Adobe InDesign is one of the top layout and page design tools on the market. Its wide range of highly-productive and innovative features attracts the best graphic designers, publishers, and marketing specialists.
However, despite its high scalability and consistency, InDesign can not provide its users with every feature they may need. That’s when plugins come into play. They help to unleash creativity and talent by extending the possibilities of the program. In this article, we will look into the best InDesign plugins that will help you to implement new ideas in your projects.
Pubtyper is an InDesign plugin that compiles different files (PDF, TXT, TIF, Ai, and some others) into one ready-to-print InDesign document. Apart from that, it lets users:
- change styles, fonts, and sizes;
- make templates;
- edit images and tables;
- do the reflow of the information;
- automate some working processes, etc.
This highly-effective extension can benefit many spheres. It can be used to create an appealing book, company brochures and marketing documents, product catalogs, etc.
What is more, it’s a scalable and customizable tool that can be adjusted to your project needs.
Pubtyper is free of charge when operating with all InDesign versions after CC (2015).
InDesign users have to face a monotonous and time-consuming process when creating a calendar. To avoid working from scratch and to accelerate the workflow you can use Calendar Wizard. This free plugin for InDesign creates full-featured and responsive calendars that can be used for both personal and organizational needs.
Calendar Wizard offers a big choice of advanced features. Its great variety of styles helps to create tailor-made calendars that will meet the demands of the most demanding client. This extension allows developing different kinds of calendars such as grid, line, and list ones. Moreover, Calendar Wizzard layers allow users to place different types of information (background picture, moon calendar, holidays) inside one cell.
Although this extension is fully compatible with all InDesign updates after CS, some newest features are not supported on older versions.
Aquafadas is an InDesign plugin created by Rakuten. It’s a feature-rich extension that offers a wide choice of design solutions, robust analytic features, and consistent cross-platform distribution abilities. This time-saving InDesign plugin allows creating magazines, product catalogs, e-books, responsive presentations, and other customer-engaging marketing content. The free version allows users to add video, audio, interactive buttons while premium Aquafadas allures with even wider enhancements such as mazes, crosswords, quizzes, etc. Since no coding skills are required to use Aquafadas it is suitable for a wide range of customers even without a technical background.
This InDesign plugin is available for free except for some enrichments.
Active Tables is a DTP solution released in 2011 to empower InDesign with enhanced spreadsheet features. This extension brings in some Excel possibilities and helps users increase efficiency when working with formulas and other calculations. Active Tables is a convenient tool for creating price lists, invoices, etc. as the numbers can be updated with a click within the whole table. Moreover, it’s a time-saving extension since users don’t need to leave InDesign and use other programs such as Excel to calculate and edit information in their project.
The core features of Active Tables include:
- formula building both in cells and in the text
- sorting of rows and columns
- real-time data updates
- transformation of text into a formula, etc.
PDF2Id is a way out when the layout or other important data is available only in PDF. Although it’s possible to use Adobe programs to edit PDF files, it’s more convenient to convert them into fully responsive InDesign documents.
PDF2Id plugin for Adobe InDesign transforms PDF files with a difficult-to-edit structure into easier-to-work with documents. It can identify both text and graphic information. Although it can not save all the styles, links, and other features of the native InDesign document, it’s the best solution when there is no other option.
This plugin is compatible with all InDesign versions after CS4.
Batch Convert is another InDesign extension working with different file formats. If you need to convert many PDF files into InDesign documents, or you have to unite Word files into one InDesign project Batch Convert can be of great help. Apart from converting PDF and Word files to InDesign and vice versa, it can also transform QuarkExpress and PageMaker documents. What is more, this plugin offers its users the ability to update old version InDesign documents and downsave new documents into previous versions.
Batch Convert operates on InDesign CS3 and after and it’s free to download.
EasyCatalog extension makes the process of catalog creation time-saving and efficient. Once the catalog is developed using the information from Excel tables or Google Docs it can be automatically updated and tracked. Not only can this plugin create catalogs but facilitate the organization and management of other bulky data. Moreover, it helps to reduce errors by checking if the data in the document matches with the one in the main source.
Many users opt for EasyCatalog as it’s user-friendly and doesn’t need any programming skills.
This InDesign plugin lets users develop, update, and edit barcodes. BookBarCode works with EAN-13/ISBN-13 that is chosen as a worldwide standard. This extension allows its users to save time and cut costs on using extra applications for barcodes and work only in InDesign.
The Try version of the plugin is free, however, it has some limitations.
Adobe InDesign like other Adobe products is a top program in its niche. It offers a rich variety of highly-effective and flexible features. However, it’s impossible to build in all the tools the customer may need.
If InDesign can’t fully meet your needs, it’s time to consider InDesign plugins. Some of them are developed for a specific purpose such as creating tables, layers, calendars, converting documents into different formats. Others offer rich-featured solutions that can perform different tasks. Plugins will let you implement all of your creative ideas and enhance your workflow making it time-saving, robust, and productive.