Code Line


Preview InDesign and Illustrator CS5 Files on your iPad/iPhone with SneakPeek


The iPad is a popular gadget amongst graphic designers. With SneakPeek it just became a whole lot more useful. SneakPeek for iOS allows you to preview your Adobe InDesign CS5 and Adobe Illustrator CS5 directly on your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch. The concept is really quite simple. Both InDesign CS5 and Illustrator CS5 now have the ability to save embedded "previews" in their respective file formats. SneakPeek can use those previews to display on your iOS devices. This is extremely useful for viewing artwork from Illustrator, but it becomes even more useful because InDesign CS5 can now save ALL of the pages in the preview as well. With SneakPeek you can thumb through an entire InDesign document right on your device. The next question becomes: "how do I get these files into the App?" SneakPeek takes advantage of the "Open In" command found in Apps like Safari, Mail and yes…..Dropbox! I just wrote a post the other day on "5 Ways To Take Advantage of Dropbox" and now we have a great 6th way. 


How does it work?

The first thing you have to realize is that while this App does what it says, you still have to change a preference in InDesign to take advantage of it. InDesign CS5 by default will only save a "medium" quality preview and only of the 1st 2 pages of the file by default. You have to change your InDesign Preferences to save a larger preview (if you want it to look good on the iPad) and enable the All Pages option. Yes, this will make your InDesign files a little larger, but it is soooo worth it.

For Illustrator CS5 just make sure you have PDF Compatible File enabled in the Save dialog box.

Now that you've made your file the next question is "how do I get it on my iPad?" You have a few options. You can email it to yourself and use the Mail Open In command to Open the attachement in SneakPeek. You could post the file on a website and do the same command in Safari. Lastly and probably the best way is to put the file in your Dropbox  (get a FREE 2GB Dropbox account here) from your Mac or PC. Then using the FREE Dropbox App you can select the file and choose Open In SneakPeek to view it. Once the file is open you can just swipe through the pages and pinch to zoom. Awesome!


But wait, there's more

Seeing the file is cool, but you could do that already with a PDF version of the file. So SneakPeek takes it up a notch by also allowing you to see which fonts were used in the document, which images are linked as well as which colors and swatches were used.


The Bottom Line

This App is a must have for the InDesign and Illustrator users out there. It's also an Art Director's dream come true. While it does work there is one thing I'd like to see added in the next update and that is DIRECT support for Dropbox. Instead of having to open the document in the Dropbox App first and then move it over, I'd love to see the ability to log into my Dropbox account directly in the App. This is possible because I have other Apps that allow this. No need to stop there either. Might as well add direct support for MobileMe and FTP too. These direct connections would definitely earn a 5th star from me. However, there is no reason for a Creative Suite user not to grab this one immediately.

You can get SneakPeek for $9.99 here from the iTunes



Color Expert App Gives You a Color Library in your iPhone

Whether the realm is web, print, fashion or any medium in-between, today’s creative, designer, photographer, printer, or aspiring artist, will tell you how important color is. Color is all around us and whether vibrant or muted; color inspires us, calms us and causes us to act and behave in a certain way.

While nature often, so easily it seems, puts together the perfect color palette, we humans are not always so fortunate. Some of us are graceful at it and some of us are just plain color blind. We never know when or where a color will capture our attention or inspire us to use it as “perfect for that project.”
No credible designer will tell you that “Color inspiration only happens in the office looking at swatch books.” Far from it. So what happens when you see that perfect color or color combination while you are out and about, and you have no way to capture it? Sure you pull out your iPhone and take a photo of it. Well, now you have an image, but still, what color is that? Are you now going to go back to the office and hold up swatch books to your iPhone? Don’t fret. There is an app for that. Color Expert.
Color Expert by Code Line, released in 2008 and recently updated, places among it’s many features, (6) Pantone color libraries, (1) Web Safe color library, and (1) HTML color library at your fingertips.
Using the Color Wheel option and preset swatches, you can create unlimited color palettes, perusing color combinations in the Monochrome, Analogous, Complementary, Split Complementary and Triadic color Schemes. And let’s not leave out Custom. Color Wheel Type options are Artistic (traditional) and Scientific (based on light). Color Expert’s recent update adds a few new features and a more streamlined interface.
Color Expert is available at the App Store for $9.99 here: Color Expert