ADOBE MUSE CC 2015
David Asch - June 16 2015
Today's the day Adobe puts out major updates to all its Creative Cloud applications. There are some great new features and enhancements in the latest version of Adobe Muse, so read on to see what's new!
Learning a new application can be a steep learning curve. Adobe Muse CC 2015 ships with a set of custom site designs to help new users get to grips with the application as well a having the ability to quickly launch a site for themselves.
The design templates can be accessed from the Welcome Dialog*when Muse launches. If you've disabled this at launch, it can be accessed from the Help menu. Alternatively, you can go to http://www.musestarters.com to view the live versions and also download the associated files.
At the time of writing there are 5 designs to choose from, each tailored to a particular site type that new users might want to create (click the names to open the live example site in a new browser window):
The Starter Files demonstrate many of Muse's features and also contain an extras page where additional pre-defined elements, such as social icons and contact forms can be brought into the design.
The online versions also feature handy video tutorials that can be accessed from special red markers placed throughout the pages. These explain how to use or edit a feature of the template, as well as helpful information on Muse itself.
*Currently only available on English language locales.
New Starter Designs templates in Adobe Muse CC 2015
The Starter Designs live web resource
Up to now, the web fonts available to designers in Adobe Muse has been limited to Edge Web Fonts and, whilst the selection is more than generous, its choice is sadly lacking in some areas.
The CC 2015 release rectifies this by giving us full Typekit support in line with the rest of the Adobe Creative Suite applications. This means that we now have access to a massive 1500+ online typefaces to use in our website designs!
Full Typekit access in Adobe Muse 2015
In light of the addition of Typekit, some changes have been made inside of Muse. The Site Properties and Page Properties now have the option to import all or part of a web font's character set. This allows designs that don't use the font's entire repertoire to use the slimmed down version, vastly speeding up the loading time.
The options are:
Choose to include or exclude full font repertoires
You can now specify multiple addresses, either by clicking the + symbol or using commas, in the FTP and Export to HTML options - (e.g. www.mysite.com, www.mysite.net, www.mysite.co).
This ensures that Muse will configure the Typekit fonts for all URLs pointing to the site. This is only necessary for third-party hosted sites; Business Catalyst sites are configured automatically.
List multiple URLs for Typekit synchronisation
Previews of Typekit fonts now reflect the language option set in Preferences. The text is translated into the correct language where possible; the text will default to English if the font doesn't support the locale.
Localised panagrams show font examples in your native language
There have been some welcome improvements in the Layers Panel with some really useful features:
Renaming page items: Right clicking or double-clicking a page item's label in the Layers Panel now gives you the ability to rename the item. Leave the name field blank to reset the name.
Automatic naming of PSD layers: Importing individual layers from a Photohsop PSD file will automatically name the component image frames. The parent will reflect the file name with the layer name in brackets.
Expand and collapse all rows: Hold Opt / Alt and click an expansion triangle in the Layers Panel to expand the entire hierarchy. This works on both layers and page items alike. Repeat this to collapse the hierarchy again.
You can now click and drag down a column of visibility icons or lock icons to enable / disable multiple rows in a page item block - this is the same as hiding and showing layers in Photoshop. The parent state determines whether the items are enabled or disabled.
Automatic naming of image layers from imported .psd file in Adobe Muse CC 2015
Renaming page items in Adobe Muse CC 2015
It's now possible to create and edit hyperlinks in text frames via the in-browser editing portal for third-party hosting, or the admin console with Business Catalyst hosted sites.
Links can be set to existing site pages via a drop-down list, or manually added for off-site links. You can also create email and telephone links, as well as inserting links to file downloads. Files can either be those already uploaded from Muse, or chosen from the computer's hard-drive; the latter will be included in Muse when the site is next synchronised.
Choose the destination link from the page list or add it manually
Edit and create hyperlinks using In-Browser Editing in Adobe Muse CC 2015
Another long-awaited feature that sees the light in this release is the option to add radio buttons to forms. These are initially added as a group object from the main form options panel. New radio buttons can be added to existing groups from the group's options panel. The style of the radio button states can be changed by replacing the button image in the Fill Panel; giving a huge scope for design possibilities.
As well as radio buttons, checkboxes (or tickboxes if, like me, you're across the pond in Blighty) can now be added in groups in addition to the previous single entry. As with the radio buttons, the checkbox states can also change to suit the design.
Another change is that the Email field is no longer mandatory for creating forms. This is great if you want to create surveys or other types of form that don't necessarily need the visitor's full details.
Adding a Radio Button Group in Adobe Muse CC 2015
Checkbox Group options in Adobe Muse CC 2015
Slideshows and Composition widgets using the Lightbox feature can now be set to automatically show the lightbox when the page is loaded. This is especially useful for catching the attention of your visitors.
Although it's possible to have more than one automatic lightbox enabled on the same page, it's not advisable and Muse will show a warning message to tell you so.
New Automatic Lightbox feature in Adobe Muse CC 2015
The Effects Panel can now be floated and docked in Adobe Muse CC 2015
That’s the major features in this release covered. Check back regularly for more news!
Until the next time, take care and happy Musing!