By James Fritz | Monday, October 01, 2012
A few months ago, Adobe released Adobe Muse to the public. One benefit of Muse being available by subscription only is the ability for Adobe to provide new features whenever they happen to be ready. The first batch of updates were recently released and include a combination of must-have new features and improved usability. The lynda.com Muse Essential Training course has also been updated with a number of movies that cover these new features in depth. The following is an overview of what has changed.
Muse now has the ability to create Ruler Guides, which help to align your designs. You can drag guides from the horizontal or vertical ruler onto your page, and lock, hide, move, and delete them just as you would in InDesign and other Adobe applications. For a closer look at the Muse Ruler Guides, watch the movie Using Ruler Guides, from the sixth chapter of Muse Essential Training.
In the first version of Muse, you were only allowed to align by using the built-in Smart Guides. While Smart Guides are useful, Muse now features an Align panel that lets you align and distribute objects between one another, and to web pages themselves. For a closer look at the Muse Align panel, watch the movie Using the Align panel from the sixth chapter of Muse Essential Training.
The Font menu has also been rebuilt to be easier to use. Now you can search for a particular font among Web Fonts, Web Safe Fonts, and System Fonts. It even features a Recently Used Fonts section at the top of the menu. To learn more about the Font menu, check out the movie Formatting your text, from chapter seven of Muse Essential Training.
Arguably the most important update to Muse is the ability to create and edit basic text fields as forms. These fields help you create a basic contact form that will work well if you are publishing with the website host Adobe Business Catalyst. If you use a third-party host, Muse will write the correct HTML for the forms when you export or upload. However, you will need to edit the code for the forms to work properly. Muse is still missing more complicated forms like check boxes and radio buttons, which hopefully will arrive in a future update. To learn more about text forms, watch Understanding text form fields in the eleventh chapter of Muse Essential Training.
The easiest way to publish a website is by using Adobe Business Catalyst as your host, but you may prefer to use your own third-party host. Until now you were required to export your website from Muse and then use your own FTP client to upload the site to your own host. With the latest Muse update, it just got easier since there is now an FTP client built directly into Muse. Simply enter your host information and upload your website inside Muse whenever changes are made.
If you have ever wanted to add a PDF, ZIP, or other file on your website for people to download, you may recall it was difficult to do with the earlier version of Muse. The updated version now allows you to add any type of file you want as a downloadable asset. When you add a file for someone to download, it is added to the Asset panel as a link. From there, you can select any graphic or text and create a link to that asset for download. When you publish your website, the file will be automatically uploaded to your host along with the code and images.
Sometimes the little changes can make all of the difference. Here is a list of some of the tweaks to the Muse interface that will help you work more smoothly:
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