Today, Adobe announced the new InDesign CS6, as part of the new Adobe Creative Cloud service, where you can get all of Adobe’s desktop tools from the Master Collection, all Touch Apps and a bunch of web services and storage for a around 50 Dollars, monthly.
There is a pretty comprehensive post from the fine folks at indesignsecretes.com covering all the newness of InDesign CS6.
I will focus on the improvements in InDesign that are useful for DPS (or any digital publishing tool in InDesign).
Alternative Layout and Liquid Layout Rules
The most important feature when it comes to digital publishing, especially for use in Adobe DPS: One InDesign file can now cover multiple versions of the same layout and keep all the content synchronized. That can be a horizontal and vertical pair, or even adress multiple devices, like iPad, Xoom and iPhone.
The pages panel now includes several, so called “Alternative Layouts”, where InDesign will make a new version of the layout according to the new dimensions. While doing that, InDesign will apply Liquid Layout Rules (see below). The designer than has the chance to do specific changes to the layout to make it look beautiful on all devices/sizes.
A design process cannot be fully automated, by design. With the raise of adaptive formats like HTML, some things are achievable in that matter, but it always needs caring for all sizes or “breakpoints”. Especially for intensive layouts like in editorial design.
The content (most importantly text frames) is linked through all Alternative Layouts. So if you make (text) changes to the original layout, it can be distributed to all other layouts.
The designer specifies rules in the original layout to determine how objects should move when an alternative layout is created. This is where Liquid Layout enters the stage.
Liquid Layout Rules
With Liquid Layout Rules applied to each object, or by adding guides, any object on the page knows how to behave, resize or distribute itself when a new layout is created. They can be object-based or defined by guides. For a text frame, you can even specify the number of columns to be flexible when the text frame gets wider.
Linked Content & Content Collector
Now, text frames and all other content can be linked from the same document, an alternative layout or even from other documents. This makes repurposing content much easier.
There are also two new tools, the Content Collector and the Content Placer. With them you can collect elements, groups, text frames, images, whateveryoulike from one document and then drop them in another layout or document and instantly have them linked.
Other improvements for digital publishing
Split Window View — now you can look at two different positions in one InDesign document with the split window view.
Insert HTML — Inserting HTML is easier and is kept alive as working HTML/animations/awesomethings in your .folio or even in exported HTML and EPUB.
Export to PNG — the export dialog now includes PNG as output format, wich makes it easier to use for web output or in some places of DPS.
Packaging — Assets in use by the Overlay Creator (like image sequences, panoramas, web views) are included in the packaged folder ready to be distributed to another computer.
DISCLAIMER: I don’t work for Adobe directly, though as Adobe Influencer for Digital Publishing, I speak for Adobe and present their products.