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  • InDesign to HTML

    I've seen a couple of similar threads, but nothing that really addresses my needs.

    I'm a professional graphic designer who is creating large quantities of layouts (hundreds) that are being converted into HTML for use in a web app. Currently my work process is to design my piece in InDesign, print it out, painstakingly notate all of the dimensions, font stylings, etc. on paper, pass it on to our tech team who then converts it into HTML.

    Does anyone know of a way that I could try to streamline this process? Taking the time to notate every dimension on a piece of paper takes FOREVER. it just seems like a giant waste of time! our tech team doesn't have InDesign so they can't just open my file and see all of the dimensions. Suggestions on an easier way to provide this information? Is there a way I can get InDesign to export measurements? or another program?

    thanks in advance

  • #2
    I find it interesting that you are required to provide measurements, the web isn't as precise as ID –due to the cornucopia of web browsers (with their own ways of rendering html and css), system set ups, etc.

    Apart from identifying fonts, are they incapable of matching the look of your layout?

    I'm sure there is probably a script out there that will print the dimensions of objects as a variable character somewhere.
    Design is not decoration.

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    • #3
      measurements in our product are important and need to be precise; we're limiting the number of browsers we support, etc. to help combat different rendering, however the end output of our product is sometimes a printed piece (i.e. flyer) so exact measurements are needed.

      they've been able to roughly match the layouts, however, the pieces don't end up with the same professional feel unless they have the exact measurements (think of a rough version completed in publisher vs. a polished design in InDesign).

      any idea where I could look for the type of script you're talking about?

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      • #4
        TBH, kind of sounds like masturbation, it's a lot of extra effort and in reality you're only pleasing yourself. Screen resolution also plays a part in how large things appear, so the measurements really are for your office's computer(s) only. Also regardless of which browsers you choose to support, someone will view it in one you don't, unless you bar them from accessing it unless they are using browser X.
        Design is not decoration.

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        • #5
          You could look at CADTools for Illustrator. You'd either have to switch to Illustrator or find a way to implement it in your current workflow. We use CADTools all the time in signage layout.

          Also, you should be able to print a report of your Preflight. That may contain all the font information needed. But are web designers able to use those fonts live or do you have to give them 'images' so the font shows up as intended rather than a browser default.

          My feeling though is that if your renderings need to be precise, they should be downloadable PDFs, not relying on browser settings. Or DXFs depending on how they are used.
          For instance, if you check out parts in a catalog like McMasterCarr, they have a link where you can download the CAD drawing for particular parts to put into your own layout.
          Same with other Parts places that sell things like plastic or metal extrusions. They supply downloads of all the profiles as PDFs.
          Last edited by PrintDriver; 04-12-2012, 07:13 PM.

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          • #6
            While passing judgment with only a partial grasp of your situation, you're thinking like a print designer and not a web designer. The web is not print. If I could say that more loudly and forcefully, I would.

            Dimensions on the web are measured in pixels and various relative values, like percentages and ems. They're not measured in traditional physical-world linear measurements. Designing a web page in InDesign, then expecting a coder to translate that mockup into an web version of a static page is totally wrongheaded. If you absolutely need the precision of real-world measurements that print out perfectly with few surprises, why not just save your InDesign pages as PDFs, then put them on the web.

            If you're really dead set on duplicating a print layout in HTML, just give the coders a PDF of your InDesign-built layout. They can open that in Photoshop to get actual pixel measurements instead of whatever other sorts of measurements you've been giving them. For that matter, they can even get inch or millimeter measurements off the PDF file if you really insist on it.

            I just can't imagine any situation in which the routine you described is the best way to go about producing something for the web — HTML/CSS is just not meant to do this. Just the fact that you're eliminating support for certain browsers that refuse to conform to a print-like way of thinking is a good indication that someone is seriously misunderstanding how the web works.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by <b> View Post
              While passing judgment with only a partial grasp of your situation, you're thinking like a print designer and not a web designer. The web is not print. If I could say that more loudly and forcefully, I would.

              Dimensions on the web are measured in pixels and various relative values, like percentages and ems. They're not measured in traditional physical-world linear measurements. Designing a web page in InDesign, then expecting a coder to translate that mockup into an web version of a static page is totally wrongheaded. If you absolutely need the precision of real-world measurements that print out perfectly with few surprises, why not just save your InDesign pages as PDFs, then put them on the web.

              If you're really dead set on duplicating a print layout in HTML, just give the coders a PDF of your InDesign-built layout. They can open that in Photoshop to get actual pixel measurements instead of whatever other sorts of measurements you've been giving them. For that matter, they can even get inch or millimeter measurements off the PDF file if you really insist on it.

              I just can't imagine any situation in which the routine you described is the best way to go about producing something for the web HTML/CSS is just not meant to do this. Just the fact that you're eliminating support for certain browsers that refuse to conform to a print-like way of thinking is a good indication that someone is seriously misunderstanding how the web works.
              Spot on as usual.

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              • #8
                I'm thinking the thing this OP is talking about are not web pages per se, but something like machine parts with notated dimensions that they seem to want to print out without downloading. I could be wrong but that is different than spec-ing parts of a webpage laid out in InDesign. Even I'm having a hard time describing what I think he means....
                If you have a dimensioned drawing that you want to keep in scale, you would have to limit the browser dimensions so it would theoretically print the same no matter what the settings were. That's why i recommended the PDF route...kinda like this for Draw latches. Clicking on any part number gets you a CAD drawing to scale. (click on the top left draw latch image to get part numbers)
                http://www.mcmaster.com/#draw-locking-latches/=h2xvjy

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