Adobe InDesign 2.0 beta

Adobe's InDesign 2.0 is set to hit the streets within the first quarter of 2002, and it's got some new features and abilities that make this Quark XPress rival even more attractive. InDesign will run under WinXP and Mac OS X 10.1, plus earlier versions.

Designers who have battled with tabbed tables or unwieldy table plug-ins will rejoice in version 2.0's table creation facilities. Styled Excel and Word tables can be imported, or users can directly create, style and edit a table in InDesign. You can even insert a graphic into a cell. For that final creative touch, drop shadows, feathering and other editable effects can be applied to the table - or to text, graphics and any element in a file.

Click the new print preview button on the toolbox to see how the page will look when printed. You'll find changes to the printing interface, too. New file export formats include SVG, XML and tagged PDF, the latter to be read in Adobe's Acrobat eBook Reader.

InDesign's already impressive treatment of text has some fresh components: there's a special Glyph palette; the Multi-line Composer now treats paragraphs rather than a user-specified number of lines, and is known as the Paragraph Composer; a hyphenation penalty slider lets you set the balance between spacing and hyphenation; and there is increased support for OpenType fonts.

Frequent users of different Adobe applications will welcome the Color Engine, which lets you customise settings, name the set and apply it to other apps for consistent colour treatment.

Unfortunately, the cumbersome spell checker hasn't been improved and there's no still word count facility.

Adobe InDesign 2.0 beta

Price: full $2046; upgrade $260; cross-grade pricing from Quark to InDesign 1.5 (includes free upgrade to InDesign 2.0) $749 until 30 November 2001; Phone: 1300 550 305; URL:

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