VIGC Output Essentials
No matter what the finished product is, every workflow ends with output. And often the seemingly simple stage of "output" involves several painstaking steps of previewing, checking for potential errors, corrections, and finally, export to a specific file format with many precise options selected. Since this naturally takes place at the end of the workflow, when deadlines are near and time is in short supply, it makes sense to automate and streamline the output process as much as possible. And thanks to the folks at VIGC.org (the website of the Flemish Innovation Center for Graphic Communication), there's a powerful new tool for InDesign and Photoshop users to take the pain out of output, and get jobs done faster and with fewer errors. It's called VIGC Output Essentials, and it can be downloaded from VIGC.org website for free.
VIGC Output Essentials are custom panels that Photoshop and InDesign users can install and use in both CS5 and CS6. The InDesign panel organizes output-related tasks into five main steps: Load Profiles and Presets, Set up your document, Preview, Check, and Export/Package. The steps are arranged accordion-style tabs so you can click on one to reveal its contents, while hiding the others.
The first tab also highlights another extremely useful (and free) offering from VIGC.org: downloadable Preflight Profiles and PDF Presets for InDesign.
There's even a link to the webpage to help you determine which profile is appropriate for your work.
The second tab, devoted to setting up a document correctly, is divided into two workflows, EPUB/Web/Tablet and Print-only/Hybrid, with appropriate settings for each.
The Preview tab gives quick access to toggle InDesign's Preview mode and Proof Colors.
The Check tab is also divided into two workflows, making use of InDesign's normally hidden Show Local Formatting feature, an extremely important tool for outputting clean EPUB code.
Finally, the Export/Package tab conveniently gathers commands to output EPUB, PDF (both print and interactive), and the Package command.
VIGC Output Essentials is also a fine example of what you can create with Adobe's Configurator technology. Configurator allows users to create their own custom panels for InDesign and Photoshop CS5 and CS6.