5 Replies Latest reply on Jul 26, 2011 3:13 PM by maddyrng

    Learning InDesign

    maddyrng Level 1

      I am about to give up on learning In Design.  I bought CS4 in 2010, learned Photoshop but never learned InDesign.  I have updated the program via "updates".

      I am not trying to develop anything. 

      What I want to do is write a Family History Book.  I have exported from Family Tree Maker a pdf file which is highly structured.  It reads perfectly in Adobe Reader X,  It is a 393 page document.  I want to break it up into 5 Chapters, Generations 1-5, 6-10, etc with one chapter of Endnotes.AND I want to insert photos, documents,tables etc because this document contains no illustrations.  I thought learning InDesign would help me do that.

       

      I.  To place the document it only places the first page.  So I thought I would only work with the first page. I worked in Getting Started

       

      2  To place 1 photo on the page, I have been able to do this.  and I understand setting the boundaries

       

      3.  I have viewed the introductory videos up to wrapping the text around a simple object.  Under Object "ignore text wrap" is unchecked.

       

      4.  Pressing the icon "wrap to boundary" does nothing.  I cannot get any of the words to wrap around the photo. (None of the other icons work either) The photo is on top and is selected.

       

      5.  I have gone back and reviewed the learning videos several times on text wrapping. 

      Is it because the pdf file is so structured?  If I imported it as a rtf would it wrap?

      This seems so simple in the video but I am totally frustrated.  There does not seem much point in upgrading to CS5 if I cannot learn this simple task.  I thought that InDesign would give me a better product than Microsoft Word which I have used in the past to do what I want to do here.

        • 1. Re: Learning InDesign
          Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

          Placing a PDF is, essentially, the same thing a placing a picture of the PDF page (and you can specify which page, or multiple pages, to place if you "show import options" and there are a number of scripts available  for placing all the pages at once). You don't get editable content, and since there is no real text, ther is no wrap.

           

          There is a plugin, I believe from Recosoft, called PDF2ID that will allow you to OPEN rather than place a PDF in ID, and it fives you editable text and objects. I've never used it, and I have no idea what it would do with something like a family tree, but htere may be a demo available for you to try out.

          • 2. Re: Learning InDesign
            maddyrng Level 1

            Thank you for your response.  I went to the Recosoft website.  They

            require a written request for a trial version to which they might reply

            within 72 hours. If I do not hear within this time, they have declined

            my request. Just to correct one impression. The entire 393 page document

            is all text, it is not a family tree chart, with boxes etc. It also has

            superscript end-note numbers. The cost for the standard version of the

            software is approximately $300.

            • 3. Re: Learning InDesign
              Joel Cherney Adobe Community Professional & MVP
              They require a written request for a trial version to which they might reply within 72 hours. If I do not hear within this time, they have declined my request.

              Yeah, it's not the friendliest demo distro I've ever seen...

               

               

              I am not trying to develop anything. 

              What I want to do is write a Family History Book.  I have exported from Family Tree Maker a pdf file which is highly structured.  It reads perfectly in Adobe Reader X,  It is a 393 page document.  I want to break it up into 5 Chapters, Generations 1-5, 6-10, etc with one chapter of Endnotes.AND I want to insert photos, documents,tables etc because this document contains no illustrations.  I thought learning InDesign would help me do that.

               

              Unfortunately, because it's already in PDF format (meant to be read or printed, not changed or edited), you would wind up having to do a fair bit of work to get it out of PDF format and into InDesign, or into any other editable format.

               

              5.  I have gone back and reviewed the learning videos several times on text wrapping. 

              Is it because the pdf file is so structured?  If I imported it as a rtf would it wrap?

              This seems so simple in the video but I am totally frustrated.  There does not seem much point in upgrading to CS5 if I cannot learn this simple task.  I thought that InDesign would give me a better product than Microsoft Word which I have used in the past to do what I want to do here.

               

              Yeah, if you had Acrobat Pro you could save a .doc or a .rtf out of the PDF, and either open it up for editing in Word, or place it in ID. Either one would probably involve a lot of work - once again, PDF is a distribution format, not one meant for editing.

               

              InDesign will give you a better product (and a more reliable, less fickle environment for long documents) but the learning curve is, as you're finding out, quite steep for a pro-grade page layout tool. The hassle of working with a 400-page book in Word might make it worthwhile for you to clamber up that steep learning curve. Personally, all of my long-doc experience in Word involves crashes and corrupted files and page elements that jump around for no good reason; I'd rather eat glass than try a book like yours in Word. However, you have a cost-benefit analysis ahead of you: You obviously already know how to work in Word. Are you willing to deal with Word-related hassles, in order to avoid needing to learn a brand-new tool you'll only use once? Keep in mind that the tool in question is challenging to use & expects that you already know a lot about document production/graphic design/desktop publishing/et cetera.

               

              No matter what, it sounds to me like there's nothing in CS5 or CS5.5 that you would need for your project that is not available in previous versions of InDesign. Should you elect to learn about ID for your project, I don't think you need to spend any money on upgrades.

              • 4. Re: Learning InDesign
                Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

                Do you have Acrobat as part of a suite package, or did you just buy ID and Photoshop? If you have Acrobat, I think it would be worth at least trying to save out of the PDF in some other format, like Word or RTF, that ID can place.

                • 5. Re: Learning InDesign
                  maddyrng Level 1

                  Peter and Joel,

                  Thanks both of you for your help. I got a very prompt response from the

                  company and tried the conversion program out, but it does not keep the

                  indentation when listing the children of a couple.  It makes it into 1

                  paragraph with all the children data running together. You may think

                  this is trivial but when you get to families of great and great great

                  grandparents they were often 8-13 children strong. They also will only

                  allow you to convert page 1 of a document.  Pages 2-10 are made of X and

                  x's,  which allows you to guess at the structure. However, I was able to

                  place a photo and do the text wrap on Page 1! The program does keep the

                  superscript numbers of the end notes in place, something that conversion

                  to Word docs does not do.