Monday, September 24, 2012

Recording of "Ask a CS Pro" session

Last Friday, September 21, 2012, I did an "Ask a CS Pro" Webinar for Adobe about the new Digital Publishing Suite, Single Edition workflow. In this free, one-hour session I showed how to create an App in InDesign, add interactivity, preview it on an iPad, and then use the new DPS App Builder to prepare the app for submission to Apple's App Store. If you missed the live session, and wish to view a recording, you can access the recording here.

Friday, September 21, 2012

DPS tip: auto-populate article info from InDesign metadata

Here's a neat workflow trick. In some workflows, designers create the InDesign files for each section of an Adobe Digital Publishing Suite app, but someone else in the workflow creates the articles. This means that the designer creating the InDesign file can't enter the title, byline, or description of the article, since this is added in the Folio Builder panel when the article is created later.

But, as it turns out, three of the metadata fields from InDesign map to DPS article fields. In other words, if you open an InDesign file and choose File > File Info, you can enter information in this dialog box that will be extracted by Folio Builder when an article is created from the InDesign file.

Specifically, these three fields are transferred:

  • Document Title transfers to Title
  • Author transfers to Byline
  • Description transfers to Description



After you create an article from the InDesign file, choose Article Properties from the Folio Builder panel menu, and you will see that the appropriate fields have been populated from the InDesign file information.

This workflow is also useful because if you need to rebuild your Folio and recreate your articles, the article titles, bylines, and descriptions won't be lost.

Another way to do this is to use the very useful sidecar.xml generator.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

"Ask a Pro" Webinar this Friday

This Friday, September 21, 2012, I'm doing an "Ask a Pro" Webinar for Adobe about the new Digital Publishing Suite, Single Edition workflow. In this free, one-hour session I'll show how to create an App in InDesign, add interactivity, preview it on an iPad, and then use the new DPS App Builder to prepare the app for submission to Apple's App Store. There will also be time for questions.

Registration is required. Details can be found here.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

New DPS Single Edition features

Adobe made several recent announcements and updates that are great news for designers who want to create iPad apps:

First, they announced that Creative Cloud members can now submit an unlimited number of iPad apps to the App Store for no additional charge. (In order to submit apps to the App Store, Apple still requires you to enroll in Apple's iOS Developer Program, which costs $99/year.) If you aren't a Creative Cloud member, each submitted Single Edition app costs $395. This really "sweetens the pot" for Creative Cloud membership for any designer that wants to create Single Issue iPad apps. 

Second, Version 23 of the Digital Publishing Suite tools was released. You can read about the new features here, and the bug fixes here. Among the notable new features: the ability to include vector overlays for PDF articles, ability to include high-res assets in PDF articles, ability to play audio while a user browses an article, ability to freeze a video at the last frame (finally!), and PDF support for smooth scrolling articles of any length.

Third, Version 23 of the Digital Publishing Suite includes a new, required Folio Builder panel update. This new much-improved Folio Builder includes a "Create App" command in the panel menu that passes your Folio file directly to the new DPS App Builder. This greatly simplifies the process of building Single Issue apps with DPS Single Edition.

Fourth, the new Adobe Step-by-Step Guide to Publishing iPad Apps with DPS, Single Edition was released. This valuable PDF guide is available to download at You must sign in with an Adobe ID, and agree to the DPS terms and conditions to download the guide. Once logged in, click on "Companion Guides for Submitting iOS Applications to Apple" in the Additional Resources section in the bottom right corner of the screen.

Adobe has made a significant investment in simplifying the app building process with DPS and clearly documenting this. Most of the steps involved in creating and submitting an app to the App Store are steps that are mandated by Apple, and are performed on Apple web sites. Adobe has invested in clearly documenting all the steps in the process, including the Apple steps. This new Step-by-Step guide is the culmination of this documentation. Adobe hired yours truly to expand the existing documentation, make it as crystal clear as possible, and make it designer-friendly. With a great design by Lynn Phelps, I think we succeeded. I'm convinced that anyone willing to patiently follow step by step directions will be able to successfully create and submit an app with the help of this guide.

Step by step guide to dps se Page 01

Monday, September 10, 2012

Single-issue apps vs. Multi-issue apps

Adobe's Digital Publishing Suite can be purchased in 3 configurations:

1. Single Edition

2. Professional Edition

3. Enterprise Edition.

The main difference between DPS Single Edition and the DPS Professional/Enterprise Editions is that:

a) DPS Single Edition can only create apps for the Apple iPad. DPS Professional/Enterprise Editions can create apps for iPad, iPhone, and Android devices

b) All three editions can create what are called "Single-issue" apps, but only the Professional and Enterprise Editions can create "Multi-issue" apps. 

What is the difference between a Single-issue app and a Multi-issue app?

In a single-issue app, all the content is contained entirely in the app, and the app and all the content is hosted by Apple on the App Store. A multi-issue app resides on Apple's servers in the App Store, but the content for each "issue" is delivered into the app from Adobe's servers. Each bit of new content is called an "issue" and resides in sort of a "bookshelf" within the app.

App updating and user notification

Both a single-issue app and a multi-issue app can be updated with new content as often as you please. The difference is in how the user is notified of this new content:

• When a single-issue app is updated, the only way the user knows is if they go to the App Store and click on the "Updates" section. There they are notified of any Apps they own that have updates available.

• Users can opt  to be alerted that there is new content in a Multi-issue app via Apple's push notification service. With push notification, the user is alerted even when the app isn't running. If the user has opted out of push notification for the app, they will still see be notified that new content is available whenever they run the app.

So multi-issue apps are best for content that will be changed, updated, or added to frequently.

Rendition support

Single-issue apps can only contain a single "rendition". What this really means is that to make your app look great on both the older iPads as well as the Retina display iPad, you have to use PDF rendering in DPS, which has a few downsides. The Professional Edition can create multi-issue apps that contain multiple renditions. This means that low-res content is served to older iPads, and high-res content is automatically served to the Retina iPad.

Social media support

Multi-issue apps support social sharing via email, Facebook and Twitter. Social sharing can be enabled in multi-issue DPS apps without writing any code. Single issue apps do not support social media sharing.

Newsstand support

Only Multi-issue apps can appear in Apple's "Newsstand" app category. To qualify, the Multi-issue app must be a periodical that is published quarterly, at minimum.


A single issue app, created either with DPS Single Edition or Professional Edition, is hosted entirely on Apple's servers at the App store, so your only fee is the $99/year fee to maintain your good standing in the Apple iOS Developer Program, and Apple's standard 30% cut of any fees you charge for the app.

A multi-issue app, on the other hand, requires you to:

1. Pay a $99/year fee to maintain your good standing in the Apple iOS Developer Program

2. Pay a monthly fee to Adobe for your DPS Professional/Enterprise Edition subscription

3. Pay a small "click charge" each time someone downloads a piece of your content into the app.

Currently, Single-issue apps created with DPS Single Edition cost $395 for each published app. Adobe has announced that "real soon" members of Adobe Creative Cloud will be able to publish unlimited Single-issue apps free as part of their Creative Cloud membership.