The act of transforming boring text into something more exciting and visual has taxed professionals and enthusiasts alike for decades. The digital age has – of course – made it easier than ever to inject some pizzazz into your latest newsletter, report or journal entry, but in a world where attention spans are diminishing and people are more and more pressured for time, how do you circle the square of making your work eye-catching without losing valuable hours to the process?
Adobe has one potential answer for iPad users in the form of Slate. Like its sister app, Adobe Voice, Slate lets you bring in your raw content and then quickly turn it into something more visually appealing. Once complete, you can share your content publicly or by private link, allowing people to access it on a variety of devices with the promise it’ll look as good on a phone as it will on a full-screen browser.
Fire up the app and you can immediately see what’s possible by tapping one of the examples provided: a tablet-friendly mixture of text, imagery and subtle animations to lead the reader through the piece in question.
Next, you need to log in using an Adobe ID, then tap “Create a New Story” and you’re off. First, supply a title, then import your first photo – Adobe Voice users will know what to expect here, with options for finding and importing freely available photos from the web as well as your Dropbox folder among others.
Photos are automatically resized to fit the available space, you can then change the focal point, but you can’t zoom into or out of the image in question. Once done, you’re invited to scroll down, where you then build your story using a mixture of text, photos, photo grids and links (which are displayed as touch-friendly buttons). Tap an existing photo to replace or delete it.
It’s a shame there’s no option for importing text from another source; instead you’ll either have to manually type it in or pull in text from another app using copy and paste. You have a choice of heading styles, the ability to provide bulleted or numbered lists of information, plus include handy pull-quotes to spruce up large passages of text. Once you’ve reached the end of a section, insert a photo and select “fill screen”, which makes it serve as a suitable break.
The app suffers a little with a lack of fine-editing controls, but it does what it says on the tin – if you’ve lots of content to share, but little time or inclination to spend ages putting it all together, then Adobe Slate does the job admirably.
If you want to create a professional-looking document you can show off online in a hurry, Adobe Slate is the perfect tool for the job.