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.

Designing InDesign Documents

Each issue you publish consists of one or more articles, called stacks. A stack can be an ad or an article.

The iPad screen is 1024 x 768 pixels. For each article, create a horizontal and vertical document. For best results, make the horizontal document 1024×768 pixels and the vertical document 768×1024 pixels.

When you bundle the documents, the non-interactive page items are flattened into a single image file, and interactive items appear on top of the flattened image as overlays.

Overlay Creator

Add interactive objects such as video, audio, 360-degree views, panoramas, hyperlinks, image pans, and slideshows.

Content Bundler

The Content Bundler exports a .folio file (previously called a .issue file) that can be uploaded to the iPad or, in the future, to another mobile device.

In order to communicate with InDesign, the Content Bundler requires an InDesign plugin file to be installed.

Adobe Content Viewer

The Adobe Content Viewer displays the .folio files on the iPad. Add the Adobe Content Viewer to iTunes, and then add the .folio file you created to the Content Viewer.

Each publication requires its own custom Viewer. Publishers can create single-folio Viewers in which the .folio file and Viewer are combined into a single app or multiple-folio Viewers with a library that allows customers to purchase and download issues as they become available.


Adobe Content Viewer displayed on iPad

Interactive Overlay Types

At this time, the following interactive overlays are available.

360 Viewer – The 360 Viewer displays a sequence of images, allowing you to rotate an object 360 degrees on the mobile device. The image files should have the same root name with ascending suffixes, such as Tower001.jpg, Tower002.jpg, and so on. While the 360 Viewer is designed primarily for rotating objects, you can use it as a way of progressing through any sequence of images.

Hyperlinks – Create hyperlinks that jump to a URL or another article. The URL can be displayed within the Viewer or in Safari. Use http://<URL>, navto://<filename>, or mailto:<address> formats.

Panoramas – A panorama overlay gives the impression that you’re viewing a setting from within a sphere. For example, a courtyard panorama can let you pan left and right a full 360 degrees, tilt up to see the cloudless Seattle sky, and zoom in on autumn trees.

Video – The video must be an MP4 file with h.264 encoding, compatible with Apple iTunes. Use the Play Inline setting to determine whether the video is played within its bounding area on the page or in full-screen mode.

Audio – Place an MP3 file in your document. You can also add a set of images to create a controller skin that acts as a status bar with play and pause controls.

Pan and Zoom – Display a large image in a small area and allow the user to pan and zoom the image within that area. For example, you may want users to be able to pan an 1024-by-1024 pixel image within a 200-by-200 pixel view area.

Slideshows – Combine a collection of slideshow images into a multi-state object. Then create interactive buttons that navigate through the slideshow images. Use thumbnail images to jumping to a specific slide, or use navigation buttons to move forward and backward through the slides.

Web View – Display the contents of a web page within a view area. You can specify a URL or a local HTML file.

Scrollable Frames – Similar to Pan and Zoom, only the intent is to allow only horizontal or vertical scrolling. For example, you may want to display a frame that contains only the first few steps in a set of instructions and let users scroll down to view additional steps.

Additional Features

Single-Orientation Stacks – You can create .folio files that either horizontal- or vertical-only.

HTML Stacks – Instead of using InDesign documents to create articles, use HTML files.

Desktop Viewer – Use the Desktop Viewer to preview your folio content without having to load it onto the iPad.

Smooth Scrolling Stacks – You can create a single long page in which users scroll smoothly rather than snapping to each page.

Learn More

You can download the Digital Publishing Suite on Adobe Labs, or you can join the Digital Magazine Publishing prerelease program to obtain more frequent updates of the tools and participate in a more advanced user forum.

Go here to learn about pricing.

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