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



Wired Magazine App for iPad created with Adobe InDesign

After creating my first iBook (ePub) and releasing it for the iPad, I got lots of questions from people that wanted to do publications that were more graphically rich, containing interactivity and video. While ePub can support these things, it's not really geared towards a "layout rich" type document. So here's an example of the opposite end of the spectrum. Wired has just released their highly interactive Magazine with exclusive content as an App for the iPad. This App was created using Adobe InDesign CS5 and other Adobe technologies. Here's a Blog Post detailing the creation of this App and here's a video (in Flash) produced by Wired to show off the Magazine:

The App is $4.99 for the June issue and you can grab it here from the App Store.