Most helpful positive review
33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on April 30, 2009
First the disclaimer: I am proficient with Microsoft Word and have had some experience with hobbyist-level layout programs. However, I had never used InDesign before I started the lessons in this book.
I purchased this particular title because it seemed to be the best bargain. For the price, you get a full-color book, a DVD with video lessons and lesson files. At approximately 350 pages, the book is big enough to give detail but not so huge as to intimidate the reader.
The book assumes that you are computer literate but it does not assume that you are familiar with printing and typography terms. Every phrase is carefully explained as it is brought up. Don't know what kerning is? That's okay, a succinct explanation takes care of that.
The book is essentially a big book of exercises. Separated into thirteen chapters, each is designed to teach a specific tool in InDesign. The chapters are reasonably short, I was able to complete most of them in 30 minutes to one hour. (The exception being the very long chapter 3, which took about 2 hours)
I think that my experience with other programs helped a lot in learning InDesign but the book is so user friendly that I imagine that even people with no experience in this type of program would be able to learn quickly and easily.
The author has a very clear manner of writing and he explains his steps carefully. What's more, color pictures help greatly in showing steps that may not be clear.
I liked the videos but wished there had been more of them. They are basically short clips of the author demonstrating some of the techniques from each chapter.
I feel that the book did a very thorough job of teaching InDesign to an absolute beginner.
This book is recommended for:
* People with no InDesign experience who want clear instruction
* Self-taught InDesign users who want to fill gaps in their knowledge
* InDesign users who need a thorough review or who want to get acquainted with the new features in CS4.
The book is NOT recommended for:
* Someone already proficient in InDesign. This book teaches, it is not really a reference.
One last note: I got an early printing of the book and so the lesson files on the DVD were based on a pre-release version of InDesign. These lesson files DO NOT work with the final version of InDesign CS4. The publishers of the book have made updates files available on their website, the URL is printed directly on the DVD sleeve in the book. The whole process took 5 minutes to complete. I don't feel that this detracted from the quality of the lesson material since the problem was so easily fixed.