My goal when I first conceived of in5 was to put more control into designers’ hands. There was a new world of tablets and smartphones and it was difficult to create content for those devices if you weren’t a developer.
in5 made the process easy by letting you design with InDesign and create interactive experiences that work on all devices.
Six years later and I’m very excited to deliver yet another update that let’s you do more with your interactive content—directly from InDesign—without coding.
This latest update
- Offers new ways to create interactive elements
- Extends the control over existing elements (like video)
- Lets you easily create new types of content (like animated Google Ads)
- Lets you brand the built-in elements of your digital magazines
- Produces smaller files, and
- Let’s your track additional reader behavior with Google Analytics
Let me show you what all of that control looks like…
“I just printed out a poster on foam core, cut out a space for my iPad, and stuck it to the kiosk unit.”
That’s Dave Hickey, designer of The Artful Astronomy of L.M. Montgomery—an interactive kiosk app built with Adobe InDesign and in5—referring (modestly) to the beautiful display he created in the image above.
Adobe InDesign has long had methods for publishing presentations—directly from InDesign using the Presentation Mode or via PDF using Full Screen Mode—but these methods never reached the level of sophistication and control found in Powerpoint and Keynote presentations.
That’s because those methods didn’t support many of InDesign’s powerful interactive features like Animation and Multi-State Objects. They simply produced static slideshows with no controllable transitions between slides.
In the past, I’ve modified my in5 output from InDesign so that I could present slides using HTML and include interactivity in my presentations.
When I noticed that my favorite conference—Creative Pro Week—now includes an entire day on presentations (dubbed the Click conference) it got my wheels turning about adding explicit presentation capabilities to in5.
Presentation expert, Mark Heaps, is heading up that section of the conference and also presenting an InDesign session on presentations.
I reached out to Mark and asked him what it would take to make InDesign an awesome presentation tool. You can see the results of our discussions below.
It sounds like I’m exaggerating doesn’t it?
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:
- 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)
*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.
Inside the latest issue of InDesign Magazine, Keith Gilbert’s review of in5 includes the clearest introduction to using in5 (InDesign to HTML5) and presents the most likely use cases of the product.
If you have any interest in digital publishing or interactivity from InDesign, Keith’s review is a must read.
Keith talks about the new features in latest version, what you can do with the HTML output, compares in5 to the other available options (like EPUB and Publish Online), and highlights some really great customer examples.
The issue is also full of other helpful InDesign topics, like hidden color tools and best practices for numbering pages.
You can buy the issue for $7.95, or get a whole year’s subscription and unlimited back issues for $59.
I’m not affiliated with the magazine. I’m just a fan and an active subscriber.