Adobe InDesign CS4 – a review

What does this have to do with music, you ask? In and of itself, not a lot. However, I am writing a book or two on the banjo, and this has proven to be a significant choice – that of what Desktop Publishing (DTP) software to use when writing a book. After having started out on MS Word, I saw a definite need for more book-writing-specific software. I switched to MS Publisher; this was a bit more flexible, but still wasn’t quite the tool for the task. After looking at a few other options, I felt that Adobe inDesign hit the nail on the head so to speak. But as with anything that does everything, there is more of a learning curve to it. This book looks to be filling that need well.

I’m using the CS4 version; like most any Adobe product these days, it is well-integrated with other Adobe software, using the same look, location and functionality across the whole suite of products. Once you learn it, getting up on another Adobe application will be all the quicker. Now, if I just had more time!

If you’re thinking about writing anything, music or otherwise, do consider this as opposed to a more basic tool such as Word or Publisher. You’ll be glad to have this tool under your belt.

I’m currently reading Visual Quickstart Guide to InDesign CS4. It’s a good basic book to learn the ropes of this DTP package. Yes, this is a quick reference book whose methodical style essentially walks you through every single feature; some folks like this, others don’t. I find it good enough of a balance to get the basics done. Eventually, I’ll most likely wind up with one or two other titles, each with a different strength to balance each other. But this title will get the job done as an good initial introduction to inDesign CS4.

About Phill Gibson

I'm from Huntsville, Alabama where I work as a Systems Engineer and part-time banjo and mandolin instructor. I've been playing various instruments since my teen years. I started mandolin at about age 17 and banjo at 20. I love just about all kinds of music. In terms of banjo styles, I play Scruggs and melodic and am working on becoming more advanced with single string. I'm also working on 4-finger banjo, which is way off the beaten path. I would like to see more jazz techniques integrated into bluegrass situations; counterpoint, especially. So long-term, that's what I'm doing. I'm also very keen on astronomy, ATM (amateur telescope making), birding, christian homeschooling, martial arts, organic gardening and about 30 other distracting hobbies to a (mercifully) lesser extent.
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