Media

Adobe adds time-saving and money-making features to tablet publishing suite

Adobe announced a handful of new features for producing, publishing, and promoting tablet publications created with its Digital Publishing Suite on Tuesday, including the ability to publish to the iPhone, tightly controlled sharing options, and a little something that could make every digital-magazine designer cry tears of joy.

Major publishers use Adobe’s Digital Publishing Suite (DPS) to craft digital versions of their InDesign print publications for tablets and smartphones. It began when Adobe teamed up with Condé Nast publication Wired to create a digital version of its magazine for the then brand-new iPad. Now many big brands use DPS, including multiple Condé titles, National Geographic, and Wenner Media.

Designers will be most excited about the new Alternative Layout feature, which makes it possible to re-purpose a single InDesign layout for multiple devices without having to start from scratch. They should be able to create one layout for an iPad, then use it for a Kindle Fire, iPhone, or any other screen with a different aspect ratio.

This labor-saving feature is just in time — Adobe also announced that DPS can now publish to the iPhone and iPod touch with its new Content Viewer. The New Yorker was the first publication to show what a magazine designed for the iPhone might look like using the new feature at Adobe’s Digital Publishing Summit in New York this morning.

Sharing is a sticky spot for these digital publications. The full issues usually cost a flat fee, but how do you make money off sharing, especially when audiences are so used to free content shared from websites? When so much traffic comes from articles being posted on Facebook and Twitter, it would be silly to prohibit it altogether. The first stab at a solution is tightly controlled sharing features. Publishers can decide what content is sharable, set up a paywall, and control how many times a person can read articles from an issue before being prompted to buy the app.

Other tweaks to the suite include improved analytics tools, integration with new CS6 custom-animation tool Edge, and a bevy of new fonts in the Adobe library that publishers can use in tablet publications without dropping money on additional licenses and per-use fees.

In addition to the changes, Adobe has landed a big new client, Meredith, which was previously using DPS’s now-neutralized former competitor Woodwing. Meredith publishes Fitness, Better Homes and Gardens, and Parents, and claims it is the largest publisher in the world based on total circulation.


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