New PlugPlug APIs for hybrid extension developers

InDesign CC 2014.1 (InDesign version 10.1) and its corresponding plug-in SDK (x070 and x071) contains a new include which will be of particular interest to anyone developing hybrid extensions.

In case you don’t know, a hybrid extension is an extension which consists of one or more native plug-ins and one or more HTML (or Flash) extensions.

The new APIs, found in the SDK at /source/public/interfaces/ui/ICSXSPlugPlugExtensions.h, enable workflows where a native plug-in needs to open or close an extension.

Whilst there is no need to port or recompile your plug-ins from 10.0 to be compatible with 10.1, if you want to use this API you will need to use the latest SDK to pick up the new header and you will then have to recompile.

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InDesign CC 2014 SDK

The InDesign CC 2014 SDK will be available on the InDesign Family SDK Access Program from June 20.

If you are new to InDesign development, the best place to get started is ‘Getting Started with InDesign Development’, which is a guide included in the SDK.

As for this latest release, the following are the most significant changes in the SDK.

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HTML Extensibility in InDesign CC

The InDesign update you received in August 2013 (InDesign 9.1) included the enabling of HTML5 extensions.

As you may already know, starting in the middle of 2014 Adobe will begin removing Flash-based extension support in Creative Cloud products, starting with Photoshop CC.

If you have any hybrid or regular Flash extensions for InDesign you need to begin migrating them to HTML5 as soon as possible.

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Changing UI preferences in Javascript

A new feature in InDesign CC is the Dark UI. You can now adjust UI brightness and other UI properties using scripting.

  • matchPreviewBackgroundToThemeColor: If set to true the Preview Background color will be set to match the Theme Color
  • pasteboardColorPreference: Lets you set Pasteboard Color preference. Use 0 to set pasteboard color preference to Default White, and 1 to set preference to Match with Theme Color.
  • uiBrightnessPreference: Lets you specify the Application User Interface brightness preference (from 0.0 to 1.0). To use color theme brightness preset values, specify 0.0 for Dark, 0.33 for Medium Dark, 0.67 for Medium Bright, and 1.0 for Bright. Any value between 0.0 and 1.0 can also be used.

Here is an example in JavaScript:

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Creating QR Codes in JavaScript

A new feature in InDesign CC is the ability to create and place QR codes. Here, I show how to do this using JavaScript.

The following APIs are available:

  • createHyperlinkQRCode: for creating a QR code for a hyperlink).
  • createEmailQRCode: for creating a QR code for an email address.
  • createPlainTextQRCode: for creating a QR code for arbritary text.
  • createTextMsgQRCode: for creating a QR code for an SMS message.
  • createVCardQRCode: for creating a QR code for a vcard.

Here’s a nice easy sample:

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