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Despite the prevalence of every vaguely design-oriented tool to have a "save to web" or "create HTML" option, InDesign doesn't.
I for one have always found "Swiss Army Knife" tools - which may be a trademark of Corel now - to be buggy compilations of half-working features. I'm happy to have Adobe split up the functions and keep them that way. :)
I'm not so interested in having InDesign spit out a web page...
Just more file type options. Is it really that difficult to output a gif file from InDesign? When I refer to "Save for Web (and devices)" I mean like the same-named feature in Photoshop and Illustrator that spits out images.
There are shops out there (like the one I'm in now) who use developers to code the pages, and all they are interested in is the bits and pieces to re-assemble. It doesn't matter which application they come from.
So I want a piece of software that can design a multi-page document, with both raster and vector elements for ease of creation (and re-purposing), and then be able to output jpegs, gifs and pngs--Oh and have master pages and style sheets...
Or maybe at the very least be able to output a layered PSD file like Illustrator can...
>Is it really that difficult to output a gif file from InDesign?
It's impossible. ID can export Tagged Text, PDF, EPS, JPEG, SWF, XML, INX and IDML.
>So I want a piece of software that can design a multi-page document, with both raster and vector elements for ease of creation (and re-purposing), and then be able to output jpegs, gifs and pngs--Oh and have master pages and style sheets...
As I said, export PDF, which has all of the raster/vector/layer/transparency features you want in the file and can be easily converted to your other formats. The fact that you say you want to re-purpose shows that you know you'll need to do more processing.
>It's impossible. ID can export Tagged Text, PDF, EPS, JPEG, SWF, XML, INX and IDML.
Actually it's not. InDesign exports gif files (kind of crappy ones--but I might need to do a little more testing) as an option when you output xhtml. It only outputs placed image files that way though--doesn't do anything with vectors.
It is impossible to do what I want without a plugin or something.
>As I said, export PDF,
Frankly there's no point to outputting a PDF for me, as I can just copy and paste into Photoshop, and then use the 'Save for Web' component to make nice gifs/jpegs etc. I just wish that function was available from within InDesign to avoid the extra step...
>Frankly there's no point to outputting a PDF for me, as I can just copy and paste into Photoshop
I guess you don't care too much about the quality of your images. All you are copying and pasting is the screen preview. For the web that might be OK, but...
The export to XHTML doesn't meet your criteria since it exports the images separately from the text and doesn't preserve the layout. You said you wanted to export pages (or so I thought), not page elements.
ahh, no, not pages, just bits and pieces. For instance, be able to select a logo and save it to a png or gif for the web. Just the elements. I don't care about exporting pages--I'm working with developers who reassemble everything for the web (that's the way they want to do it). I just need to be able to spit out the bits for them--vectors and rasters...
edited to add
>(that's the way they want to do it)
which is why the application it starts in doesn't matter to them
Well, that's different, but not a lot, since ID is meant for assembling your previously created bits & pieces into coherent pages.
You probably still won't like it, since it still is PDF, but there is a script that will allow you to export selected items to PDF rather than the entire page. One place you'll find it is here on InDesign Secrets:
Otherwise, the export export for Dreamweaver is all that's built in. You could ask on the scripting forum to see if anyone has anything else that might be more direct.
i When I refer to "Save for Web (and devices)" I mean like the same-named feature in Photoshop and Illustrator that spits out images.
ID isn't really an image-creation tool. Even the JPEGs it creates are a kind of lame preview/low-res proof rather than a primary output format. As others have noted above, you're really asking too much of any one tool - formatted page layout and quality raster image generation are apples and oranges.
All things considered, export to JPEG and then a web-optimized conversion to GIF (if you insist) is a pretty simple step, and lets each tool do its best job.
What app would that be?
As much as each of us here would like to have one-more-feature in ID or our other favorite apps, I like it that Adobe has retreated from overwhelming featuritis in every app, and has compartmented functions in sensible ways.
When a maker tries to put every conceivable feature into an app, no matter how obscure or unwanted or infrequently used, you end up with unusable, buggy junk that is too hard to use efficiently.
As vast an array of publication and design projects as I do, I can't imagine a workflow where I would need/want to use ID to end up with a GIF for a web designer. Your choices and needs are very narrow, so it's not surprising that it takes at least two tools and some ingenuity to get from start to finish. I have some similar workflows that are driven by outside needs and require a desktop juggling act to complete... but I still wouldn't want the features built into any one app. The human in the chair is still the final uber-app. :)