How to Collect Useful Information and Solve Problems Faster

Justin | articles,tips | Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015

image with icons

Problems are usually reported by clients or end users.

After all, if you already knew about the problem, it would probably be fixed, right? 😉

In this article, I’ll show you some ways that you get info from end users to help solve your problems faster.


How to Add Advanced HTML Hyperlinking with in5

Justin | design,extensions,HTML5,InDesign,tips | Monday, September 21st, 2015
indesign new hyperlink

InDesign has many strengths as an interactive layout tool.

One of its limitations, however, is that it doesn’t let you set a target attribute when creating a hyperlink. The target attribute lets you control how a hyperlink is open.

In this article, I’m going to take you on a deep dive of a new features that we’ve added in in5 version 2.6: Advanced Hyperlink Targeting.

Not only can you use this feature to control links in your web-based HTML, it also gives you a high degree of control in Web Apps, Baker Framework apps, and PhoneGap apps.


Export One HTML File Per Page with in5

Justin | design,extensions,HTML5,InDesign,tips | Thursday, July 2nd, 2015

By default, in5 will export all pages in your InDesign document into a single HTML file. But there are a couple of reasons why you might want an HTML file generated for each page in the InDesign document:

  1. Each page will have it’s own URL (so you can easily link to a page)
  2. Loading only one page at time decreases load time in the browser, especially for long documents

The ability to export a document as multiple HTML files actually already exists within in5, though we haven’t done a great job of advertising it.

Both the Baker Framework (HPUB) and the Liquid State Publishing System Output options will export one HTML file per page.


Both outputs can be used directly on the web, though the Liquid State Publishing System option will probably be slightly better because the index.html file redirects to the first page (whereas in Baker the index file contains the page thumbnails).

One thing that is lost when switching to a multi-file format is the animated transition between pages. If you want to keep that transition, but also be able to link to individual pages, check out this solution on the Answer Exchange.

Smart Image Exporting from InDesign to HTML and EPUB

Justin | design,HTML5,InDesign,tips | Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015

The standard image format when exporting HTML or EPUB from InDesign in PNG because the PNG file format supports transparency (and more colors than a GIF).

The Problem

In some cases (e.g., photographic images), PNG can produce larger files, especially if you choose the High Definition (HD) option when exporting from the in5 dialog.

So, what if you know your images don’t have transparency and you want them to be HD…but you also want to try and keep the file sizes smaller?

In that case, you can use the Object Export Options (found in the Object menu of InDesign) to add custom settings to any given image. Great so far.

But now, what if you have a lot of images? It can take a long time to open the Object Export Options for each one, navigate to the EPUB and HTML tab, and select from the drop down menus.

The Solution

You can create an Object Style (Window > Styles) that only applies Export Options. And you can even narrow that to just the image type and quality.

Note how every checkbox for attributes in the image below has a minus sign (-), except the EPUB and HTML options. This means the style will let the object itself control those “pass through” settings. So only the image export settings are applied.


Now you can simply select the images in your layout that you’d like to render as HD JPEGs (or any other type that you’d like to create an Object Style for), and it’s one click to apply the Object Style.

If you’re targeting an EPUB, you’re set to export. If you’re exporting HTML5 with in5, just make sure you choose Use Object Export Settings from the Advanced section of the in5 dialog.


Here’s an IDML file with the style already created that can you can use to import the style into your own documents.

How to Create Mobile Apps as a Non-Developer

Justin | design,HTML5,iOS,tips | Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

So you want to create a mobile app. Who doesn’t these days, right? But you’re not a hardcore programmer, and maybe your budget won’t allow you to hire one.

So how do you create an app for one or more of these platforms?

  • iOS
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Blackberry
  • webOS

Each one of these operating systems uses a different programming language, and each one is reasonably complex.

Is There Some Universal Language I Can Use?

Short answer: yes. It’s HTML, the language of the web.

HTML can easily be packaged into a mobile app for many platforms. One way to package HTML into an app is using the PhoneGap code library.

PhoneGap Build

PhoneGap BuildbotIf the idea of a “code library” sends shivers down your spine, fret not, because there is a web service called PhoneGap Build. PhoneGap Build has a friendly user interface and does most of the work on the server translating your content into apps, so you don’t have worry about “compiling” or other such developer activities. And, it’s affordable!

Getting Started has two courses in their video library featuring PhoneGap Build.

Up and Running with PhoneGap Build

Watch the Up and Running with PhoneGap Build course on Lynda >>

Creating an iPad App with HTML5 and PhoneGap Build

Watch the Creating an iPad App with HTML5 and PhoneGap Build course on Lynda >>

Don’t have a account? Get 7 days of free unlimited access.

The Best Part of Using HTML: You Don’t Have to Know HTML

You don’t have to know how to code HTML (or JavaScript, or CSS) to create HTML content. You can use a visual tool like Adobe Dreamweaver or Adobe InDesign in conjunction with our InDesign to HTML5 exporter.

Bonus Tip

If you’re looking for a way create an app for an Amazon Kindle Fire, you don’t even need PhoneGap Build. You can submit your HTML content directly to Amazon and they’ll do the packaging for you.

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