shared-suite issues. Furthermore, the codebases of the applications are radically different. Especially with respect to UI, it is pretty unlikely that most of them could share significant code without a huge rewrite. And then there are legacy issues -- there's no getting around the fact that Illustrator and InDesign both use Cmd/Control-D for different functions, and those functions are ingrained habits from the birth of those products. To change one (or both) would make a lot of users (or 2x a lot) unhappy.


                          So this "unification" you speak of is both technically difficult and politically difficult. I'm also pretty much unconvinced it would benefit users (but certainly some people think it would!). For instance, I work in InDesign primarily, and Photoshop, Acrobat, and Illustrator often but less frequently. I can see a lot of pain that would come from attempts to mak them more consistent and more unified, and a lot of places where I would much rather see development resources targeted. Yes, my brain has to switch gears when switching apps. Fortunately my brain has a transmission so it's OK.

                          • 10. Re: New, Darker, UI for InDesign CS6
                            [Jongware] Most Valuable Participant

                            John, the sad thing is you may be right on this:


                            > If Adobe put development resources into a dark UI, I would find that wasted work and effort that would take away limited resources from development that's actually important.


                            ... it may actually be the reason the Illustrator and Photoshop *do* have a Dark UI option.


                            "Guys, *no-one* has ideas for the new version? Nobody at all?"

                            ".. A dark user interface?"


                            • 11. Re: New, Darker, UI for InDesign CS6
                              Dave_Breck Level 1

                              The lack of consistency in UI goes beyond just an option because "they were too busy making the product perfect" and other silly excuses being made here. It is usability. Adobe has long suffered from good usability across the product spectrum, at times almost defiantly so (like not enabling mouse actions to navigate clunky interfaces like Bridge that match that of Finder).


                              I love that Illustrator and PS snap right open when launched, a huge improvement for me. InDesign to me does feel like a redheaded stepchild.


                              But overall how about less excuses for the individual silos at Adobe and one person who manages interface and usability at the top of the food chain there? There's a company in Cupertino that pretty much does that. And while they're certainly not perfect either, they do work together across products and it makes a huge difference for usability.


                              This software should put USABILITY at the top of its list. It's clearly not.

                              • 12. Re: New, Darker, UI for InDesign CS6
                                John Hawkinson Level 5

                                This software should put USABILITY at the top of its list. It's clearly not.

                                It's worth noting that there is not universal agreement on this topic.

                                I recently filled out an Adobe survey for a bunch of Creative Suite products I use, and I was asked to rank Usability, Reliability, Functionality, Ease of Installation, and I think one other category I am forgeting.


                                In any case, I definitely didn't rank Usability first. For me, InDesign does the things I need to do, and it's much more important to me that it work and not crash than that it be friendly. And there are features I want and need to do my job and again, they are much more important than usability. I rank Usability over Ease of Installation (after all, most people only install once).


                                This is not to say I'm right. Not at all.

                                Merely that there are legitimate reasons why usability is not the top priority, and I agree with them.


                                But even worse, I think, there is not widespread agreement that the dark UI is important to usability. Or even UI consistency across the suite. To me, that stuff is pointless fluff and window dressing. Yeah, sure, I get annoyed that the keyboard command to Go to a Page is different between InDesign (Cmd-J) and Acrobat (Cmd-Shift-N). But for the most part, they are consistent enough to let me get my work done.


                                Usability is really how easy the software is to use. That doesn't necessarily mean suite integration. It can, for some kinds of users, but not everybody. A lot of InDesign users really don't use the other creative suite products the same way they use InDesign and don't need deep integration and consistency. For some users, maybe suite integration is important. But definitely not everyone.


                                Anyhow, in case no one mentioned it, there isn't really any reason to think this forum is actively monitored by the InDesign team. If you want to reach them, you can use http://adobe.com/go/wish/. Or perhaps David Blatner's http://indesign.uservoice.com/.

                                • 13. Re: New, Darker, UI for InDesign CS6
                                  MrG3x266 Level 1

                                  The answer is simple. It will be a "new feature" in version 6.5 and all you will have to do is upgrade for a nominal fee and you will get an option that should have already been there.


                                  It is sold as a "suite". You would think it would have the same look and feel. The same "theme". A company that specializes in "design" has a train wreck for an interface "new feature".


                                  Adobe must have hired the same people who thought the "Choclate brown" zune would sell like hot cakes because everyone wants a musical turd in their pocket!.


                                  As to keyboard shortcuts...


                                  If there was only a means of customizing keyboard shortcuts and save those as custom sets. Maybe put it under EDIT->Keyboard Shortcuts. That way when Adobe releases Indesign 1.0 They can woo Quark users with a "Quark" keyboard shortcut layout. Who knows? Maybe after introducing that in Indesign 1.0 they could apply that to all of their programs and give true customization to all their flagship programs! Bundle them together (puppy) and call it something catchy like "Creative Suite". But what if Adobe spends all that time trying to figure out how to make a proper custom installer, snazzy splash screens, and spends years trying to figure out how to put flash on iOS and doesn't offer UI features across all products?


                                  The important thing is almost every program has its own interface and we all know that having to stop and look for something is by far the most productive thing a person can do.


                                  Choclate Zune anyone?

                                  • 14. Re: New, Darker, UI for InDesign CS6
                                    Nicholas Petropoulos Level 1

                                    If I may add my two cents. This supposed 'hot new look' in CS6 is nothing more than a red herring for anyone even the slightest bit concerned with asthetics. I suspect deep down, the 'designers' at Adobe are hell bent on removing all that is special about the MAC interface and slowly replacing it with the bland, square, god awful interfaces that the PC world has accepted as the norm for years. The inconsistencies in the palette designs throughout the suite is just plain lazy. Having vented that, is there anyone else experiencing the NON working spotlight feature in InDesign when opening a document? Please help!



                                    • 15. Re: New, Darker, UI for InDesign CS6
                                      John Hawkinson Level 5
                                      Is there anyone else experiencing the NON working spotlight feature in InDesign when opening a document? Please help!


                                      • 16. Re: New, Darker, UI for InDesign CS6
                                        Nicholas Petropoulos Level 1

                                        John. In the dialogue box when opening a document, the search (spotlight) feature fails to respond. When in the PLACE dialogue box the search (spotlight) feature works as it should. MAC based.

                                        It's a serious bug.

                                        • 17. Re: New, Darker, UI for InDesign CS6
                                          Nicholas Petropoulos Level 1

                                          Johh. Screen snap shot of the non functioning spotlight.

                                          Screen Shot 2012-06-01 at 12.03.01 PM.png

                                          • 18. Re: New, Darker, UI for InDesign CS6
                                            Nicholas Petropoulos Level 1

                                            John. Same command but in the place dialogue box.

                                            Screen Shot 2012-06-01 at 12.04.33 PM.png

                                            • 19. Re: New, Darker, UI for InDesign CS6
                                              John Hawkinson Level 5

                                              You can attach multiple photos in a single post, you know.

                                              That's interesting, I wasn't aware of that feature (I ~never use Spotlight that way).


                                              Your example isn't a good one since the Spotlight query in the Open dialog box should only show files that ID can Open, i.e. .indt, .indl, .indd file types. And Spotlight doesn't know how to search inside InDesign files so you'd need to check the File Name box.


                                              That said, it doesn't seem to work when searching for an INDD file on my desktop, so it is indeed broken. But it seems similarly broken for INDD files in the File > Place dialog.

                                              • 20. Re: New, Darker, UI for InDesign CS6
                                                Nicholas Petropoulos Level 1

                                                It is indeed broken John. Hopefully this can be fixed quickly. Ps. It's 'almost' broken in illustrator CS6 as well. Very, very sluggish off the mark when using.

                                                • 21. Re: New, Darker, UI for InDesign CS6
                                                  MrG3x266 Level 1

                                                  Have you tried rebuilding the Spotlight index and forcing a re-index? This may resolve the issue...


                                                  Yes I agree that Adobe appears in some cases to attempt to PC the UI. I have noticed that with the dark UI it seems like all of a sudden Adobe is trying to look like Apple Software interface like FCP or Aperture....

                                                  • 22. Re: New, Darker, UI for InDesign CS6
                                                    John Hawkinson Level 5

                                                    Well, I was able to replicate the spotlight problem and in my system, filename -based searches work elsewhere in spotlight, and mdfind -name and mdls work fine on the files that don't show up. So I think InDesign is filtering this incorrectly, or otherwise confusing Navigation Services...


                                                    Nicholas, sad to say, few bugs get fixed quickly. This one I doubt will be.

                                                    Although since it works fine in CS5.5, perhaps it has a chance.

                                                    (Oh, yeah, that's another reason why it's almost certainly not an issue with the spotlight index. works fine in cs5.5.)

                                                    • 23. Re: New, Darker, UI for InDesign CS6
                                                      Nicholas Petropoulos Level 1

                                                      MrG3... I honestly don't understand why Adobe would destroy a perfectly good looking interface. And to make matters worse, having a different UI in each of the CS6 suite.

                                                      I know which I'd prefer. (5.5 on right) Alas, onwards we go but at the cost of good design. Perhaps one day, the 'super brains' behind this upgrade might reconsider the 'block' and study the 'porsche' idea to design. If it's great, improve it just a little.


                                                      Screen Shot 2012-06-04 at 8.58.13 AM.pngScreen Shot 2012-06-04 at 8.59.13 AM.png

                                                      • 24. Re: New, Darker, UI for InDesign CS6
                                                        lvthunder Level 1

                                                        They should be more consistant between all the different products.  They are selling it as a suite and now with creative cloud there are going to be a lot more new users to all these apps.  All Adobe is doing now is confusing the new users when a lot of the commands are the same just with a different shortcut.


                                                        And yes Adobe is moving away from the MAC and WINDOWS specific dialog boxes.  They want all the training to apply both to the Windows and Mac versions.


                                                        And Adobe started this whole trend to the dark UI with Lightroom when it first came out.  In fact in Lightroom you can press L twice and the UI turns black and all you see is your picture.

                                                        • 25. Re: New, Darker, UI for InDesign CS6
                                                          CaramelMacchiato Level 1

                                                          Steve Perry Creative,


                                                          Like you, I was perplexed about the inconsistency of darker UI in some apps, and others remain intact as it has been for years. From my perspective, it is confusing especially for those who are new to Adobe apps such as through Adobe Creative Cloud per se.


                                                          In my humble opinion, Adobe is already a well-established respected design software company that made billions of dollars in profit year after year and on. I find that it is very ironic that Adobe do not use the software engineering resource very wisely. Thus, it is inconsistency and failed UI design as a whole.


                                                          I strongly believe that every Creative Suite product users like myself, Master Collection CS6 Mac, should have the option to have UI options to my perference. I personally like darker UI - just to remove all kind of distractions.


                                                          Yet, I do understand on both side of issues, pro and con. But I would think it should give any product users the opportunity to have option whether you want it darker or not, just like famous simple "L" used in Lightroom. If it works nicely, why can't do the same for rest. Come on, Adobe. You can do better.



                                                          • 26. Re: New, Darker, UI for InDesign CS6
                                                            Dave_Breck Level 1

                                                            I agree with your sentiment but I really am not sure Adobe can do better. They've had some of these products for 20 years, others through ill-fated acquisition (Macromedia) and as one suite they suffer from poor UI guidance and it's really evident that some of these folks don't even work in the same city much less building. The lack of collaboration is stunning.


                                                            The fact that some gorgeous UI products all are products of Adobe is equally disheartening. The fact that clunkiness and inconsistency among command prompts between tools is such a disconnect obviously takes a back seat to the product that people create with these tools.Why Adobe hasn't hired a Jonny Ive (or fired the one who pretends to be his equal) to knock the left brain heads of each product group together I guess only Adobe knows.


                                                            I don't think it has much to do with anything other than Adobe right now has little to no competition in many of these areas, and most certainly not in a "suite" fashion that is dominating. Ironically it's also exposing these teams who simply don't talk to one another.Anyone want to put the UI from Acrobat next to Photoshop?


                                                            Except Marketing, of course. They sure make it look all pretty when it starts up, be it for the first time (or second, or third, etc etc)

                                                            • 27. Re: New, Darker, UI for InDesign CS6
                                                              Shehab ElKadi

                                                              I hope that people will take John's well thought comment on the topic of the UI design under the spot light... clearly he understands or at least rationalizes the existing tools at hand.


                                                              Let me break it up to you:


                                                              1- if you are someone who is trying to convince yourself to switch (or switched recently to Adobe Suite): you would definitely try to get as many options from the tool you need >> hence you should focus on the efficiency first and then seek the cosmetics (since we all as professionals has to agree with the logic the indesign is better off with light UI for lay-outing and production paper reference; Adobe would be smart to give the option to change the paper color not the UI itself...


                                                              2- if you are someone that was forced to work with adobe suite (84% of large deign houses and creative kitchens use Adobe Suites): you are probably pissed of the situation, miss your old work tools that you master so well and will see all the bad things you want to see... though with no doubt; there are no suite under one name will give you now what adobe provide in terms of comfort and unity throughout all the tools (even if one of these tools might look somehow different to you).


                                                              3- if you are someone that made the switch long time ago and had more than 16 years of experience with Adobe tools: you will not see or feel any difference between the UI in terms of Logic and work flow... and will focus like John on the actual bugs that eats your time and work; or could help you be more efficient...


                                                              Having said that; I understand that all the people who are requesting this UI change; are just asking for a silly UI change in the form of an OPTION to be assured that Adobe is giving them their money's worth... and this will stop hurting their eye (as one of my fellow creatives mentioned in this forum)...


                                                              I want you all to think about what I am about to say as pure honest advice from someone who had been in the business for over 18 years: if you need to switch from indesign to illustrator and then to photoshop repeatedly during your design and layout session; then you are surely doing something wrong; big time; and you should revise your work flow and creative management.


                                                              We are not artists or sell art (and I am talking about creative advertising and publishing); so your work flow would make you appreciate the tool more and be a good critic when it comes to functions you need... less fussy about the look and feel (which is not that off or far).


                                                              and to make everyone happy; I bleed to Adobe to make the DARK UI an option in their next major update (though I know that most of experienced colleagues might try it once or twice; and will switch always to light) - maybe adobe should do a focus group about this.

                                                              • 28. Re: New, Darker, UI for InDesign CS6
                                                                MrG3x266 Level 1

                                                                Ah yes the function over comfort argument.


                                                                Lets expand on this logic.


                                                                Here are some steps you should also take since function is vital and comfort is not.


                                                                (1) Ditch your chair. That is comfort not function. You can stand all day, many people do. By standing you take up less room and therefore utilize the space more efficently.


                                                                (2) Ditch the mouse. That is not a good workflow. You should be using a tablet and keyboard shortcuts. All professionals shun mouses as in-effecient.


                                                                (3) Get rid of all music, art, pictures, etc. This is nothing but a distraction.


                                                                (4) Make sure all the walls, floors, furniture and objects are nuetral gray and no windows let light in because we need to be "accurate" in our color reproduction and lighting. This also means all lights have to be at either 5500k or 6500k throughout the workplace and you should be wearing a neutral gray komo over your clothes.


                                                                (5) you should work 4 10 hour workdays with two 15 minutes breaks and one 30 minute lunch break to maintain efficency.


                                                                (6) Work all holidays and weekends to further production and output efficency. Professionals do not need time off.


                                                                (7) Make sure you do everything exactly as the Adobe in a classroom book states. Do not vary in anyway as all of us professionals know there is only one efficent way to do things and we should never stray from the status quo.


                                                                (8) Make sure everyone is using the exact same window arrangemenets and layouts. ANy variance at all is a sign of not following the apporved efficent workflow and will eat into your efficency. In fact demand that adobe take ALL user preferences out of all adobe products since everyone that is professional will only be using the software in one way (the approved efficent way that all professionals use).



                                                                (9) And you should beleive me because I have over 500 years experience.. blah blah blah



                                                                The point is (sarcastically demonstrated) is every user has a different method and means of going about using the TOOLS adobe ships in the suite. Since everyone uses them differently, has different workflows, and different methods of design, then different options have different priorites for different people. Some people want to sit in a chair, listen to music, and surround themsleves with pictures while they work. Others may go the utilitarian route. Some might work laying down, others standing. The point is simply this. If I came to your business and painted half of it and left the other half unpainted, would you feel cheated? Would you feel it was important? What if my argument was it was simply esthtics and had abslotuely nothing to do with the functionality of your business and therefor was not a very high priority? Of course you are going to say "but that is different"... For some. SOme might make the business paint job a high priority others might worry more about having CAT 6 installed.


                                                                It all depends on the end user.


                                                                And since the boards have lighten up with plenty of users complaining about it then it seems to some it is of some importance.


                                                                Of course with only 24 years of experience I would have gone for a universal UI in top flagship product for ease of use, streamlined learning curve, and a more professional "finished" product instead of hacking out non-streamlined confusing UI especially considering Acrobat's circus speak and spell UI compared to the rest of the suite. But look on the brightside. They got their splash screens and icons down pat and all spiffy looking. (applause)

                                                                • 29. Re: New, Darker, UI for InDesign CS6
                                                                  Dave_Breck Level 1

                                                                  I echo MrG 100%. I was so annoyed at the previous poster I figured it was an Adobe employee lecturing me on how to use tools.


                                                                  But still I stand by my earlier assertions: These Adobe teams who build these increasingly clunky UIs don't even work in the same building, much less get together to create common key shortcodes, user interface look and feel, and hell, even naming things the same. The marketing department, however, dispatches teams of creatives to sell it, however.


                                                                  The only part of Apple that Adobe has mimicked is finding ways to market old things as new and redesign their packaging and marketing around it every 18 months.


                                                                  Evidently some of us aren't impressed.


                                                                  Now, back to my chair and music.

                                                                  • 30. Re: New, Darker, UI for InDesign CS6
                                                                    Cerebral Ideas Level 1

                                                                    Dave_Breck wrote:


                                                                    I echo MrG 100%. I was so annoyed at the previous poster I figured it was an Adobe employee lecturing me on how to use tools.


                                                                    Yup! Add another annoyed voice to the pile. I'm a front-end developer most days, and I code with an IDE that uses a dark canvas with light text. It's so much easier on my eyes. If I have to use some additional tools, I love it when they use dark UIs as it allows everything to stay consistent between my environments.


                                                                    Nearly all my tools use a dark UI. Aperture, Photoshop, Illustrator, Sublime Text, phpStorm, Terminal … hell, even Tweetbot! Then, I open InDesign, and it blinds me, WTF!?


                                                                    Anyway, I believe it to be Adobe's fault for releasing a feature that added a convention that created an expectation. Having one of their most important and heavily used tools breaking that convention is stupid. If the dark UI was an expiremental feature, that was just being tested in one or two products, they should have made that clear. Consistency between products matter, a lot actually.


                                                                    Rather, they use the damn dark UI in the product demos, marketing and advertising pieces. This sets the expectation that is later broken. Oops :-/

                                                                    • 31. Re: New, Darker, UI for InDesign CS6
                                                                      John Hawkinson Level 5

                                                                      It seems apparent recent posters have not read the thread above.

                                                                      It is tempting to lock this thread if this continues.


                                                                      InDesign doesn't have a dark UI because InDesign hasn't transitioned to Cocoa yet. It's really going to have to do so for CS7 (otherwise there will be big problems with the next release of OS X after Mountain Lion). Cocoa support is a precondition for having the dark UI.


                                                                      That is Why.

                                                                      1 person found this helpful
                                                                      • 32. Re: New, Darker, UI for InDesign CS6
                                                                        Cerebral Ideas Level 1

                                                                        Sorry John, but users don't care the technical reasons why some [feature/function/option] is [broken/not available/buggy]. To be honest, it just sounds like a weak excuse to "get us off your back". But, I did go back and reread the thread. Thanks for that, because I was entertained by your remarks:


                                                                        a lot of us are glad that InDesign CS6 fixes hundreds of bugs and has features that people actually use.


                                                                        Yes, I'm glad; I've waited ~ 2.5 versions for those to be fixed. Unfortunately, to actually have a usable application, I have to pay another few hundred dollars


                                                                        please realize that others have opinions counter to yours.


                                                                        Lol, oh, I didn't realize there are other people in the world


                                                                        I am puzzled at the characterization of InDesign as a "red-headed stepchild."


                                                                        You've obviously never used the software. My biggest complaints: it was painfully slow to respond and quite buggy. Photoshop and Illustrator seemed to get updated much more frequently and be much more responsive. That's why.


                                                                        though curiously it does not seem to appeal to experienced InDesign users


                                                                        Wow, that was passive aggressive. Nice back-handed comment.


                                                                        Now, to address your latest comment:


                                                                        InDesign doesn't have a dark UI because InDesign hasn't transitioned to Cocoa yet.


                                                                        Why are we still waiting for Adobe to implement Cocoa? Cocoa has been around for what, ~ 10 years? So, we're not talking about bleeding edge technology that is barely supported.


                                                                        It's really going to have to do so for CS7 (otherwise there will be big problems with the next release of OS X after Mountain Lion).


                                                                        That's because Adobe has waited until the very last moment to implement what I would consider a standard for Mac applications that's been around for years. I'm glad Mountain Lion is forcing you guys to finally update to Cocoa.


                                                                        If Adobe put development resources into a dark UI, I would find that wasted work and effort that would take away limited resources from development that's actually important.


                                                                        So, you're saying that being standards compliant is a waste of time?


                                                                        You make it sound like Adobe's some lean startup with limited resources, presenting itself like "Ah shucks, we're trying so hard", but that's not what the price tag says. We pay huge sums to acquire licenses for Adobe software. I would at least expect the software to be up to date with standards, and I'm sure I'm not the only one.


                                                                        So, I think I (we?) have right to complain about inconsistencies, broken expectations and missing features in the sixth version of a $700 application by one of the world's larget software companies.


                                                                        Either way, I said my piece, so you won't hear from me again, but I just wanted to make sure my perspective was heard; since, you know, I've invested thousands of dollars in Adobe products over the years.

                                                                        • 33. Re: New, Darker, UI for InDesign CS6
                                                                          Dov Isaacs Adobe Employee

                                                                          OK, Mr./Ms. Cerebral Ideas ...


                                                                          We are certainly not complaining about your participation in these forums nor are we interested in not hearing from you again.


                                                                          In referring to “you guys” you should be aware that none of the participants in this thread to date have been Adobe employees, but rather, other end users!


                                                                          And this thread has pretty much run its course. Adobe is quite aware that our end users would like the option of the darker interface for InDesign and with that, consistency between the applications. For that matter, our own staff wants that at least as much as you do! 


                                                                          However, on behalf of Adobe I would like to clear up some misconceptions with regards to issues associated with our software development and especially issues associated with MacOS software development since the first release of MacOS X.


                                                                          First of all, developing a piece of software with the number of features, interoperability considerations, and environmental compatibility considerations of InDesign is fairly non-trivial to say the least. There is pressure to simultaneously add new features, augment existing features, provide compatibility with new operating system releases in terms of compatibility and features (more on that below), and of course not only fixing existing bugs, but doing the best we can to avoid introducing new bugs via all the new features and changes added to a release. Consider that InDesign provides the means of intelligently consolidating, laying out, and outputing content from many of Adobe's other applications (Illustrator, Photoshop, Premiere, Acrobat, etc.) as well as third party applications (Word, etc.). The result is that InDesign and its component graphics subsystem must effectively be “fluent” with the file formats, protocols, and graphics models of each of those applications and in some cases, multiple versions of those applications. InDesign must also support operation on a number of platforms and variants thereof - Windows (XP, Vista, 7, and now 8) and MacOS X (multiple 10.x versions), a very challenging task to say the least. (And contrary to the wishes of the late, great St. Steve of Cupertino, Adobe must support more than just the latest version of MacOS and must support Windows!)


                                                                          Secondly, there is a nasty perception that somehow Adobe was procrastinating with regards to migrating code to the “cocoa” programming model from “carbon.” The fact is that over the last dozen years, developing software for MacOS has been challenging and quite expensive in terms of work necessary just to keep up with forward incompatible OS work. Traditionally, the rule of OS development has been that the applications are king and that OS augmentation should never cause existing applications to be somehow incompatible with new OS releases going forward although obviously, applications using new OS features cannot be readily compatible with older OS versions. For the most part, Windows has behaved fairly well in this regards. (For better or worse, it is amazing how many very old Windows applications from the days of Windows 3.0 still can execute on Windows 7!) That is certainly not the case with MacOS. For MacOS, we needed to quickly port our programs from MacOS 9 to MacOS X. The “carbon” environment which provided fairly good compatibility with the past was the only means by which our applications could be made MacOS X in any reasonable timeframe, not to mention that “cocoa” did not yet have all the functionality that we needed and that was available in “carbon.” Then there was the move from the PowerPC processors to Intel, a move which required most application developers to totally change their development environment (compilers, debuggers, etc.) to Apple's XCode (many of us were using Code Warrior, a software product spun off from the PowerPC processor folks) and, by the way, better have so-called universal binary executables to allow products to run under both PowerPC and Intel environments. Then the move to 64-bit. And of course, each and every one of the 10.x releases had incompatibilities with the previous one including infamous “deprecation” of existing features and interfaces. These multiple moves were and continue to be very expensive to Adobe and other developers of large, complex applications. It is one thing for Apple to migrate relatively small, simple, single-platfom applications over and over again and crow about how simple it was to do it. It is something else entirely for Microsoft to do the same for its Office application suite and for Adobe to the same for its Creative Suite applications, both of which have cross-platform considerations! Adobe has worked very closely with Apple during these migrations to get bugs and missing functionality in both cocoa and XCode resolved. Much of what an outsider might consider procrastination on the part of Adobe was in reality the result of the fact that neither cocoa nor XCode were anywhere near ready for prime time when initially released. The move to XCode was a priority because we obviously wanted to have Intel-native applications; Rosetta (the Intel processor-based interpreter of PowerPC executable code) was untenable for both performance and stability issues (i.e., it was buggy). Now that there is stability in cocoa, the InDesign development organization is making the tremendous effort to fully move the InDesign product to cocoa and 64-bit. And since the Macintosh versions of Adobe's system components that provide the dark (and customizable) UI are already in cocoa, the next version of InDesign will get that support as well.


                                                                                    - Dov

                                                                          • 34. Re: New, Darker, UI for InDesign CS6
                                                                            Cerebral Ideas Level 1

                                                                            Thank you, Mr. Dov. I appreciate the reasoned response. I have to admit that after reading your comment, I do see now why you guys have had so many problems, and I apologize for being so harsh in my comments. I've just built up a bit of resentment as I've struggled with Adobe products for over 10 years and have paid out a lot of money.


                                                                            Anyway, consider me less of a combatant now Thanks for the comment again and have a nice day.

                                                                            • 35. Re: New, Darker, UI for InDesign CS6
                                                                              MrG3x266 Level 1

                                                                              (1) Adobe dragged their feet on porting from 9 to OSX and had the Premier snafu. The response Steve repsonsed with  FInal cut pro which hurt Adobe sales for years in the Hi end video market and of course the much not discusssed NO FLASH FOR YOU! in iOS. (Steve did a slap back?) Result? Flash and its web presence are fading away. Adobe has been spending a lot of resources in HTML5 and CSS3 in response to the slow death of Flash basically.


                                                                              (2) Indesign should have been coded in Cocoa to begin with. Hello it was the first OSX native desktop publishing application written and now the excuse is "well uh we uh did some stuff and uh they did some stuff and uh it just couldn't be done." No. Adobe likes to get their 18 month cycle down and they were running long in the tooth with the hail mary 5.5 update and they needed something. So they pushed for the main features and let the UI option fall to the wayside. Plenty of companies have to support cross platform applications 32 and 64 bit etc and somehow with pockets that are not as deep as Adobe they can accomplish that when Adobe cannot. Adobe is not some small software shop. They spend more money on their marketing than I bet most crossplatform companies do on paying their entire staff.


                                                                              (3) Now lets look back at history and see why some users might feel like Adobe is dragging their feet...


                                                                              WWDC 1998:
                                                                              Apple introduces Carbon and Mac OS X. Microsoft and Macromedia both pledge to port their major Mac apps to Mac OS X (after both companies had earlier said they would NOT port apps to the up coming Rhapsody OS). In a stunning move, Adobe's Greg Gilley shows off a ported version of Photoshop 5.0 running native on Mac OS X DP1. The port took him less than two week to finish.


                                                                              Just after WWDC 2001

                                                                              Macromedia has a shipping version of a Mac OS X native Freehand, Microsoft has a native version of Internet Explorer and a native version of Office is getting the finishing touches. Corel has even thrown in a good effort to get native versions of Painter, Bryce, and the CorelDraw Suite out. Adobe is... MIA well except for a ported version of Adobe Acrobat Reader

                                                                              (4) Fire the 12 kid eating mushrooms that designed the Acrobat UI or drop it from the Suite. It it HORRID.


                                                                              (5) The truth is this. The relaity is Adobe didn't have time to implement the feature in Indesign. I would assume that is because of all the pressure on trying to get ahead with HTML5 and CSS3 in light of the Flash fiasco and the growing mobile market. Truth be told I would rather have the H5/C3 standards in place than the UI option but the confusion and first reasons given muddy the water.


                                                                              The problem is this. Adobe makes the best product(s) out their. Top notch. Where Adobe fails is in the UI. Here is how it works. Adobe sits down and comes out with awesome features, they get all this together and things are flawless. Man things are good.


                                                                              Then they screw things up royally becuase for some reason everytime the version number changes they think. "Hey lets redo the whole UI again! Yippee!" Instead of just sticking with the UI and adding some new windows you instead move everything around shuffle things around in menus at random, change icons, colors etc.


                                                                              The UI is not thought out, consistant, or even looks the same in some cases. What makes it worse is it appears like Adobe sometimes TRIES to unify the ui across the suite then fails at the last moment. Oh Look PS and AI look consistant. Indesign was shuffled about but lacking in some obvious ways in the UI, Acrobat ... Was someone high and watching Nickelodeon when they thought that crap up? I am waiting for a Telly-Tubby to bust out of the Help menu and throw green and yellow stars across the screen.


                                                                              Here is an idea. Tell everyone at Adobe to do this. Go back and port ALL of your software to the current coding not just some. Sit down with the UI and fix the disjointed feel and make it consistant across the board (including Acrobat Pro). throw in some performance ehancements and some bug fixes and then get the marketing department and release...


                                                                              CREATIVE SUITE 6.5


                                                                              Think of it as the "Snow Leopard" upgrade. Not a lot of noticble features but a unified look and updated coding on the backend.


                                                                              End Users would pay for that.


                                                                              And in closing. Users aren't stupid. Sometimes the excuses or reasons given just make the company look worse.


                                                                              Imagine how this thread would have gone if the answer was simply this.



                                                                              "We love the new Darker UI option and we are excited to hear that are users love it too. We are sorry that it was not implemented into IDCS6 in time for the release. We are working hard on this and hope to have this feature included in IDCS6 in a future update."


                                                                              And yes I still have a copy of Illustrator '88

                                                                              • 36. Re: New, Darker, UI for InDesign CS6
                                                                                Dov Isaacs Adobe Employee



                                                                                Glad to know that you still have a copy of Illustrator'88.


                                                                                Adobe didn't drag their feet in any porting from MacOS 9 to MacOS X, regardless of what you may think or popular talking heads in the press may speculate about or Mac fanboys may say. As I indicated in my previous response earlier in this thread, some of the Apple technologies in MacOS X were not quite ready for prime time when initially released. Quite a bit of time was spent by Adobe and Apple working together to get enough kinks out of the system such that we were able to ship quality, releasable product. It is easy to ship press releases in quantity and to demonstrate proof-of-concept products builds, but that is very different from shipping a supportable product with as much backwards and forwards compatibility as possible. Neither Adobe nor Microsoft for that matter had any reason to drag our heals in terms of releasing MacOS X-native product. Every day we couldn't ship such product did hurt our revenue as well as Apple's. Our experience with the processor changes were quite similar. XCode wasn't ready for prime time. In all these cases, we almost had Adobe and Apple engineers living together to resolve problems such that we could get shippable product. It was certainly not a case of a bunch of lazy engineers sitting around purposely avoiding the job of portation of code as part of some type of conspiracy against Apple.


                                                                                Contrary to what you may believe, it would have been impossible “to code InDesign in Cocoa to begin with.” Why? Because Cocoa didn't at all exist when coding began on InDesign, a project that started years earlier than Cocoa.


                                                                                User interfaces are a very difficult area since it ultimately comes down to personal preferences, current trends, etc. Aesthetics are very personal. Complicate this by the fact that Adobe products need to run on multiple operating systems and that we need to have the highest level of cross-platform compatibility in functionality and operation which obviously runs afoul of the very different OS conventions and capabilities. Contrary to what many exclusively-Macintosh users believe, we do have very many Windows users of our products and customers who demand that our products have as close as possible common UI and operation on both platforms. In the case of Acrobat, you also must understand that graphic artists are not the only users of Acrobat; an exceptionally high percentage of Acrobat users are enterprise software users for whom the UIs of Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign would be totally unacceptable. To date, the idea of supporting multiple UIs for Acrobat hasn't gained much traction in terms of cost of product implementation and maintenance.


                                                                                I wouldn't waste time speculating on the whole Flash affair being an issue of payback for perceived past wrongs. If so, it would be for Adobe refusing to totally abandon its support for Windows upon release of MacOS X (yes, some Apple engineers claimed that this was Apple's expectation for Adobe since MacOS X was obviously now the perfect OS and that we wouldn't need Windows anymore). The issue of Flash was really an issue of where and how toll booths could be erected for the iOS devices and forcing application exclusivity; let's leave it at that!


                                                                                          - Dov

                                                                                • 37. Re: New, Darker, UI for InDesign CS6
                                                                                  DTLCB Level 1

                                                                                  Hi Dov.


                                                                                  Yes, CS6 is exceptional, I love much of it, well done indeed.


                                                                                  Please do not explain why Adobe can't do things (it's not relevant unless you work for Adobe), or offer backhanded beratement to those of us who use Mac OSX. If you guys find it all too hard, or expensive, then get out of the game, someone else will no doubt find a way, and we'll all migrate to that, as we migrated away from Quark Express.


                                                                                  What we want is a user-centric, consistent, seamless workflow. Isn't that why it's called Creative SUITE?


                                                                                  Interestingly, we on this forum are the ones who care enough to engage Adobe, and what we've got in return is some pretty inappropriate feedback. As soon as a better, more effieint option comes along, I'll take it. For Adobe's sake, perhaps that solution will come from CS6.5 / 7....  after all, you get what you pay for.

                                                                                  • 38. Re: New, Darker, UI for InDesign CS6
                                                                                    Dov Isaacs Adobe Employee

                                                                                    Sorry if you feel that I was somehow berating MacOS users. I use MacOS myself as part of my work (along with Windows, iOS, Android, etc.). That is definitely not the intent of my remarks.


                                                                                    I did acknowledge that in fact users rightly want the consistent UI. There is no one within Adobe who disagrees one iota on this issue.


                                                                                    Within Adobe, my responsibilities include issues of PDF publishing workflow interoperability. In terms of how the software works or doesn't work together, within Adobe I am seen as a constant pain-in-the-tuchas in terms of pushing such issues with each of the teams. (My job is explicitly never to be satisfied with what we currently have!) It isn't easy, but there have been improvements in product interoperability from one release to the next, despite the fact that user needs, technology, the OS platforms, and very importantly user expectations continue to all continually change under our feet even while we are working on a single release. And this process will continue with your feedback.


                                                                                    And speeking about feedback, no one questions engaging Adobe for product improvement. Please keep that coming. We rely on such engagement and feedback!


                                                                                    However, having said that, when participants in these threads make statements, often inflamatory, that they claim are factual that are not so and are at best speculative and at worst totally wrong, it is responsible for Adobe to respond. In this case it was necessary to correct misstatements and accusations about what transpired as far back as up to fourteen years ago and ongoing issues that we have needed to tackle along the way such that Adobe could provide the best possible experience and quality for the MacOS versions of our software. Most of these issues could not have been solved by Adobe unilaterally simply throwing more money and resource at them.


                                                                                              - Dov

                                                                                    • 39. Re: New, Darker, UI for InDesign CS6
                                                                                      Shehab ElKadi Level 1



                                                                                      I have to admire the way you used that reverse logic by abstracting comfort and function... you know that this method works both ways; right?


                                                                                      (1) ditch the office or even the job; that is creativly limiting and work from home as a freelancer... you will make more money


                                                                                      (2) get rid of the tablet; and never use keyboard shortcuts... come on; mouse is much accurate when it comes to design and movement... and on screen keyboard is much faster if used right with toolbars (just develop a rythm).


                                                                                      (3) do not work unless you have the kind of music you like playing... (actually this should be a rule; no one can argue about it; unless you are under tight deadline; and you have been lestening to music for over 20 hours and you have migrane)


                                                                                      (4) Make sure you are working in a very colorful environment with low romantic light; and dim your screen a bit for a more creative mode; color harmony and tones does not affect or impact Art Directions (and there is always someone who can fix it after you)


                                                                                      (5) you should work whenever you feel like it... if the clinet doen't like it; there will always be others?


                                                                                      (6) Never work on a day that a group of people decides it is a vacation... (but actually that contradicts with point 5)


                                                                                      (7) Make sure to do things your way; you do not need any refrence... why take the wheel and add to it; just re-invent it every time... it is much more fun. (and you have more experiance on the tool than Adobe... what do they know anyway?)


                                                                                      I actually believe that somehow your intentions in the reply was not to assure; help or give openion... you actually like argument; and you strongly believe that your logic is the best. I assure you; I do not care. Honest to god; I read a very logical comment that agrees with mine; and tried to explain 3 different insights of people about a FEATURE and how I believe that it serves a very small END-BENIFIT.


                                                                                      I hope that was clear to you and my fellow commentors. I should have learnt my place; after all I am just another person that has no work on international media and no award winning campaigns... you all are... masters.


                                                                                      Have a nice one.

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