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Adobe Comp CC review: Quickly sketch out InDesign drafts on an iPad

J.R. Bookwalter | March 31, 2015
Adobe's renewed push into mobile has produced a veritable fleet of slick iOS apps aimed at creative artists, but has thus far neglected designers who rely upon traditional page layout software. With today's release of Comp CC for the iPad, Adobe has finally given InDesign users something to get excited about.

While basic shapes require minimal effort, I found myself frequently consulting the in-app cheat sheet when drawing image placeholders, which require more complicated gestures. If Comp CC doesn't recognize one of 16 available gestures, the app simply ignores and erases it.

Designed for design

No layout app would be complete without text formatting options, and Adobe Comp CC solves this problem brilliantly by reaching into Creative Cloud's vast library of Typekit fonts. Tapping a cloud icon downloads that font family to the device, which also syncs to any connected computers.

One thing missing is a way to preview cloud fonts already available in an account prior to downloading them first, but Typekit offers a more pleasant selection experience anyway, making it a breeze to search for and add new typefaces from there.

You won't find all of InDesign CC's rich text editing tools here, but the included paragraph indentation, line and letter spacing, and type styles more than get the job done. Formatting can even be copied and pasted from one block to another, further streamlining the initial design process.

Once completed, designers can share layouts with clients or colleagues from the iOS 8 share sheet, or send fully editable files directly to Photoshop, Illustrator, or InDesign, allowing designers to pick up right where they left off. (Saving to desktop also launches the corresponding Mac or PC app with the file already opened, a nice touch.)

Bottom line

Layout is finally going mobile: Adobe Comp CC is a godsend for InDesign users accustomed to being tethered to the desktop. It may not be a full-featured solution, but there's more than enough here to knock out quick comps for clients or even attractive first drafts for mobile, web, or print work.

 

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