Friday, September 19, 2014

Adobe DPS preview bug

Beware of this bug when previewing DPS articles on a USB-tethered iPad...

When you tether an iPad to your computer with a USB cable, you can get immediate feedback of exactly how your layout looks on the iPad screen. If you’ve never done this before, here’s how:

1. Connect your iPad via a USB cable to your computer

2. Make sure that the iPad is turned on and “awake”

3. Run Adobe Content Viewer on the iPad

4. At the bottom of the Folio Overlays panel, click the Preview button. After a brief pause, a drop-down menu will appear with the name of your iPad listed. Choose this, and after a short delay the InDesign file you are working on will appear on the iPad screen.


But here’s the bug…If you have a Master Page displayed on your screen, the preview doesn’t work. The “Preview on [your iPad name]” option still appears in the drop-down menu, but the preview never displays on the iPad. The Desktop preview still works in this case, but not the iPad preview. 

So be sure to turn to an actual document page, not a master page, before previewing content on your iPad!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

How to create dual-orientation fixed layout EPUB from InDesign

The 2014 release of InDesign CC creates really nice fixed layout EPUBs that will work on iOS and Android devices. However, when you view your fixed layout EPUB on an iPad with iBooks, our content will appear in only a single orientation, either portrait only or landscape only, depending on the orientation of your InDesign layout and what you choose for the “Spread Control” option in the EPUB - Fixed Layout Export Options dialog box. 

If you want your readers to be able to view your content in either portrait or landscape view, do the following:

1. Export your fixed layout EPUB from InDesign

2. Use eCanCrusher to expand the exported .epub file into a folder

3. Open the folder created by eCanCrusher, and locate the file named “content.opf” in the “OEPS” folder

4. Open this file with a text editor. Edge Code (part of your Creative Cloud subscription) is a good tool for opening and editing this type of file

5. Find the line <meta property="rendition:orientation”>landscape</meta> or <meta property="rendition:orientation”>portrait</meta> near the beginning of the file

6. Change landscape or portrait in this line to “auto”, so that the line appears as <meta property="rendition:orientation”>auto</meta>

7. Save and close the content.opf file

8. Use eCanCrusher to compress the folder back into an .epub file

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

10 things to know about multi-state objects and buttons in InDesign and DPS

Mastering how to create multi-state objects controlled by buttons is the key to creating all kinds of rich interaction in InDesign and Adobe Digital Publishing Suite. To that end, here are 10 things that you need to know about multi-state objects (MSOs) and buttons:

1. Always keep the Buttons and Forms, Object States, and Layers panels open and visible when creating interactive effects.

You will need to refer to these panels frequently, so for your own sanity, open them up, park them on your screen, and leave them there. The Layers panel, not often used for print projects, is used heavily in interactive projects for locating, selecting, or moving page items that are within groups, object states, or buttons.

2. Always work with Frame Edges displayed

Choose View > Extras > Show Frame Edges so that you can easily see the edges of the “hidden” states of MSOs and clear buttons.

3. Always name your MSOs, states, and buttons

Yes, InDesign will ensure that your MSOs, states, and buttons are given unique names, so that everything will work as it should. But the more complex your interaction gets, the more you will appreciate having an MSO named “national parks mso” and states named “yosemite”, “rocky mountain”, and “joshua tree” rather than “Multi-state 23” and “State 1”, “State 2”, and “State 3”. The names that you give these MSOs, states, and buttons will appear in the Layers panel, making selecting objects through the Layers panel easy.

4. Double-click to “dive” down into the objects in an MSO, hit the Esc key to “climb” back out

With an MSO selected, double click on an object to dive into the MSO state that contains that object and select the object. Then, hit the Esc key once to select the state, and again to select the “parent” MSO. Depending on how objects within the states are grouped, you may need to double-click repeatedly to access the objects within groups, and then hit the Esc key repeatedly to climb back out. This simple technique is a huge time- and effort-saver once you master it.

5. There is no such thing as a multi-state object with one state

It should be no surprise that a multi-state object must have multiple states. This can be useful. If you select a single page item, and choose New State from the Object States panel menu, a 2-state MSO will be created, with the page item you selected in each state.

6. There is no such thing as an empty state in a multi-state object

Every state in an MSO must have at least one page item in it. So, if you need a state that consists of “nothing”, you will need to create a frame that has no fill and no stroke, and add that to the state. This is a common technique for creating “pop-up” or “overlay” boxes that appear on the screen when a button is tapped.

7. The initial display of an MSO is always its first state

Regardless of which state is selected in the Object States panel, when the page appears on a mobile device, the first state (the state at the top of the Object States panel) is the state that will be initially displayed.

8. Buttons located outside an MSO can only “see” MSOs on the current page

In other words, there is no way for a button on page 2 to control an MSO on page 3.

9. Buttons located inside an MSO state can only “see” states within the parent MSO

In other words, a button that is in an MSO state can’t control a different MSO on the page.

10. Button objects are always converted to raster data when displayed

If you convert vector artwork, type, or an InDesign frame, line, polygon, etc. to a button, the nice crisp vector objects will be rasterized when viewed on a mobile device. For this reason, whenever possible I leave the artwork untouched, and create a clear frame over the artwork and use this frame for the button instead. This has the added benefit of allowing you to have small button artwork with a large tap zone.

Bonus tip: Save your sanity and purchase Digital Publishing Pack 1, Digital Publishing Pack 2, and Object States Assistant.

These scripts and plug-ins take a lot of the repetitive pain out of working with complex MSOs and buttons.

Thursday, August 07, 2014

How to Use in5 to Include InDesign-generated Animation in DPS Articles

As you may know, I contribute to the InDesignSecrets blog, run by my friends David Blatner and Anne-Marie Concepcion. I just posted a detailed article there about how to use the InDesign extension in5 to export native InDesign-created animation for use in Adobe DPS articles. If you work with Adobe DPS, you need to check this out!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

How to type a tab character in an InDesign table

When you are working with a table in Adobe InDesign, pressing the Tab key moves you from cell to cell within the table. But what if you want to actually include a tab character in the text within a cell?

On the Mac, you can simply press option-tab to insert a tab character in a table cell. But in Windows, alt-tab is reserved for switching between running apps (try it, its really useful!). So in Windows InDesign, you can insert a tab character in a table cell by choosing Type > Insert Special Character > Other > Tab. If you need to do this frequently, consider adding a keyboard shortcut for this command. Here’s how:

1. In InDesign, choose Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts.

2. Fill in the dialog box as show below, and then click the Assign button.

ScreenSnapz002 copy

3. When prompted to create a new set, click Yes.


4. Give the set a name, and click OK.


Now, you can just press ctrl-tab to insert a tab character within a table cell.