Going Mobile with Web-based InDesign Documents

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Silicon Publishing demonstrated their latest Silicon Designer product at the GraphExpo conference in Florida. This new Silicon Designer enables editing of Adobe InDesign documents with standard web interfaces on mobile browsers through a configurable white-label interface.

Silicon Designer - WYSIWYG online editing of InDesign documents

Silicon Designer

We make it easier to work with InDesign on the mobile web than ever before. When the document is rendered with InDesign Server, output is the highest quality possible, because we're using the composition engine of InDesign itself.

Booth 2383 at GraphExpo 2016 was surrounded Sunday by web-to-print enthusiasts eager for a glimpse of the latest release of Silicon Designer, which brings the typography and graphic power of Adobe InDesign to mobile devices.

Silicon Designer is by no means a new product: rather, it has been the example to follow in online editing for the past seven years. The latest version reflects engineering breakthroughs taking scalability, extensibility and mobile device typography to new heights.

"It looks so simple," Silicon Publishing CEO Max Dunn said, as he edited a document on his phone, "a new user might think we are just showing a picture of the InDesign document - but everything is actually editable. We make it easier to work with InDesign on the mobile web than ever before. When the document is rendered with InDesign Server, output is the highest quality possible, because we're using the composition engine of InDesign itself."

While most online editors shown at GraphExpo avoid the challenge of reconciling InDesign and HTML5, taking the easier path of direct PDF libraries, Silicon Publishing was uniquely equipped to make the iPhone/InDesign round trip a reality, as they have a number of leading authorities on Adobe technology on staff. "I had no idea we'd have to hire half the InDesign team to make this work," said Dunn, "but it’s worth it for the superior print quality. InDesign remains far ahead of any competing print rendition technology."

Hailing from Silicon Valley and boasting an impressive client base including Google and Amazon, Silicon brings a software expertise rarely seen at print conferences. While the documents themselves start out as standard InDesign, the UI is nothing like InDesign. Instead of a single one-size-fits all approach, the editing interface can be completely customized using standard web technologies such as CSS and web components. For mobile devices, using the entire screen footprint for previewing, and zooming in on the page object being edited, makes it easy – even on a phone – to edit high quality print documents.

The crowd was obviously impressed. Peter Gunning, CEO of Printing.com visiting GraphExpo from England, explained "we have worked with the Silicon guys since their Flash days, and we are happy to see the refactored platform reach such a strong basis in web standards across a breadth of devices."

GraphExpo 2016 runs through Wednesday 9/27. Silicon Publishing is in booth 2383.

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Max Dunn
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