15 May 2012
To follow this description, you will need a knowledge of the Adobe Digital Publishing Suite and either a Pro or Enterprise DPS account with Viewer Builder access.
Additional required other products
DPS Pro or Enterprise account Active Apple Developer AccountApple developer certificates and mobileprovision fileFor information about creating an Apple developer account, certificates, and mobileprovision files, please download the "Publishing Companion Guide for iPad" document from the DPS Dashboard.
The May 2012 update to the Digital Publishing Suite tools included a feature for Pro and Enterprise customers to build a "self-signed" Adobe Content Viewer. This is a new type of viewer for iPad which offers a number of advantages for those who can build this type of viewer. You might want to build a self-signed Content Viewer for a couple of reasons which range from being able to test the newest tools in a release before the official Adobe Content Viewer is released, or having the option to push folios directly to your iPad via USB rather than through the cloud. The self-signed iPad viewer is the way to do this and it's really easy to build. The feature is not needed for other tablet platforms which have more timely posting of new viewers and most of these viewers support preview via USB.
Building your viewer is really easy, it's a matter of launching Viewer Builder on a Mac and making a couple of choices. The Adobe Content Viewer is a very specific type of application and you'll find the process to be rather streamlined. You don't even have to have icons because they're already built in.
Launch the Viewer Builder and click New in the lower right corner of the Manage screen. This type of viewer is only needed for iOS, so select iPad in the next screen and click Next.
Figure 1. Select iPad as the target device.
Now you'll see the Viewer Details pane. Ignore all the options and go straight to the Viewer Type pulldown to select "Adobe Content Viewer" from the list. Once you've made this selection, the Viewer Builder process is greatly simplified and only requires a couple of choices in the two subsequent panes of Viewer Builder.
Figure 2. When you select the Adobe Content Viewer, the Viewer Details options are simplified and the most recent viewer version is selected.
The next pane offers the option of building an enterprise-signed viewer. (You might want to do this if you need to deploy a Content Viewer to testers inside your organization before Apple approves the public viewer and you don't want to collect all the UDID numbers for the devices.) Otherwise you'll uncheck the enterprise option and build a non-enterprise viewer. Enter the requested mobileprovision file (and Application ID if you're building the enterprise version) and click the Next and subsequent Submit Build buttons to start the build process.
Figure 3. When you deselect the enterprise option, you are only asked for a mobile provisioning file, so you are limited to using your app on devices listed in this file.
You'll end up back at the Manage screen for Viewer Builder and, after a couple minutes, will have the option to download your Adobe Content Viewer. You might notice that you only have the option to download the .ipa version—you won't be needing a distribution build because you won't be submitting this viewer to Apple for approval. Go ahead and download the .ipa file; you'll need your credentials to sign the build as it's downloaded to your desktop.
Figure 4. Your self-signed Adobe Content Viewer is ready for download (red highlight.)
Now you need to install your new Adobe Content Viewer on your iPad. (I suggest deleting any previously downloaded Adobe Content Viewers to reduce potential confusion.) Drag and drop your new .ipa file onto the Library portion of iTunes and sync your iPad. If this is the first developer app you've installed, you'll also need to drop your mobileprovision file onto the Tunes Library so that your Content Viewer will work. Now go ahead and launch your Adobe Content Viewer and sign in with your Adobe ID to see all the folios that you've built online or that have been shared with you. Now you can test any new features from the most recent DPS release, even if the new public Adobe Content Viewer has not been released.
One of the benefits of building your own Adobe Content Viewer for iPad is that MacOS users can now push folio previews to their iPad via USB. Both MacOS and Windows DPS users have been able to do this with many Android tablets for a number of months, but now your self-signed app allows you to do this from InDesign on a Mac to your iPad, too. One item is required for this process: a sync cable.
Breakdown of who can preview via USB:
|MacOS||via self-signed ACV
||via standard ACV with tablet
in debug mode
|Windows||no||requires device drivers||no|
Connect your iPad to your Mac with the sync cable, then launch your self-signed Adobe Content Viewer. The app must be active on your iPad for you to see the Preview on iPad command in the Folio Builder panel.
Since the Content Viewer shows folios, you need to select one in the Folio Builder panel—a folio, not an article. Once you've selected a folio, move to the bottom-left corner of the panel and click Preview. In a moment, you'll see a list of viewers including the desktop Content Viewer and any active Adobe Content Viewers on devices connected via USB. Select the device, and the folio will be delivered via cable and will be displayed for you.
Figure 5. With two devices attached via USB, I have three Content Viewers where I can preview my work.
When you look at the Library view in your Content Viewer, note the blue ribbon in the upper left corner of the folio; any folio delivered via USB will have the letters "USB" in the ribbon. (The thunderbolt indicates the folio was delivered wirelessly.)
- Build your self-signed Adobe Content Viewer.
- Connect iPad to Mac with cable and install your Viewer on iPad with iTunes (and install your developer certificate if you haven't done so previously).
- Launch your Adobe Content Viewer on iPad.
- Select a folio in the Folio Builder panel.
- Select Preview on iPad in the Folio Builder panel.
- Test your folio on iPad, note the USB logo in the blue ribbon denoting an on-device preview via USB.
So now you know how and why you'd build a self-signed Adobe Content View and how to push folios to your Viewer from InDesign. For more information about this and related topics, you might check out these resources: