Dynamic Liquid Layout in InDesign (MAX Sneak Peek)
I mentioned in my previous blog post that we saw a fascinating look at future InDesign technology at this year’s MAX Sneak Peeks (a.k.a. “sneaks”). One of InDesign’s senior product managers, Kiyo Toma, demoed a flexible layout in InDesign that could be ported to various tablets of different sizes — reflowing appropriately, as each device has its own dimensions.
This is an incredibly important development, if only because we all are going to want to publish the same things to the iPad and the Kindle Fire (and probably 4 or 5 other significant tablets in 2012), but they’re all different sizes and it’s a major hassle to re-lay out the same page multiple times.
He also showed placing dynamic HTML, including an HTML5 animation from Adobe Edge, then exporting an HTML5 page directly from InDesign — a page that appeared to include sliding page transitions like a magazine or book, and which could be shown in a browser.
Check out this amazing demo, which starts about 10:40 into the whole movie. (Note that Kiyo, like most of the sneaks presenters, was dressed up as Dwight from The Office, in honor of this year’s emcee Rainn Wilson. He’s actually far more cool.)
Now, Adobe was quick to point out that this is not a guarantee that we’ll see this in the next version of InDesign, or even in any future of InDesign. It’s just something they’ve been tinkering with. But if it does show up, I think we’re in for some fun times.
And perhaps not just for interactive on-screen pages, either! What if you had a client who wanted six versions of the same ad (same content). If you added “springs and struts” (as Kiyo called them) to page items… could we change the InDesign document and have the objects move with some intelligence?
As I’ve said for years, page layout is all about setting the relationships among the items on your page. Define the relationship and you’ve defined how the page should change in different circumstances.
Let’s just say, I was pretty dang excited watching this.