Guidelines for Creating Folios for SD and HD iPads

Quick Summary

If you’re in a hurry, here’s the executive summary.

  • For iPads, we recommend creating 1024×768 folios with articles in the PDF image format. PDF results in smaller article size and maintains vectors. To avoid rasterizing text in slideshows and scrollable frames, you can choose Vector in the Folio Overlays panel. These articles in PDF image format look great on both SD and HD iPads.
  • For multi-issue viewers, you can create separate SD and HD folio renditions so that the 1024×768 folio appears on the SD iPad and the 2048×1536 folio appears on the HD iPad. This approach is useful if you want to use PNG or JPG image format instead of PDF. The easiest rendition approach is to create 1024×768 source documents and use these as the basis for both the 1024×768 folio and the 2048×1536 folio. You might want to show/hide layers for certain overlays such as pan & zoom images.
  • For single-issue viewers, you cannot create renditions. Create a single 1024×768 folio with PDF image format. For details, see Creating multi-rendition articles for iOS devices.

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DPS Tips Privacy Policy

The DPS Tips privacy policy describes the privacy practices of the DPS Tips app on mobile devices.

DPS Tips collects data about how you use the app, including the type of device you’re using, the number of issues downloaded, and the way in which you interact with the app content. This data is collected anonymously.

Understanding DPS Tool Versions

To create and preview folios for InDesign CS5 and CS5.5, you run two different DPS installers — the Folio Producer tools and the Folio Builder panel. There is only one installer/updater for InDesign CS6, but I’ll get to that later.

Why two installers for InDesign CS5/CS5.5?

Two reasons. First, Adobe doesn’t want to force publishers to rebuild and resubmit their custom app whenever a new set of tools comes out every six or eight weeks. Updating the app should be optional. Second, when Adobe makes certain changes to the Folio Producer Service on the web, the Folio Builder panel needs to be updated to remain in sync with the web client. Publishers need to be able to update the Folio Builder panel without updating the Folio Producer tools.

Should I update when a new version of tools comes out?

That depends on whether you have created a custom viewer app and whether you’re still updating it. If you haven’t created a custom viewer app and submitted it to one of the stores, the situation is simple. Just install the most current versions of the tools, and you’re all set with the new and improved tools. (There is one exception to this guidance. In some instances, Adobe release the new tools before Apple has approved the newest version of the Adobe Content Viewer. If that’s the case, you might want to hold off on updating the tools until Apple approves the viewer.)

If you have submitted a custom viewer app to the store, it depends. You have two choices whenever a new set of tools comes out:

(1) Don’t update your custom viewer. Continue using the older set of tools. If prompted, update the Folio Builder panel. Updating the Folio Builder panel does not update the tools.

(2) Update your custom viewer and submit it to the store. Install both the new set of Folio Producer tools and the Folio Builder panel.

Until the new version of the custom viewer is approved and available, don’t create or edit any folios for that app. Otherwise, when your customers try to view a newer folio in an older viewer, they’ll be prompted to update their app. Although viewers are backward-compatible with previously created folios, folios usually cannot be viewed in earlier viewers. That’s new wine in old bottles. (Or is it old wine in new bottles?)

Where do I get the installers?

You can download these tools from the Adobe Downloads page, the DPS Dashboard, or the Installing digital publishing tools help topic.

How do I know which installers I used?

Here’s how to tell which tools are installed and which tools were used to create a folio.

To see which tools are installed, open the Folio Builder panel and choose “About” from the panel menu. Look at the last numbers. For example, means you’re using the v17 tools.

To see which viewer version you’re using, open the folio in the viewer and tap the title. The first two numbers indicate the viewer version. For example, refers to the 2.2 version of the viewer.

Unfortunately, the viewer version doesn’t match the Folio Producer tools. Here’s how they match up:

v12 (tools) = 1.7 (viewer)
v13 = 1.8
v14 = 1.9
v15 = 1.9  (no change)
v16 = 1.9  (not available for iPad)
v17 = 1.10
v18 = 1.11
v19 = 1.12
v20 = 2.0
v21 = 2.1
v22 = 2.2
v23 = 2.3
v24 = 2.3 (no change)
v25 = 2.4

Starting with v21, it’s possible to specify the viewer version when creating the folio. This feature works only for v20 or later.

For additional details, see the “Please update your app” tech note.

Updating the DPS tools in InDesign CS6

In InDesign CS6, the DPS tools setup is more straightforward. There is only one installer/updater, which you can run by choosing Help > Updates in InDesign. When you select “DPS Desktop Tools,” you update both the DPS tools and the panel. When creating a folio, you can specify which version of the tools the folio is compatible with (v20 or later).

Questions? Leave a comment, or go to the DPS forum.

DPS Best Community Links for November 2011

Lots of good stuff this month in the world of digital publishing.

Updated Digital Publishing Gallery

The old gallery was fine until there were too many apps to navigate through easily. The new Digital Publishing Gallery lets you filter the apps by platform, date, language, or region. And you can search for the app you’re looking for.

DPS Update through a Connect session

Zeke Koch hosted a Connect session in which he shared the latest Digital Publishing Suite updates, answer burning questions and provide sneak peeks into the next stage of the product roadmap.

Rufus Deuchler’s Interactivity Videos

Rufus created a two-part video series about creating interactive overlays. It’s a good way to learn the basics if you’re new to digital publishing.

Video Part I – Hyperlinks, Buttons, and Slideshows

Video Part II – Panoramas, Web Content, Scrollable Frames, Pan & Zoom

Rufus also wrote an interesting article about creating panorama overlays for mobile devices.

DPS App Spotlight

Keith Gilbert is running a series on his blog in which he spotlights interest app published with the Digital Publishing Suite. Here are a couple of examples:

U of Dayton Viewbook

What’s cool about it
In iTunes

National Geographic Magazine

What’s cool about it
In iTunes

Mind Twister Article – Single Orientation Issue with a Twist

Johannes Henseler is always pushing boundaries. Here, he created an interesting effect in which he combined a couple of obscure features to create a folio in which you swipe down to get to the next article. Check out the video.

New Issues in DPS Tips

The DPS Tips app now has a third issue to go along with Folio Basics and Overlays. The Single Edition issue steps through the end-to-end process to creating, publishing, and submitting a single-issue viewer app that can appear in the App Store.

Soon, I’ll add a fourth issue — Effects — that covers more advanced digital publishing techniques such as PDF articles, single-orientation folios, smooth scrolling articles, and various HTML practices. When you see the little red badge next to the DPS Tips app, download the new folio.

I’ve also update the existing folios to include the newest enhancements to the tools.


Did I miss anyone’s article, video, or app? Leave a comment, and let me know what’s good.

This Month in DPS Videos and Articles

DPS Video Tutorials

First, let’s start with a batch of free DPS videos that Colin Fleming created for Video2Brain:

DPS Workflow: The Big Picture

DPS Tools, Subscriptions, and Services

Working with Styles and Layers

Horizontal Swipe Layouts

Hyperlink Actions

Colin has spent a lot of time in front of the camera. Here are some other videos posted recently on Adobe TV:

Viewer Builder

Loading HTML Articles

Sharing Folios

Smooth-Scrolling Layouts

Rufus Deuchler also created a video on using MUSE to create HTML content for DPS

DPS Articles

Here are some useful articles which I linked to in the appropriate help topics. Special thanks to Keith Gilbert and Johannes Henseler in particular for creating great content.

Advanced Scrollable Frames – Johannes shows a cool fadeout he created in his DONE magazine app, which was selected for a MAX award. Johannes also wrote a basic article about creating scrollable frames.

Image resolution for iPad publishing ( – What’s the best image resolution to use for digital publishing? Short answer: 72 ppi.

Change the Order of Articles Using sidecar.xml Generator (Johannes Henseler) – Johannes created a utility that generates a sidecar.xml file.

iPad layout Templates for DPS (Gilbert Consulting) – Download horizontal and vertical templates.

Sharing folios with Adobe DPS (Keith Gilbert) – Keith walks you through the steps of sharing folios with individuals, allowing anyone with a mobile device to view your content. Creating and sharing folios in this manner is free.

Creating Super Overlays (Johannes Henseler) – A background image cannot appear in front of an overlay, but an overlay can appear in front of an overlay. Johannes goes over a few ways to create super overlays to mask interactive content.

Photoshop Extended for DPS (Keith Gilbert) – Keith goes over the ways in which Photoshop Extended helps him create digital publications.

Photoshop Template for App Store and Market Icons (Johannes Henseler) – When you submit a custom viewer app to Apple or Google, a number of icons are required. Johannes creates a template that makes it easy to kick out your icons using the various sizes.

Hiding the Scrollbar of a Scrollable Frame (Johannes Henseler) – When you create a scrollable frame, a scrollbar appears when the customer begins scrolling. But you don’t always want the scrollbar to appear. Johannes provides a workaround to hide the scrollbar.

Did I miss anything? Let me know in comments, and I’ll add a link.


DPS Tips App for Android

Note: This article is old and out of date. DPS Tips currently appears in iTunes App Store, Google Play Store, and Windows Store.

You may already be aware of the Digital Publishing Suite Tips app I published for the iPad. If you’re using Adobe’s tools for digital publishing, you’ll want to download a copy of that app on your iPad. It’s like a cookbook, a blog, and a user guide all rolled into one app. Use it to see what you can do with digital publishing and how you can do it.

For those of you who are publishing content for Android devices such as the Motorola Xoom and Samsung Galaxy (and whatever Amazon has in the works), I created a version of the DPS Tips app. The easiest way to get it is to open the Android Market app on your device, search for “DPS Tips,” and download it.

The Android version includes much of the same content that appears in the iPad app. The app includes two folio renditions — 1024×600 for devices such as the Samsung Galaxy 7″ and 1232×752 for larger devices such as the Xoom and the Galaxy 10.1″. (I used 1232×752 instead of 1280×800 to account for the 48-pixel nav bar that cuts into the view area.) If you have an Android with any other dimensions, the folios will be scaled and letterboxed as needed.

The DPS Tips app is also available for the BlackBerry PlayBook, which displays the same 1024×600 folio rendition that appears in the smaller Android devices. Open App World, search for “DPS Tips,” and download.

New App – Digital Publishing Suite Tips

The Digital Publishing Suite Tips app is now available in the Apple Store. It’s part user guide, part cookbook, and part blog. If you have an iPad and you want to learn about the new Digital Publishing Suite tools, download the app and start playing.

Currently, the DPS Tips app includes two issues — Folio Basics and Interactive Overlays. The Folio Basics issue provides videos and tutorials for the new workflow that came out last week. The Interactive Overlays issue shows an example of each overlay type and explains how to create it.

Both folios include workarounds, tips, best practices, and links to interesting apps.

I’m also working on a third folio called “How Did They Do That?” It will show examples from iPad apps. I have a few articles lined up, but I’m looking for more examples. Please let me know if you’d like to show how you created an article in a folio or you there’s an article in someone else’s app that you’d like to figure out. You can reach me at bbringhu at adobe dot com.

The link to the DPS Tips app is here:

Here’s the link that jumps straight to iTunes:



Design Decisions for Digital Publishing Apps

If you’re creating magazine apps for the iPad and other mobile devices, you have a lot of design decisions to make. Let’s go over a few of them.

Single-Folio or Multi-Folio Viewer App?

When you submit your content to the Apple Store or Android Market, each magazine or book requires its own branded viewer.

For most projects, the decision of whether to create a single-folio or multiple-folio viewer is straight-forward. If you intend to create a book or a one-off promotional piece, such as the Essential Guide to TRON, create a single-folio viewer. If you intend to create a magazine with multiple issues, such as The New Yorker, you need to create a multi-folio viewer that allows your customers to download folios as you publish them on the Adobe fulfillment server.

For multi-folio viewers, Adobe plans to charge $0.30 per download. Adobe does not charge anything for single-folio viewers, because they’re downloaded from the Apple Store or Android Market, not from the Adobe fulfillment server.

Orientation — Vertical, Horizontal, or Both?

You can create portrait-only, landscape-only, or dual-orientation folios. Note that you cannot mix and match orientation types, such as a horizontal-only and dual-orientation articles in the same folio. The layouts of single-orientation folios do not change when the customer rotates the iPad.

In a prerelease forum thread, one publisher claimed that magazine apps should be portrait-only because people are accustomed to reading portrait magazines. I don’t think that reasoning holds up. Aren’t those same people also accustomed to reading websites on landscape monitors? And watching t.v. and movies on landscape screens? I don’t think there’s a “right” orientation for the iPad.

I’ve seen well-designed portrait-only and landscape-only magazines. The new Golf Digest and Reader’s Digest apps are portrait only. One of my favorite apps, Harvest to Heat, is landscape only.

Golf Digest is portrait only.

Harvest to Heat is landscape only.

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.

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Hot Spot Button Workaround for InDesign Dig Pubs

The interactivity features in InDesign were originally designed to work with SWF and PDF formats. When using DPS tools, some of these interactivity features are fully supported, some are partially supported, and some are not supported at all. The Buttons feature is partially supported in DPS. One limitation makes it difficult to create button hot spots: the Show/Hide Buttons action is not supported.

Fortunately, there’s a workaround. The key is to create a multi-state object (MSO) that includes both the hot spot image on the base state and the “close button” image on the target state, but no object in the MSO can be interactive. Once you create the MSO, you place invisible interactive buttons on top of the MSO These buttons switch states. Here’s a quick video of the button effect shown in the Desktop Viewer:


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Sharing Text Between Two InDesign Documents

If you need to use the same text in two InDesign documents, it can be a hassle to keep the changes consistent. If you find a typo or need to add a paragraph, you have to make the change in two different places. To simplify editing, you can use the InCopy export options–and you don’t need to have InCopy to get this to work.

Being able to share text between two documents is especially important when you’re publishing to mobile devices. If you’re using the Digital Publishing Suite to create magazines for the iPad, you can create separate horizontal and vertical documents so that a different layout of the same content appears when the iPad is rotated.

Quick Summary: Export a linked InCopy (.icml) file from one file, and place it in the other file. When you want to edit the linked text, check out the linked story in one document, save the changes, check it in, and then update the other document.

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