DPS, DPS 2015, and the InDesign CC 2015 Update

New Version of DPS

A new version of DPS is available. It’s called Digital Publishing Solution, or “DPS 2015.” If you have an existing Digital Publishing Suite license, you’ll be able to use either the current version of DPS or the new DPS 2015 to build apps. You can decide on an app by app basis which workflow best suits your needs.

To check out DPS 2015, you can sign up for a trial at www.adobe.com/products/digital-publishing-solution.html and clicking the “Free Trial” option in the upper right corner. There is a Quick Start Guide and sample assets, and an excellent set of how-to videos by Colin Fleming. See Getting started with DPS 2015. If you have questions, go to the DPS 2015 user forum.

Creative Cloud 2015 Update

Now let’s talk about the Creative Cloud 2015 update. InDesign CC 2015 supports only DPS 2015—not DPS, so there’s no Folio Builder panel in InDesign CC 2015. If you want to create DPS folios, you need to use InDesign CS6, InDesign CC, or InDesign CC 2014. You can run multiple versions of InDesign on your computer. InDesign CC 2015 supports only the new version of DPS—DPS 2015.

In addition, the “Folio Overlays” panel is now called the “Overlays” panel in all versions of InDesign.

By default, if you choose to update InDesign, InDesign CC 2015 will replace the previous version of InDesign unless you do something. Specifically, you should go into Advanced Settings and deselect the “Remove old versions” option.




Installing Previous InDesign versions

What do you do if you already installed InDesign CC 2015 and removed the previous versions? You can reinstall them without too much difficulty. Look for “Find Additional Apps,” select “All Apps,” and then click “View Previous Versions.” You can then install your InDesign version of choice to build DPS folios.


For more information, see this Creative Cloud help article: Download and install Adobe Creative Cloud apps.

Common DPS Pitfalls and Snares

I created this PowerPoint presentation to test the ability to export DPS folios directly from PowerPoint. It worked, which you can see if you sign in to the DPS Tips app (username=tips, password=dps). I’m also posting this file here for easy reference on a computer.

Strategies for Creating DPS Content

When you create folios and articles for DPS, what are your options?

Orientation — Vertical, Horizontal, or Both?

You can create portrait-only, landscape-only, or dual-orientation folios. Within a folio, you cannot mix and match orientation types, such as a horizontal-only and dual-orientation articles. For single-orientation folios, the layouts do not change when the customer rotates the iPad or iPhone.

Avoid creating dual-orientation folios unless you have a compelling reason to do so.

Martha Stewart Living creates portrait-only folios. National Geographic creates landscape-only folios.


One major advantage to portrait-only or landscape-only folios is that you have to create only one design. If you have a printed magazine, converting the layout to a 768×1024 page size isn’t nearly as difficult as converting it to both a 768×1024 and 1024×768 page size. Also, some users find the changing layout to be distracting when the device is tilted slightly.

Note: With portrait-only folios, iOS users can rotate the device to play a full-screen video in landscape.

Continue reading…

Strategies for Building DPS Apps

Before you dive in and start using DPS to build apps, you have a lot of design decisions to make. Let’s go over a few of them.

Which platforms are supported?

You can submit DPS apps to the following stores:

iOS App Store – You can create multi-folio apps for the iPad+iPhone or for the iPad only. You cannot create iPhone-only apps. If you create a single-folio app, it can only appear on the iPad.

You can sell folios either through individual in-app purchases or through subscriptions in iTunes. If you sell folios through direct entitlement, you must also make them available for purchase through iTunes.

Google Play Store – You can create multi-folio apps that appear in the Google Play Store.

DPS supports selling folios through in-app purchases but not through Google Play subscriptions at this time. You can offer folios through direct entitlement as well.

It’s possible to submit multi-folio apps to the Amazon Appstore, but no in-app purchases are available, and the DPS team does not fix bugs on Amazon devices.

Windows Store – You can create multi-folio apps that appear in the Windows Store.

DPS supports selling folios through in-app purchases. In Windows, you specify one price for all folios. You can offer folios through direct entitlement as well.

Continue reading…

Sign Up for DPS Updates

While the DPS Status Page is a great way to view announcements, reminders, and service outage updates, you have to browse to the page to see what’s going on. If you want to be notified by email, you can now sign up to receive updates.

Step 1: Go to the DPS Individual Opt-in Form.

Step 2: Sign in using the DPS email account that you want to use to receive announcements.


Step 3: Indicate which announcements you’d like to receive.


If at any point you’d like to change your announcement settings or discontinue them, simply click a link at the bottom of one of the email messages you receive and go from there.

Link to opt-in form: DPS Individual Opt-in Form


Rebuild DPS apps prior to iOS 8 release

Short version

Rebuild and resubmit your multi-folio apps before the iOS 8 release. Multi-folio apps do not function properly in iOS 8.

Longer version

The DPS team has been testing DPS apps in the beta version of the upcoming iOS8 release. While single-folio apps work fine, multi-folio apps fail to work properly:

On iOS 8 beta cover icons do not appear, downloaded folios are lost and cannot be viewed, and folios cannot be downloaded after the user launches the app for the first time, quits the app, and restarts it.

It doesn’t look like Apple will resolve these issues on their end. Fortunately, the most recent Adobe DPS release (v31.3) includes an update to the v30 and v31 multi-issue viewers that addresses these problems.

Please use the newest version of DPS App Builder to rebuild your multi-folio apps and submit the updated versions to Apple as soon as possible, before iOS 8 is released. Failure to update apps will likely result in DPS apps not functioning properly when iOS 8 is released publicly.


DPS Tips Accounts

For demo purposes, DPS Tips is now set up with direct entitlement. That means that you can click the Sign In button in the library and use any of the following accounts to sign in. Once you sign in, you can download bonus folios. These folios are basic placeholder articles at this time, so don’t get too excited. When someone in the DPS world throws out terms like “direct entitlement” or “restricted distribution,” you’ll have a better idea of how it works.

Account 1: All bonus issues

Username: tips
Password: dps

Account 2: Only the “Colin” issue

Username: fleming
Password: colin

Account 3: Only the “Bob” issue

Username: bringhurst
Password: bob

For more information about direct entitlement and restricted distribution, see Entitlement DPS Developer Center.

Support for DPS Apps in iOS 7 and iOS 5

Let’s start with a quick summary.

  • Older (pre-v24) apps don’t work on iOS 7. Any DPS app created with v24 and earlier fails to work properly in devices that run iOS 7. For one thing, landscape folios just don’t appear. If you have a v24 or earlier DPS app in the App Store, you should update it.
  • Known issues with v25/v26 apps on iOS 7. DPS apps built with either v27 or v28 work well on iOS 7 devices. DPS apps built with v25 or v26 have a few known issues, but nothing as serious as v24 and earlier apps.
  • Drop of support for iOS 5. DPS apps built with v28 and later do not work on iOS 5 devices. Apple does not allow the iPad 1 to update to iOS 6 or later, so DPS apps built with v28 or later cannot be installed on iPad 1 devices. Note that if you have a v27 or earlier app in the store and update it to v28 or later, Apple allows iPad 1 users to download the older version of the app.

Let’s go over these details . . .

Continue reading…

Creating Panorama Assets for DPS

[Note: I updated this blog entry in August 2013 to include information about a great panorama tool called PTgui and to provide more info about taking panorama photos.]

A panorama overlay can give you the impression that you’re inside a building or cockpit, allowing you to spin around and zoom in and out. Creating the source files for panoramas is not easy, but if you use the right tools and equipment, the process can be painless—and even fun.

A panorama overlay requires six images that represent the inside of a cube. Here are the six images used for the courtyard panorama that appears in the DPS Tips app (Overlay Basics > Panoramas).

You can use Photoshop to stitch together the source image to be used as the basis for the six cubic images. However, converting a 3D panorama image into the six images requires a third-party tool such as PTgui or Pano2VR. PTgui and Pano2VR cost about the same amount, but PTgui is more versatile. With PTgui, you can stitch together the images to create the source file and then generate the six images from that source file.

Here’s how to create the images required to build a panorama overlay in DPS.

Continue reading…

Tips for Editing DPS Scrollable Frames in InDesign

Creating scrollable frames in DPS is easy. Just create a content frame and a container frame, paste the content frame into the container frame, and then use the Overlays panel to specify scrollable frame settings for the container frame. (If you’re confused, see the help article about scrollable frames, and then come back.)


But what if you know the content isn’t final and you’re going to edit the scrollable frame content later? And what if your scrollable frame content includes a bunch of buttons and overlays that are hidden from view?

Continue reading…