August is surely a hot month this year: Adobe Muse is getting some new features that will make many users very, very happy. I just love how this application is evolving into a really good tool for designers to create content for the web without having to get their hands dirty with coding and markup.
There are improvements in the following areas: a brand new Align Palette, the ability to upload assets (which users can then download), many improvements in code generation, a new Forms Widget to create contact forms, font improvements, FTP Upload, Adobe Edge integration, and much, much more...
Here's the scoop, taken from the Release Notes:
- We've added a new Align Palette, available from the Window menu, or by clicking on the new 'Align' control in the control strip.
- You can use the new Align features to align or distribute selected objects relative to each other, or to the page content area (which is the area from the bottom of the header to the top of the footer).
- You can now link to any external file (i.e. PDF, .zip file, .dmg or .exe) and add a hyperlink to it to enable users to download the file from your web site.
- All linked assets will be uploaded / exported along with the rest of the Adobe Muse site, in a new 'assets' folder.
Code Generation Improvements
- We've improved the HTML code generation for Adobe Muse 2.0 in several areas. Shadows, Glows, and Gradients now use CSS instead of generating additional images.
- These changes make the export process faster, and Adobe Muse now generates less images and smaller HTML files.
- Shadows and outer glows are represented using CSS box-shadows instead of rasterizing.
- Fixed the naming of images exported by Adobe Muse which have been either resampled or cropped before exporting.
- Background images that have been set to "Scale to Fit" or "Scale to Fill" are now exported with the 'contain' or 'cover' background-size CSS property, respectively.
- We've added a new Form widget to the widget library.
- You can easily configure the form to send the form submissions to multiple email addresses, and optionally redirect users to another page after submitting the form.
- You can add and remove fields, and style the form as you would other Adobe Muse elements. You can independently style the various states of the form, and form fields to provide a compelling user experience, with visual cues for error states, empty states, and more.
- Because Form processing requires server-side support, Adobe Muse forms are configured to work when published to Adobe Business Catalyst. If you make changes to your form and publish again, Adobe Muse will make the appropriate changes to your Adobe Business Catalyst forms.
- Adobe Muse will safeguard data when redesigning your Adobe Business Catalyst forms.
- If a field with no data submitted is removed, it will be deleted from the database.
- If a field that has submitted data is removed, it will be preserved in the database, but can be deleted from the Adobe Business Catalyst admin console if desired.
- The font UI includes font previews in the form of sample text rendered in the corresponding font/weight/style.
- Submenus for the various font types (web, web-safe and system) have been eliminated in favor of a single sectioned list, with shortcuts to scroll to each section.
- Web fonts and system fonts are grouped by font family; individual weights and styles (e.g. Bold, Italic, Bold Italic etc.) of multi-face font families appear in sub-menus.
- The font UI displays an automatically generated list of recently used fonts. The number of recently used fonts to display can be configured and list can be cleared.
- The font list can be filtered by font family (e.g. “Myriad Pro”), weight or style (e.g. “Bold Italic”), a combination of these (e.g., “Myriad Pro Bold Italic”), including partial names in any order (e.g., “It Bold Myr Pro”).
- Adobe Muse now uses platform-independent references to fonts, so Adobe Muse documents can be exchanged between Mac and Windows without failure to resolve font references.
- Adobe Muse displays localized font names (if available) based on the application locale, rather than system locale. Adobe Muse documents can be exchanged between across application locales without failure to resolve font references.
- Adobe Muse now includes the ability to FTP to the host of your choice by selecting File > Upload to FTP Host in the Adobe Muse menu.
- Adobe Muse's FTP upload dialog allows you to specify the host, subdirectory, and login information.
Adobe Edge Integration
- As with other placed content any changes made in the source Adobe Edge file and re-saved in .oam format will be detected within Adobe Muse, and you can use the Assets Palette to update the content in Adobe Muse.
- Japanese and Italian localizations have been added.
- Specific Japanese features include the addition of Japanese web safe fonts on the font menu as well as support for Japanese IME, including text input and double-byte text.
- Adobe Muse now includes the ability to drag guides onto a page from the Horizontal or Vertical ruler.
- Page items snap to guides when moving, but guides are not exported.
- Adobe Muse supports selecting multiple guides on a page.
- Adobe Muse now creates a sitemap.xml file for better search engine optimization when the site is hosted somewhere other than Adobe Business Catalyst. You can exclude a page from the sitemap.xml file (if you don't want search engines to find it) by setting an option in the Page Properties dialog.
Browser Fill Improvements
- You can now set a gradient on the Browser Fill. (Note: Opacity, Focal point and Size are not available due to cross-browser compatibility and usability standards)
- In addition, you can now set your browser background image to fit or to fill.
Control Strip Improvements
- The Adobe Muse control strip now has collapsible control sets (similar to Illustrator). As you expand the width of the Adobe Muse application window more controls appear.
- Additional controls have been added to the Control strip – States, Transform, and Align. Text controls are now available when text frames are selected, not just when you're using the text tool.
Drag and drop styles/swatches/colors
- You can now drag and drop a Paragraph style or Character style onto a text frame to apply the style to the text.
- You can also drag a Graphic style into a page item, or the page to apply it.
- You can drag a Swatch onto a page item, page, or browser area of a page to apply background fill.
- You can drag a Color (via dragging the color preview area just above the RGB edit boxes) onto a page item, page, or browser area of a page to apply background fill. You can also drag a color to the Swatches palette to create a swatch of it.
- The Hyperlink control can now be resized so that users can see entire URL. We've changed the label of the hyperlink option “Title” to “Tooltip” to help clarify where user enters the hyperlink destination information.
New Selection Visuals
- Hint labels now show when you hover over elements on the page. There is a new preference to turn this display off. • Groups and widgets are now indicated with dotted line containment rectangles. • When a page item cannot be resized in a specific direction we now show an “X” instead of a missing handle.
- Slideshow and Composition widgets now include a numeric stepper for controlling the Auto Play speed in seconds rather than Off, Slow, Medium, Fast.
- We've added Shuffle as an option to the Slideshow and Composition widgets so the slideshow or composition contents play in random order.
- Changing a Menu widget from horizontal to vertical, or vice versa, now does a much better job of preserving size and spacing.
- Changing the state of one part of a widget at design time now changes appropriate sibling parts to the same state to more closely mimic browser behavior.
- Based upon customer feedback, we renamed the following:
- "Fit Width" and "Fit Height" to "Uniform Spacing"
- "Uniform Width" and "Uniform Height" to "Uniform Size"
Other assorted improvements
- Shift + Return/Enter will create a soft return instead of a carriage return.
- Control/Ctrl + Tab activates next tab.
- Control/Ctrl + Shift + Tab activates previous tab.
- Option/Alt + click a page tab will close all open page tabs.
- Option/Alt + click a site tab will close all open sites.
- Holding the Shift key down while resizing an image allows you to perform a non-proportional resize.
- The X, Y, W, H, and Angle edit boxes support duplicating and transforming the selection if you hold down the Option/Alt key when you hit Return/Enter or Tab.
- If you enter a value in an edit box you can do a Shift + Enter to apply the value AND keep focus in the edit box.
- Select Same feature added which selects other objects on the page that are the same type as the object currently selected and can be used through Alt Control Shift A and the Context and Edit menus.
- Added feedback to rotation tracker so you see the angle next to the cursor as you rotate.
- Changed rotation display values to be between -180 and 180 to match other Adobe apps. Previously it was 0 to 360.
- Publish dialog has a new FAQ link to help users understand the implications of publishing.
- Upload to FTP and Export to HTML workflows now have a ‘Domain Name’ input field. This is used for generation of Sitemap.xml and for enabling Typekit web fonts.
- The display of 100% width items on iOS devices is now enabled.
- Adobe Muse now produces functional submenus on iOS devices.