Getting Started With The Adobe Digital Publishing Suite

Getting Started With The Adobe Digital Publishing Suite


Over the past few months, I’ve been developing a new course called Digital Publishing for Tablet Devices. The Digital Publishing Suite (DPS) is a new way to create content and deliver it through mobile devices such as, Apple’s iPad, Android enabled tablets and the Blackberry Playbook. The workflow is a bit different than a traditional print workflow that many publishers have become accustom to but the learning curve isn’t too sharp if you have an understanding of how the DPS system works.
 Before you begin creating your digital publications, you will need a few things to get started.

1)
Adobe InDesign CC, CS6, CS5 or CS5.5. Obvious, right? Adobe InDesign CS6 comes with the extensions and tool panels that you will need to add interactive elements to your digital publication as well as the tools needed to view, sync and test your publications on your device. The main tools and extensions you will need are, the most current/updated Folio Producer Tools for either CS6, CS5 or CS5.5. You can download either the Windows or Mac versions; which ever is applicable to you. You should also download the latest Folio Panel for CS6, CS5 or CS5.5 to ensure that everything runs smoothly. You can also download the latest Folio Panel for CS6, CS5 or CS5.5 from the download’s section, located in the sidebar on the right of adobe.com/downloads 

The Folio Builder is where you will bind together various parts or “Articles” of your publication to produce your final Folio aka publication. Each article, in the DPS system is its own indesign document. So, think of all the articles in a magazine and imagine the cover of the magazine, each article, advertisement etc… as its own indesign file which is then grouped together in the folio builder panel and merged into one complete publication.

The other tool that you will be using to add interactivity to your publications is the Overlay Creator. This is where you can add, pinch and zoom effects, panorama and 360 views, slideshows, video/audio and web content to your publication.

You can find the Folio panel and the Overlay Creator in the Window Menu of InDesign under  Extensions > Folio Panel and Window Menu > Extensions > Overlay Creator or Folio Overlays.

Folio Panel menu

 

Overlay Creator Menu

Interactive Menu

 

2)
After you have downloaded and installed the latest Folio producer Tools and Folio Panel, you will also need an Adobe ID. This will allow you sign in to the folio panel within InDesign and sync/upload your folio(s) to Adobe’s servers.

3)
The next step is to create an Adobe Acrobat account. You can sign up for a free account, which enables you to upload, sync and view your digital publication on your tablet device or share it with group members or clients who also have a tablet device and the Content Viewer App installed. In the early beta versions of the DPS it was possible to side-load your folio to your tablet but now, you will need to sync your folio from InDesign to acrobat.com, install the content viewer app on your device in order to view your publication on your device. A downside to the free account, is that you can only upload one folio at a time. So you will have to pay a monthly subscription to upload multiple folios at a time.

Publishing

Sharing

 

4)
The 4th step is, again obvious, but you will need a tablet device such as an iPad, Android enabled device (Motorola Xoom) or a Blackberry Playbook in order to view your publication after syncing your folio through acrobat.com. You can download and install the free content viewer app via the iTunes store, Android’s Market Place or Blackberry’s App World.

5)
If you wish to create a custom app for your folio publications or distribute your digital publications, you will need further tools, certificates and subscriptions in order to sell your publications through Apple’s app store, Android’s market place or Blackberry’s App World. To create your a custom app for either of these outlets, you will first need a developers licence for each of the company’s listed or which ever company you wish to sell your publications through. The iOS developer licence is a bit more time consuming and intricate than obtaining a developer licence from Android but here are the following links to read more about them and sign up for a developers licence.
Apple iOS Developer
Android Developer
Blackberry Developer

After you have obtained your licence, you can start creating your viewer app with the Viewer Builder tool which is located at digitalpublishing.acrobat.com. You can login using your Adobe ID.

DPS Diagram

 

To distribute your publications you will also need a subscription from Adobe’s Digital publishing suite. If you are a small business or freelancer who wants to add digital publications to your list of services, they have a great new option which is called the Digital Publication Suite – Single Edition for only $395/year.

DPS – Single Edition

 

Some other tools and apps that may be of help to you are available through my downloads section of the website. Apps like Wallaby, which enable you to convert SWF files to HTML & javascript so that your animations are viewable on tablet devices through the DPS system and Miro Video Converter that converts and video file format to .mp4 or HTML 5 compatible video formats. It is also important to know that the DPS system works with file formats that are web intended such as, .png and .jpg files for images, HTML5 and javascript for animations, mp4 for video etc… I have put together some DPS layout templates for the iPad, Motorola Xoom and Blackberry Playbook and there are also links to some great software that will help you make your publications more engaging and help you create a more efficient workflow when working with Digital Publications Suite.

Follow my blog posts every week as I will be going through step-by-step instruction on how to create digital publications. I will also be talking about some tips and work-arounds that I have learned throughout developing my course and working on various digital publication projects.

M.

2 Comments

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  1. 1
    Bobby Hernandez

    Hello Mark,

    I recently came across your article for Interactive Desktop Publishing http://mark-anthony.ca/getting-started-with-the-adobe-digital-publishing-suite/
    very informative and precise, well done. I had a question about Adobe Air…In your development workflow you don’t mention it? I am curious to know why some tutorials online say that you have to wrap it with Adobe Air…The simple reason for asking the question is that we are trying to develop a streamlined workflow and if we can avoid an extra step it’s all for the better. I would like to know your opinion on this subject.

    • 2
      Mark-Anthony

      Hi Bobby,

      I’m glad to hear the positive feedback on my tutorials. I am a bit unclear about what you mean when you refer to “wrapping it with Adobe Air”. Adobe Air is used on the desktop version of the content viewer. When publishing the custom folio app, Adobe Air is not used. You can preview your folios by side-loading your device to your machine. Basically, plug in your iPad or Android device via USB, launch the Adobe Content Viewer App on your device and then you may choose to preview your articles/folios directly to your device rather than publishing your files over the cloud. I usually work this way to test my folios and preview complex web overlays with javascript or HTML5 animations.

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