Adobe Edge Preview: Bringing Animation to an ePUB3 Near You?

  • Sumo

If you use InDesign or any of the Adobe Creative Suite, you should know about the InDesign User Groups and Adobe User Groups. Both are communities of like minded people connected by use of the same software and a desire to create beautiful design. There are Users Groups on six continents and most major (and many minor) cities that meet monthly to share tips and see presentations on the latest offerings from Adobe. You owe it to yourself to see if there is a group meeting near you.

I had the pleasure of seeing an Adobe Edge Preview at this week’s Chicago InDesign User Group. Jim Maivald, our Chicago Representative, gave us the grand tour of Edge and showed us what it could do. Basically, Edge is a way to animate objects working with HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript. It is intended to be a replacement for Flash on mobile devices that don’t support Flash, but it will also work on any browser supporting HTML5.

Edge allows the user to create animation without knowing how to markup, script, or code anything. It is all menus, sliders, and time lines. The only time you really need to deal with code is when importing it to DreamWeaver, and then it is just cut and paste. I will admit that given the time constraints of the meeting, the animation that was built wasn’t all that impressive (a bouncing circle and a bouncing square; images that moved in an out of a box). The ease at which this animation could be created, however, was impressive. You can also create buttons on the page that can be clicked on to put the animation in motion.

So why am I telling you about a new program from Adobe that is intended to create animation on mobile Websites? Here is why: all the animation is done in HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript. ePUB 3.0 supports HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript.

It is clear that Adobe envisions Edge being used with DreamWeaver to create Web pages. I don’t know how or if they plan to incorporate it into InDesign, but I hope they do. Having the ability to create animation and easily add in to InDesign files for ePUB3 export or having the ability to add it into ePUB3 after export  would be a fantastic tool for ePUB creators.

Edge also gives ePUB creators a chance to create animated content and look at the code that makes it work. Edge is available now from Adobe Labs for FREE. You can download it here. It is worth playing with if for no other reason than it will familiarize you with the tools you will be using in ePUB3.

So what do you think of Adobe Edge? Will you use it for ePUB3?

6 Responses to “Adobe Edge Preview: Bringing Animation to an ePUB3 Near You?”

  1. Sounds great. I’m curious to see how robust the EPUB3 readers can render CSS3 to make this work.

  2. Alka says:


    Packt Publishing is looking for Technical Reviewers for “Learning Adobe Edge” If interested in reviewing it, contact

  3. Hi Matthew, any news here?
    I just started animating with Edge, and tried out the iBooks Author widget and implementation–but the multistage click through needed to load and activate the animation interaction is just not suitable for unobtrusive children’s book use. Any leads or recommendations for applying Edge output in a more seamless way? InDesign is tops?

    Best wishes!

  4. We can’t use Adobe Edge for ePUB3!
    Edge files play only in DPS; not epub3!