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Note: This article is old and out of date.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 acrobat.com-based 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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Digital Publishing Suite Feature Summary

The set of tools you use alongside InDesign CS5 to create digital magazines for the iPad and other mobile devices is called the Digital Publishing Suite. While you can use InDesign CS5 to create eBooks and interactive PDF and SWF files, the Digital Publishing Suite requires additional steps and applications to make your digital content commercially available on mobile devices.

Design, bundle, and view.

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Digital Publishing Magazines for the iPad

Writing about the new Digital Publishing Suite has been keeping me so busy that I haven’t been updating this blog with juicy InDesign tips. If you’re interested in creating books or magazines for the iPad or other devices, go to the Adobe Labs site. You can download the necessary tools, as well as the user guide and the tutorial assets. To see what kinds of questions people are asking, go to the user forum.

If you’re interested in submitting an app you create to the Apple Store, you’ll want to join the prerelease site. Go to the Adobe prerelease page and choose Digital Magazine Publishing for product. The tools on the prerelease site are updated more frequently than on the Labs site. Also, the prerelease Downloads site includes a document called “iPad Publishing Process Overview.pdf” that helps you get started with the submission process.

If you have an iPad, check out some of these apps that were created using early versions of the Digital Publishing Suite tools.

InDesign Magazine Viewer (Free)

Mobile touch devices can provide a reading experience that’s better in some ways than websites or printed magazines. But the apps have to be done correctly. The “Take Color for a Spin” article in this issue takes advantage of this new format. Unfortunately, some of the other articles use a basic, flat structure when slideshows, videos, and other interactive designs would have improved the viewing experience. Then again, it’s free. Let’s hope future versions of this great magazine take better advantage of the format. (Download in iTunes)

Martha Stewart Living – Boundless Beauty ($3.99)

Martha made a guest appearance at the Adobe Max conference, and an Adobe bigwig named Kevin Lynch just returned the favor and entered Martha’s kitchen.

I bought this issue, but I haven’t been able to critique it yet because my wife has taken possession of my iPad. I may have more to say if I can get my iPad back. (Download in iTunes)

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New PANTONE libraries

Pantone, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of X-Rite, Incorporated, and world-renowned authority on color, has recently made available the PANTONE PLUS Digital Libraries Installer, a free utility that allows you to integrate the PANTONE PLUS Libraries quickly and easily into the Adobe Creative Suite.

The PANTONE PLUS SERIES line of publications is a major enhancement to the PANTONE MATCHING SYSTEM® and retains all of the previously existing PANTONE MATCHING SYSTEM Colors.

How to obtain the new libraries

To obtain the new libraries, download the appropriate installer for your operating system from this page on Pantone’s website:


Please read the important information provided on that download page, as well as in the PANTONE PLUS Color Library Technical Notes which can be downloaded from the same page as a PDF document.

A List of InDesign CS5 Videos

Here’s a list of InDesign videos. Many of them were created for InDesign CS4 or even CS3, but they’re still good learning tools for InDesign CS5.

InDesign CS5 Getting Started Videos

The Getting Started videos appear in the Learn InDesign CS5 section of Adobe TV.

Getting Started: What is InDesign CS5
Getting Started 1: Understanding the Application Window
Getting Started 2: New Documents
Getting Started 3: Adding Page Numbering
Getting Started 4: Understanding Text Frames
Getting Started 5: Importing Graphics
Getting Started 6: Selecting Objects

InDesign CS4 Getting Started Videos

These videos were created for InDesign CS4, but they’re good resources for InDesign CS5 as well.

Getting Started: 01 Starting a new document
Getting Started: 02 Making a text frame
Getting Started: 03 Character-level formatting
Getting Started: 04 Paragraph-level formatting
Getting Started: 05 Making a paragraph style
Getting Started: 06 Placing and flowing text
Getting Started: 07 Placing an image
Getting Started: 08 Wrapping text around a graphic

Page Layout Videos

Mixing page sizes with the new Page tool
Rotating spread view
Working with smart guides
Using Live Preflight
Using keyboard shortcuts
Working with master pages
Creating running headers and footers
Setting pagination
Defining sections

Text & Typography Videos

Working with text
Working with text styles
Track text changes
Creating conditional text
Applying GREP styles
Creating cross-references
Creating bullets and numbering
Using the Text Wrap panel
Finding and changing expressions, text, and object formatting
Working with Tabs in InDesign
Working with Microsoft Word and Excel tables in InDesign
Creating footnotes
Spanning and splitting columns
Paragraphs that span and split columns
Span/Split Columns
Document installed fonts

Table Videos

Creating and formatting tables
Adding headers and footers to tables
Placing images in tables
Using table styles

Combining Text & Graphics Videos

Using the Text Wrap panel
Working with anchored objects
Live Captions

Graphics and Objects Videos

Selection tool, Gap tool & Live Corner effects
Layers panel
Grid Mode and Live Distribute
Using the Links panel
Using object styles
Working with anchored objects
Creating drop shadows
Applying feathering to objects
Applying opacity effects
Setting opacity
Adobe Mini Bridge Panel and InDesign CS5
Bridging That Gap in InDesign

Long Document Videos

Synchronizing master pages
Creating a table of contents
Creating an index

Export & Interactivity Videos

Creating documents with Interactive features
Creating and editing motion presets
Exploring new FLA export options
Using InDesign CS5 Content in Flash Pro
InDesign and Acrobat Forms Workflow

Layers Magazine

View a list of video tutorials from Layers magazine.

Adobe TV

New videos are continually added to Adobe TV. Bookmark the InDesign page, and filter your results by unchecking categories on the right side of the page.

Find any other InDesign video resources on the web? Leave a comment.

Articles on InDesign CS5

Lots of good articles and videos on the new features in InDesign CS5.

InDesign CS5 New Feature Videos – Anne-Marie Concepción created videos about the new InDesign CS5 videos. If you subscribe to Lynda.com, you can view them all. If you’re not a member, you can view the six underlined ones. They’re good.

Eight Great New Features in InDesign CS5 – Just a fantastic Peachpit.com article by a fantastic writer.

PC Magazine’s Review of InDesign CS5 – Matthew Murray raves about the new version:

“If print is actually dying, someone forgot to tell Adobe. Not only do the changes the company has stuffed into the latest version of InDesign ($699 list new, $199 list upgrade) rank among the most extensive and useful any product has received in Creative Suite 5, they also represent a major (and long overdue) sea change for the product itself.”

Entertaining Video on Spanning and Splitting Columns – Tim Cole is back! If you’re an InDesign fan, pay attention to Tim Cole’s blog. In this 8-minute video, Tim covers the new Span/Split Columns feature in InDesign CS5, including pitfalls to avoid. I was a little disappointed that Tim didn’t break out his Pee Wee Herman voice, but at least he gave us a Monty Python song, “Span, span, span, span . . . wonderful span.”

Video on using InDesign CS5 content in Flash Pro – Paul Trani created this excellent video on the FLA export feature in InDesign (which was called XFL export in CS4). Paul is coming at this from a Flash Pro angle.

By the way, if you want to view the animated SWF file that was exported from InDesign, I posted the City Guide here. I’ll have more to say about animation and interactivity later.

Michael Murphy’s 36-minute overview – Michael goes over most of the new features in this videocast on www.theindesigner.com. He doesn’t post content very often, but when he does, it’s worth the wait.

That’s all for now.