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In InDesign CS5: Interactive Documents and Presentations, Adobe Certified Instructor and designer James Fritz shows print designers how to use InDesign by itself and in conjunction Flash Professional to layout and design a wide range of digital documents. The course provides a tour of digital publishing trends, showing real-world examples of what can be achieved through InDesign. Several start-to-finish projects are also included, such as creating a presentation with transitions and animations, and building an interactive microsite. Exercise files accompany the course.
When you design for print, file size doesn't matter as much since you can always deliver your final asset to the printer on a CD or DVD. When distributing your content via the web it's very important to keep your file size small whenever possible. One way to keep our file size small is to be placing our assets in our layout instead of copying and pasting. If we will take a look at this Illustrator file, you can see that there are lots of points inside it. If I would copy and paste this into InDesign, yes, it will look fine, but when you would export it to Flash, there will be a lot of points and it would dramatically increase the file size.
So instead of copying and pasting, we are going to place this asset in. So we are going to go to File > Place and grab graphic. Now that we have placed this asset in here, when we would export to Flash Professional or a SWF file, the file size would be dramatically smaller. In fact, let's take look at these file sizes. Inside the Finder, I have a copy and paste version of the FLA export and a SWF version of it, as well as a placed version of each. The copy and paste FLA file is 1.9 MB or where as the placed is only 201.
That's dramatically smaller. The same thing with the SWF file. The copy and paste is 344, and the placed SWF is 225. This size does get dramatically smaller. So that's why you should be placing your assets instead of copying and pasting them. Another way to reduce file size is to use master pages for repeating elements. Let's go back into InDesign and inside InDesign we are going to go to the master page. On the master page I am going to place this graphic, and now it's going to show up on the remaining pages.
By placing on a master page, this will only count once in the exported file whereas if I will copy and paste it at every single page, it would show up as four times. Just be aware if I go to the page and I override it by pressing Command+Shift on the Mac or Ctrl+Shift on the PC, this counts as a new item. So if you do happen to override anything, it will increase your file size. So if you don't have to override them, please don't do that. The final method to decrease our file size is when we export to Flash Professional. When we go to File > Export and we choose Flash Professional FLA, we have an option for the Image Handling.
By choosing JPEG, it will ensure that our file size is as small as possible. While PNG may look nicer, it does increase your file size. To get the best of both worlds, we can take advantage of the JPEG Pass-Through filter. This feature takes advantage of the fact that when our images are placed at 100%, they are exported to Flash without having InDesign touched them. To learn more about this feature, you can watch an earlier video in this chapter. By following these techniques, your inactive document may result in a dramatically smaller file size. A developer can accomplish further file size reduction by utilizing ActionScript and other optimization techniques in Flash Professional.
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