Tue 09 Nov
The past two days, I’ve been spending more time than usual in Adobe InDesign. While I’m still no fan of designing for print (or the process of it, anyway), I’m really finding that I enjoy using InDesign as a tool. Maybe it’s because I kind of grew up using QuarkXPress, but I find the mode of thinking that a layout program like InDesign uses to be very intuitive. The program’s style sheets feature is a good example; defining and using these text-styling rules is exceedingly simple and logical. It makes we wish that there was a way of manipulating Cascading Style Sheets similarly. Of course, CSS is far more powerful a medium than InDesign’s style sheets, but there must be a way to balance its raw power with InDesign’s brand of plainspoken logic.
And I’m not quite talking about a program like CSSEdit either — it’s a smart little app, but it falls short of what I’m hinting at. What I want is an InDesign for comping Web pages, a layout program that doesn’t force me to push pixels one hundred percent of the time the way I must in Photoshop. I haven’t come within a yard of Macromedia Dreamweaver or Adobe GoLive in years, so recent versions may approximate what I’m talking about. Just to be clear, though, I don’t want a production tool (and I realize that InDesign is a production tool), really, but a comping tool, something that will let me focus entirely on the composition of a Web page design, while still addressing the layout components as objects, in the manner of InDesign or XPress. I guess the point I’m trying to make is that Photoshop is a pain in the ass.