Please be patient with me. Some background needed to explain my feature request.
Lightroom Books does not (in real world terms) allow us to edit, create or tweak templates and / or use our metadata. Also Lightroom Print allows us template our images, but to-date we are not allowed to properly template our metadata. Can we use InDesign to Design our books using Lightroom outputs (ie Images and related Metadata).
Blurb Booksmart (for a free app) allows us to create, amend , adjust templates. Not perfect, but very workable, especially for free software. Aperture allows us template our books and use our metadata (they have an object called metadata field).
Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator and the rest of the Adobe suite of products do not provide access to our metadata, to allow us use this valuable text in templates, etc.. We have the crazy situation where we have to cut and paste our data that we put into Adobe products from one Adobe product to another Adobe product.
In my search (including non Adobe products) for a workable solution to-day (and not two year’s time) I revisited In Design 5.5. I discovered that there is now Caption functionality which uses image metadata. Please have a look at this short 3 minute movie on Adobe TV and then come back to this post.
This looks like Caption / metadata heaven. For me, this is a major step forward by Adobe into the efficient use of our metadata and allow me create my books (and maybe prints) with 90% of manual effort removed.
However, before we get too excited I would like to highlight the following:
It looks to me that the following weaknesses exist.
· Its called Caption functionality, but if you check…surprise,surprise, Caption is not one of the allowed fields.
· I found Caption info in the Description field, but I am getting unworkable and strange formatting (may be my fault).
· Grouping Metadata fields with the Image sounds like a really good idea. However, in practice it is really clunky. Usually one needs to move the image a little or the caption a little. Grouping forces everything to move at the same time, which for me creates more work to ungroup, tweak, find all the related bits and re-group. (I accept I am not an advanced InDesign user and may find there are easy ways to do this).
· I would like to introduce a new concept to Grouping. I will call it Linking. Allow a metadata text box to be linked (as well as grouped) to an Image. (InDesign already has the concept of linking). A linked text and image box maintains the metadata connection irrespective of the grouping of fields. In that way a metadata box can be tweaked individually, without moving the image as well.
· There are a whole lot of usability issues with Captions within InDesign.
· I cannot easily click on an individual metadata object and adjust its parameters (ie change metadata field, or paragraph style etc.). Please have a look at the way Autocad and other drafting packages allow designers easily adjust field parameters (maybe another feature request). Also, look at Microsoft Access report design tools.
· Many of the terms (eg Create Static / Live Caption) are not explained in the Help files.
· The Metadata fields are not sorted in the drop down list.
· The list of metadata fields should be extended to include a number of other fields (including critically, the x and y resolution of the image on the page…..not the resolution at the time the image was created, which is included).
· If you are grouping metadata fields with images, then there are major disadvantages associated with using layers. I can see huge potential where certain metadata fields may be placed on a specific / different layer for non printing, to help the page designer with their job, or on different layers for variable output, etc. Currently this is not possible.
By allowing the actual new resolution to be seen within InDesign and other apps (eg on a non printable layer) you can check that your sharpening decisions in Lightroom are maintained in InDesign (will be automatic in Lightroom, maybe changed by InDesign formatting).
If I spent more time looking at the Caption feature within InDesign 5.5 I would probably find more comments (and maybe more workarounds).
My Feature request is simply as follows:
Please take the existing Caption functionality as in In-Design.
1. Subject it to serious Usability Labs and combined with the items above to produce a real workable industrial strength (this is not rocket science) Caption / Metadata tool.
2. Standardise on this tool and implement in all Adobe Creative Suite and related products. Yes, put it into the Books, Print, Slideshow and Web Module. Also put it into Photoshop, Illustrator and any other related product.
Thank you for listening to me.
I hit the post button before adding the last (no 3) element of my request.
3. Provide a means by which the correct output sharpening can be applied to an image dropped from Lightroom into Indesign, or Photoshop or Acrobat, etc..
Nines: Forgive me if this is something you know, but this forum is a user-to-user forum for discussing potential feature requests; it is not an effective way to communicate your priorities to InDesign's product management, and certainly not for other products either.
If you want to file an InDesign feature request, you can do so at http://adobe.com/go/wish.
I do agree that InDesign's caption automation workflow needs usability improvements. Though personally I continue to not see the real appeal, since I would never pull an unedited caption out of the photo's metadata, that's always just a starting point. But we maintain that kind of data in a seperate editorial system, and not everyone has that luxury.
As for your other comments, they seem to be direced at other products than InDesign, and I'm not sure what the best forums are, but I know this is not one of them.
Thank you for pointing me to the InDesign Feature request url. I will post my request there.
I am frustrated that Adobe do not allow us use our metadata in the Lightroom Print module.
I am doubly frustrated by the manner in which Metadata is handled in the new Book module and the fact that templates are fixed (ie cannot be tweaked).
This in turn led me back to Indesign and was pleased to see progress there, but at the same time encountered considerable usability issues.
The thrust of my request is that Adobe should build a proper metadata tool within InDesign and standardise it across all relevant Adobe products.
I carefully craft my Headlines in Lightroom and add relevant paragraph text in the Caption field. I would like access to these fields everywhere I create output from Adobe products. In many cases the text is final and just needs careful placement or formatting. In some cases , I agree, it is a starting point.
I have also posted a link to the above request in the LR4 Beta discussion forum.
There are considerable advantages to having a decent book module in Lightroom. The main advantage for me is that output sharpening is handled correctly. If I bring an image into InDesign and use all the wonderful placement tools there I will ruin my Output sharpening, so I would also like InDesign (and Photoshop) to incorporate the Lightroom output sharpening routines.
I am actually pleased that I can now get to my metadata within InDesign.
Europe, Middle East and Africa