What Is Adobe InDesign?

Read on to find out more about Adobe InDesign software and three careers where it can be used. You can also get salary and job outlook information for these jobs. Schools offering 3D Animation degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is Adobe InDesign?

Adobe InDesign is a desktop publishing software program application that is offered by Adobe Systems, Inc. The software supports the creation of layouts for print publications, such as books and brochures, as well as digital content such as eBooks, mobile apps and interactive documents. The user can choose from a wide range of tools, ranging from image overlays to hyperlink or footnote insertions, depending on their needs.

There are many several careers in which InDesign software can be extremely valuable. For instance, graphic designers can use InDesign software to design layouts for websites, print advertisements or other publications, depending on the needs of their clients. They may also use other software, such as photo editing applications or data visualization software, to create the elements that they incorporate in their InDesign layouts. Another job where InDesign software can be useful is a position as a web developer. These professionals construct websites for businesses, organizations and individual clients. They can use InDesign for front-end development, which involves determining how a website looks and setting up interactive features like shopping carts or surveys. Finally, desktop publishers can use InDesign software for their work. They usually follow the directions of art directors, editors or marketing managers to create layout using software like InDesign.

Take a look at the following table for more information about careers where InDesign may be used:

Graphic Designer Web Developer Desktop Publisher
Degree Required Bachelor's Degree Associate's Degree Associate's Degree
Educational Field of Study Graphic design or related field Web design or related field Graphic design, graphic arts or graphic communications
Key Responsibilities Determine client needs, implement design plans, make changes based on client requests Design web layouts, write code for websites, maintain and update websites Implement page layouts for online and web publications, edit content
Job Growth (2014-2024)* 1% 27% -21%
Mean Salary (2015)* $51,640 $70,660 $43,900

*U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Are the Job Duties of Professionals Who Use Adobe InDesign?

Graphic designers can work on lots of different projects, such as creating newspaper advertisements for businesses, designing book jackets for publishing companies and creating data graphics for scientific publications. They usually begin by meeting with the client in order to determine what they need and expect. From there, they integrate text, images and/or interactive features to create aesthetically appealing and functional content.

As a web developer, your job would be to create and maintain websites. Some web developers specialize in front-end development; their main focus is setting up the features with which the user directly interacts. Others work on all aspects of website construction, including back-end development, which involves writing code to set up the website's framework. Web developers may also be responsible for periodically testing and updating the website content to comply with technological changes or company updates, like new product offerings or promotions.

Desktop publishers are responsible for the technical implementation of layouts designed by higher-level workers. They edit graphics, change text sizes and format layouts. In addition, they may review layouts for basic errors, such as spelling or grammatical issues. They may work on either print or digital projects.

What Is the Job Outlook and Salary for Professionals Who Use Adobe InDesign?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job opportunities for graphic designers are expected to increase by only 1% between 2014 and 2024, which is slower than the national average for all occupations, and a decline of 21% is expected for desktop publishers. However, 27% job growth is expected for web developers, which is much faster than the national average. As of 2015, the average annual salary for graphic designers was $51,640, according to the BLS. For desktop publishers, it was $43,900. Web developers earned a mean annual salary of $70,660.

How Can I Learn to Use InDesign?

Adobe Systems provides basic online tutorials, and there are lots of other online guides that offer basic training, as well as tips and tricks for using InDesign for certain purposes. There are also community colleges and universities that offer formal training courses. Often, these courses are offered on weekends, in the evenings or online in order to accommodate the needs of working professionals and others with daytime and/or weekday scheduling conflicts. Some courses cover the basics of InDesign use, while others focus on using the software for particular purposes, such as using InDesign page masters (the underlying templates included in the software package). At some schools, students can take InDesign courses alongside a series of other design-related courses that culminate in a certificate in desktop publishing or a related subject. However, as noted above, it is important to remember that professionals who use InDesign may need to have fulfilled additional educational requirements for their careers.

What Are the System Requirements for Using InDesign?

Adobe InDesign 2017, the latest version, runs on both Windows and Macintosh computers and mobile devices. If you are a Windows user, you need to be running Windows 7 (with Service Pack 1), Windows 8, Windows 8.1 or Windows 10. If you want to use the InDesign Touch workspace, you need to have a touch screen-enabled laptop or tablet that runs at least Windows 8. You also need at least 2GB of RAM, and 2.6GB of hard disk space for installation. Your device must also have a 1024x768 display, although 1280x800 is recommended by Adobe. In addition, to activate the software and register your product, you need to have internet access.

If you are a Mac user, you need to be running macOS 10.10, 10.11 or 10.12, on an iMac 4K, iMac 5K, MacBook Pro Retina, Mac Pro connected to a HiDPI monitor or Mac mini connected to a HiDPI monitor. In addition, for installation, you need at least 2GB of RAM and 2.6GB of hard disk space for installation. The display requirements are the same as for Windows users.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Instead of getting a job where you would use InDesign, you could pursue a career that involves directing the work of others who do use the software. For example, as an art director, you would be in charge of planning the layout of a print or digital publication, and then you would direct lower-level desktop publishers or web developers to implement it. You would also review their work after finishing in order to make sure that it corresponds with your original artistic vision for the project. Art directors need to have at least a bachelor's degree. Alternatively, you could choose another job that involves the use of computer software, such as a computer support specialist. They help individuals and organizations optimize their use of technology and troubleshoot problems. Most computer support specialists have completed at least some undergraduate courses in information technology.

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