Archive for April, 2011

Ask a CS Pro | Illustrator | Rufus Deuchler

We are holding an Ask a CS Pro session tomorrow with CS Evangelist Rufus Deuchler which will focus on the Appearance Panel in Illustrator CS5.

Join us tomorrow from 12p.m. – 1p.m. Pacific Time, for the next Ask A CS Pro session on Adobe Illustrator.  Rufus Deuchler is this week’s host and he will be focusing on what he defines as the “coolest feature” in Illustrator: the Appearance Panel.  For more information visit the event invitation: Looking forward to seeing you there!

A little before  12 pm Pacific time, click on the following link and Adobe Connect will take over:

About Rufus

As Senior Worldwide Design Evangelist at Adobe Systems with an affinity for creative technology, Rufus Deuchler has established himself as a leader in a very specialized arena. With experience as a corporate and editorial designer, he brings more than 15 years of hands-on experience using Adobe Creative Suite applications to the creative table. Rufus adds another dimension to the arena by delivering comprehensive training programs to audiences large and small across the globe, and also contributes time as a teacher for graphic design students. And, he’s an expert in creative workflows based on Adobe solutions. Based in Italy, Rufus enjoys traveling the world to further his mission as a software evangelist.

For more information on Rufus and for links to his blog, please visit:


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Drag-and-drop to create anchored objects in InDesign CS5.5

The words “easy” and “anchored objects” are rarely found in the same sentence. InDesign CS5.5 makes it possible. Anchored objects are common in EPUB/HTML workflows, and easy drag and drop of anchored frames has the potential to make life a lot simpler.

In InDesign CS5.5,  every selected frame (both text and graphic) shows a blue square near the top right corner.

Handle to drag objects to anchor them

Handle to drag objects to anchor them



  • Click the blue-square and drag it to the position in the story where you want the anchor it. The UI shows a bold “I” beam as you move the mouse through the text. Release to create the anchor.
Drop object at anchoring point

Drop object at anchoring point


  • Use the Shift key as a modifier to change the behavior to create an inline object. This action duplicates the cut and paste gesture you used in previous releases.
  • Use the Alt key as a modifier to open the Anchored Object Options dialog box.

InDesign CS5.5 also makes it easier for you to identify anchored objects. Anchored objects display an “Anchor” icon instead of the “blue square”.

Anchored object displays an "Anchor" icon

Anchored object displays an "Anchor" icon

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Reading order for accessible PDFs using InDesign CS5.5

InDesign CS5.5 has several features that make it easier for you to create accessible content. I’ve already posted about some under the hood enhancements. But there are more.

So, is there a way to easily specify the reading order in InDesign CS5.5? Articles might be the answer you’re looking for. See an earlier post about Articles.

Test Drive

In 1961, the IBM 704 became the first computer to sing, singing the song Daisy Bell. Vocals were programmed by John Kelly and Carol Lockbaum and the accompaniment was programmed by Max Mathews. This performance was the inspiration for the famous scene in the 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey in which the HAL 9000 computer sings the song as it is deactivated. If you’re interested in more trivia, see Wikipedia article.

So, I thought it’s only fair that I use “Daisy Bell and her bicycle-built-for-two”  to demonstrate the Reading Order. I created a one page PDF document, set up articles, and exported as a tagged PDF. This PDF was created using InDesign CS5.5 and has not been post-processed or retouched.

Right-click and Save As to download the PDF

Right-click and Save As to download the PDF

  1. Download the PDF file and open it in Acrobat or Adobe Reader.
  2. Choose View > Read Out Loud > Activate Read Out Loud.
  3. Choose View > Read Out Loud > Read this Page.
  4. Compare the reading order with the Article structure in the figure below.

    Articles panel and options

    Articles panel and options

Try reading the PDF with Acrobat,  the free Adobe Reader, or other screen reader software that you use. See Acrobat help for more information on Read out Loud.

Let me know how it works.

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Articles in InDesign CS5.5

Yesterday, I posted about a host of features in InDesign CS5.5 that streamline your EPUB workflows. Today let me try and add some details.


All the buzz about Articles in InDesign CS5.5 probably makes you believe that this feature will only come in handy if you are creating EPUBS. Articles can be used for more than that!

Articles provide designers and production artists an easy way to create relationships among page items. These relationships can be used to define:

  • Content to be included for export to EPUB, HTML, or Accessible PDFs
  • Define the order of the content

You can create articles from a combination of existing page items within a layout, including images, graphics, or text. Once an article has been created, page items can be added, removed, or re-ordered. While you can create articles manually by dragging one or more page items to an article in the article panel, you also have mechanisms for adding bulk content to an article including adding all selected content to an article, or adding an entire document to an article.

The XML structure panel within InDesign provides another mechanism to decide the order of the content to be exported to the EPUB, HTML and Accessible PDF exports workflows. The article panel is designed to be simpler, easier to use, and more accessible option, for users not inclined to use XML. However, the ability to use the XML structure panel has NOT been removed, but is now an option alongside the use of the Article Panel during the export process.

Articles panel

Articles panel in InDesign CS5.5

Articles panel in InDesign CS5.5

Articles panel popup menu

Articles panel popup menu

Article panel with a few articles

Article panel with a few articles


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EPUB and HTML Export in InDesign CS5.5

Unlike PDF and SWF, the EPUB and HTML file formats still do not support high-fidelity design,typography, and layout. Despite this limitation, the eBook market has grown significantly in the last few years, due largely to the consumption of eBooks on tablet devices and smart phones.

Improved EPUB and HTML export in InDesign CS5.5 enable you to create a better quality EPUB/HTML file without having to know code. Used in conjunction with other new features like Articles, Improved Map-Styles to Export Tags, and Object Export Options, the overall production workflow is greatly streamlined, especially for those of you who want a quality export experience out of an InDesign document intended for print. It’s worth noting that the verboseness of the code is also reduced, so that advanced users and coders can work with the EPUB and HTML in a code editor, and spend less time fine tuning and “cleaning-up” the file.

The command now located under File > Export, with EPUB and HTML listed with other formats like IDML, FLA, and SWF.

Below is a list of some sub-features that you might find exciting!

Article Based Ordering

You can now choose ordering based on an Article. Earlier content ordering approaches such as “Based on Layout” and“Same as XML Structure” are still supported and have not been changed.

Book Margins

A simple margin value can be entered in Em or in Pixels.  The same value is applied for all margins—top, bottom, left, and right. Em is the best value for multiscreen compatibility. The margins use the css @page rule, which is currently only supported by Adobe Digital Editions and Opera web browser. At the time of this writing, the @page rule does not appear to interfere with any EPUB reader.

Note: Using the CSS “margin” attribute is inadequate, as it does not support top and bottom margins.

Image Resolution PPI Setting

InDesign CS5.5 provides a range from 72 (the only option in CS5), 96 (Windows default), 150 (average of eBook devices), and 300 (print and “Retina Display”) quality.

Image Size

In addition to “Fixed”, CS5.5 now supports a setting called “Relative to Page”. This sets a relative % width value based on the size of the image relative to the InDesign page width. The net effect is that images scale proportionally on different size computer screens or adjust to size of the browser window for desktop EPUB readers like Adobe Digital Editions.

Support for PNG

PNG is a new option. No compression UI is enabled when PNG is selected, as this should be used for LOSSLESS images or for images that include transparency but with better quality than GIF (another lossy format).

Cover Image

You now have some options to specify the cover image. You could use the first page of the publication, an image on disk, or have no cover image.

Break Document by Paragraph Style

In previous releases, InDesign only supported breaking upcontent by the top level TOC style. In CS5.5, any single paragraph style can be selected. This results in more HTML files contained in the EPUB package, but it can be very useful when breaking up very long chapters, which have been known to cause some EPUB readers to crash.

Place footnote after its paragraph

You now have an option to decide if  Instead of converting footnotes to endnotes, footnotes should appear after the paragraph cited.

Remove soft return

You have an option to remove soft-returns used in the InDesign document.

Support for Audio and Video Tags in HTML

Placed mp3 audio and mp4 video (h.264), result in use of HTML5 <audio> and <video> tags.

Note: While we anticipate these tags to be adoptedby the IDPF, the EPUB 2.0.1 specification does not currently support this. As of the date of this writing, only the Apple iBook application on the iPad supports the <video> tag.

New support for EPUB 3.0 J-language features

Support for vertical text and Ruby.

Support for sub-lists

Bulleted and numbered sub-lists are correctly represented as nested<ul> and <ol> in the exported EPUB/HTML. This feature works when using the native InDesign auto-bullet or auto-number feature.

Support for table headers and footers

InDesign table headers and table footers are represented in EPUB/HTML.


  • An InDesign document with a Table of Contents intended for use in print is included in the resulting EPUB file. Earlier in CS5, these were omitted in favor of the NCX manifest used byEPUB Readers.
  • A Publish Date metadata value is automatically generated though not displayed in the UI. This enables EPUBs generated from InDesign to pass the EPUB Checker validation tool. If you need to edit this, or other EPUB metadata values, use a thirdparty tool like Calibre or edit the EPUB packaged directly.
  • The command now located under File > Export, withEPUB and HTML listed with other formats like IDML, FLA, and SWF.

For a complete list, see the Export Content for EPUB in the InDesign help.

You could also have a look at the following video to have a look at the features.

Enhanced eBook authoring


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