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Home > Tips October 26th, 2010

How to Use Adobe’s New Digital Publishing Suite, InDesign for iPad

Yesterday at the big MAX conference, Adobe finally announced their Digital Publishing Suite – a new publishing solution that allows authors to deliver innovative digital reading experiences that attract readers and advertisers. This set of end-to-end, turnkey hosted services plus viewer technology build on the foundation of Creative Suite (including InDesign CS5) and allows publishers to use existing staff, skills, and workflows to design and deliver engaging, digital content direct to consumers, through content retailers or leading mobile marketplaces. You may have seen this already being used very successfully by magazines such as WIRED and The New Yorker.

Adobe Digital Publishing Suite features Martha Stewart Living

The Digital Publishing Suite will be released in the second quarter of 2011, likely in conjunction with a CS5.5 point release update. In the meantime, Adobe Labs has made some tools available now for writers to get started and create, preview and share their content in the new format. The tools include the Digital Content Bundler and Interactive Overlay Creator, plus the Digital Publishing Plug-in for InDesign, which allows InDesign to interface with and transfer information to the Digital Content Bundler.

With the Labs release, publishers can create and assemble digital publications now and add interactivity without writing code using InDesign CS5, as well as preview and share their content using a new Digital Content Preview Tool provided by Adobe and available in the Apple App Store. Other platforms and tablet devices are expected shortly.

See the video tutorial below for how to get started with the new Adobe Digital Publishing Suite. InDesign CS5 or later is required, so if you don’t currently have it, you can download a fully functional, 30-day trial version.

See more video training and overviews on Adobe TV’s Digital Publishing Channel.

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  1. Nicedesign


    Nice video but I was wondering how does the iPad know what’s a vertical page or a horizontal, and what does the maker have to apply to the document in order to get the iPad to load the horizontal pages when the iPad is positioned horizontally?

    Thanks in advance,

    Greetings from Holland

  2. Kelly

    I’ve been playing with this for some time now and I have a couple questions. Is there a way to enable zooming on your magazine so that readers can zoom in on text when they view it? I don’t seem to be able to zoom in on pages at all when I’m looking at it on the reader on the iPad. I have to compensate by physically increasing the text size in my document before exporting and uploading it.

    Also, is there a way to post .issue files for viewing in a web browser on a computer? I am thinking about replacing an online magazine I produce (which is currently an interactive PDF) with my iPad .issue version if it’s possible. It just saves me from creating multiple versions for iPad and browser.

  3. No, you can’t enable zooming at the current time. Increasing the size of the text is the only way to handle this.

    As for the second part of your question, I suggest that you apply to the official Adobe prerelease program where the tools are updated more often than those release on Labs. However, there is no substitute for putting your file on the iPad and testing it.

    Very much the same as a website. Until it’s on a server and being viewed in a browser, you can’t really be sure if it’s going to work.

    Hope that helps.

  4. paul uselton

    The features in digital publishing are truly amazing. Unfortunately out of our department’s budget. We only want to produce simple digital catalogs, flyers that take advantage of these features and at an affordable cost. Any plans to produce something scaled down in the future?

  5. stian svik

    have assembled Digital Publishing Suite plugin for InDesign, but how do I open the program. Can not find any program. Do I open it in indesign, and how. Plugins are installed in the extension manager

  6. Sarah

    Hi !

    Thanks for the very clear tips.

    I am now part of the Adobe Prerelease program. The problem is that I can’t download any of their Beta software (Overlay and Bundler), so I took them from the Adobe Labs.

    I have tried to insert MPEG-4 H264 video into my InDesign doc, but the system tells me, “Authentication error has occurred!”

    I don’t know if I made a wrong manipulation, but it seems that I do exactly what Terry White shows in his tutorial.

    Please can you help me through this ? (create a ePub for Ipad with video in it)

    Sarah from Paris

    • Salut Sarah, merci pour vos questions.

      If you’re now signed up for the prerelease program (which thankfully is easy), then you should definitely figure out how to download your software from there (not sure why you can’t)… As mentioned in the comments above, Adobe isn’t updating the older version of the Digital Publishing Suite that’s publically available on Adobe Labs, so ideally you don’t want to use that one.

      Hopefully getting the latest software will take care of that problem, or at least it should be the starting point for consulting the additional resources that Adobe makes available for help and assistance with the new product (that are outlined and linked from the comments above).

      Merci encore et bonne chance!

  7. james

    thats all fine and good. but there’s no explanation on how to make a bundle or stack that the bundler understands.

    any chance you could tell us what a stack is and why we need it?

    as a mac user, i didn’t expect it would be all this coding and file naming stuff.

  8. Hello! I am currently using the prelease version of adobe digital publishing suite. I can’t seem to resolve this issue and hope you can assist. I created a slideshow for the cover of my publication so the image and text will fade in starting from a white screen to the full cover image and cover lines once the page is loaded. It does exactly this but then everything fades back to white. I want it to end showing the cover (state 3). Any tips?

  9. Paul


    I have tried to create a document as featured in the video purely in InDesign, as it does not appear to need the digital bundle until the latter stages. When I perform the adjustment for the image, the setting does not save – i.e., once I adjust it to be a wide page and return to tall, it has shrunk the image to meet the wide requirements and vice versa. Might be a school boy question, but what am I doing wrong?

  10. We have published the first guide for Adobe Digital Publishing Suite. Available for iPad on the App Store.
    All functions described in detail, video tutorials and materials ready to download.

    Click on my name if you’d like to learn more.

  11. pixelswell


    I was curious, how did you make the stacks? Tried to look for a tutorial and couldn’t find anything on it.
    Thank you!


  12. Nice tutorial, now I need to learn more… Anyway, thanks for working so hard for beginners like me.

    Can you please tell me which one is the future of digital publishing, InDesign or Digital Publishing Suite?

  13. Les

    I may have missed this, but I wanted to know… Can you download InDesign CS5 to an iPad and other tablets?

    I would like to have my Journalism students do this in class without using laptops or desktop computers.

    Thank you.

    • Hello Les, here are the complete system requirements for Adobe InDesign CS5.5… it will run on a PC or Mac, but not lower-spec devices like tablets and smartphones.

      That said, you could conceivably run it on your desktop and then remote into that from an iPad using an app like Splashtop, or similar. In which case, you wouldn’t actually be running InDesign on the tablet, but just interfacing through it.

      We haven’t tried it here so not sure how well it would work, but for $2.99 it might be worth a shot, and it’s a pretty handy utility in any event.

  14. Wooow

    Tutorial steady. but I do not have enough time to learn this :((

  15. Hello
    Nice tutorial, now I need to learn more… Anyway, thanks for working so hard for Adobe Digital Publishing beginners like me.