I’ve been trying InDesign lately, to see if I can master it well enough to produce a sample book chapter. I can’t. I’ll stick with Word despite its shortcomings.
I knew I was in trouble when I started exploring the feature called Liquid Layout. It’s some kind of magic that reformats entire chapters or books. See how Pariah Burke (external link) tried to explain it:
“Like Gridify, introduced in CS5, Liquid Layout is a set of behaviors rather than a tool, command, panel, or function of InDesign. It’s part of the program, always there, whether your actions expose its behavior or not.”
Good grief. I can’t even explain my cat’s behavior. This advice comes from 2012, by-the-way, which is something else I wanted to mention. Updates and changes to subscription based programs like Word and InDesign are coming out so frequently that they are outpacing the web pages we rely on to help and explain. Just one example.
I was trying to make the border around a text box in Word disappear. Couldn’t do it. Turned to the net for help. Advice was to convert it to a frame. Problem is, Word no longer supports frames and all that advice on following different menu selections did nothing to help. None of the menu selections mentioned were present any longer in my current version of Word. I finally did figure out a solution but only by accident.
Now, if I can only figure out how to make a footnote work in a text box. One miracle at a time.
I’m sorry you felt overwhelmed by InDesign. Liquid Layout can be confusing, but you don’t need to use that set of behaviors for basic book layout. (It hasn’t changed since 2012, by the way.) A video course like this, from Matt Pizzi, could get you up and running quickly: https://app.pluralsight.com/library/courses/indesign-cc-fundamentals/table-of-contents . You can always hit me up on Twitter @iampariah for specific questions.