InDesign is the successor to Adobe’s own PageMaker, which was acquired with the purchase of Aldus in late 1994. By 1998 PageMaker had lost almost the entire professional market to the comparatively feature-rich QuarkXPress 3.3, released in 1992, and 4.0, released in 1996. Quark stated its intention to buy out Adobe and to divest the combined company of PageMaker to avoid anti-trust issues.

Adobe rebuffed the offer and instead continued to work on a new app for page layout. The project had been started by Aldus and was code-named “Shuksan”. It was later code-named “K2” and was released as InDesign 1.0 in 1999.

In 2002, InDesign was the first Mac OS X-native desktop publishing (DTP) software. In version 3 (InDesign CS) it received a boost in distribution by being bundled with Photoshop, Illustrator, and Acrobat in the Creative Suite.

InDesign exports documents in Adobe’s Portable Document Format (PDF) and has multilingual support. It was the first DTP application to support Unicode for text processing, advanced typography with OpenType fonts, advanced transparency features, layout styles, optical margin alignment, and cross-platform scripting using JavaScript.

Later versions of the software introduced new file formats. To support the new features, especially typographic, introduced with InDesign CS, both the program and its document format are not backward-compatible. Instead, InDesign CS2 has the backward-compatible .inx format, an XML-based document representation. InDesign CS versions updated with the 3.1 April 2005 update can read InDesign CS2-saved files exported to the .inx format. The InDesign Interchange format does not support versions earlier than InDesign CS.

Adobe developed InDesign CS3 (and Creative Suite 3) as universal binary software compatible with native Intel and PowerPC Mac machines in 2007, two years after the announced 2005 schedule, inconveniencing Intel-Mac early-adopters. Adobe CEO Bruce Chizen had announced that “Adobe will be first with a complete line of universal applications.” The CS2 Mac version had code tightly integrated to the PPC architecture, and not natively compatible with the Intel processors in Apple’s new machines, so porting the products to another platform was more difficult than had been anticipated. Adobe developed the CS3 application integrating Macromedia products (2005), rather than recompiling CS2 and simultaneously developing CS3.


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