Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Fantastic resource for creating App icons

If you create Apps for the iPad, iPhone, or Android devices, you are faced with the tedious task of creating App icons at various sizes. In order to submit an iPad app to the App store, for example, you need to submit your App icon in PNG format in seven different sizes.

To make this process much, much easier, Johannes Henseler has created a free Photoshop template. To use the template, you open a smart object on one of the Photoshop layers, and create your artwork in Illustrator or Photoshop in the smart object. Then, with a single click you can export icons in 15 different sizes all at once. Thanks Johannes!

If you've previously used this template, note that Johannes updated the template on 6/22/2012.



Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The new Link icon in InDesign CS6

One of the big new features of InDesign CS6 is the ability to create "Linked Content". This feature allows you to have “parent” content that is linked to “child” content that can appear in several places in a single document, or spread across several documents. When the parent content is edited, you are given the option to update the content in all the other locations. You can learn more about this feature here.

But even if you don't care at all about Linked Content, there is one by-product of this new feature that affects almost everyone, in a good way. If you have your Frame Edges shown (View > Extras > Show Frame Edges), each linked image in your layout will display an icon in the upper-left corner. The icon indicates whether the image is linked, modified, or missing. This icon provides 3 benefits:

1. If the image is modified or missing, you can single-click on the icon to update the image or relink to a new image. This saves a trip to the Links panel!

2. If you hover over the link icon, the filename of the image is displayed.

3. If you option/alt click on the icon, the Links panel is opened and the image is selected in the links panel.

You can learn more about Linked Content and all the other new InDesign CS6 features in my new eBook the InDesignSecrets Guide To What's New In InDesign CS6. In this low-cost PDF eBook, I clearly describe how to use all the new features of CS6. You can purchase and download the eBook here.

Cover 1


Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Controlling how a link opens in Adobe DPS

When you create an InDesign hyperlink to a Web site, and then create an iPad app with Adobe Digital Publishing Suite, the link will by default open in an "in-app" browser. That is, a browser that is built in to your DPS app. This browser allows the user to navigate around the Web, and when finished, tap a "Done" button in the upper-left corner of the screen that returns the user back to the screen where they left off.

But if you look in the Overlay Creator panel (InDesign CS5) or Folio Overlays panel (CS6), you'll see that you can specify if the hyperlink should "Open in Folio" or "Open in Device Browser". If you choose the latter, when you tap the link, the app will quit and Safari will launch and open the link.



I've often wondered why you would want to do this, since it has a big disadvantage…it takes the user away from the app that you want them to spend time with. But this week a project I'm working on taught me why you might want a link to open in Safari.

I was building an app for a magazine that relies on reader donations. So the app contained a "Contribute Now" screen that explains to the user how much they rely on the user's generosity, and then directs them to the magazine's Web site where they can make a donation via credit card.

Apple's App Store Review Guidelines state that "The collection of donations must be done via a web site in Safari or an SMS."

I forgot about that, submitted the app, and got a note back from Apple saying in part:

"While donations may not be taken within an application, it is possible to provide a donation link to your web site. This link should launch Safari to collect the donation…We understand that directing your user outside of your app may not be the user experience you prefer to offer your users. However it is a common experience in a variety of iOS apps. And in the case of collecting donations for charities…it is also the required user experience."

I changed the relevant donation link to Open in Device Browser, and resubmitted the app.

By the way, you can't access the Hyperlink section of the Overlay Creator/Folio Overlays panel when a text hyperlink is selected. It only works when an object hyperlink is selected. So if you have a text hyperlink, you may need to place a frame with no fill and stroke over the text, and assign the hyperlink to the frame instead of the text.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Don't miss the Minneapolis Creatives Group this Thursday

What is Adobe's Creative Cloud, and is it for me? -- with Keith Gilbert

Thursday, June 7
11:30 - 1:30
Open Book, Performance Hall
1011 Washington Ave. South, Minneapolis, MN
$10 per person at the door.
Reservations aren't required, but are helpful. email amy@kirkpatrickdesign.com to RSVP.

  • Learn about the 2 ways to buy CS6 (a Perpetual License OR a monthly subscription to Adobe's Creative Cloud)
  • Find out what's included in the Creative Cloud...it has many added benefits over just being a monthly way of paying for software
  • Hear what Adobe plans to add to the Cloud within the year
  • Learn a couple of Keith's favorite new CS6 features in Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign
  • Plus -- time for questions

Creatives Group is an informal Google Group of Twin Cities designers, illustrators, copy writers and photographers. It's a chance for creatives from design and related fields to get together and share ideas, get feedback, relate stories only self-employed people can understand, and support each other. For more information, email Amy Kirkpatrick, amy@kirkpatrickdesign.com.