Making PDFs that work well on the iPad can be a little tricky, especially as the iOS libraries that read PDF files don’t understand JPG2000 compression. You can easily tell InDesign to not use JPG2000 compression, but Acrobat is a lot more liberal about compressing the hell outta your PDFs.
As a result, I try to do as little tweaking in Acrobat as possible, and I keep it very careful—adding some metadata, perhaps tweaking bookmarks and layers, but nothing major. My PDF files are important; my company makes money selling them (and distributing them far and wide via BitTorrent) and plenty of our customers love reading PDFs on their iPads.
Before I get to Acrobat, I use a specific preset to create my PDFs, developed through trial and error. To save you that time and error, you can download that preset right here:
ID to iPad PDF v1 dirtywords.tv.joboptions (It’s zipped).
A few notes about the particular settings the preset includes:
- This preset turns all the Layers in your InDesign document into Acrobat layers; so users can hide backgrounds, art boxes, etc. (depending on how you use Layers in InDesign, of course.) You can untick this if you don’t want layered documents.
- “Embed Page Thumbnails” is disabled because the thumbnails that InDesign creates are lower quality than the ones than Acrobat creates on the fly the first time it loads a PDF.
- You can safely change the PPI and Image Quality in the Compression tab. Under compression, do NOT use JPG2000 compression for anything; it doesn’t render on any current iPad PDF viewer.
- If your document includes spot colors, you probably should go to Output -> Ink Manager and tick “All Spots to Process.” (I almost never use spots, so this advice may be inadequate…)
- There are no security settings set, because I want my customers to be able to hack the documents they buy. You or your clients may feel differently.
Enjoy, and if you find this PDF particularly useful (or have any issues with it!) please let me know.
Thomas Silkjær’s excellent script that helps you fix paragraph style pairs has been updated for CS5 compatability, hooray! He’s been a busy guy lately and so I really appreciate him taking the time to get it updated. If you haven’t seen it before, I demonstrate how to use it in Episode 4 of Dirty Words Design.
Amazon has just announced that they have released a free beta plugin for converting books to Kindle format directly out of InDesign.
The plugin is compatible with InDesign CS4 and CS5, but if you have both versions installed on your computer, the installer will only install it for CS5; there is no way to tell the installer to install it for CS4, instead.
You can get around this with a little bit of manual work:
- Install the plugin for CS5.
- Use the shareware software Pacifist and open the Kindle for Adobe InDesign (Beta).pkg file with it.
- Open up the directory tree until it looks like this:
- Scripts first: out of the scripts folder, drag the Export for Kindle folder into your Adobe InDesign CS4/Scripts/ folder.
- Plugins next: out of the plugin/version6/ folder, drag the other Export for Kindle folde into your Adobe InDesign CS4/Plug-ins/ folder.
- Launch InDesign CS4—you should now see Export to Kindle under the File menu (un-alphabetically tucked between Export for Digital Editions and Export for Dreamweaver.)
Check out this thread on InDesignSecrets for a little more on the state of this plugin, and follow the #eprdctn hashtag on Twitter for all sorts of cool troubleshooting, hacking, and business-related ePub tweets!
After a long hiatus (I’m sorry!), Dirty Words Design is back with a roughly produced (I’m really sorry!) episode that contains three tips for dealing with InDesign Table of Contents and using them in ways that may not be typical! (I’m totally not sorry!)
Topics discussed are:
- Duplicating a Table of Contents Style
- Avoiding the import of Character Styles into a Table of Contents
- Using a Table of Contents on a Master Page to create book-wide hyperlinks
Good: I’ve managed to fix my low audio problems and the videocast should be much more listenable now.
Better: InDesign CS5 includes a nice feature that allows you to export PDF files in the background while you work on other stuff!
Worse: This background export functionality doesn’t work with Book files.
Better: This episode of Dirty Words Design explains how it works and how it doesn’t.
I didn’t intend to take a hiatus from Dirty Words Design, but it seems to have happened.
A few things conspired to create this situation: I took a 10-day vacation in March; I quit my job; I’m in the process of dealing with some fun legal negotiations as a company I co-own disentangles some IP from my former employer; I’ve been working on new freelance projects and spending time looking for new opportunities.
So I’ve been busy, and I’m honestly not quite sure when I’ll be back on the videocasting wagon. The remainder of April is shaping up to be busy, and in March I’ll be taking a week to visit Seattle and attend InDesignSecrets Print and ePublishing Conference from May 12th to 14th. I would be delighted to talk to anyone at the show who is a fan (or critic) of Dirty Words Design!
I do hope to release an episode before the Print and ePublishing Conference, and after that show, get back on the wagon of regular-ish releases.
Over on his block, John Nack of Adobe points out that if you still own Creative Suite 1 and you want to upgrade to Creative Suite 4, you should do so soon, as Adobe has a “3 versions back” policy and you won’t be able to upgrade CS1 to CS5 for the upgrade price once CS5 is announced. There’s some talk in the comments of his post that if you upgrade to CS4 and CS5 is announced within 30 days of your upgrade, you’ll get a free upgrade to CS5—Nack hasn’t confirmed this.
I just installed a plugin that should give people on portable/small screen devices a much more efficient layout. Please post if you’re using a mobile device and encounter any issues!
This episode of Dirty Words Design shows you how to harness the power of two InDesign CS4 features—GREP Styles and Live Preflight—together to automatically detect if your document contains specified placeholder text, such as the dreaded “page XX” reference or notes from editors to layout or vice-versa.
This is not a fullscale removal of the Activiation system—Adobe is not removing the need to deactivate before uninstalling but is simply not penalizing people who deactivate and reinstall frequently. You are still limited to two concurrent installations of Creative Suite, however.
Eric Wilde says:
The deactivation limit has caused numerous problems and I’m very happy to see it go. As stated above, we should go live on the a new activation server implementation on January 15th that completely removes the deactivation limit. Although deactivation is still necessary (which causes some other problems), there should no longer be any limit to the number of deactivations.
In a comment on the 14th, Eric confirms that this change is now live.
Regardless of it being a half-step, I welcome each and every step towards removing activation and other paying-customer-punishing measures. Thank you, Adobe!