Preview: Place HTML into InDesign for ePub

Justin | conferences,design,extensions,HTML5,InDesign | Tuesday, June 9th, 2015

I just returned from PePcon last week. In a previous post, I wrote Why I’m Excited About PePcon 2015, citing the intimacy of the conference and the ability to interact with speakers and attendees. Well, PePcon 2015 did not disappoint. I had many wonderful conversations with several fantastic people. The post for Why I’m Excited About PePcon 2016 writes itself: all the same reasons from 2015, plus it’s in sunny San Diego.

One of the many valuable conversations that I had was with Mira Rubin, an author and trainer who is pushing the bounds of animation and interactivity in ePubs. Mira was looking for a way to include outside HTML (like that produced from Captivate or Muse) inside of her published ePub that she was building in InDesign. Something about our conversation triggered an idea and I stayed up into the wee hours of the morning building a prototype that I then showed at the next night’s CreativeWow! (a session where developers show new and experimental projects they’re working on). I’ve recorded a video of that demo so that you can see it as well.

In the video, you’ll see that the prototype can import interactive HTML that works in an ePub.

If you’d like to hear more about this project as it’s being developed, you can subscribe to our newsletter.

Updates:

Why I’m Excited About PePcon 2015

Justin | conferences,design,InDesign | Tuesday, March 24th, 2015

I spoke at PePcon last year and had a great time. The conference is run by David Blatner and Anne-Marie Concepción of InDesignSecrets. There were several hundred attendees and yet the conference had a very intimate feel. I was able to speak with many attendees and speakers multiple times over the course of the week. As a result, it was much easier to build relationships at PePcon than at any other conferences I’ve attended.

The topic of PePcon is the nexus of print and ePublishing, which is a fertile area for change and learning at the moment.

PePcon is the nexus of print and digital

Anne-Marie and David round up the top speakers (and I’m not just saying that because I’ll be speaking, check out the full list of speakers) and create a great environment for sharing and growth. I’m not the only one who thinks so. Check out the video compilation below from last year.

 

 

If this sounds interesting to you, I recommend you sign up now, because space is limited (that’s how the conference keeps that intimate feel). And don’t forget to use the discount code below.

Discounted Registration

Use the special discount code SPK93R when you register and you’ll get $50 off any 2-, 3-, or 4- day pass to the event.

pepcon2015

Split Text Extension for InDesign

Justin | design,extensions,InDesign | Thursday, September 25th, 2014

This extension is useful if you’d like to break apart text in order to quickly create buttons, animated sequences, or simply separate blocks of text that can be individually positioned.

Before and After using Split Text

This extension can split text into separate text frames by:

  • Paragraphs
  • Columns
  • Words
  • Characters (new to v1.1)
  • Lines
  • Manual Line Breaks
  • Text Styling (new to v1.1)
  • Tabs
  • Custom Text
  • or even Custom Grep Expressions

Split Text automatically remembers the last settings used and can be undone in a single step.

Download

Sign-up for our newsletter and receive this premium extension for free.

Looking for the reverse? Check out Merge TextFrames.

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

Lynda.com 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 Lynda.com account? Get 30 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.

How to Create a Multi-Issue Standalone App with Baker Framework

Justin | design,HTML5,Tutorials | Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014

The Baker Framework is pre-built, open source library for Xcode. The framework allows you to easily convert HTML and publish it to native iOS (iPad and iPhone) devices as a standalone app or as Apple Newsstand issues.

To build an app with Baker, you essentially drop your HTML into the books directory within the Baker project, update a few variables in Xcode, and you’re ready to publish.

It’s well-documented that you can create multi-issue app to work with Apple’s Newsstand app (i.e., publishing a new issue each month). What is less well known, however, is that you can publish a multi-issue standalone app.

bakershelf

To create this “catalog” page, all you have to do is drop multiple folders in the books directory.

bakerfiles

You now have a multi-issue app!

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