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Beta of PrintUI Version 2 Available

We just rolled out “Version 2” of PrintUI.

Normally, PrintUI does not change version numbers as we deploy new improvements, but this release is different for a couple of reasons.

First of all, there are many improvements to the app. Below is a full list. Second of all, the improvements required major rewriting of the web app. Normally, updates are completely transparent. We update the referenced web app and all clients are seamlessly updated automatically. Because of this, it’s of the utmost importance that the app is properly tested, and the chance of introducing bugs is extremely small. We don’t want to break any websites of our existing clients.

With this release, we have been doing QA for about a month, and we believe we’ve fixed all regressive bugs, but because of the amount of code rewriting that was done, it’s impossible to be sure. For this reason, we are doing a slow rollout of the newest release. We believe it to be release quality, but we are still calling it “beta” to ensure that all our clients are aware that we recommend testing your templates before switching to the new release. The new release is “opt in”. That is, you will need to link to the new URL to load the version 2 app. To use the new version, you should load https://webapp.printui.com/printui/d002/PrintUI.swf instead of https://webapp.printui.com/printui/d001/PrintUI.swf.

New Features

The new version has a lot of new features, and we believe that all our clients will benefit from at least some of them.

  1. Improved Load Time: We have improved the way assets are loaded into the web app. In our tests this has shown a drastic improvement in the time from when the app loads until the document is rendered. The level of improvement will depend on the specific content in the document, but we have seen improvements of up to 3 or 4 times in our tests. There is now also a progress bar that appears while assets are loaded to give feedback so the user knows the app is not frozen.
  2. Numbered and Bulleted Lists: PrintUI now has limited support for bulleted and numbered lists. The support is limited to lists with a simple structure and a simple numbering scheme. Custom bullets are supported, but hierarchical lists will probably not render correctly. We recommend testing any documents that contain lists to ensure that your lists display correctly. If your lists do not display correctly, please let us know so we can work on expanding the list support. We advise using paragraph styles to apply list formatting.
  3. Multi-column text frames: Multi-column text frames are now rendered correctly and can be used for editable text in your templates.
  4. Threaded Text Support: PrintUI now has full support for threaded text frames. Text threaded in InDesign will now retain the threading and will be completely editable in the web app. The threaded text support includes experimental support for text threaded across pages. We believe this will work as expected, but the performance on longer documents has not yet been determined. Additionally, the undo support in the web app is linked to the active page. Text is considered to be located on the first page of the story, so this can sometimes lead to unexpected results when undoing changes. We look forward to hearing feedback on this feature.
  5. Control of Image Strokes and Fill: There is now full control over the stroke and fill of images. This includes a new color picker component that allows for easy and intuitive removal of color. We have donated this improved component to Apache Flex so the whole community can benefit from the component.
  6. An Eyedropper for color selection: There is a new Flashvar which enables an eyedropper for selecting a color from anywhere within the web app. This allows complete arbitrary color selection to match the document content such as an image.
  7. An Optional Button to Allow adding Rectangles: A new Flashvar allows users to add new rectangles if desired. By default this is disabled.
  8. Opacity Control: There is now a slider in the Image and Object palettes to allow for changing the opacity of images and objects in the web app.
  9. Mirror Images: There is a new control in the image palette for flipping images either horizontally or vertically.
  10. Support for Guides: There is a new Flashvar which allows specification of guides at any location in the web app canvas. These guides are for visual guidance only and are specified at load time.
  11. Support for “Blank Canvas” Templates: It is now possible to load an empty template at any arbitrary size. To load the blank document, you should create the new job using the special “_blank” template with an “n” parameter of 1×1. When loading the job, any size can be specified by using a Flashvar. The job can be resized on a subsequent load by specifying a new size.

For details on the Flashvar’s mentioned above, see Run-Time options for the PrintUI web application for details.

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