How to Wow with InDesign

by Wayne Rankin and Mike McHugh. 175 pp. plus CD-ROM. Peachpit Press, 2005. $39.99.

This worthy addition to Peachpit’s “Wow!” series brings together two of Australia’s premier designers and trainers for a book and CD set that’s partly lesson-based instruction and partly a goodie bag of InDesign templates, textures, document presets, stroke styles and custom-made elements ready to be incorporated into your InDesign documents.

How to Wow with InDesign begins with a nicely presented orientation to InDesign’s workspace, settings and tools – essential for beginners and worth a look for more experienced InDesign users.
The rest of the book’s nine chapters offer well thought out lessons on text and typography, pages and documents, tables, using color, importing graphics, working with transparency, adding interactive elements and preparing output.

Several of the chapters start with lucidly-illustrated overviews of the palettes, dialog boxes and settings needed to work with particular features and functions. This makes the book more accessible for experienced designers who wish to dip in to learn a particular technique without getting mired in step by step instructions for a practice project.

The book is beautifully designed and illustrated, and alternates between Mac and Windows screen shots.

In addition to the expected project files, the CD is well-appointed with presets, templates, textures, stroke styles and a library of fully-editable elements including page numbers, color swatches, text styles and more that you can drop into any InDesign document. The CD also contains an offer for discounts and five free images from Photospin.

How to Wow with InDesign belongs on the shelf of every beginning to intermediate-level InDesign user. Most highly recommended.

– Elsa Travisano

Copyright ©2005 by Elsa Travisano. This review appeared in the October 2005 issue of Newsbreak, the newsletter of MUG ONE - Macintosh User Group of Oneonta, NY.