Thursday, March 27, 2014

My Wish List for Notes in Adobe InDesign

This is a post for the Adobe InDesign team, or for any InDesign developer who would like to tackle this project.

I would like to see Notes move seamlessly between Adobe products:
There are two  plugins that address the issue of Notes in InDesign.

The missing link is a solution that will let me export all sorts of annotations to Acrobat in one fell swoop. The reason is because I create technical documents and I often need to get clarification about certain bits of text in a long threaded text frame. I would like a way to tag that text right in InDesign and have that tag appear as a PDF annotation.

I’d like a way to repurpose the XML tagging capabilities of InDesign to allow me to create PDF annotations. Here is how I envision the annotated text to look in the Story Editor.

Story Editor display, with annotated text markup displayed

Here is what I envision the capabilities of the new and improved Notes panel:
  • Blocks of text can be marked for PDF annotation, right in InDesign
  • We should be able to choose annotation type, icon, and color in the InDesign Notes panel (preferably without having to open a second dialog box to do so.
  • A note navigator that lists all the notes at the bottom of the Notes Panel, under a new twirl down.
  • These annotations would be capable of appearing in both Print and Interactive PDFs
Here is an illustration demonstrating what I would like to see the UI look like. The Notes panel will have three new drop downs on the top right: Annotation Type, Icon, and Color. At the bottom of the panel will be a twirl down listing all the notes in the document.

New and Improved Notes Panel

New Drop Downs in the Notes Panel
If you enjoyed this article and would like to learn more about how notes can make your publishing workflow more efficient, join me at PePcon 2014, where I will be speaking on PDF Annotations.

Like this article? You may also be interested in: My Wish List for Notes - Across the Suite.