Mag+ – Look Ma, No code!


Based on requirements, research, and testing, I chose MagPlus [Mag+] as the ideal platform for publishing corporate publications to the mobile platform through native apps with zero coding.

Mag+ achieves this with its plugin for InDesign which is its best feature. InDesign, Adobe’s software which is available as a standalone and as part of the Adobe Creative Cloud, is a premier design software for creating publications for print. Its wealth of features and integration with other popular Adobe software such as Photoshop, Illustrator, etc., has made it a favourite with designers for decades.

The plugin and starter templates can be downloaded free from the Mag+ website. Templates customized for various mobile devices for both tablets and smart phones on iOS, Android, and Kindle platforms are included. Also included are templates with interactives features such as slideshows, RSS feeds, pan and zoom, etc.

There are two ways to start designing using the Mag+ plugin. One is to open InDesign and open the Mag+ template. The verticals [or pages] are much longer than a usual template. The second option is best. Mag+ has a packaging software called Designd Production Tool [DPT]. DPT allows one to create projects and gives one options to target all the mobile devices on which the publication will be available.

DPT then creates all the folders, sub-folders and the number of verticals customized for each device. This is a critical process; otherwise creating the folder structure from within InDesign can be a nightmare. One can then double click each vertical in the issue; this opens up InDesign. After the design work is done, the plugin lets one export the designs back to DPT; in this process the verticals are optimized by Photoshop automatically. The final issue is in the form an yourfilename.mib file which is then uploaded to the Mag+ platform.

Simple as it sounds there are a lot of steps and processes for testing each issue, its interactivity, and publishing on the app stores.

Note: Mag+ has since spun off into Designd and Semble. Designd, according to their website, is the “digital publishing software for Adobe InDesign users and a perfect DPS alternative”. [DPS or Digital Publishing Suite from Adobe is now integrated into the Adobe Marketing Cloud.]

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