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Need native InDesign file viewer for Windows

New Here ,
Feb 18, 2011

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We are evaluating the usage of InDesign as a layout programm for web sites. At the moment we do create our mock ups using Photoshop.

A great thing about that: At least the flattened photoshop layout can be viewed by everybody in our company.

Now - as we do have .indd files there is a desire to have a look on the work results without having a full copy of InDesign installed!

At least for Mac there is http://www.code-line.com/software/sneakpeekpro/

But we still need a file viewer für native InDesign files on Windows!

Any suggestions?

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Feb 18, 2011

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Sorry, no such animal. The closest you'll come is Adobe Bridge with CS5 only if you adjust your prefs to preview all pages.

BTW, why would you even consider InDesign for mocking up websites when there are programs fully dedicated to this.

Bob

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l-i-n-k AUTHOR
New Here ,
Feb 18, 2011

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We do feel stuck with Photoshop because of it’s limited (inexsitent) possibilities to mock up interactive and animated elements.

Could you place a running video within your Photoshop? Or at least an exported version… nope. Same for Fireworks - which at least could simulate mouse hover & co.

Still hoping to find a solution.

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Guide ,
Feb 18, 2011

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Create your mock up in InDesign CS5 and export it as SWF after that. Your client may watch it in Web Browser and all the interactivity works, buttons, links, videos, animations etc...

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l-i-n-k AUTHOR
New Here ,
Feb 18, 2011

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That’s exactly, what we do - but ANY of the exported files (pdf, swf) do reflect the date of export - not the native file.

How many times do you export?

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Guide ,
Feb 18, 2011

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Sorry, I don´t quite understand what you mean by saying  "reflect the date of export"...some kind of timestamp?

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l-i-n-k AUTHOR
New Here ,
Feb 18, 2011

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Sorry for the confusion. I did mean the export might be out of date, because the design forgot to make a new export after some changes.

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Engaged ,
Feb 18, 2011

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How about PDF?

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Advocate ,
Feb 20, 2011

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It's hard to believe that Sneak Peek Pro is a "native" document viewer. I bet all it's showing is the embedded thumbnails -- but, then again, these are assured to be always up to date.

As some of the scripters have shown, it's fairly easy to extract the thumbnail and save it as a JPEG when you have opened the document. However, doing the same trick without InDesign takes some more skillz I had a couple of spare minutes (well, about two hours) so I wrote a quick-and-dirty program to first find, then extract these thumbnails, from a couple of CS3, CS4, and even CS5 I had laying around

  • . I'm on my Mac right now but tomorrow I'll be behind a PC, so I can compile it into a Windows compatible program.
  • .. In my test files, I found 3 different internal thumbnail names for these 3 versions. I don't have any files older than CS3 to test on; but can Adobe fricking finally decide under which name thumbnails get stored!?
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    l-i-n-k AUTHOR
    New Here ,
    Feb 21, 2011

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    In deed: The Mac Quicklook Plugin does nothing more (or less) that showing the preview images.

    The default setting of InDesign are 256x256 Px Thumbnails of the first 2 pages - not what I expected.

    This sets the count of existing InDesign file viewers to zero, again.

    Possible workarounds:

    - Install InDesign or InCopy Demo

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    Advocate ,
    Feb 21, 2011

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    1. You can change the preview size of your documents in Preferences -- it's under File Handling. Other than most of the preferences, this is a system-wide setting, so you don't have to change it per document. Opening, then forcing a file to save (you have to change something or use Save As) will update the previews in the file. I've read that CS5 allows you to save a preview of more than the first spread.

    2. http://www.jongware.com/binaries/extractIdThumbnails.zip (Windows) -- drop an InDesign file on this, and it will extract the preview (or previews) into the same folder the file came from. Only works, of course, if there *are* previews in that file. Seems to work fine with CS4, I only have one or two CS3 / CS5 files to test with and it theoretically *should* work with those as well.

    This doesn't bring the count of InDesign viewers to '1', though. The file format of InDesign is WAY too complicated to make a 'real' file viewer.

    ... How about Bridge? Did you try that?

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    l-i-n-k AUTHOR
    New Here ,
    Feb 21, 2011

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    Thank you so much for helping - I will hand the script over to a windows user to give it try.

    Hopefully saving of files with 1024x1024 Thumbs of all pages (witch is the maximum quality) does not produce a horrible delay…

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    Advocate ,
    Feb 21, 2011

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    Just thought of a tiny improvement --

    http://www.jongware.com/binaries/extractIdThumbnails.zip is updated, now you can drag and drop more than one file on top of it. All of the preview JPEGs will still be extracted to the original file location.

    It's not a script (which would still need InDesign itself), it's a full-fledged Windows executable, which means you can drag 'n drop ID files on top of it even if you don't have InDesign. At the moment it's a console program. If nothing seems to happen, it means it cannot process the file, and you cannot see its helpful message telling you why! Only if you run it from the command line ("Terminal", in Mac-Speak), you can read the output. Perhaps I should make it pop up an alert ...

    This one is for Windows but if anyone is interested I can also make a Mac version.

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