I’m working on a new video course, Introducing InDesign, for lynda.com. Its purpose is to introduce everyone who doesn’t already know about it to the best page-layout program the world has ever known. The challenge for me: InDesign is wildly powerful and, perhaps as a result, wildly complicated. How to make it understandable to a first-time user?
One solution is the everyday average table. For example, let’s consider the page-navigation keyboard shortcuts. They save you time, as witnessed below:
But these shortcuts are a bit weird when transcribed to smaller keyboards, such as the one built into the otherwise supremely powerful MacBook Pro. At which point, they look like this:
By way of an aside, I recently purchased a Surface 3 Pro. Microsoft gave out a ton of these at Adobe MAX, but few attendees have commented on them. I didn’t attend MAX but, unrelated, I purchased a Surface 3 Pro a few months back. Like any rational designer, I’m not a huge Microsoft fan. But I believe the Surface has promise. So far, it’s a paper-thin full-blown computer. Running an awkward OS.
My course will offer lots more: Keyboard diagrams, why guides matter, ways to automate, how to fall in love with page layout, and so forth. As usual, my plan is to help the new user emerge—with nothing more than a few hours of my online assistance—better equipped to make things happen than a potential competitor who’s been working in InDesign for many several years.
I love the old school. Hello new school.