Podcast 118 Transcript
To hear the audio episode from which this transcript was made, or to comment on this episode, go to the InDesignSecrets Podcast 118 page.
Anne-Marie Concepcion: Welcome to InDesign Secrets, Episode 118. I’m Anne-Marie Concepcion, and I’m here along with my cohost, David A. Blatner.
David Blatner: Insert greeting here. [laughter]
David: That’s what it says, that’s what it says on the script here! So I’m just trying to follow instructions.
Anne-Marie: OK. Very good. I like that! I like how you’re so obedient.
David: Yes, master.
Anne-Marie: Our podcast and blog at indesignsecrets.com are the independent resource for all things InDesign.
David: Yes! And, coming up on today’s show, we’ve got an interview with Adobe’s Colin Fleming, of ePub fame. We’ll be talking about all kinds of cool stuff with Colin. And we’re going to have a little bit of news, some general news about this, that and the other thing, and then we’re going to jump right into the obscure InDesign feature of the week!
Anne-Marie: And this is a great one, suggested by a loyal listener and reader, Shared Hyperlink Destination.
David: Yeah, what the heck’s going on with that Shared Hyperlink Destination thing?
Anne-Marie: Now, all great information. But before we jump in, we want to say thank you to this episode’s sponsor, which is Rorohiko, makers of the Sudoku generator. Is that how you pronounce that? Sudoku?
David: Sudoku. Yes. Fortunately, you do not have to be able to pronounce it to either play the game…
Anne-Marie: That number game thing that everybody plays.
David: That’s right.
Anne-Marie: Right. So, you can use it, it’s really cool, actually, if you give it a shot. And what you can do is, you can take these, your own Sudokus that you create, and they’re great to insert in a newsletter, or to fill up an empty add space. Somebody canceled their add, put a little Sudoku puzzle in there. You can even create a whole book of these things for your nonprofit, and then sell it for a fundraiser. All sorts of cool stuff that you can do with it. And we have a coupon code for the Sudoku generator from Rorohiko. You enter “INDESIGNSECRETS118” for episode 118, and by using that coupon code, the listeners, US listeners, InDesign Secrets listeners, get $10 off.
David: Yes. Ten bucks off. Now, I just want to be clear: there is a free version of Sudoku generator. There’s a Sudoku maker plugin thing that Rorohiko makes that’s free, and you can try it out and play around with it. But the Sudoku generator, the commercial version, gives you a lot more features, and you can make lots and lots of Sudoku puzzles, if you wanted to make a whole book of them or something. So it’s really worth checking out. Just a lot more control over those puzzles. So for those of you who like Sudoku puzzles, you want to make them yourself to play with and do the puzzles, you can do that, or, like AnneMarie said, you could actually just make them for your publications or make a whole book. It’s really a cool plugin. So check that out, use the code. “INDESIGNSECRETS118.”
Anne-Marie: You know what? One time when I saw Chris, the owner of Rorohiko, at a conference, and we were, I was looking at the Sudoku generator. And I said, you know, I mean, how many people could possibly want to buy a Sudoku generator? Didn’t seem to me to make much sense, to spend time creating this thing as an InDesign plugin, you know? And he showed me his database of all the clients who’ve paid, and there are some major newspapers on that list. So basically, if you’re looking at a Sudoku puzzle in a newspaper, they probably got it from this InDesign plugin!
David: Yeah. Yeah. It’s a really great plugin.
David: I mean, he’s really done a great job with it. And so anyone who wants to get that should definitely check out this plugin. Very easy. Really easy to use, too. So it’s great.
Anne-Marie: So, David. You met with Colin Fleming, right, from Adobe?
David: I did.
Anne-Marie: I love the name Colin, by the way. It reminds me of “The Secret Garden.” Did you ever read that book?
David: I did not!
Anne-Marie: Colin is the main character, poor Colin. Anyway, so David, you met with Colin Fleming it’s a cool name! Not a very common name from Adobe. And Colin’s actually a very cool guy, if you’ve ever met him. And he’s an application engineer, and he has become the ePub guru over there. At least, he’s the face to the general public. At Adobe Max last year, he did at least one session on using InDesign to create ePubs. And he’s going to be one of our speakers at the conference.
David: That’s right.
Anne-Marie: So, that’s pretty cool. And you got a chance to sit down with him and learn a little bit more about it. So, why don’t we go ahead and play that interview.
David: Welcome, Colin Fleming! It’s a pleasure to have you here at InDesign Secrets.Colin Fleming: Good to be here, David! It’s a pleasure to talk to you.
David: So, Colin, I have heard that you are an application engineer expert or something. What does that mean?
Colin: Actually, I’m a senior solutions engineer.
David: Oh, of course. Yeah, that’s much more clear. No, go ahead. What is a senior solutions engineer? What does that mean?
Colin: It means I use the software, and I look at how the tools work together, and I analyze workflows, and I help customers understand what a new release or what a product can do for them.
David: Interesting, interesting. So, primarily larger companies who are working with Adobe, or small companies?
Colin: Yeah. I am actually sort of the technical resource for some of our sales people. So I’m the guy who gets to go and say, “This is actually how InDesign works, and this is what it can do for you.”
David: Right. And just InDesign, or lots of programs?
Colin: I cover a lot of things. My background is more in the design and print publishing world. I’ve been doing that about 10, 12 years or so. On the other hand, I started with PageMaker 1.0, so it’s been a while.
David: Ah. So, from PageMaker and then to QuarkXPress, or?
Colin: Back when I was in prepress, yes, I worked with Quark, but I actually was able to do see, I felt that InDesign was the future when I first saw it in 1999, when I stopped working prepress. That was really the last time I worked with Quark professionally, and I’ve been using InDesign ever since.
David: So now you’re with Adobe, and you’re helping out sales and you’re helping customers find solutions. But it seems like one of the main things you’ve been doing recently, you know, your name keeps popping up around ePub.
David: And I’m curious how you get involved with ePub. I mean, maybe we should start with what is ePub, and what’s that whole thing about?
Colin: Certainly. So, an ePub is a file format for electronic books. And the nice thing for me is that InDesign will write too in ePub format, right now today. And there are a number of electronic readers and devices that can consume those ePub books. So about six or seven months ago, I was asked to prepare a session for Adobe Max back in October about ePub workflows. And that’s really what pushed me into the fray.
David: OK. All right. And it seems like part of that was also around Kindle. Now, the Kindle is probably the most popular ebook reader right now, but it does not support ePub. Is that correct?
Colin: Correct. The Kindle uses its own format, and their own DRM system. And I can submit certain types of documents to have Amazon convert into the proper format, and then I can load them manually if I want, or have them downloaded electronically. But no, the Kindle does not support an ePub format. Other readers, like the Sony Reader, for instance, do. I believe the Nook also supports ePub format. Apple just announced the iPad yesterday. It’s supporting an ePub format. And then there are also ePub readers for your computer as well.David: Right, like Adobe’s own Digital Editions, which seems like a really robust ePub reader.
Colin: It’s not only a reader, but it’s also a library system. And the curious thing that a lot of people don’t catch on to is it reads not only ePub formats, but it also reads PDFs. So, it’s an interesting way to collect and manage a library of documents, and then interact with a variety of documents.
David: OK. But you have a Kindle yourself, is that right? You seem to be every time I see you, you’re clutching that Kindle.
Colin: Well, you keep catching me at lunch. So, I tend to read at lunch. Yes, I do own a Kindle. It’s not the first ebook reader that I’ve got. I have an old, original, way old Sony eReader as well. But that one is old enough that it does not support ePub.
David: Oh, really? Wow!
Colin: Yeah, I worked with that one for about a year. As a Mac user, it was hard for me to get files on to it, couldn’t really buy books without a Windows machine but I can put my own PDFs onto it, so that was nice. But that one slipped by the wayside when the Kindle came out and I really liked how the Kindle works for me personally.
David: So I’m excited because you’re going to be at the Print and Electronic Publishing conference in May that InDesign Secrets is putting on…
David: And you’ll be likely talking about electronic publishing in various forms and are we going to see you there with your Kindle?
David: Or with an iPad?
Colin: Well, I have no idea. On the one hand I’ve got to check the budget with the spouse and yes, a Kindle, if nothing changes between now and then, the Kindle will probably be in my backpack.
David: OK, all right.
Colin: If somebody wants to buy me one of those iPads or one of those new Sony Readers that support ePub, I’d work with it, no problem.
David: I personally am really looking forward to the iPad. I think that’s going to be, that’s the answer to my dreams in many ways. The color, the ability to do video, I mean all of those things. Granted it does not have the battery life of a Kindle…
David: And granted, it doesn’t have the E Ink screen so you have to backlit and so on but I think that’s all good. Personally, I’m very, I’m all good with that, I wish I had flash.
Colin: Yeah, I’m actually fascinated with it. If I don’t see one before I see yours, I’m going to want 30 to 45 minutes with it when I see it, OK?
David: OK, all right, all right, I’ll definitely let you know, as soon as I have one in my hot little hands…
Colin: All right.
David: So that’s going to be exciting. So you’ll be speaking at the conference, you’ll be going deep into ePublishing stuff and workflows out of InDesign. Is there anything, any tips or thoughts or things that you wanted to share with InDesign Secrets’ community?
Colin: So there are a couple of nice things out there. One is the recording of my session at MAX which you can find online. After doing MAX, I recorded three titles for Adobe TV on building ePubs, which really was a little bit more detail, slightly different view of what I did at MAX. But the thing that just popped up in the last couple of days is a new set of how to guides at Adobe.com that talk about working with ePubs and InDesign. So I’ll give you the link for that so you can put it in your blogpost.
David: Sure, yeah.
Colin: But it’s three really nice guides. One is the export process, the other is working with graphics, going to ePub, and the third one is general FAQ, common questions about how to do the Export.
David: Excellent. We will definitely put those links in the show notes of the podcast so people can jump over to those and read them.
David: Good stuff, very good stuff. Well, thank you so much for joining us Colin, I really appreciate your time. Looking forward to seeing you in person at the conference and we hope all the InDesign Secrets listeners will come visit you there too.
Colin: Excellent, it’s been a pleasure talking with you and I’ll see you in May, if not, sooner.
Anne-Marie: That was a great interview, David.
David: Thank you. Yeah, it was a lot of fun talking with Colin. I’m looking forward to seeing him at the conference in person and really, being able to go deep with this ePub stuff and the Kindle stuff and all that. It’s going to be terrific, a lot of fun.
Anne-Marie: Yeah, excellent. So how about some general news, let’s do an update about what’s happening with the seminars and conference next week.
David: Well, yeah, the conference, for those of you had not heard, May 12th through 14th in Seattle. Registrations are starting to come in, which I’m very pleased about there’s a lot of excitement about it buzzing around.
Anne-Marie: That’s The Print and ePublishing Conference?
David: The Print and ePublishing Conference, exactly.
Anne-Marie: That’s right.
David: And the early bird discount is still available, it’s $200 off of the price so get that now until early April, I think it ends first week of April, so this is a good time to get your early bird discounts, 200 bucks off.
Anne-Marie: That’s right. And you know we haven’t mentioned that, in addition to the two day conference, the day before the conference, we’re having some all day tutorials that people have already been signing up for, as well, right?
David: That’s true, that’s true. You know, we’ve got Morty Golding is coming in to do an all day seminar on Flash Catalyst and Illustrator. So basically he’s going to be talking about Illustrator and some power tricks, tips and tricks for Illustrator as well as Flash Catalyst, which is something that I think a lot of InDesign users, a lot of publishers, need to know more about. So he’s going to go really deep into those and that’s going to be awesome. We have Fritz, one of our contributors, James Fritz is going to be doing on all day tutorial on getting up to speed with InDesign. So this is going to be basically a you know if you need to learn InDesign, if you maybe you’ve got someone in your office who is a beginner and really needs to understand InDesign this is going to be a great all day training for them.And then, we also have Michael Ninness, who is one of the top product managers. You’ve heard from Michael, we’ve interviewed him before and I’m sure you’ve read his stuff. Wonderful presenter. And Michael is going to be talking all about InDesign. Listen, I tell you what I hope he’s going to be talking about. I hope he’s going to be talking about whatever the new version of InDesign is going to be. CSX as they like to say.
Anne-Marie: That right. You know if they follow their pattern it’s probably going to go up by an increment of one.
David: You think so? It might, could be.
Anne-Marie: Well, it’s been CS1, 2, 3, 4. So we’re going to hazard a wild guess, don’t you think that the next version might be CS…
Anne-Marie: But we’re hoping that it is released by then, before then. Then, Michael would be able to divulge and show all sorts of cool stuff with CS5, since he’s been a little bit involved with its development.
David: But honestly, we don’t know. We’re just kind of guessing because you know Adobe likes this 18 to 24 month cycle, so it’s just around the right time for us to at least learn the basics so we’re hoping, I don’t know, who knows.
Anne-Marie: Well, the good part is that we don’t have to fly Michael in. Right? So if it’s not released by then, then we’re not out a plane ticket.
David: No, the really good part is that Michael is one of the best speakers that you’re ever going to hear anyway. And no matter what he’s talking about, even if he just has power tips. You know his power shortcuts.
Anne-Marie: Because he has a tips thing.
David: Right. People are just going to have their minds blown. So whatever the case, Michael is going to be there doing an all day thing and your not going to want to miss it. It’s a good thing. It’s definitely a good thing.
Anne-Marie: And then the seminars; people are starting to sign up for all those. We’re doing Minneapolis, New York, New Jersey, Austin, Cleveland, Detroit, and any minute now we’ll be adding Vancouver.
David: Yeah. Vancouver, B.C., we have a location were just waiting for the contract.
Anne-Marie: That’s cool.
David: We think it’s going to be late April.
Anne-Marie: Now, you’re going to be doing that seminar is that right?
David: Yeah, yes. I’m doing Austin and Vancouver. You’re doing most of the other ones, Claudia Maque.
Anne-Marie: You realize that if you go to Vancouver that half of what you say will have to be in French.
David: Ah, that’s the other side of Canada, actually. But I am going to have to talk about, talk a boot InDesign instead of about InDesign. That’s the primary change. But also Claudia…
Anne-Marie: Claudia is going to be in Atlanta. The Atlanta one, and I think that’s in May just after the…
David: After the conference, yes. It’s going to be awesome. Hey listen, we’re going to have links to all of the conference and seminar stuff in the show notes of course. I do want to mention as well, that the other thing you can find on the website, when you’re going and looking at the show notes, is membership. And we now have over 1100 members at InDesign Secrets. We actually have a lot more readers than that, but in terms of people who have actually signed up for members. That is terrific. I’m very excited about that.And just to say thank you for being a member we’re going to be drawing random prizes, for, random names out of the membership for prizes. And we did that yesterday. And we are going to be giving a true match swatch book to member Patricia Dykeman, of New York State.
Anne-Marie: Yay, Patricia.
David: So, congratulations Patricia, thank you for being a member. Thank you for participating in the InDesign Secrets community. And for those of you listeners who are not yet members, go ahead and sign up. It’s free to go sign up as a member at InDesign Secrets. com just click on become a member at the site. So there you go. OK, we better move on to the Obscure Feature of the Week.
Anne-Marie: I know this is our favorite feature in the program the shared hyperlink destination.
David: Anne-Marie was saying that because I’ve been ranting about it.
Anne-Marie: That’s right.
David: You were talking about shared hyperlink destination. I am like, “Oh, I hate shared hyperlink destination. Oh, I just think it’s the worst thing. Angry at it all the time.” So that’s…
Anne-Marie: It’s supposed to save time.
David: It is. It is.
Anne-Marie: It’s supposed to save time. Basically it’s, when you create a hyperlink in InDesign, right?
Anne-Marie: Obviously, you can’t use in InDesign. You can only use it in a Swift file of a PDF file. Anyway, you create a hyperlink with the hyperlink panel, right.
David: Or an ePub. Or exporting to XHTML.
Anne-Marie: That’s true. And Dreamweaver and all that kind of stuff.
Anne-Marie: So there’s many places where you can use the hyperlink expect for the one place in InDesign. But at leas you can test it in the hyperlinks panel.
David: You can, yeah.
Anne-Marie: That’s a whole other topic.
Anne-Marie: But the deal is that when you create let’s say we’re making a link to InDesign Secrets. So you select http://indesignsectrets.com, and then in the hyperlinks panel, if you click the new hyperlink or you choose create new hyperlink the dialogue box that opens up will have a check mark next to “shared hyperlink destination” automatically.
Anne-Marie: So what this means is that, let’s say that now that tomorrow I’m working on a different document and I want to make a link to InDesign Secrets. Instead of creating it in this document from scratch, I could say “new hyperlink” and then navigate to that document I worked on yesterday.
David: Yeah. You really don’t want to do that. It’s really… You’re just asking for trouble. I think of shared… Another phrase of shared hyperlink destination I like to think of or teach people about is a named destination. It’s basically like making a style so that you give a destination like a URL a name and then you can point to that name. And that name could be anything. But the weird thing is…
Anne-Marie: Like a text anchor.
David: Yeah, it’s almost like a text anchor. But it has this name and you can change it later and then it’ll ripple through and change every place else that you’ve used that name, right? So it’s shared, meaning you can share it among many different hyperlinks within the same document or you could share it, like you were saying, among different documents. It is just dangerous.
David: I mean weird things have happened to me when I am using shared hyperlinks destinations. Especially across documents, that’s really yucky stuff can happen. So I don’t recommend people doing that. In general, what I find is they just get in your way because 98 percent of the time when I am making a hyperlink I am just going to use it once in my document. I don’t need it to be shared. I don’t need it to be named, just give me a hyperlink, right?In the two percent of the instances where I’m going to use the same hyperlink a whole bunch of times in the document, then, yes, maybe I would create it as a shared hyperlink destination. But because I have run into weird problems with them that I can’t even explain, I still tend not to use shared hyperlink destinations unless I am going to use it a lot like you just use the description InDesign Secrets.If I have 50 hyperlinks in my document and they’re all going to InDesignsecrets.com, then sure it’s just easier to do it once as a named shared hyperlink destination and then I can all it up each time.But you know…
Anne-Marie: You know what it reminds me of; it reminds me of Adobe Go Life. Adobe Go Life had a panel that lets you name all of your hyperlinks. And so when I am working on a new page if I wanted to link to that same resource that’s very deeply on Adobe site.
Anne-Marie: Instead of having to locate it and copy this huge URL, I can just link to the one that I called Adobe’s white paper on ePubs.
Anne-Marie: And it will automatically fill it in. So when you create a new hyperlink in the “link to” instead of choosing URL, where you type in the URL, you could choose “shared destination”…
Anne-Marie: … and then choose the document and then you would have all these named links and it would automatically fill in the long URL.
David: Right. But, if you use…I think that’s exactly right. But, if you use a lot of hyperlinks in your document and they’re mostly used just once or twice, then you defeat the purpose of the whole named destination. Because…
Anne-Marie: That’s true.
David: … The next time that you want to actually go and use one of those named destinations, you have this long popup menu, with this long list like 50 different named destinations. You have to scroll through that, and that slows you down.
Anne-Marie: I know.
David: … trying to find the one that you want.
Anne-Marie: Plus, as you said, there is sort of like they’re fragile is the best way I can describe it.
Anne-Marie: They can cause… I have seen some real train wrecks, with collections of documents that used shared hyperlink destinations. Just things got really confused and corrupt, and I’m like “Oh, let’s just not.”
Anne-Marie: We narrowed down to an over use of shared hyperlink destinations.
David: So, in general, I mean the rule is that there is nothing inherently wrong with the shared hyperlink destination. If you use it very sparingly, on the few hyperlinks that you really do reference over and over again, if you are going to use it five or more times, let’s say, arbitrarily, if you are going to use a hyperlink a bunch of times going to the same place, then, sure, use it. But, for the vast majority of times, when you just make a hyperlink, just to go to the site and that site and this email address and that, when just make it unlinked regular nonshared notnamed hyperlink destination,Now, the problem though is that in CS4, in this updated hyperlink panel, they gave us these URL…
David: … field. So, in the hyperlinks panel, right at the top of the panel, there is this field that says, “URL.” It was cute. It’s a nice step forward, because you can select some text and jump over. Open the panel up, just type in the URL that you want it to link to but the problem is every time you do that, you automatically make a named or shared hyperlink destination. That’s what it makes by default.There is seemingly no way to turn it off. If you know a way, let me know. I’d love to turn it off.
Anne-Marie: Well, right. It makes a “shared destination,” but doesn’t mean you are linking to “shared destination.” It names the link is what I thought.
David: No. It creates a hyperlink and that hyperlink becomes a shared hyperlink destination. So that it is added to the popup menu. Now, the next time you want to use it, the popup menu…
Anne-Marie: I see what you are talking about. Right.
David: But, again, if you keep making hyperlinks that way, you are going to get this really long, horrible painful, itchy, popup menu. It’s just not worth it. So, I very rarely use that URL field in the hyperlink panel. I generally, again 98 percent of the time, select some text or an object, click on the hyperlink button at the bottom of the hyperlinks panel. Then, the first thing I do is turn off that checkbox. So, it’s not a “shared destination.” I have found that to be far more reliable and ultimately more efficient, even though I have to select that checkbox each time or deselect that checkbox each time, I just find it to be more reliable. So…
Anne-Marie: So, in this case we have not only an obscure feature but an obscure and potentially dangerous feature.
David: There you go.
David: There you go.
Anne-Marie: Not all of them are.
David: Yeah, just like a Bengal tiger.
Anne-Marie: That’s right.
David: Obscure and dangerous.
Anne-Marie: That suggestion was from… Remember Kate? I think was her name, Katie? I don’t know.
David: Was it…
Anne-Marie: She is the one that runs the blog DocumentGeek.com.
David: Yes. Right. DocumentGeek. That I remember.
Anne-Marie: Yes. DocumentGeek that is a great blog, you guys. Check it out.
Anne-Marie: Thank you, Katie. A great suggestion. If anybody else has an obscure feature or topic that you want to discuss, by all means, email it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, which is a great segue to saying “thank you, that’s it for this episode: 118.” Be sure to check out our show notes on the blog, and we’ll have links to all the places that we have mentioned, and to the Sudoku Generator, with the repeat of the coupon code.We’d love to hear what you thought of the show. Leave a comment in the show notes. Start a topic on the forums or email us again at email@example.com, and until we meet again, this AnneMarie Concepcion and…
David: David Blatner for InDesign Secrets.