Workflow Week (3): Let’s Collaborate!

Today we’re going to take a look at how we can collaborate using the Creative Cloud files “Share” feature to work with others—they don’t need anything other than a standards-compliant browser—and use commenting features to expedite the workflow without wrecking-up your inbox!

Let’s Collaborate: The Video

As we’re now mid-week, this one will only take about five minutes for you to watch:

Comp: Now Supporting Share to PDF

This week Comp got the ability to share to the PDF format, which is a valuable addition to sharing with people who quickly need to see a copy of the wireframe or layout for approval purposes or further discussion. The first time you use it, you’ll get a notification that it’s a free service until April—it will continue to be free for Creative Cloud subscribers but users without an account may well have an option to send a PDF for a small subscription fee—although at the current time I haven’t seen the details of this.

Send A PDF By Email From Comp

  • In the Share menu you’ll see the option under the CC Desktop apps:
  • Once selected, you get an option to choose your delivery method. Be aware that there doesn’t appear to be any compression applied to the images in the PDF, so it will be quite large (texting it probably isn’t an option) so in this example I’m using mail:CC_iPadAir-IMG_0672
  • You’ll then be handed over to the Mail app, to address and send your PDF: CC_iPadAir-IMG_0673As my example was quite large mail used the Mail Drop service to send it, but there are other options available to you if this is a consideration.

Other Options for Sending

There are a number of other options that you can use to distribute your file, including DropBoxSlack and Evernote but as a CC Subscriber you can also send the file to Acrobat and then use the Send & Track service to send it to one or many recipients.

Comp CC Enhancements

In case you haven’t had a chance to explore Comp CC in any more detail, then there are some features that were added in the Autumn release that may have escaped your attention. If you don’t yet have Comp CC, then pop across to the App Store and get it now—it’s available for iPhone, iPad and iPad Pro.

Gesture/Layout Mode

The first thing to notice is that the small purple tab—that used to be the switch on the left of the UI between gesture mode and layout mode—has been removed. Now, if you need to do something other than a layout task, like maybe to draw with a gesture, you just do it, and Comp CC plays along. It saves a lot of to-ing and fro-ing backwards and forwards, changing modes.

Drawing Gestures

CC_iPadAir-IMG_0500There are a few new or modified gestures to work with:

  • Line—it’s a subtle difference that your line gesture now is a continuous swipe in one direction and then reversed
  • Lasso—draw a lasso around objects to select them
  • Grab Styles—make a selection, and then target the object that you’d like to copy appearances from
  • Duplicate Selected—make a selection draw one or more + plus gestures to duplicate the selection

To see the drawing gestures in action, go to the gear icon at the top-right of the screen, and select Drawing Gesture Help, then tap on one of the gestures and you’ll see an animation so you’ll know how to perform the gesture.

Not Shown

There are a couple of gestures that were in the original version of comp, but not shown in the Gesture Help—but the gestures still work:

  • The rounded image frame option doesn’t show in the Drawing Gestures screen but if you draw an image frame and a rounded gesture on one of the corners, you’ll get that as a result.
  • You can still draw corner triangles with the old gesture

Grids and Guides

It’s now possible to get even closer to a really balanced design—and by extension, closer to a “finished” layout—as grids and guides are now available from the gear menu at the top-right.CC_iPadAir-IMG_0506

When tapped, the Grid & Guides screen appears; you can set the margins by dragging in the tabs on the top, bottom, left and right, and add/remove columns using the plus and minus icons at the bottom.CC_iPadAir-IMG_0503For precision, all of the margin, column and gutter values can be set by tapping the icon at the top-left:CC_iPadAir-IMG_0505

Horizontal and vertical guides can be introduced with the guides icon (also at the top-left); once a guide is introduced, it can be dragged into position or deleted by tapping on the guide to select it:CC_iPadAir-IMG_0507To exit the Grids and Guides screen, tap Done at the top-right.

Lock Items

To prevent page items being accidentally moved, it’s now possible to lock them on the layout. Make a selection, then tap the Ellipsis () menu at the bottom-right of the screen, followed by the Lock option:CC_iPadAir-IMG_0508Objects can be unlocked individually or all-at-once by visiting the Locked Objects item in the gear menu:CC_iPadAir-IMG_0509

These are all great additions to Comp CC, and make design-on-the-go even faster, even more accurate and even more fun!

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