Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Translating print into digital

I’ve worked with the great folks at Experience Life over the last couple of years. Experience Life magazine is available in both a print version as well as for iPhone, iPad, and Android. I was really impressed with how the Experience Life team translated this print layout:

... into this digital layout:

This is a great example of how much better a digital version can convey complex information when it is well-designed and produced correctly. In this case, the short clips of the exercises are best saved as either an image sequence or an animated GIF, depending on the final format of the document (Adobe Digital Publishing Suite, Adobe Experience Manager Mobile, Twixl, Fixed Layout EPUB, Publish Online, etc.)

See also:

How to convert an image sequence to an animated GIF

Place an animated GIF (From the Lynda.com course InDesign: Fixed-Layout EPUB Interactive Techniques & Publish Online)

Monday, December 12, 2016

Upcoming seminar series in Minneapolis: Digital Publishing with InDesign

In cooperation with the Twin Cities Creatives Group, I’m presenting a special January seminar series in Minneapolis about Digital Publishing with Adobe InDesign.

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This is a low-cost 3-session seminar series for graphic designers, production artists, art directors, and other creatives and communicators who want to learn how to create multi-screen, digital output from InDesign CC. You can attend one, two, or all three sessions held on three consecutive Wednesday mornings in downtown Minneapolis.

The fee is $50 per session, or register for all 3 sessions for $130.

If you have any interest in learning how to create digital output for Web sites, Web apps, Mobile apps, or EPUB, be sure to check out the seminar descriptions. I’d love to see you in January!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Scan documents with your phone directly to Dropbox

Dropbox recently added the ability to scan documents directly to Dropbox using the Dropbox app on your iPhone. I’m finding that I use this feature several times a week. Even though I have a Fujitsu ScanSnap iX500 document scanner on my desktop (which is awesome, by the way), the Dropbox app is great for scanning receipts while on the road, or quickly sharing a print document via email or text.

Available only for iPhone at this point (not iPads or Android devices), the app works like this:

1. Download and install the Dropbox app for iPhone

2. Run the app

3. Tap the “plus” button at the bottom of the screen

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4. Tap “Scan Document"

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5. Place your document on a contrasting background, aim the camera at the document, and Dropbox will find the edges of the document. Tap the camera button at the bottom of the screen.

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6. Once the document is captured, you can add pages, perform some basic editing, or rotate pages using the buttons at the bottom of the screen. When done, tap the Next button in the upper-right corner of the screen.

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7. Choose a location by tapping on “Save to”, and then tap “Save"

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8. The result? A PDF, filed right where you want it in your Dropbox storage.

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I was previously using a separate scan-to-pdf app on my iPhone, but I find the Dropbox scanning feature more quicker, easier, and more accurate.

For more info about this feature, see this Dropbox help article.

Are you taking advantage of all that Dropbox has to offer? Take a “deep dive” into Dropbox with my Up and Running with Dropbox course on Lynda.com or LinkedIn Learning.

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Monday, October 24, 2016

Free classes this week!

Now through October 30, ALL training content on LinkedIn Learning is absolutely free –– including my popular Up and Running with Dropbox course, my InDesign Scripting Made Easy course, and more! No catch, no sign-up, no credit-card necessary. Set aside some time this week to #AlwaysBeLearning!

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Monday, August 29, 2016

InDesign Publish Online: An excellent PDF alternative

Publish Online,a new feature first introduced in InDesign CC 2015, is by far the easiest and cheapest way to publish a pixel-perfect interactive document to the Web.

From any InDesign layout, just click the Publish Online button at the top right corner of the screen, answer a few questions, and the layout is uploaded to a Web site hosted by Adobe, and the URL is given to you. You can then include this URL on your Web site, in an email, or whatever you want to do with it to drive people to your content.

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Publish Online is ideal for richly formatted documents that include some interactivity and are free to the public. They are an excellent alternative to PDF for many uses. Here are a couple of really nice examples designed and created by my friend Brian Donahue, a talented Twin Cities-based designer.

Minneapolis Parks Foundation Annual Report

The Center for Irish Music Annual Report

Publish Online works really well. But the main drawback for many people is that the content must be hosted on Adobe’s servers. You cannot download the code and put it on your own Web server. Nor can you customize the URL. It will begin with the domain indd.adobe.com. There is no way to monetize the content, or protect it with a password.

Publish Online not the right fit for your requirements? I’ve written a comprehensive Digital Publishing Technology Guide to help you sort out your options for digital publishing from InDesign.

Need help creating interactive content for your Publish Online projects? These 4 courses from Lynda.com can show you how!