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 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
- Create your content with InDesign
- 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.