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InDesign Animations Don’t Export to DPS for Tablet Apps

S.B. wrote:

I was just able to export my DPS folio to my tablet.  My problem is that the animations didn’t come across!

Okay, well, look? we all thought the Animations feature in InDesign CS5 was the coolest thing since sliced bread, but there’s one major, huge, horrible, painful, icky problem: InDesign only currently creates these animations as Flash (SWF) files! That is, you can export them all beautifully to SWF, but that’s it. So no animations when you export PDF files, EPUB files, or anything else you can get out of InDesign. (There is a script that can help, for PDF files.)

Not only that: Unless you’ve been living under a rock for a couple of years, you know that the iPad and iPhone iOS don’t support Flash. So no Flash animations in DPS folios (or PDF files on iOS devices).

(By the way, curiously, PressRun — which is now owned by Quark — can use most of InDesign’s built-in animation features when building iPad apps? it converts them via IDML to HTML5. Very clever.)

That said, Bob Levine pointed out something interesting to me: If you look at the Preset popup menu in the Animation panel, it’s split into two parts:

The first section (up to the horizontal line) appears to be animations that could probably be rendered in HTML5? the second section are definitely more “flash-like.” So perhaps Adobe has thought through this conundrum and will, sooner or later, update the animation features to work with DPS (probably exporting them as HTML5). All our fingers and toes are crossed!

David Blatner

David Blatner

David Blatner is the co-founder of the Creative Publishing Network, InDesign Magazine, and the author or co-author of 15 books, including Real World InDesign. His InDesign videos at are among the most watched InDesign training in the world. You can find more about David at
David Blatner

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7 Comments on “InDesign Animations Don’t Export to DPS for Tablet Apps

  1. Thanks David…we can keep hoping. Since you mentioned PressRun they do only support that first section of animations.

    I’ve been saying this for quite some time now. The answer to improving DPS is not putting HTML into InDesign, it’s getting HTML out.

  2. Quick note on placing OAM files from Edge. There are issues those files not always playing correctly on any iPad that has iOS6.

    Adobe is aware of the issue and is working on it but in the mean time, the best course of action is to link to the HTML file using a web content overlay.

  3. Terry White posted a blog: that talks about exporting InDesign animation to HTML 5 to be brought back in for DPS. Link

    Not as painful as it seems, but I like using Edge better.

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