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From the Creators of InDesign – Adobe Muse

Today Adobe released Muse as a public beta. Muse lets anyone design and build websites without needing to write a line of code.  Even if you have never created a website before, anyone who has a working knowledge of InDesign will feel right at home and should be able to create their own website very quickly. While Muse may seem like a new application, it should feel quite familiar to everyone at InDesign Secrets since some of the engineers that work on InDesign have also worked on Muse. In fact, former InDesign Product Manager Michael Ninness worked on Muse before leaving Adobe to work at

If you want to see Muse in action, I recorded a small video series at that takes you through a quick preview of the Muse Beta.


Muse is designed to have a simple workflow that uses 4 main views (similar to Adobe Lightroom): Plan, Design, Preview and Publish.

The plan view is similar to the pages panel in InDesign. It allows you to plot the structure of your website. Using master pages it is easy to keep your pages header, footers and backgrounds consistent.

The design view is where you will spend most of your time in Muse and you layout your design and make changes.

If you are ready to test your interactivity, switch to preview and Muse renders the website via webkit in the app for quick testing

When you are finished with your site you can publish it online with a few clicks in the publish view.

Keeping it in the Family

Since Muse and InDesign were developed by the many of same people, you will see some similar features including:

  • Paragraph and Character Styles
  • Assets (links) Panel
  • Swatches
  • Text Controls
  • Text Wrap
  • Master Pages
  • Smart Guides
  • Similar shortcuts
  • Familiar Adobe Interface
    Adobe Muse Panels

In addition to the familiar tools and features, Muse works pretty much the same as InDesign. You still go to File > Place (cmd/ctrl+D) to bring in your graphics (.psd, .jpg, .png, .gif), add text, and finish your layout. Instead of exporting to a PDF or printing like you would with InDesign, with Muse you either export your site as HTML with CSS/JavaScript or upload it automatically to Adobe Business Catalyst.

This is Only the Beginning

In addition to the normal layout features there are a lot of web features that are very easy to add to your site including:

  • Arbitrary HTML (Google Maps, YouTube Videos, Twitter, Facebook, etc)
  • Slideshows
  • Lightboxes
  • URLs
  • Flexiblie Widths
  • Header/Footers
  • Auto-generated navigation
  • Tabbed and accordion panels

This is not meant to be an exhaustive review, but more of a quick teaser to let you know what Muse is all about. To learn more about Muse, download your own copy, and to participate in the public beta visit

If you have any questions about Muse, please put them in the comments and I would love to do my best to keep up with them.

James Fritz
James graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee in 2003. After a short stint designing catalogs he started working as a freelance designer for C2 Graphics Productivity Solutions. Soon he was promoted to a full time instructor/designer and subsequently become an Adobe Certified Instructor Design Master. Currently James is the Director of Content, Creative at where he is also an author.
James Fritz

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55 Comments on “From the Creators of InDesign – Adobe Muse

  1. Hi, I’m wondering if we still can make use of the adobe beta in the future after the real version is launched. Wondering if anyone know the answer. Thanks a lot!

  2. @yamcha

    The Muse beta will work until the shipping version is released sometime in quarter 1 of 2012.

    When 1.0 is released you can try it out for 30 days before purchasing it like all of Adobe’s software.

  3. It is sad that the market that Adobe is targeting is not smart enough to know what is wrong with Muse. These newly minted ‘web designers’ are oblivious to the vicious lock-in and the inaccessibility of Muse-generated sites.

    Contrary to a previous suggestion, Muse is certainly not a threat to anyone’s job security (if such a threat were to exist, we would have seen it a decade ago with similar HTML generators). I’ve seen many designers salivating at the opportunity to redo sites mangled in Muse.

    Muse’s success does not hang on the Muse program: it hangs on Business Catalyst. Adobe is trying to get into the hosting business when there are already plenty of other services that allow non-web designers to design/create and host web sites with a single (and most often lower) service charge. Adobe is really gambling in this market by charging twice: once for the design program and again for hosting. Adobe’s complex pricing is going to scare consumers to easier and cheaper services.

    What irritates me most about Adobe’s marketing of Muse is that they propose that there is a difference between ‘coders’ and ‘designers’. They do not seem to allow the consideration that professional web designers have enough brain cells to translate their design into HTML. The Muse forums are filled with self-appointed design experts that foolishly think they can identify which web sites on the internet were created by a ‘coder’ and which were created by a ‘designer’. Oy.

  4. Hi,
    I am new to adobe muse, I chose it to create some sample wire-frames. I have a question, as every time I click on objects and select menus, there is only 2 menus comes out all the time?? can I add more menus the same way as I could add extra accordion if required in muse?

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