Liquid Layout in Adobe InDesign: What is it Used For?

InDesign liquid pouring into smartphone

Liquid Layouts were an idea ahead of their time. They let you create “rules” governing how the items on your InDesign pages would scale and change position if the InDesign page were to change size.

liquid layout panel

This liquid ability was no doubt the InDesign team’s solution to a problem that was on its way: the mass availability of smartphones and tablets of various screen sizes, and the need to create digital content for these new devices.

The Liquid Layout feature pre-dated what would be the web’s solution to this problem: CSS Media Queries.

There’s a motto in investing, “being early is the same as being wrong.” Here, the InDesign team’s efforts were early, and Liquid Layout Rules do not map well to CSS Media Queries.

So what are Liquid Layouts good for?

15 Ways to Publish Digitally with InDesign & in5

different outputs illustrated

in5 lets you create interactive content using InDesign, and without coding.

What kinds of projects can you publish with in5?


This is by no means an exhaustive list, but here are several of the wonderful places that you can publish your in5 projects:

  1. Web
  2. Web App
  3. Mobile App
  4. WordPress
  5. Animated GIF
  6. Google Ad
  7. Kiosk App
  8. Tradeshow Presentation
  9. Live Presentation
  10. Sales Enablement App
  11. LMS
  12. Embed in another in5 project
  13. Distribute as a local download
  14. Part of a membership site
  15. Premium publication app

All of these options are described in the following video, and in the article below.

Let’s take a look at these options in detail.

How to Create Responsive Layouts using InDesign & in5

export responsive to various devices with InDesign & in5 head image

With in5 v3.6, it’s now possible to create responsive web (and app) designs visually using InDesign’s Alternate Layouts feature.

Yes, you can now create responsive designs without coding, without using a framework, or involving a web developer.

How to Create Responsive Layouts in InDesign

The basic steps are pretty straight-forward.

  1. Create your primary layout (and all its pages).
  2. Add Liquid Layout rules (optional—makes the following steps easier).
  3. Create Alternate Layout(s) (Layout > Create Alternate Layout or using the Pages menu).
  4. Reposition elements in new layouts (as needed).
  5. Export with in5 using Responsive Layouts.*