Creating Digital Magazines in InDesign & In5

The evolution of print media has been swift, thanks to technology. Magazines, once confined to paper, are now predominantly available as digital versions, making them more interactive and engaging. With platforms like Adobe InDesign leading the charge in desktop publishing, producing a sleek, interactive digital magazine has never been easier. But how can one enhance this experience? Enter the In5 plugin from Ajar Productions.

What is the In5 Plugin?

In5, short for ‘InDesign to HTML5’, is an innovative plugin designed to output InDesign layouts as interactive HTML5 documents. This means that magazine creators can retain the sophisticated designs from InDesign while ensuring that they are ready for the web or mobile. With the In5 plugin, there’s no need for coding – you can export your design and let the tool do the rest.

Why Use In5 for Digital Magazines?

  1. Interactivity: Digital magazines are not just about static images and text; readers expect a dynamic experience. In5 facilitates this by allowing the addition of videos, slideshows, animations, scrollable text frames, custom hyperlinks, image sequences, embedded web content, responsive capabilities and more. This enriches the user experience, making your magazine more immersive. If you want to know more about all these features check out our course on Creating Digital Publications with In5.

  2. Reach: With the shift from Flash to HTML5, the digital content created is more accessible across devices. HTML5 ensures compatibility with a wider range of devices, from desktops and laptops to tablets and smartphones. This expands the potential audience for your magazine.

  3. Ease of Use: The In5 plugin integrates seamlessly with InDesign. There’s no need to learn a new software or any coding – you design in InDesign as usual, and In5 takes care of the conversion.

Steps to Create a Digital Magazine with InDesign and In5:

  1. Designing in InDesign: Start your project in Adobe InDesign. If you’re new to this software, our InDesign Beginners Courses and Advanced InDesign Training courses will get you up to speed quickly. If budget is more of an issue than time take a look at our pre-recorded InDesign course instead. Ensure you’re designing with digital interactivity in mind – think about elements like buttons, videos, or animated graphics.

  2. Install the In5 Plugin: Download and install the In5 plugin. After installation, you’ll find a new In5 menu available within InDesign offering a range of tools. You can install the plugin even before you signup for a licence and have a play with the free trial. When you decide what licence you want (based on number of users and features) just signup and enter your licence key into the plugin. Pricing starts from roughly £25 per month.

  3. Export: Once you’re satisfied with the settings, use the In5 Export Wizard to speed up your exporting while still having access to a wealth of options. The In5 plugin will then convert your InDesign file to an interactive HTML5 based format with CSS and Javascript all generated for you.

  4. Test and Revise: Preview your magazine on various devices to ensure functionality and appearance are optimal. Depending on your findings, you might need to return to InDesign for edits, and then re-export with In5. The code output from In5 is compatible with all major browsers and platforms. In short if it wont work on a users device, then neither will most major websites they visit. 

  5. Publish: Once you’re content with your digital magazine, you just need to think about where host your files. In5 gives you access to all the code which is great, and you can host it on any standard web hosting platform or even embed the code into your own website. 


The combination of InDesign’s powerful design capabilities and In5’s conversion magic has made creating interactive digital magazines a dream come true for designers. Not only does it ensure a top-tier user experience for readers, but it also simplifies the design-to-publish process for creators. Dive into this dynamic world of digital publishing, and give your audience a magazine experience like never before!

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