NWA-PCUG Newsletter Article, June 2009
A SCUG Review: Adobe InDesign CS4 “one-on-one”
SCUG Report, February 2009 issue

By Gregory West, Editor, Sarnia Computer Users’ Group, Canada
editor (at) scug.ca (click to email author)

This article has been obtained from APCUG with the author's permission for publication by APCUG member groups; all other uses require the permission of the author `(see e-mail address above).

Authors: Deke McClelland with David Futato
Published: November 2008
O?Reilly Media, Inc., Deke Press
ISBN: 978-0-596-52191-2
Pages: 530
$49.99 in Canada and USA

Usually, when desktop publishing is mentioned people tense up, and rightly so. The programs are so hard to learn. But all that has now changed.

We have all dreamed of being able to produce an award winning document, from a single page newsletter to that 100 plus page glossy magazine. Now we can use this book and the training DVD. You will be amazed how easy it is to learn this desktop publishing program while you follow along, both with the 12 lessons in this book, and with the DVD that is included, free with the book.

Deke McClelland, a 20 year award-winning veteran in the publishing business, and author of 80 books on computer graphics is the best there is. McClelland is the first InDesign book author and has held this distinction ever since. The book is designed for both PC and Mac. The DVD training video is by “lynda.com is an “award winning provider of educational materials, including Hands-On Training™ instructional books, the Online Training Library®, CD- and DVD-based video training, and events for creative designers, instructors, students, and hobbyists” (http://www.lynda.com).

Many of the “high-end” desktop publishing programs are extremely intensive and hard to master. Deke McClelland and David Futato have produced a full training class, with their “so-easyto-follow” book. The title is in part: “one-on-one” - they score high points on this concept of training all the way; training sessions that would normally cost you a lot of money.

The book holds the training concept of: read lesson – watch video - do exercises. There are 12 self-paced lessons in this book that follow along with the 4 hour DVD training video that comes free with the book. At the end of each chapter there are quizzes to make sure you are on the right path. The colour graphics in the book are large and easy to see and study. Sidebar notations are everywhere, to keep you on track. If you are slightly familiar with desktop publishing, this book and DVD allows for you to pick topics of your choice to zero in on your specialized training.

I would suggest your very first move, after skimming through the book is to insert the training DVD that comes with the book. The first video sets you up with folders and colour sequencing so that your computer is maximized to allow you to view all your needed files for InDesign. If you have some of the other programs from Adobe Suite such as Photoshop, this will also sync up those programs as well. Next step is to view the second introductory video wherein author, Deke McClelland, explains how this course is setup and how to maximize the lessons, both in the book and on the DVD.

McClelland advises to start in the book and read the introduction to the lesson, then play the DVD to watch the “companion video”. All you do here is, as McClelland says, “sit back and relax”, as the videos are extremely well done. When you?re finished the video section, you then return to the book to “work your way through the step-by-step exercises”. You can do the overview to make sure you are getting it with a quiz that follows each lesson.

This book is a must have for any editor who works with a single page newsletter, or a hundred page glossy magazine. I highly recommend this book.

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