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.

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

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

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

Friday, July 25, 2014

Resources for publishing a DPS app to Google Play

I’m presenting a webinar for Adobe on July 29, 2014 called "How to Build an Android App and Submit it to Google Play”. You can register for this free 1-hour webinar here

While preparing for this session, I gathered up a list of resources that are helpful for the Android app build / Google Play app submission process:

Adobe Help: DPS supported feature list chart that compares the features supported by iOS, Android, Windows, and the Web Viewer 

Adobe Help: Building native DPS apps for Android devices

Adobe Help: DPS publishing process for Android devices

Web-based DPS App Builder

Google Play Developer Help Center

Alternatives for distributing Android apps

Android and Google Play Brand Guidelines

Google Play Badge AI files

Google Play Website Badge Generator

Android Device Art Generator for creating simulations of app screens on various Android devices

Friday, July 11, 2014

Easily create DPS splash screens

Every Adobe Digital Publishing Suite app for the iPad must contain 4 splash screens in the following sizes: 768 x 1024 pixel, 1024 x 768 pixel, 1536 x 2048 pixel, and 2048 x 1536 pixel. For iPhone apps, you must include 3 splash screens sized to 320x480, 640x960, and 640x1136 pixels. These splash screens must be saved in the PNG format. The splash screen appears on the screen momentarily while the app loads.

I’ve created an InDesign template to make creating these various sizes of the splash screens quick and easy. You can download the template here

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The template contains 7 pages in each of the pixel dimensions listed above. Create your desired artwork on the pages corresponding to the sizes that you need, then choose File > Export and export the pages in PNG format. Fill in the Export PNG dialog box as shown below, and PNGs with the exact dimensions required will be output.

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Unfortunately, InDesign only exports PNG-24 images. To save on file size in your app, you should open each of these PNG images in Photoshop, choose File > Save for Web, and save each file in PNG-8 format.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

How to embed video in a DPS scrollable frame

When creating scrollable frame content for Adobe DPS, the scrolling content can be a group of any type of InDesign objects, both static and interactive. You can group together text frames, images, buttons, and multi-state objects, and then make the group scrollable. However, if you try to include video in the scrollable frame group, you’ll find that it doesn’t work. After you paste the group into the “container frame” and go to the Folio Overlays panel, you’ll see that the options for video are displayed, not the options for scrollable frames.

Here’s a workaround that makes it possible to include embedded video in scrollable frames:

1. Group all the content together that you want as scrolling content, except for the video

2. Create a frame the same size as the outer bounds of the scrolling content, and name this frame “Container frame” in the Layers panel

3. Cut the scrolling content group

4. Select the Container frame, and choose Edit > Paste Into

5. In the Folio Overlays panel, choose Scrollable Frame, and select the desired scroll direction and other options

6. Place the video that you want to include in the scrolling content

7. In the Layers panel, drag the video into the Group that is inside the Container frame

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8.  In the Folio Overlays panel, set your video playback options as desired

9. Position the video where you want it to be in the scrolling content

10. Resize the Container frame so that it is smaller the the scrolling content group.

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Boat in the pond

This post is a break from my usual digital publishing technology posts. As some of you know, I’m nuts about sailing. I’ve spent the last few days training and consulting at Oracle Corporation headquarters in Redwood City, CA. You may know that Oracle is a major sponsor of the America’s Cup.  

The main Oracle campus features a small pond in the center. This month they delivered USA-17, the trimaran that won the 33rd America’s Cup in 2010, to the middle of the pond. It was airllifted into place by a helicopter. As you can imagine, the trimaran looks gigantic in the middle of the pond.

Some statistics about the boat:

  • The mast is 20 stories high
  • The boat took 150,000 man-hours to build
  • The enormous hull is 90 feet x 90 feet square (bigger than a baseball infield)
Here’s a photo of the mast being trailered in:
 

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The boat in its final resting place:

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