Technology: Bah.

So one of my major projects for this week is to dig into InDesign CS 5.5 and relearn it from the ground up so that I can design/layout Marc Honea’s omnibus opus Another Farewell to the Theatre.  It’s a massive collection of essays, fictive works, aphorisms, and haiku, and I want it to look spiffy.  (That is a technical term.)

It must be understood that although I have used InDesign in the past with some success, my glory days with the program are all back when it was still PageMaker.  In fact, I have used PageMaker since version 1 and it was made by Aldus Corp and you had to switch out the disks on the Macintosh Classic to load the program into memory.

Mac classic
Yes, that’s how old I am.


As the years went by and I had less and less call to lay out multi-page documents—and those that I did have to do were easily handled by the page layout capabilities of Pages—I lost my grip on InDesign.  I kept it updated because that’s what I do, but all the changes in interface and attitude slipped right under my radar.

Therefore, when Pages proved unequal to the task of making AFT3 look spiffy, I decided to retrain myself in InDesign so that I would not pull out my hair before I got past the Introduction. I started yesterday, and all seemed to be going well.  I retrained my brain to understand the “frames” concept instead of the old flow technique, and I thought I was getting somewhere fast.

But then things started going widdershins.

(Argle bargle alert: skip this next paragraph)

At first I thought it was just my not having read every single word of Adobe InDesign CS5 Bible, because I’m a skimmer at heart, but the more I worked with the file this morning, the worse it got.  The text frame on the master page wouldn’t accept text on the layout itself, and then it started telling me it couldn’t communicate with some “Rule Book” and therefore was not going to apply whatever I had told it to do—only it did.  And then I clicked to flow the text of the Introduction and it automatically started adding pages to the individual spread rather than going to the next page, maxing out at ten pages after which it stopped and complained—and it didn’t actually flow the text into those new pages.

(/argle bargle)

So something is corrupt somewhere.  I’m running tests on the computer itself, and when those are done I’m deleting InDesign and reinstalling it.

Argh.  And also Bah.