What we want to see in the next Adobe Muse

05. Font troubles

Note how Black Italic displays a serif face!

Note how Black Italic displays a serif face!

While Muse font handling is getting better all the time, some fonts are having problems. Unfortunately one of them is a favorite, Source Sans Pro. This and other fonts have been reported as either not showing up, or rendering incorrectly (like with the wrong face) when publishing, while in Design mode, or when previewing.

Solving these issues can get terribly confusing because there are so many sources for this font. For example, you can download it and use it locally (thus you render as art when publishing), or you can load it from Typekit if you are an Adobe CC member, or from the free Web Fonts (originally a Google offering that Adobe has largely co-opted). The current version of Muse will load BOTH the Webfonts and Typekit versions automatically, each with some issues that I've been unable to correct.

06. Grouped item problems

Grouped items visibility controls are disabled. Why? With no similar controls in the context menu

Grouped items visibility controls are disabled. Why? With no similar controls in the context menu

Grouped items have limited controls available. Once an item, like art or text, is placed into a group (whichever method is used to do it), it no longer has the ability to turn its visibility on and off. This is a real problem for me, as I may want to keep items on a page, but may decide to turn it off for use later on. The only way we tend to 'turn off' elements in our programs is to make them visible/invisible. We do this in InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, etc. Not allowing that is in Muse is a problem.

07. Layer palette design

Layer Palette lacks easy visual clarity

Layer Palette lacks easy visual clarity

The Layers Palette interface in Muse is not as visually clear as compared with other programs, like Photoshop for example (though the newest edition of PS seems to have changed the Layer Palette design again and I find a few of the tweaks to be less visually clear now. But, fodder for another article). Muted color coding that stretches across the item, larger text and deeper indents for sub-items would all help with visual clarity.

08. Item naming

One specific thing that is related to the Layer Palette is a naming issue. A few releases ago we couldn't rename many types of items. Thankfully that has been corrected. However I notice that when certain items are placed, like composition widgets for example, it will default with the generic name 'Composition'. If you think to custom name it at the time, then you have good workflow habits. But if you forget to, and go back later, you have no way of knowing which composition widget was used.

If you hadn't customized it much, you can usually figure it out. But if you've done much tweaki ng or if you have lots of third-party add-ons that could have created it, it becomes harder to identify. It would be nice if Muse could add items with fully descriptive names automatically. Or even better if, as mentioned earlier, we could right-click on an item and bring up fuller information on what it is, and what add-on created it.

Words: Lance Evans

Lance Evans is creative director of Graphlink Media.

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