Merge TextFrames for InDesign Updated with Highly Requested Features

puzzle pieces representing re-connect textframes

Way back in 2008, I wrote my first InDesign extension at the behest of then InDesign Product Manager, Michael Ninness.

The MergeText Frames extension combines multiple textframes into a single frame so that your text can easily be edited.

This is especially useful if you’re using the PDF2ID extension from Recosoft.

It was wonderfully promoted by the community and has been one the most popular items on my site ever since.

Why update it now?

There are two main reasons that I’m releasing this update.

  1. The extension is still useful and these feature requests continue to come in.
  2. I can apply my years of experience to improve the script. 🙂

What’s new?

There are three main, major changes in this update.

(more…)

Getting Started with in5 (InDesign to HTML5)

sailboats at the start of a race

I’ve heard from a few people lately asking for introduction to in5.

This post has some resources to help you go from “zero to hero.”

I’ll explain what in5 does and how it can help you publish yourAdobe InDesign content online.

The Very Short Version

in5 lets your export your layout, animation, and interactivity directly from InDesign.

in5 uses InDesign’s own interactive features, so you can focus on your design, instead of learning how to use unfamiliar software.

This video above gives you a quick intro in less than 2 minutes.

The slides above (In5 Benefits: A Quick Overview) offer a quick 30-second glance if you’re in a rush. 😉

(more…)

How to Load a PDF in a Lightbox on Mobile Safari (and elsewhere)

PDF inside lightbox on an ipad

A lightbox—which opens on top of the site (or app) that you are currently viewing—is a great way to load external content, but remain on the same page once the content is closed.

As a designer, a lightbox is a useful tool to keep readers in your “experience” and not force them to find their way back to your page.

Technically speaking, a lightbox loads external content into an <iframe>.

in5 (InDesign to HTML5) let’s you add lightboxes with a single checkbox—no coding or hassle required (and no thinking about iframes)!

The Problem: iOS, Lightboxes, and Multipage PDFs

A handful of in5 customers found that when loading multipage PDFs into a lightbox on iOS devices (iPads and iPhones), you can’t navigate to the second page.

This happens in part because iOS has a PDF viewer built into the web browser.

Normally, the built-in PDF view is quite handy, but when it’s loaded into an iframe, you don’t have access to the page navigation.

Google Drive to the Rescue!

Fortunately, if you

  1. upload your PDF to Google Drive and
  2. grab a shareable link (details below)

The Google online PDF viewer will let you navigate through all the pages (even in a lightbox).

Simply replace the hyperlink to your PDF with the Google Drive shareable URL.

Other sharing services that can view PDFs online would probably work too (e.g., Dropbox), but you may want to factor in how much user interface (UI) and branding of the service itself adds around the document.

Details on How to Get the Shareable Link

  1. While previewing your PDF in Google Drive, go to the fly out menu in the top-right of the viewing window.
    embed under flyout menu
  2. Then grab only the URL portion from the Embed dialog (leave the HTML code).

embeddable URL

Google Drive will keep the UI minimal if you add &embedded=true to the end of the URL.

Original Source: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/15480804/problems-displaying-pdf-in-iframe-on-mobile-safari

Bonus Tip

You can also view files through the Google Docs viewer, even if they are external and not hosted on Google Docs, using the URL below:

https://docs.google.com/gview?url=EXTERNAL_URL_TO_YOUR_DOC

InDesign to SimpleHTML – Easily Repurpose Content with Uncluttered Markup

Simple HTML From InDesign header image

SimpleHTML is a new tool for InDesign that exports bare naked HTML from a Text Frame or Story.

There’s no <head> or <body> tag, no classes, no <div> wrappers, no clutter—just the HTML that you need to paste into a blog post (or email) editor.

(more…)

How to Create an Animated Web Banner with InDesign & in5

The banner above this text was made with Adobe InDesign.

Yes, InDesign. The page layout tool.

InDesign Hidden Gems

While InDesign is known for print layout, it also has extensive interactive capabilities, including:

  • An Easy-to-use Animation Panel
  • A Timing Panel to create sequenced animation
  • The ability to create different Object States that change with interaction
  • Interactive actions for Buttons and Form Elements

Just because InDesign was originally conceived as a page layout tool, doesn’t mean you have to create things that look like books.

In this article, I’ll show you how use InDesign’s interactive features and the in5 HTML5 export to create a web banner.

Note that you can also use these techniques to create an animated GIF.

(more…)