New InDesign Features Streamline Digital Publishing Suite Workflow

By Neil Enns, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Publishing Suite

Today, when many of our customers today first publish, they produce great, high-quality, publications for a single device. For example, they often start getting production for the iPad working smoothly, and then turn their attention to targeting other platforms supported by Digital Publishing Suite such as the Kindle Fire or other Android devices. In other cases our customers have developed great content for horizontal reading, and then want to add support for vertical orientation display.

Traditionally, when using CS5 or CS5.5, adding support for these additional platforms or orientations has meant creating an additional set of InDesign documents. Every orientation or platform requires its own set of InDesign documents, and the number of files to manage quickly becomes unwieldy. By the time you support two platforms with two orientations you have four InDesign documents for each article in your publication!

With InDesign CS6 we’ve added a new feature called Alternate Layouts to help manage this. Now InDesign documents can contain layouts for multiple devices and orientations. If you want to have a horizontal and vertical layout for your article you can do so with a single InDesign file. Need to add Kindle Fire or Nook support? No problem! Just add another layout to your document.

The Pages panel in InDesign CS6 showing three alternate layouts: iPad horizontal, Kindle Fire horizontal, and iPhone vertical.

While reducing the number of files you have to deal with is nice, there are additional benefits to Alternate Layouts as well. The assets in the document are shared across each layout which makes it easier to keep content up-to-date. Say, for example, you find a typo in the article text just before publication. With Alternate Layouts you can make the correction in the document’s primary layout and then use the links panel to push the change to all the other layouts in the file.

Finally, we’ve added support for page rules to InDesign CS6. With liquid page rules you can give InDesign hints about how to adapt your content when creating an alternate layout. For example, if you have a completed iPad layout you can add liquid page rules to your design and then generate a layout for Kindle Fire. The resulting layout can then be manually adjusted to give the exact look you want. The addition of liquid page rules is, we believe, a great workflow enhancement to help our customers quickly get started on producing content to reach an even wider audience.



  • By saif - 12:10 PM on June 8, 2012