the way adobe indesign cs6 handles image captions is really dumb

i am using adobe’s CS6 to write an eBook called “My Secret Life As A Virtual Assassin” the link is here: buy the eBook to get a cheap thrill.

Well, the eBook has images, and i need to put the references in properly. I have been involved with technical writing off and on since 1991. It is 2013. You would think that I could right click on the image and just add a caption – while writing the document. You would think that InDesign could automatically number the images, if I wanted it to. You would also think that all the goofy set up stuff would happen in the background so I can just write — and so other authors can write. Unencumbered by dumb technical procedures that just waste time and energy.

But no, I have to set up some separate document that contains the images (not inline) or something like that — and then I have to add the captions there — and then I have to create a list that hopefully will number the images correctly so I can have a list of figures. Excuse me? Are you kidding me?

Here is what I should be doing: right click | Add Caption. Then a wonderful dialog box should come up — or maybe a taskbar of some kind — that I can drag into the application window if I want to. That Captions interface should not only make it possible for me to add captions and make a list of figures — easily — it should even reference articles about copyright issues, proper citations etc. But of course it should not block me from doing anything I want to do — if I want the info — it’s there. With a live preview in-line I should be able to stroke the images, create image styles, add shadows, etc. — and I should be able to create captions that allow for standard captioning — and exceptions. Thumbnails of all the images in the file should be displayed in a scrollable list in order of whatever I want like: order of the document file name date whatever. I can click on those thumbnails and change things if i want too.

All so that I have an appropriate hierarchy of information and functionality at my fingertips to help me do what I am doing when I am doing it.

What a totally ridiculous scenario that it is 2013 and Adobe — I mean an amazingly wealthy and influential company — has not even created effective and functional captioning procedures for images in InDesign CS6.

Sure, I will be able to “make it work,” and I’ll spend the hours necessary to jump over the needlessly high “technical hurdles” that Adobe has in place — but it’s just plain dumb.

Designing effective procedures is really not that hard. You just facilitate what the people want to do, as they are doing it. You don’t force people to click a thousand things and set up another thousand things and make them do stupid procedures — just to do something (like captioning images) — that is pretty obvious that people need to do when writing books — which is what InDesign is for.

Now that I started writing in InDesign — maybe I’ll finish in InDesign — but really this is so dumb. The captioning procedure is so so so dumb and I don’t have that much time to just lollygag around in a haze of dumbness.

I really wish Adobe would care about their users enough to streamline procedures so that users feel like their time and effort is respected. I am going to go pick up my daughter in 90 minutes. Instead of just rt clicking on an image and getting my work done — i now have to watch videos and create some dumb image document and do a whole bunch of dumb stuff.

Sure, it will eventually work, but it is rude of Adobe to make me go through dumb time-wasting procedures that take away from a pleasant efficient happy life.

Right click — and the world of captions is mine — that is how it should be — and Adobe sure has had a lot of time to make it so.



4 Responsesto “the way adobe indesign cs6 handles image captions is really dumb”

  1. admin says:

    and now i am being forced to watch 30 second ads just to watch a video that explains how to do this goofy procedure

  2. admin says:

    and a dumb 10 second ad

  3. admin says:

    this is a pretty good tutorial

    but a) i don’t know how to add a “graphics frame” and b) the scripts panel does not show up in Indesign and i can’t find scripts under the Window, View, or Object Menus. Yay this is soo much fun.

    Looks like I’ll have to “learn” how to use “bridge” and a whole mess of other stuff. Just to create captions.


    Right Click and the world of Captioning Images should open up to me, easily and quickly. IF I want to go into something called “bridge” and IF i want to work on just the captions themselves then sure — I should be able to do that and if Adobe wants to call that “space” “bridge” OK, but don’t make me do all this just to do something really easy that should have super-easy user procedures to get the job done.

    Don’t make people learn dumb procedures that are going to change anyway. These procedures have been dumb since the 90′s. it’s really been a long time.

Leave a Reply to admin