I have Photoshop CS2 (Win) and have ordered InDesign CS3 after looking at a trial download. If I am shooting in camera raw and I want to transfer a part of an image onto a page in InDesign without the background from the image, what is the best method for preparing the image... I don't necessarily need step by step instructions just to be pointed in the direction of the best method. For example we are working on a book about firearms in a museum collection and want to place some of the photos without backgrounds and some with backgrounds.
I don't know anything about InDesign. I have never used it. So I don't know what kind of selection tools it may or may not have. From my perspective, the easiest way for you to accomplish this would be to optimize your image as much as possible in Camera Raw and then import the image into Photoshop and use the selection tools there to extract a portion of the image that you want. Camera Raw does not have selection tools.
You might want to consider getting Photoshop CS3 because it has a quick selection tool that is very easy to use. It also has some controls for refining the edges of your selection. I have used it several times and have found it quite nice to use.
As Jim said, this is best done directly in Photoshop. What youre looking to do is called a clipping path. It is possible to create a clipping path in ID CS3 by using the Detect Edges command but it may not be as accurate (depending on the subject) as doing it in PS using the pen tool.