1Hutch

A work in progress

Week #15 ~ InDesign for EPUBs, Interactive PDF, and Tablet Apps

InDesign can export publications in EPUB, Interactive PDF, and tablet app formats using Digital Publishing Suite (DPS).  There are some major differences between EPUB, interactive PDF, and DPS.  An article at Think Big Learn Smart, stated that the content using EPUB is reflowable in e-readers, while the content in a PDF is a fixed layout.  This same article continued to remark that DPS is frequently used to publish digital magazines and periodicals.  It can have scrolling text options, pop-ups options with in-depth descriptions, and live/static HTML interactions.  The big difference with DPS is that it is the final document format is as an app.

Just as there are various considerations to digital publishing, there is also various options with the type of device used to read digital publications.  Most e-readers have conformed to a six inch screen view.  The biggest upfront difference between e-readers and tablets is the price; e-readers are now being offered at lower price usually under $100.  However, when reading an article posted at Make Use Of online site, they suggested some differences are, “The display technology, the touchscreen technology, the operating system, applications and hardware.”

A recent article this past January by Which to Go, it was reported that tablets are becoming less expensive, they can do more than an e-reader, and can be used as and e-reader with the inclusion of apps.  This articles also lists the benefits of tablets over e-readers are 1.) games and apps, 2.) fast tactile responsiveness, 3.) web surfing, 4.) color screens, 5.) large screen, 6.) video and audio capabilities, and of course 7.) more bells and whistles.  However, it went on to state the benefits of an e-reader over tablets are 1.) longer battery life, 2.) eye ease, 3.) reading under sunlight, 4.) lighter weight, and 5.) security features.

Week #14 ~ Adobe InDesign for Media and Publishing

As Adobe InDesign was originally used as a print-centric program it has upgraded to be more conducive for digital publishing.  Some of the formats InDesign uses to publish is EPUB, Adobe Digital Publishing Suite (DPS), and Interactive PDFs.

In an article by Digital Publishing 101, mentions that InDesign is easier to be exported for Kindle ebooks using a free Amazon plugin since the only format Kindle uses is MOBI, and DPS aids in distribution of publication as an apps.  Apps have made ebooks more accessible with the use of tablets and smart phones.

EPUB is probably the most common format to use in publishing.  EPUB originated by the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF) and is an open standard.  EPUB3 was recently introduced to give more interactive flexibility to the types of various publications.  In an article by Digital Book World, “Going  InDesign to eBook”, IDPF also makes their focus on EPUB accessibility.

 

Standards and Hardware with iBooks

It’s all very confusing at times…in technology there are decisions to make for what operating system to use, what software works with which app and technology.  Even the choice of what smartphone to buy leaves you wondering which choice is the all-around best when compared to what you want to attain out of a device.

Enter iBooks and Apple’s closed system. I am making a small book using iBooks Author and iAds widgets and it appears to be so easy that it might even be fun to use.  The widgets add so many ways to add embedded videos, images, and engaging interactivity  that you would think that your imagination is the only limitation.  The con to this is the book I am creating can only be viewed on an Apple product.   The pro though, is if you already have an Apple product, then it comes with an e-reader app capability and there is no need to purchase another e-reader device.

According to  a couple of online articles that I have read, such as, the International Business Times, commented that since Apple has deviated from using the CSS standards and JavaScript in their widgets there might not be any fallbacks or forward-compatibility.  Apple offers some amazing widget capabilities such as with 3D models.  Although, caution was given when using the 3D models widgets to keep the file size to a minimum between 20,000-50,000 moderately textured polygons since not all Apple products are capable to view.

A huge pro, in my view, is the ability for teachers and others to use iBooks and the iAds widgets for educational and training material with all the rich media.  Sometimes it is easier to learn by the actual process and to see the process in action.

Repurposing Print Projects and iBooks Author

This week we were introduced to digital publications and how to create one using iBooks Author.  We were assigned a 10-page project to be created in iBooks Author, and it appears to be as simple to use as PowerPoint with its drag and drop method to embed images and media.  Widgets can be used to implement the structure of iBook’s title page, chapters, sections, and pages.

A digital publication vs a print publication has a different workflow when it comes to how the content is displayed.  Printing publication is published as one entity, whereas digital must allow for the technology used by the person reading it.  Creating it in XML early on in the workflow will help to provide content for multiple channels.  Consideration also must be given to whether it will be displayed in landscape or portrait view.  Of course, there is also the concern of which application it will be published with and propriety software.  iBooks can be read only with the iBook reader application or Apple products.  iBooks may be exported as a PDF, but this may have limitations on the embedded material; such as an image gallery will only show the first image.

Of the following tips read about digital publication, increase leading, black font slightly larger than web for easy readability, splitting large graphics into several pieces, using lots of white space for eye rest, and adding interactivity;  I think the most interesting advice was fewer words and more image because we have become a more visual-content culture.  I always bulk and feel myself sigh when I enter websites that are loaded with information and nothing to look at or peak my interest.

A few internet articles that I found helpful on iBooks were Bakari Chavanu’s “How to Write and Publish Your First iBook Using iBooks Author” written March 31, 2015 at http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/write-publish-first-ibook-using-ibokks-author/.

and Harry McCracken’s “iBooks Author is the Most Interesting Apple Software You Aren’t Using” with Time Magazine written May 30, 2014 at http://time.com/107725/ibooks-author/.

 

Week #7 ~ Adding 3D Image Capture

This week I used a MakerBot scanner to scan an 3D image of a vintage “Brownie Camera” I had when I was growing up.  I first scanned it using the option for a darker image and while it was better than the one I uploaded for the final product, they both had the appearance of melting wax.

I also used another scanner(3D System Sense) that is capable of scanning full body images, head shots, and other objects from small to large.  I scanned an Ostrich egg and an Emu egg.  My scans are primitive, but this was fun and I want to try it again!

 

Week #6 ~ Additional Changes My WordPress Site

After last week, when the theme that I had built received an error message and crashed, I reverted back to a previously uploaded theme called “camp”.  I have made some minimal changes such as, making a static “Website fun!”  front page, a separate blog page, and added a calendar to the sidebar.  The navigation menu was a bit messy so it was also changed in the theme editor in the css template.

I have discovered another free theme with a slider on the front page and I am planning to upload a few photos to that.  We will see how that works.

Week #5 ~ WordPress as a CMS

This week I had to back up and punt!  Site is under construction and does not look very pretty.  iHutch should look like a website operating as a CMS system using the front page as a static page and all the blog post set to that page.

Week #4 ~ Tweaking Themes and Templates

The “Editor” section found under the “Appearance” tab on the WordPress dashboard is where the templates of your current theme can can changed or adjustments made to the original theme.  This is known as tweaking.  The style.css is where I changed all the hover links, the first letter in the title, the post heading, the heading background. and the post background headings .  I used a hexadecimal coding system to represent the color chosen (#75001f/burgundy; #fff/white, and #444/dark gray).  Some of the coding places that the color was changed was the (h1: first letter to white, navigation li a: hover to burgundy, and .site-content a to white) in various places.

There is a warning that goes with tweaking an original theme and that is updates to the original theme will cause all of the modifications to be lost. There is a remedy for this.   The recommendation is to set up a child theme within the parent theme making the child theme the last theme to be read.  According to WordPress for Dummies, “CSS rules state that the last instruction takes precedence.”

 

Week #3 ~ Media, Plugins, and Themes Management in WordPress

Managing your WordPress website’s appearance and how it functions can be achieved through various methods with the use of themes and plugins.

A theme is not only a design change, but it is a collection of files called the template files.  These files work together to produce an interface on how the site is displayed and operates.  WordPress comes with three default files. However, there are many other themes in the WordPress theme directory that are free to download. (more…)

Week #2 ~ WordPress for Publishing

WordPress as a content management system (CMS) can serve anyone looking to publish online, from those familiar with html code to a novice/newbie publishing content on the web.  As an open source CMS software system, anyone can publish content for personal, organization, or a business creating it as a blog, website or both.

Some of the features WordPress has that makes it suitable for publishing content is the ability to make posts, accept comments, add static pages, forms, plugins and all types of rich media with a user friendly setup. (more…)

Week #1 ~ Self-Publishing a DIY Approach

Publication has changed from what once belonged to an elite group of experts, publishers, and agents promoting the author to anyone can self-publish (this author included).  The role of the agent to promote an author has diminished, while the author makes their own connections to the readers.  Emphasis on self-publishing is not so much about making money as it is to creating and preserving content that has value for someone. (more…)

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