Kickstarter Project to Create an InDesign to HTML5 Solution

With the continuing rise of tablets and smartphones, the demand for visually rich, highly interactive documents is going nowhere but up. Users of Adobe InDesign have several options for creating interactive documents, including Adobe’s own Digital Publishing Suite (DPS), as well as third-party solutions like Mag+, PressRun, and Twixl Publisher. And of course, there’s the old stand-by, interactive PDF.

These current options can be expensive, or in the case of PDF, lack the reader support for some interactive features on mobile devices. While HTML5 offers the solution to many of these challenges, InDesign currently lacks the ability to simply export a fully functional interactive layout to HTML5.

But Ajar Productions, small husband-and-wife company based in San Francisco, has taken on the challenge of creating HTML5 from InDesign and is using a Kickstarter project to fund their efforts.

For a pledge of $25 or more, you can get a license for the first version of the product before it is available to the public (expected delivery date is November 2012). With higher pledges, come additional licenses, priority status for feature requests, free upgrades, and more.

The Kickstarter project runs through August 16th, and has already met Ajar’s initial funding goal to develop a core list of features including the following:

  • Basic font embedding
  • Render text frames as images (if desired, to retain exact appearance)
  • Master page content
  • SEO optimization
  • Open after export
  • Swipe navigation
  • Keyboard navigation
  • Back and next arrows (if desired)
  • Web links
  • Internal navigation (jump to InDesign page)
  • Page transitions options
  • Embedded Video
  • Embedded Audio

Ajar has also established the following pool from which they will select up to five more features for development, based on the results of the Kickstarter campaign:

  • Lightbox for images (with gallery functionality)
  • Lightbox for movies
  • Lightbox for links (so the user doesn’t have to leave your experience)
  • Text to SVG (zoomable with perfect fidelity for mobile devices and retina displays)
  • Google fonts integration
  • Single-page scrolling navigation (as mentioned in Update #1)
  • Full screen button
  • Search box for onscreen text
  • Liquid layout support for InDesign CS6 (responsive element positioning)
  • Embeddable "placed" HTML support (similar to DPS)
  • InDesign templates for different devices and screen layouts
  • Support for object states
  • Embedded Flash (SWF)
  • Deep linking (link to a specific page with a URL)
  • Page thumbnails with navigation
  • InDesign animations (converted into JavaScript and CSS animations)
  • Google Analytics support
  • Last export settings saved with document
  • Ability to save export presets
  • Offline storage capability (for viewing w/o an internet connection)
  • Social network sharing buttons
  • Relative text scaling (conversion to em units)
  • Table Formatting
  • Slideshow (auto-play) functionality

To learn more about the project, visit the Kickstarter page, and check out this introductory video:

Posted on: August 7, 2012

Mike Rankin

Mike is the Editor in Chief of, InDesign Magazine, and He is also the author of several video training series, including Font Management Essential Training, InDesign FX, and InDesign CC: Interactive Document Fundamentals.

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