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Review: Adobe Slate, A New Storytelling Medium
Hollin Jones on Sat, June 13th 0 comments
The web has beautiful ways we can easily create music and video content. But what about written content? If you want to create cool stories online Adobe's Slate may be able to add the sparkle.

In years gone by, Adobe was best known for Photoshop and Acrobat but these days the company makes a wide range of design and creative software and like many others, has branched out into the popular field of developing iPad apps. Adobe Slate is a free app aimed at making it easy for anyone to put together slick, modern visual story, complete with web links using just an iPad. 

After downloading the app, you have to sign in with a free Adobe ID or with Facebook so that you can create you some space on Adobe’s servers. You get a blank canvas and begin by adding some photos to serve either as backgrounds or in a grid format, which you can easily rearrange. You can search the web for creative commons-licensed photos, use your own iPad’s camera and library, access Creative Cloud, a Lightroom library or Dropbox. Never let it said that Adobe doesn’t do a lot with digital images. 

Yes, I took these.

Yes, I took these.


Choose a theme.

Choose a theme.

Make Edits

You tap to bring up an add menu that also lets you create text headings and subheadings, hyperlinks and body text. There are a number of preset themes to choose from and body text inside a project can also be formatted a little: headings, bullet points and quotation styles are available. 

Make images backgrounds or individual elements.

Make images backgrounds or individual elements.

As you add pictures, they can be made background or foreground images, moved around and even have their focal point edited. You can preview a project at any time to test it out, and the way it works is like a modern HTML5 website in the sense that everything slides and fades really nicely, as you’ll see if you look at some examples at https://standout.adobe.com/slate/. Once your project is built, you upload it to Adobe’s servers and can choose to make it public or only available to those with a link. You can also share it to social media, in an email or get the embed code. The raw project remains on your iPad and can be altered at any time, and re-uploaded. 

Add hyperlink buttons.

Add hyperlink buttons.


Share to a number of different destinations.

Share to a number of different destinations.

Put it on the Slate

Slate is really easy to use even for those with little or no design experience, which is what Adobe was going for. It’s a slick and intuitive app that makes creating clean, image-driven and dynamic-feeling presentations complete with links a breeze. The results are responsive of course, so they’ll display appropriately whether viewed on an computer, iPad or smartphone. And for free it’s a no-brainer to try out. 

If there is a minor gripe it’s that currently, your content has to live on Adobe’s servers and be linked to or embedded. You can’t actually ‘grab’ the exports for yourself. The themes available are good but it would be nice to see some more, since these ones might get old pretty fast if a lot of people start using them. Of course it might seem churlish to ask for even more free stuff, but Adobe could choose to charge a little for extra themes. Video support would also be amazing and is certainly within their capability to implement. As it stands though, Slate is absolutely worth downloading and trying out.

Price: Free!

From: App Store

Pros: Easy to use. Design great presentations with little or no design experience. Share across all your channels. Good themes. Creates clean, futuristic looking results. 

Cons: No video support. A few more themes would be nice. Exports must be stored with Adobe. 


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