How to Publish Interactive HTML to Your Own Server From InDesign

Justin | design,HTML5,InDesign,publishing,software,tips | Monday, September 25th, 2017

indesign to your own webserver

It’s well-known that Adobe InDesign is a powerful layout tool.

It’s slightly less well-known that InDesign is loaded with interactive capabilities (buttons, object states, animation, audio, video, etc).

These interactive capabilities were partially supported by interactive PDFs…until mobile devices came around.

These devices used all different kinds of PDF reader applications, and none supported the Flash-based interactivity inside the PDFs.

Now even the desktop version of Adobe Reader doesn’t automatically come with the Flash Player installed.

So how can a designer make use of all the interactive tools?

HTML can support the interactivity that PDF does not, and it can be viewed on mobile devices.

InDesign has a “technology preview” called Publish Online that publishes a document as HTML onto Adobe’s servers.

This is an amazingly fast way to get your document online and viewable.

However, the content is only hosted on Adobe servers and cannot be saved, moved, or modified.

What if I want to customize my output? Or host it on my own site? Or make it viewable to search engines? Or create an app?

If you want the files to be your own and to host them on your own servers, etc…you’re in luck, but you’ll need to use a tool other than Publish Online.

Keith Gilbert’s free script

Keith Gilbert discovered a hidden scripting object that let him make use of InDesign’s Publish Online export (essentially the same as the Fixed-Layout ePub export) and save the files locally.

The script is awesome and free, but limited in certain ways (e.g., you have to take some extra steps to create working page navigation, but Keith created a script to help with that as well).

in5 (InDesign to HTML5)

in5 (InDesign to HTML5) logoin5 is a commercial InDesign to HTML exporter that I launched on Kickstarter several years ago and have fine-tuned over multiple versions.

in5 is fully-featured, supports all of InDesign’s interactivity, and lets you add new kinds of interactivity.

It’s easy to customize, built to host on your own site, has easy search engine optimization features, and the output can easily be converted into a mobile app.

Here’s how it works

  1. Create your content with InDesign
  2. Export with in5 (File > Export HTML5 with in5…)

(Yes, it’s that simple).

Check out what customers have already made with in5.

There’s a free course to get your started with in5, which includes a lesson on publishing to your own site.

I’m here if you have any questions or need help with in5.

Happy publishing!

Sophisticated Animation & Interactivity into InDesign & Out to HTML5 (in5 v3.1 Sneak Peek)

Justin | Animate/Flash,animation,design,extensions,HTML5,InDesign | Monday, September 18th, 2017

For a long time, in5 users have been wanting to include content from Adobe Animate or Tumult Hype in their projects.

And there has been a way to do it with HTML files and the Web Overlay panel (used by DPS/AEM Mobile, but supported by in5)…

But InDesign has supported a more natural approach for most designers: placing of OAM files (packages of HTML from animation apps) directly on the page.

I’m pleased to announce that version 3.1 of in5 will also support placed OAMs.

Check out the video below to see an example of an OAM with complex animation and interactivity exported with an InDesign document.

It’s just one of the ways that in5 v3.1 will put more publishing power in your hands without having to code.

You can subscribe to get updates on in5 releases.

Viewer Display Options & Control Bar (in5 v3.1 Sneak Peek)

Justin | design,extensions,HTML5,InDesign | Monday, September 11th, 2017

While in5 is super easy to customize, sometimes it helps some prebuilt tools that your viewer can use to navigate your publication.

In the video below, you can see the new Viewer Display options that will be available in the upcoming update to in5 (InDesign to HTML5).

As you can see in the video, all you have to do is check a few boxes to add the following items to your HTML5 output from InDesign:

  • Jump to Table of Contents (configurable)
  • Show Page Thumbnails
  • Zoom in/out
  • Switch to fullscreen
  • Download a PDF
  • Show reading progress (as a progress bar and/or page count)

These updates will be available to Pro subscribers when version 3.1 comes out next month.

You can subscribe to get updates on in5 releases.

Scaleable HTML5 Layouts from InDesign (in5 v3.1 Sneak Peek)

Justin | design,extensions,HTML5,InDesign | Monday, September 4th, 2017

in5 (InDesign to HTML5) is incredibly flexible. It’s easy to attach custom functionality to your output.

I’ve shared several customizations on this blog and on the Answer Exchange.

The most popular customization by far is the “desktop scaling” code that scales layouts proportionally to the browser window.

In fact, when most people ask me about a “responsive” layout, they actually want to maintain their layout and simply scale it proportionally (a truly responsive layout changes at different sizes—I’m working on that, too).

To make it even easier for you to create flexible layouts (on both desktop and mobile), I’ve folded this scaling feature into in5 and refined it further.

Check out the video below to see it in action.

(It even works with the new page flip transition!)

Subscribe to get updates on in5 releases.

Automatic Image Optimization from InDesign to HTML5: in5 v3.1 Sneak Peek

Justin | design,HTML5,InDesign | Monday, August 21st, 2017

Even Photoshop doesn’t create the smallest web images possible.

I typically recommend a service like TinyPNG because it can shrink your images by as much as 50% (and more in some cases).

Smaller images mean faster loading and less waiting, which makes for happier readers (especially on mobile devices).

But it does require adding an extra step to your workflow.

With in5 (InDesign to HTML5) version 3.1, all you will have to do is check a box when you export from InDesign, and in5 will automatically optimize the images for you!

See it in action in the video below.

The optimization setting will compress PNGs and JPGs automatically as your HTML5 document is being published and saved to your computer.

Subscribe to be notified when version 3.1 is available.
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