Test drive PubCoder 3

PubCoder Screenshot

With PubCoder 3.0, we decided to take a step back and use what we learned in the last 3 years to redesign the software from the ground up: of course we added many new features, but we also took some bold choices that led to drastically change some of the existing features, simplifying and hiding complexity where necessary. And we wrapped it all in a new, polished, flat user interface.

We’re still working on it, but we are so excited about this little revolution in our software that we wanted to share it with you earlier. So we decided to release a beta version of PubCoder 3 for Mac today. Windows users must have a little more patience, but if you use a Mac, go get it and give us some feedback. The following is a summary of the changes we made.

Goodbye workspaces. Introducing renditions.

One the of the killer-features that chracterized PubCoder from the first release is the ability to handle multiple versions of your digital contents in one single project file, allowing to include several layouts and localization. This allowed to easily create different versions of your ebook or multi-language applications optimized for both tablets and smartphone.
The downside was that sometimes you were forced to manage many different workspaces even if you didn’t want different versions of your content, only to export for different formats, e.g. iOS or Android, because the workspace was tied to an export format.

So we decided to fix this by unlinking the export format from workspaces. So now you can have one single rendition and use it to export your project as an iOS App, an Android App and an EPUB 3, where you previously needed three different workspaces to do this. Of course you can still create as many different renditions as you like to manage different localizations or layouts, but it’s your choice, not a requirement anymore.

When creating a new project, you are not forced to choose an output format anymore. Instead, you can export your project at any time in any format using the export popup at the top-left of your project window: there you can choose your output format, page range and export destination, such as a file, an app on your computer, an app store, your Wi-Fi network, a simulator or a specific device (basing on the chosen format).

PubReader and XPUB

PubCoder 3 introduces XPUB, our open format for digital publications. It fully supports interactivity and multiple renditions and localizations. XPUB files can be read on any iOS or Android device using our PubReader app, available for free on App Store and Google Play. Why we’re doing this? Why adding a new format and building a new reader? We’re doing this for two reasons:

Improved Text and Typography

PubCoder finally introduces on-stage text editing, probably our #1 feature request -cheers here-. This means that double-clicking does not open the text editor in a new window, instead you can edit your text and see the result right on your layout.

To improve typrography consistency on any platform, we bundled collection of serif, sans-serif and monospace fonts, and changed our default font to Lato. This will fix layout problems arising from text appearing in Helvetica on iOS, Arial on Windows, Droid or Roboto on Android.
Our fonts collection also includes OpenDyslexic, a typeface with optimal legibility for people affected by dyslexia.

Finally, we added box and project-level settings for text fonts, size and colors, making it easier to change typography settings for your entire layout.

Other new features