5 steps how to convert InDesign designs into iOS Single Apps – as many as you need!

Since Adobe has shut down their DPS (Digital Publishing Suite) SE for Creative Cloud users, InDesign users are looking for an alternative on how to create designs in InDesign and convert them to an iOS app. At a reasonable price.

Problem: Reoccurring costs of App Publishing Services

There are many “App Publishing Services” that allow InDesign users to use InDesign to create designs, overlay interactivity, and then export the design into an app.

The problem with most (all?) “App Publishing Services” is: cost. Have a look at the costs of an arbitrary app publishing service (screenshot) that allows publishing from InDesign.

It’s not important which app publishing service this is, notable is that to create unlimited “single-issue apps” it will cost you $850. Per year. Every year.

Sure, this Service can do more than iOS Publishing. But what if you just need that?

Wouldn’t it be great if you could just pay $399 ONCE and create as many iOS apps as you like?

QuarkXPress 2017 offers such a service: iOS publishing for single apps is and doesn’t even require a log-on or any other kind of service. All you need is an Apple developer account ($99 per year).

Five steps to use QuarkXPress 2017 to publish Single Apps for iOS
(though you are using InDesign)

  1. Get an Apple developer account.
    There is no way around it, if you want to publish to Apple’s App Store. Apple requires you to have that, regardless which tool you use to create iOS apps.
  2. Copy InDesign elements to a digital layout in QuarkXPress as editable objects.
    QuarkXPress 2017 can convert PDF to native QuarkXPress objects. That can be a PDF created with MS Excel or Adobe InDesign.
    Even easier, QuarkXPress can also convert InDesign objects to editable, native QuarkXPress objects using the clipboard. So create a Digital layout in QuarkXPress and then just copy & paste objects (or a page) from InDesign to QuarkXPress.

    And then in QuarkXPress you can continue to edit objects copied from InDesign, e.g. change the text or the font size of a text box.
  3. Enrich the layout with interactive elements (optional)
    If you want to add interactivity to your former InDesign objects, just use the “HTML5” palette in QuarkXPress and add interactivity (some people call them enrichments). That can be a slideshow, an animation, a video, a sound, a button and so on.
    Of course, if you prefer, you can also leave your layout static, however then the chances are higher that Apple might reject your app.
  4. Create the necessary meta data and other files
    For submission to the App Store, you need to create and specify some meta data like splash screen, add some certificates that Apple’s portal gives you and so on. So first head over to developer.apple.com, create the profiles and certificates Apple requires, create some good looking splash screens etc.
  5. Export as iOS (out of QuarkXPress)
    Export a Single iOS App using the “Export As iOS App” menu in QuarkXPress. QuarkXPress will ask you to specify the meta data created in step 4. Then – after a while – QuarkXPress will show two apps on your Desktop, a test app (to test on your iOS device) and a production app (which you can submit to Apple). Both have your content (that came from InDesign and was enriched in QuarkXPress) baked-in.

Bonus: Publish to HTML5 as well!

And of course you can additionally create a web app (app-like behavior), which is 100% HTML5-based and runs in all modern browsers without need of a plug-in. QuarkXPress calls this HTML5 Publication:

As an HTML5 Publication is based on the same technology for content, static and interactive content will look the same as in your iOS app. And of course you could also make the HTML5 Publication responsive.

Creating an HTML5 Publication will not cost you anything extra, all you need is a webserver to host your HTML5 Publication.

What will it cost me? (as an InDesign user)

Good news for InDesign users are that you can upgrade to QuarkXPress from InDesign CS/CC (and CorelDraw, Lightroom, Photoshop and many others).

So to use QuarkXPress 2017 to convert your InDesign layouts into an app, will cost you:

QuarkXPress 2017 Competitive Upgrade: $399 (one-time fee)
Apple Developer Account for App Store submission: $99 (per year)

 

Start creating unlimited iOS apps:

So, InDesign users, upgrade to QuarkXPress 2017 now and start creating iOS apps:

http://content.quark.com/switch-to-quarkxpress-us.html

 

Both an engineer and a layout artist, Matthias bridges the gap between technology and people.

Before joining Quark, Matthias pioneered print, Web, and multimedia products for multiple German publishing companies. Since 1997 he has played a central role in shaping Quark’s desktop and enterprise software.
Starting 2003 Matthias has focused on Quark’s interactive and digital publishing solutions. He is an active participant in design and publishing communities and represents Quark in the Ghent PDF Workgroup.

Since February 2014 Matthias heads Quark’s Desktop Publishing business unit and is therefore responsible for QuarkXPress.

First book about QuarkXPress 2016 now available

The first book about QuarkXPress 2016 is now available, so even before QuarkXPress 2016 will be officially released tomorrow (May 24).

You can order it through Amazon US or Amazon UK and other national sites from amazon.

The interesting thing is that this book is not only about QuarkXPress, it is also about design and brand considerations, about print processes and about finishing. So definitely an interesting read, I can highly recommend it.

Martin, the author of the book, who is also an author for Planet Quark, says about it:

““Over the years, I’ve seen dozens of designers, some straight from college, some hardened veterans, whose work came to a halt because they lacked some crucial piece of knowledge. In this book, I have tried to include the answers to all of their questions, and to uncover the richer possibilities that QuarkXPress 2016 offers. Its new features—especially native import and HTML5 publishing—allow us to be more productive, more creative and more satisfied in our work. Whether in print or online, more than ever before, QuarkXPress 2016 gives us the power to delight the eye and intrigue the mind.”

Both an engineer and a layout artist, Matthias bridges the gap between technology and people.

Before joining Quark, Matthias pioneered print, Web, and multimedia products for multiple German publishing companies. Since 1997 he has played a central role in shaping Quark’s desktop and enterprise software.
Starting 2003 Matthias has focused on Quark’s interactive and digital publishing solutions. He is an active participant in design and publishing communities and represents Quark in the Ghent PDF Workgroup.

Since February 2014 Matthias heads Quark’s Desktop Publishing business unit and is therefore responsible for QuarkXPress.

How to encode videos for the Retina iPad or Samsung Galaxy

When creating mobile web sites or apps and using video footage, it can be hard to find the best setting for video conversion. Often choosing the wrong format for encoding or conversion, the audio track or the whole video will not show or play incorrectly.

There are many great video encoding tools and converters, but most I find overkill or their settings hard to remember. So about a year ago I was searching for a simple yet reliable tool for video conversion for tablets and smartphones and choose Miro Video Converter as my tool of choice and shared it here: http://forums.quark.com/t/26892.aspx

When I was just recently attending a Digital Publishing conference I was surprised to hear that many designers face the same issue, having the hard disk full of powerful tools but still not satisfied and not yet having found the one-click solution.

So allow me to recommend Miro Video Converter: http://www.mirovideoconverter.com/

Miro Video ConverterScreenSnapz001

I have used it in several app projects and so far never had a problem of a video not playing correctly. So I can highly recommend it.

What I like about it are the one click preset for the following devices that have never failed me. Presets are available for:

  • iPod (Classic / Nano)
  • iPod Touch
  • iPod Touch 4+
  • iPhone 4+
  • iPhone 5
  • iPad
  • iPad 3
  • Apple Universal
  • Apple TV
  • Samsung Galaxy Y
  • Samsung Galaxy Mini
  • Samsung Galaxy Ace
  • Samsung Admire
  • Samsung Droid Charge
  • Samsung Galaxy S / SII / S Plus
  • Samsung Galaxy SIII
  • Samsung Galaxy Nexus
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1
  • Samsung Galaxy Note
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II
  • Samsung Infuse 4G
  • Samsung Epic Touch 4G
  • HTC Wildfire
  • HTC Desire
  • HTC Droid Incredible
  • HTC Thunderbolt
  • HTC Evo 4G
  • HTC Sensation
  • HTC Rezound
  • HTC One X
  • Motorola Droid X
  • Motorola Droid X2
  • Motorola RAZR
  • Motorola XOOM
  • Sanyo Zio
  • PSP
  • Kindle Fire

Best of all, it’s available for Mac OS X and Windows and it is donationware.

Let me know your experience please.

Both an engineer and a layout artist, Matthias bridges the gap between technology and people.

Before joining Quark, Matthias pioneered print, Web, and multimedia products for multiple German publishing companies. Since 1997 he has played a central role in shaping Quark’s desktop and enterprise software.
Starting 2003 Matthias has focused on Quark’s interactive and digital publishing solutions. He is an active participant in design and publishing communities and represents Quark in the Ghent PDF Workgroup.

Since February 2014 Matthias heads Quark’s Desktop Publishing business unit and is therefore responsible for QuarkXPress.

Tip: Use PDF2DTP to Extract Images from PDFs

PDF2DTP

I’m creating an EPUB book in QuarkXPress, and the client gave me a PDF containing his suggestions along with some product images for the book. He’s not easily available, so I didn’t want bother him to re-send me the images as separate files. What to do?

I remembered that Markzware’s PDF2DTP XTension for QuarkXPress can convert a PDF into a native QuarkXPress document. In the process, it also extracts images from the PDF into separate, linked image files — in their original format and resolution!

An additional benefit of the conversion was that the client’s new paragraphs of text were ready for repurposing into the EPUB, without the messy cleanup of line breaks that normally occurs when copying text from a PDF in Acrobat.

This $199 XTension just paid for itself… (and a version is also available for InDesign)

Jay Nelson is the editorial director of PlanetQuark.com, and the editor and publisher of Design Tools Monthly. He’s also the author of the QuarkXPress 8 and QuarkXPress 7 training titles at Lynda.com, as well as the training videos Quark includes in the box with QuarkXPress 7 . In addition, Jay writes regularly for Macworld and Photoshop User magazines and speaks at industry events.

Recover Kodak Photo CD Images

graphicconverter7_1

If you have old Kodak Photo CDs, you may want to consider converting them to a current file format such as TIFF, and one way to do that is with GraphicConverter for Mac OS X ($40).

Few apps other than GraphicConverter support the defunct Photo CD format, and it can convert a long list of other abandoned image formats, too.

Jeff Gamet is a contributing editor for Design Tools Monthly, the executive summary of graphic design news. He is also the morning editor and reviews editor for The Mac Observer and iPodObserver.com, and contributing writer for Layers Magazine and Photoshop User. He writes the InBrief column for InDesign Magazine, and is the author of “The Designer’s Guide to Mac OS X,” from Peachpit Press

When Jeff isn’t writing about the graphic design world, he’s talking about it on the Design Tools Weekly podcast with co-host Jay Nelson. He also talks about Apple and the Mac world every week on The Mac Observer’s Apple Weekly Report.

Jeff studies, tests and reviews new software and technologies for the Macintosh community as well as the design and print industries. He is a former Pre-press specialist, and has nearly 25 years experience with computer technology. Jeff trains, lectures and consults on techniques for more efficiently using Mac OS X in creative environments throughout the country.

In the rare moments when he can get away from his MacBook Pro, Jeff spends his time climbing and biking in the Colorado mountains.