Interactive PDF is dead—here’s what you can create from InDesign that’s even better

Justin | design,extensions,HTML5,InDesign,interaction,publishing,Tutorials | Monday, March 26th, 2018

tombstone for interactive PDF says R.I.P.

It sounds like I’m exaggerating doesn’t it?

I’m not.

Almost none of the interactivity in an interactive PDF actually works, even in Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Reader.

What doesn’t work in a PDF

Here’s a list of things that you can create with InDesign that don’t work in a PDF:

  • Animation
  • Video*
  • Animated GIFs
  • Multi-State Objects
  • Embedded HTML content (like YouTube videos)
  • Button actions related to several of the above items
  • Scrollable Frames
  • Custom page transitions (like flipbook pages)

Flash Player SWF icon broken down the middle*Video was supported previously in Acrobat and Adobe Reader, but it was dependent on the Flash Player (which no longer comes bundled with the Adobe apps).

The introduction of smartphones and tablets—almost none of which now support Flash—and a slew of new PDF readers, essentially guarantee that interactive PDF features will not work when your clients view your PDFs.

To see the breakdown of an interactive PDF in action, and to get a sneak peek at the solutions that I describe below, you can watch the following video.

(more…)

Better digital spread export with in5 v3.1.10

Justin | design,extensions,HTML5,InDesign,publishing | Wednesday, December 27th, 2017

image with page items spanning across spreads

When I initially conceived of in5 (InDesign to HTML5), I imagined that designers would be laying out pages specifically for digital projects.

With the Page Formats available inside of in5—a Slider, document-like scrolling pages, liquid layout pages that fill the window— focusing on exporting items within page boundaries made sense.

However, there have always been designers who want to export digital documents from InDesign files which were originally designed for print, with little or no modification.

The previous approach

InDesign presented a bit of a challenge for in5 when spread elements spanned across multiple pages because each layout element has to “belong” to a single page (so it would appear on one page of the spread, but not the other).

For the reasons described above, wrestling with InDesign to get page elements to belong to two pages was not a high priority, so I created a half-measure (though I didn’t realize it was only a half measure at the time).

The Allow Page Items to Span Across Pages within Spreads option in the Advanced section of the in5 export dialog attempted to solve this by copying objects and shrinking their frames so that the copy only resided on the secondary page.

This worked for a rectangle, but only created a distorted copy of a triangle (let alone what it did to a textframe).

Significantly improved rendering of spreads for your digital magazine

With the introduction of the Flipbook with Page Peel format to in5 v3.1—which now supports two-page spreads—there was even more demand to export “print” spreads with spread items that span across two pages.

So, despite the status of 3.1.10 as a “minor” update, it includes a major rewrite of the Allow Page Items to Span Across Pages within Spreads option. You’ll find that the your documents which are designed with two-page spreads export significantly better with the latest version of in5.

The current version of in5 even synchronizes the On Page Load animation of the elements that span pages, so they’ll animate together as if they’re one element, even though they’re on separate pages.

Try the latest version of in5

 

Mobile Article Explorer (in5 v3.1 Sneak Peek)

Justin | design,extensions,HTML5,InDesign | Monday, October 23rd, 2017

I’ve got one last sneak peek of in5 v3.1 to show before releasing it later this week.

The Mobile Article Explorer lets your reader’s see the pixel-perfect layout as well as a simple text version of the article that is easy to scroll through.

Check out the video below that features a beautiful layout from Experience Life magazine.

The Mobile Article Explorer widget will be available to those with Pro plans (or higher).

It’s just one of the ways that in5 will make your layouts even more reader-friendly.

You can subscribe to get notified of in5 releases.

3D Interactive Flip Card from InDesign to HTML (in5 v3.1 Sneak Peek)

Justin | design,extensions,HTML5,InDesign,software | Monday, October 16th, 2017

We’re nearing the release of in5 version 3.1 later this month.

Today I’m announcing Interactive Widgets that will be available with in5.

These widgets will make it easy for you to build sophisticated interactivity and animation with a few mouse clicks.

The the 3D Flip Card lets your readers switch Object States in 3D space.

Check out the video below to see the whole process and the beautiful results in just over a minute.

The 3D Flip Card widget will be available to those with Pro plans (or higher).

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.

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.
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