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Adobe InDesign CC 2017 review: Page layout software features improved OpenType support and better graphics performance

Jay J. Nelson | Dec. 22, 2016
The OpenType improvements alone are worth the upgrade.

These are the advanced OpenType options for the text in the Warnock Pro font used in this text frame. InDesign helpfully shows previews of some of the alternate glyphs.

Stylistic Sets: Font designers often create pleasing combinations of alternates for you and collect them into what’s known as a stylistic set. To see the stylistic sets available for all the text in a selected text frame, click on the O badge at the bottom of the text frame. (If the designer assigned names to the sets, those names will appear; otherwise, the sets are simply numbered.) To apply a stylistic set, choose it from the list that displays.

InDesign 2017  

These are the advanced OpenType stylistic sets available for the text in the Adios Pro font used in this text frame. InDesign helpfully shows previews of some of the alternate glyphs.

Performance

The new GPU Performance feature can improve image preview quality and the document preview quality during zooming and panning, if you have a Mac that supports a Retina display and the Mac has at least 1MB of VRAM. (Supported Macs include the iMac 4K, iMac 5K, MacBook Pro Retina, Mac Pro connected to a HiDPI monitor, and Mac mini connected to a HiDPI monitor.)

If your system meets these requirements, InDesign renders your document using the GPU instead of the CPU and sets the Display Performance to High Quality. To enable and disable this feature, click the rocket icon at the top of InDesign CC 2017’s Options bar shown in the following screen shot.

InDesign 2017  

Hover over the GPU Performance icon in InDesign’s Options bar (circled) to see the status of this feature. Click it to open the GPU Performance preferences window.

When you click the rocket icon, InDesign displays the GPU Performance preferences window shown.

InDesign 2017  

InDesign’s GPU Performance Preferences window lets you control how the GPU Performance feature works, see your computer’s graphics card, and learn more about this feature at Adobe’s website (circled).

In my testing with GPU Performance enabled, graphics of all file types displayed more clearly than they did with GPU Performance disabled. Panning and zooming was also smoother. However, PNG files were slightly jagged compared with the same files viewed in QuarkXPress 10 or higher, as were rotated PSD and TIF files.

In previous versions of InDesign, if you opened a document stored on a network server rather than from your computer’s hard drive and then you disconnected from the network for any reason, InDesign would crash. Now InDesign caches your document to your local drive so that you can work with the document even if the network crashes. When the network comes back, InDesign invisibly reconnects to it. If the network doesn’t come back, you can save your document to your local drive.

 

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