Please subscribe to watch this video

Sign Up

Adobe InDesign CC 2018 - New Features

Adobe InDesign CC 2018 - New Features

Daniel Walter Scott


In this free video we'll go over the most recent updates from Adobe InDesign CC 2018. I'll give you all the hints, tips and tricks to help increase your productivity, I'll also go over some of the updates you might have missed in the last update.

What are the requirements?

  • There are no requirements, check out the video and learn all about the new features of Adobe InDesign CC 2018


Hi there, my name is Daniel Walter Scott from And this is our 'What's New for InDesign 2018.' I've put them in the order of what I think are the most exciting and most useful for people, but that is totally subjective. Go through, see what you think, drop me a line in the comments and tell me what you like, don't like. I'd love to know what affects you the most. Now, is this a mind blowing change to InDesign that everyone's going to have to go and relearn it? No. InDesign is a rock solid awesome program, so what they've done is, all these features are mainly aimed at people who are daily users, and just to make things go a little faster, fix up a few of the bugs that existed. That's not to say some of the features aren't amazing but you probably need to be doing the InDesign daily grind to find them super useful. So let's dive in, and have a look.

The first and most exciting for me, it's not a huge upgrade, but it's a huge new feature. I've got my Character panel open up here, let's say I pick this font, and I want to go through, and I like this font, but I want to find something similar, but maybe I'm looking for something that has a little less, all of these little flourishes, I guess, something a little bit stronger. So, up here, in my 'Fonts', we've got this new option here this, little wavy line. I love this wavy line, 'Show Similar Fonts'. Somehow magically, InDesign can go through your font list, not just the Typekit ones, but all the other ones as well, TrueType and OpenType fonts. And somehow finds it in different languages. Fonts that are very similar, you can see, that's the Lust that I am using. We can also see Playfair. You can see, they are really similar fonts. Well done, InDesign, love this feature. And somehow it works. So similar is amazing, I love it.

They've added in an extra feature as well which is at the top here-- I'm going to turn this thing off. And see here, where it says 'Filter', where it says 'All Classes', they've gone through and-- the thing that we all did as an InDesigner, and gone through all of our fonts, and gone and picked all our Slab Serifs and put them in some sort of order, and all the hand writing ones in some sort of order, somehow magically, InDesign has done it for us, I love it. So, say I'm looking for Slab Serif, I've got all of my options in here. It's just cut down my font list to something a lot more do-able rather than doing the fun, up and down with the arrow keys, try and find some new fonts to use. I'm just going to pick Museo Slab there. Awesome. So the first but small upgrade to that little font drop down list, it's beautiful. Thank you, InDesign. Next new feature, please.

So this next feature is going to be pretty exciting too. Stand back, it's Lines around Paragraphs, individual paragraphs. So let's have a little look, let's say, this first paragraph here, I want a line around the outside, I'm going to have my cursor flashing inside. I'm going to go up to this window here. And I'm going to find this one here; 'Paragraph Borders and Shading'. We've always had Paragraph Shading, but now we've got Borders and Shading. And when this first came out in the last version we were like, "Shading? Awesome!" Assuming there will be borders as well, so let's move this over here. If I turn Shading on, and Preview on, you get this kind of like big colored box behind it, and you're like "Eh, when will I ever use that?" You might be one of the people who do. But in terms of shading, they've upgraded this, if you are using it. I can see, they offset, which I could always do. I could unlink them and use it. People are using it, I've seen people use it a lot like this, on the right. I'm going to shrink that down. And they use it like this, like their color coding way, or of using it like a little bar for a paragraph. Or they're indulging maybe a key to describe different paragraphs. I've seen that, a really good use of it.

The other thing you can do now, and what you couldn't do before is - I'll bring that back to default. - is that now you can do corner sizes, where you couldn't do before. I can go in here and I can pick 'Rounder Corners', and I can 'increase' it up a little bit. You can see, now I can do rounded corners and they're all split as well. So I could have them all 'squared', 'break the link' 'Bottom right', 'Rounded'. I'm not sure why I'm doing this. I'm yet to completely shade a paragraph. So let's just turn that off, and let's look at the new sexy one, Border. So I'm going to turn Borders 'on', Previews 'on', and there you go, Liner around the outside. So let's sex it up a bit, and make it kind of a Keyline, maybe half a point '0.5'. I'm going to 'offset' it down here. And you can start to see, here we go, I've always wanted to do this, maybe for a paragraph. It might be like a Factoid, or it might be the recipe, or it might be something unique to what you're doing, just a little, it's in the flow of text, but maybe not directly related to the conversation going on in the text, it will pull out. I'm using it for the first paragraph here. So I've got it 'offset'. You can also add 'Rounded Corners'. But let's say I do want to do this, I'm just going to go and change the color. And I consider it as a Paragraph Style. And because it's getting a bit close to here and here I'm going to go to my 'Paragraph' options, and maybe just put it bit of before, a space before, and a little bit of space after. Give it some space, a little bit more.

So there's the Paragraph Style, in here, 'New' Paragraph Style. I'm going to call this guy 'First Paragraph'. And I want it to be based on 'No Style', keep it all by itself. And then, super easy now, I can click on this guy, cursor flashing, 'First Paragraph', oh goodness! You might have to be a long document nerd to really like that one as much as I do, but I do. And that my friends, is the Enhanced Shading Panel, but also the new Borders. Thank you, Adobe, thank you, InDesign, awesome feature.

And before we carry on, I just want to remind you, on the website, go to here, go to 'Resources', and you will find the InDesign Cheat Sheet. It's free, download the PDF version print it off, stick it off next to your computer, be more awesome. Loads of tips and tricks for new people, and for seasoned vets, I promise. All right, next feature.

So the next upgrade is to do with CC Libraries and Text going into it. So this is the previous version of InDesign. I can always click, hold, and drag a whole text box in, and that was fine, but when I drag the text box back out, it was in this kind of format, and I couldn't put the pure text in there. So in the new version you can - so let's switch over - so in the newer version, there's an extra option. See this little '+' button down here, so I can add this to the Library, whereas before, I could add it as a graphic, but I could never add it just as text. So if I added this text now, I get this new kind of sub-category here called Text rather than the graphics, like I just added before. And why is that cool? It's because I can drag it out now as pure text, click, hold, and drag, and you can see my cursor is loaded, and then I can drag the text box any odd size. You'll see I've brought through all the formatting I had, be it the Paragraph Styles, in my case, I just made the font bold. You can override that if you just hold 'Shift' while you're dragging it out. And then drag it out, you'll see, it's whatever your default font is.

The cool thing about this also is that other CC applications like Photoshop and Illustrator can use this raw text, whereas before, when we put it in as a graphic it just got dumped onto those other applications, as like a picture. Now we can use it as pure text and it will bring through all the formatting that you've done in these Paragraph Styles here. Pretty cool.

Before we move on from CC Libraries, this is not new for 2018, this feature came out during the year, not on one of the major releases, and most people missed it, that's just up here, say I got this Library here, and working on one called '3D Characters', and I add my 'Type' to it. I can share this, I've always been able to collaborate, which means I can send it to a colleague, they can add, remove, and delete things from my library. Great if you're working in an agency, or working with a colleague, and you trust them to be able to add and delete stuff from the library, but the new option in here, is this one that says 'Share Link'. This is what you might send to your client, you might design their logos, dump all the logo options that they might want in here, and they can look at them, they can download them but they can't adjust them, which is really good. Allows you to send outside the agency, or if you're a freelancer, just send it to clients so they stop bugging you for stuff. You can just send them the link, and say "Everything you need is in here," and they can't wreck it.

Also note that, that link, if they are using the Creative Cloud app, they will have this library, but if they're not, say this client may have no idea what InDesign is, or how it works, that link, there is a web version of it as well so that when they click on it, it will take them to a little website where they can download them, they don't need the Creative Cloud apps installed. So maybe not 2018, but some of the thing got stuck in there. There are things worth mentioning right here. All right, let's get on to the next feature.

So this next feature is for the super organized InDesign users amongst us. I'm kind of in the middle. Some projects aren't super organized, there's Paragraph Styles, and there's Color Groups, all sorts of awesomeness. And then other projects, they are a big mess, which I always regret later, but let's say we've got our super organized hat on and we're using our Swatches panel, we're working with our client, it's 'Green at Heart', that's what all these colors are. And you can select them all, and you can put them in a Color Group. So that came out in an earlier version of InDesign. You might not be using this. If you aren't, it's a really cool feature. It just means that I can put all my clients into little groups. So that I have all their Pantone, CMYK and RGB Swatches in nice little groups. I can even do it with these default colors here. I'm sick of all these guys and these are my default colors. Super organized. But what you couldn't do in the last version, 2017, is you couldn't have Gradient version. This guy had to hang out here by himself which made the Color Groups not as useful as they could be. But now, magic, drag it in there. And they're all part of the Color Groups, which was totally not possible if we would go with the older version.

Just a little side note, if you are like me and you have got a few different clients, you want Swatch groups for you, want to have them there every time you load the program up, you probably already know. I'm going to close down all my projects. So I've got nothing open. Then over here, switch to 'Essentials'. And if you go through now, and if I delete these-- I don't want you because I want to trail them underneath them. I go through and add new Swatches. Name them, bring them all through. If I do this while nothing is open, that will be my default forever. Whenever I'm making a new document, I have all the Swatches ready to go. That's how you change the default Swatches in InDesign. You can delete all these guys, and they'll be gone forever but I need these guys, so I'm going to just delete that, the new one. All right, the feature is, Color Groups can now have Gradients. And if you've never used Color Groups before, you're welcome. All right, next feature.

The next upgrade is to the Object Styles. So like a Paragraph Style or a Character Style, you can-- for objects like this, say the color and the drop shadow, I can set that as a Style. So instead of Style, I'm going to have it selected, go to 'Window', open up 'Styles', and go to 'Object Styles'. In here I'm going to make a new Style, I'm going to double click, give it a name. And this one is going to be called 'Star Burst'. So it means that I can go to a different document, I can grab my 'Polygon' tool, drag my 'Star Burst'. If you're wondering how I got all the spikes. all you do is double click the tool. And you can do 'Number of Sides', and the 'Star Inset'. 50, and 10% gives you that kind of like Star Burst look. Holding 'Shift' to get a perfect circle, and I can click 'Star Burst'. So it gives me the Drop Shadow. Can't really see the Drop Shadow there but it's got the Drop Shadow on it, and it's the right color. And that's all you've been able to do up until now but now what we can do is—

I'm going to click off in the background, I'm going to open up my 'Star Burst' Object Style. And in here is this option here, it says 'Size and Position Option', this is brand new. I want it to be that size as well. And I want to put it exactly on the page. You might use in both of these like I am going to get that in the right position and the right height, but you might just use 'Size' to get it to the right size. So now if I draw out a basic shape and it's black line, wrong size, height and width, all wrong. If I click on 'Star Burst' now, it's in the right place, it's the right height and width, and it has my traditional Object Styles. Super cool if you are an Object Styles user, I need to use them more.

Other uses I can think of off the top of my head, say, Terms and Conditions down the bottom, or an asterisk. Terms and Conditions apply, that needs to be in the Footer, and it needs to be x amount of distance from the left and the right. You can do it with a Text Box as well, I've done mine with a Shape, but Objects includes Text Frames. So you can put in the top left, right away from the margin is an option as well to make sure that it's consistency across all documents. And if you're all sharing the same Styles using your libraries you can update it once, and it updates across all documents. X and Y position, plus height and width. Super awesome!

All right, what else we got? So for the next couple of features they're more of upgrades to existing features so we'll just talk about them real quick, and if you are one of the people using these specific, quite nichey things, jump out to Adobe and check out more details. The first one is HTML Export. If you are exporting to ePub or HTML for Web there is a lot more control for deciding what Classes and Paragraph Styles get converted into Classes when you go and export.

Another upgrade is InNotes. If you are using InNotes you can now bring them directly in from Word and put your notes into tables. There's a few other little features as well to InNotes that have been upgraded. And also PDF accessibility, there's been some work with that just to make a few of the more hidden objects from Master pages more accessible for potentially the visually impaired, when you are exporting for the PDF format. So for all of those ones, if you are using those specifically, check out Adobe for a bit more details. What I'll do now is, I'll show you one last little feature. It's not new for 2018 but most people, even daily users don't use it, or forgot it exists, let me show you that, and that will be it.

So this last feature is like a little treat for you. It's been around for a little while but most people have either forgotten it existed or have never discovered it. It's your present for making it so far through this video. And it's this little option down the bottom here, splits your view into two. So it's just the view, so I can click on this side and I can scroll independently from this side. Where it's useful is, say I'm looking at my Contents page here, and on this side I want to jump to page 10, 'Command J'. And I'm looking at these headings, I'm just double checking everything's all right? So you can see, 'Working with the environment' should be on page 10, but it's on page 11, just gives me a way of being able to see two pages at once rather than having to jump up and down, so that's really cool.

The other way I use it is, let's say we're working on the Title page here, I'm going to jump up on this side, to the Title page as well. It means that I can be in this really super zoomed in version and be playing with things like Tracking, and something kind of minute. So I'm holding 'Option' on a Mac, or "Alt' on a PC, and just kind of tracking this in, playing with my Kerning. And you can see, it actually adjusts in this larger scale. You can see they're kind of tied together. So I can select green, and I can go through, and actually I'm going to pick the lighter version. And you can see, it updates on this side as well. So it's a way of being in close, but also far back, or maybe looking at potentially a double height Spread. So 'Command Option 0' will show you your Spread. You can start working across here in a nice kind of zoomed in version. Turn it off again by clicking the same little button and that is going to be it.

All right, so that's going to be it. If you haven't already, check out, under Courses there's InDesign Essentials for beginners, and there will be an InDesign Advanced really soon, I'm just finishing that off now. Check that out, remember there is a shortcut sheet. You can go to Resources, and download the InDesign shortcut sheet. Actually it's called the Cheat Sheet. Plus there's a few other InDesign resources there as well. Check out the other 2018 feature upgrade videos for some of the other products on the site. If you've got any questions, leave them in the comments and I'll jump in there and help you, me, or Tayla. All right, wonderful people thank you very much, and see you later.