Monday, 16 December 2013

Adobe InDesign – Just for Print? Think again.

We have discussed presentations for business using an iPad previously. Today we’ll be looking at using Adobe’s InDesign as a tool for creating presentations for the iPad.

InDesign is widely recognised as the premier print layout and digital publishing tool; we use it all the time for creating brochures, leaflets, business cards – almost all of our print output, so we were as surprised as anyone when we when we heard about this too. Via the free ‘Adobe Content Viewer’ app available for the iPad and the Adobe Digital Publishing Patch for InDesign on the PC or Mac, content created in InDesign can be downloaded and viewed directly on the iPad through your Adobe Creative Cloud account. Creative Cloud accounts are available for free from Adobe. The app doesn’t support InDesign animations and the only transition is the page flick. We feel this tool is aimed more towards the production of digital magazines than presentations. It does do a good job of hyperlinking content and it also plays video well too – with options to play in a window or full screen.

Ease of use: If you use InDesign already, you will be right at home creating content for the iPad. Any presentations created are uploaded through your Creative Cloud logon and downloaded through the app the same way.

Cost: We use the full Adobe Creative Suite in our studio so this addon was free for us however; InDesign is roughly £350 for a standalone licence. Although a Creative Cloud account is free from Adobe, software such as InDesign can be used through this service via monthly or yearly subscriptions.

Final thoughts: We thought this was a great PowerPoint alternative in terms of cost (as we already use the Adobe Master Collection which includes InDesign) and ease of use. The only thing letting this solution down is the fact that the animations and transitions in InDesign are all currently Flash based (so unsupported by the iPad). Considering how some of Adobe’s other applications have already begun to support HTML-5 animations, I wouldn’t be surprised if this changed in the near future, but for now we feel this is a fairly decent alterative.

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