Create websites for mobile devices using Adobe Muse

Read this article to know how to create websites for mobile devices or smartphones.


Adobe Muse is no longer adding new features and will discontinue support on March 26, 2020. For detailed information and assistance, see Adobe Muse end-of-service FAQ.

You can create and design websites for mobiles by using responsive web design in Adobe Muse. With responsive layout, you can use a single Muse file to create websites for all devices, including mobiles.

You should first determine the browser width for which you want to design your site. You can then continue to design your site. For more information on creating mobile sites using responsive layout, see Creating responsive sites.

If you want to design alternate layout for mobile-only sites, then read the following article.

Design mobile-only websites

Using Adobe Muse, you can create site layouts for web content to be displayed on desktops, smartphones, and tablets. Using the mobile design features, you can create alternate layouts for phones and tablets, as well as for desktops.

Adobe Muse includes settings such as 100% width toggle and the Sticky Footer functionality to ensure that your design renders well on the multitude of device screens available in the market today. Adobe Muse enables you to use familiar workflows to create immersive designs for every possible screen dimension.

To create an alternate layout for mobiles:

  1. Open Adobe Muse, and click File > New Site.

    Select Fixed Width to create mobile websites.

  2. Select Fixed Width, and then click Advanced Settings in the same dialog box.

    Advanced settings for new site
    Advanced Settings for creating a new site.

  3. Specify the Max Page Width, or the maximum page width.

    Determine the appropriate browser width for mobile phones, and specify the value.

  4. Enter the Margin and Padding values for your mobile site. Enter the following details:

    • Page Width and Height: Allows you to set the Initial dimensions of the page. Muse automatically increases the height of the page as you continue adding content, and hence, a maximum value is not set for page height.
    • Columns and Column Width: Columns visually divide a Muse web page in to equal parts, allowing you to align the design elements accurately. Muse automatically sets the Column Width for a specified number of Columns and Gutter value.
    • Margins and Padding: Margins clear area around the web page, outside the design area. Padding allows you to clear area within the design perimeter of the web page.

    Click OK.

    You can start designing your layouts for the mobile website.

Add a phone layout for an existing Adobe Muse site

When you create new project, you can design any of the layouts first, and then create additional layouts, all within the same .Muse file.  When you publish or export a site, Adobe Muse automatically generates a file named sitemap.xml that contains a list of all the pages, for all the layouts. The sitemap.xml file is uploaded along with the other site assets. It improves a site's Search Engine Optimization (SEO) by helping search engines index the site, so that pages are accurately ranked in search results.

To create a new mobile layout for a phone, one of the first things you'll need to do with an existing site is review the content and determine which items are needed for the smartphone user experience. Since smartphone visitors are often on the go and are viewing the content on a smaller screen, it is important to simplify the design and only display content that is useful and easy to interact with on a touch screen.

  1. Open the existing .Muse file for which you want to add an alternate phone layout.

  2. Open each page in your project, and click Page > Add Alternate Layout > Phone.

    Add Phone layout to create mobile site.

  3. You can use the menu to select an existing layout to copy. For the purposes of this article, choose Desktop to copy the desktop layout to the phone layout.

    Notice that you have the option of copying the Site Plan, Page Attributes, and the Browser Fill. Leave the default settings to copy the existing desktop site information to the phone layout.

  4. Click OK to close the dialog box and add the phone layout.

    Muse creates a site plan for the phone layout. Page names, the site's structure, and attributes of the master page are copied over. The Phone layout button no longer displays a plus (+) sign next to its name, because the phone layout has been added to the Muse project.

    You'll notice that the actual page content is not added to the phone layout page thumbnail. That is intentional, to allow you to copy just the content you actually want into each page of a mobile layout. As you bring the content you want to add into each new page, you can resize it to fit within the smaller dimensions of the mobile screen.

    You can add new pages by clicking the plus sign to the right of the Home page. Once you set up the site map, you can start designing the mobile experience.

    Read the next section to know how to set up the master pages for the phone layout.

    Create the site map for the mobile layout by adding new pages.

Set up the master page and add common web page elements

  1. In Plan View, double-click the A-master phone page to open it in Design view.

  2. Open the Browser Fill interface to set a background image.

  3. Click Add Image in the Image section. Browse and select the file you want to set as background image.

    Add a background image to the phone master page.

  4. Set the Fitting option to Scale To Fill, and click the center position.

  5. Click on the gray area outside the page, or anywhere in the Control panel, to close the Browser Fill interface.

Add hyperlinks for site navigation

Adobe Muse allows you to easily link to external pages, downloadable files, sections within web pages, and more using Hyperlinks. Setting up appropriate navigation on your site is important to ensure that a visitor is able move through pages of your website easily. A well-formed site navigation also helps optimize your website for search engines. For more information, see Creating Hyperlinks.

The Hyperlinks drop-down lists pages or anchor links added to your sitemap. To search for the correct links, start typing the name of the page or anchor. You only have to type the first few letters, and the Hyperlinks menu filters the results and displays them in a drop-down list. This makes it easy to access the links you want to update quickly.

Filter the list of links by typing the first few letters in the Hyperlink menu field.

Add content to the phone layout pages

You'll begin by finalizing the Home page.

  1. Click the Interior (Phone) tab. Copy the entire group of four numbered buttons.
  2. Use the Go to Page feature to jump to the Home (phone) page and paste the group. The links that you added in the previous section are retained, so now both the Home page and the Interior master page share the same navigation.
  3. Use the Selection tool to position the group in the center of the Home page, near the bottom of the footer.
  4. Click the scratch (Desktop) tab to return to the scratch page. Copy the text frame in the far left pod that says: There's more than one way to solve a problem.
  5. Click the Home (Phone) tab and paste the text frame. Use the Selection tool to position the text frame, so that it is centered above the group of buttons.
The Home page design is complete.

Next, you'll add the page content for the Section 01 page.

  1. Click the Scratch (Desktop) tab to return to the Scratch page. Select the white rounded background rectangle and three text frames, in the second pod from the left. The three text frames include the 01 circle, the section 01 placeholder text, and the orange Phone button. Copy the selected items.
  2. Press Command+J (Mac) or Control+J (Windows) and type the first few letters of Section 01. Click the down arrow key to select the Section 01 phone page and then press Return/Enter to open it in Design view.
  3. Paste the elements on the Section 01 page of the phone layout. Use the Selection tool to center them on the page using the guides that temporarily appear.

The purpose of the Section 01 page is to provide a brief introduction to the business and make it easy for mobile visitors to call it. When designing mobile websites, you can add a new type of link that enables the visitor to tap their screen and invoke the smartphone's phone dialer to call a number. This is a great mobile site feature because it enables potential customers call a business very easily.

To add a link in a mobile layout to dial a phone number, follow these steps:

  1. Use the Selection tool to select the Phone button.
  2. In the Links menu field, type tel:+1 and then a phone number, like this:

This is the format that mobile browsers recognize for telephone number links.

  1. Press Return or Enter to save the link.

Note: If you'd prefer to create an email link, you can enter the following format in the Hyperlink menu field:

After adding the link to the Phone button, the Section 01 page design is complete.

  1. Click the Scratch (Desktop) tab to return to the Scratch page. Select the white rounded background rectangle, the green 02 circle, the Section 02 text frame, the embedded map, and the green Map button. Copy the selected items.
  2. Press Command+J (Mac) or Control+J (Windows) and type the first few letters of Section 02. Click the down arrow key to select the Section 02 phone page and then press Return/Enter to open it in Design view.
  3. Paste the elements you copied in step 1 on the Section 02 page of the phone layout. Use the Selection tool to center them on the page using the alignment guides.

The Section 02 page contains embedded HTML code that was generated on the Google Maps website to create an interactive map.

If you followed along with the tutorial titled Getting Started with Muse, you'll remember that you copied the Google Map source code from the Google website and used the embedded HTML feature in Muse to paste it into the page.

Fortunately, Google Map code already includes support for finger gestures on touch screens, so visitors with devices can interact with the map easily. For this sample project, the map dimensions have already been resized.

However, If you need to resize the dimensions of embedded HTML content in your projects, you can right-click on the content and choose HTML to view the code in the HTML window. You can edit the height and width values in the code to resize the map to fit a smaller screen.

If you need to resize embedded HTML elements, you can update the dimensions in the code.

If you opened the Edit HTML window, OK to close it without making any changes.

  1. Select the Map button.

This time, you'll add a link to an external website (Google Maps) to make it easy for mobile visitors to visit the full version of the map in a new browser window.

  1. Copy the link below and paste it into the field of the Links menu:,+san+francisco&hl=en&sll=37.269174,-119.306607&sspn=17.492546,19.160156&hq=adobe+systems,&hnear=San+Francisco,+California&t=m&z=14

  1. Click the word Links to the left of the Links menu. In the dialog box that appears, select the checkbox: Open link in a new window or tab. Also, in the Tooltip field, enter the following text: Map to Adobe Fremont.
Set the link to open in a new browser window and add a tooltip.

  1. Click away from the Links dialog box to close it.

Next, you'll add the page content for the Section 03 page.

  1. Click the Scratch (Desktop) tab to return to the Scratch page. Select the white rounded background rectangle, the purple 03 circle, the Section 03 text frame, the contact form, and the submit button. Copy the selected items.
  2. Press Command+J (Mac) or Control+J (Windows) and type the first few letters of Section 03. Click the down arrow key to select the Section 03 phone page and then press Return/Enter to open it in Design view.
  3. Paste the elements you copied in step 1 on the Section 03 page of the phone layout. Use the Selection tool to center them on the page using the alignment guides. The styles applied to the desktop Contact Form widget are maintained when copied to the phone layout. The only change made to prepare the form for a mobile layout involves resizing the form and the form elements to fit on a smaller screen.

The Section 03 page contains a Contact form widget that uses the Business Catalyst server-side scripts and database to process the submitted form data. When you click Publish and upload the site files from Muse, the form functionality works automatically.

Note: While you can use other service providers to host your finished Muse website, be aware that you'll need to do some additional coding in order to make contact forms work if they are not hosted on the Business Catalyst servers.

In this sample project, the contact form does not have CAPTCHA enabled. CAPTCHA is a setting in the Options menu for Contact Form widgets that you can add when you want to confirm that the form was submitted by a human, and not a script or "spam bot" - the CAPTCHA interface displays an image with a series of characters that requires the visitor to type in the matching string in order to successfully submit their message through the form. While spam bot form submissions can be a nuisance, it's also important to consider the site's usability on a mobile phone. If you make the form too difficult to fill out, visitors may decide not to submit their message.

The Section 03 page is now complete. There's no need to add a link to the Submit button, because the button is already set up as part of the Contact Form widget.

The final page of the phone layout, Section 04, contains a Slideshow widget. Widgets in Muse are designed and tested to work with all modern desktop and mobile browsers, so you don't need to change anything to make the slideshow work on a touch screen.

Follow these steps to copy the content from the scratch page of the desktop layout to the Section 04 page in the phone layout:

  1. Click the Scratch (Desktop) tab to return to the Scratch page. Select the white long background rectangle, the red 04 circle, the Slideshow widget, and the Section 04 text frame. You can use the Selection tool to click and drag over all the elements to select them at once. Copy the selected items.
  2. Press Command+J (Mac) or Control+J (Windows) and type the first few letters of Section 04. Click the down arrow key to select the Section 04 phone page and then press Return/Enter to open it in Design view.
  3. Paste the elements you copied in step 1 on the Section 03 page of the phone layout. Use the Selection tool to center them on the page using the alignment guides. The styles applied to the desktop Contact Form widget are maintained when copied to the phone layout. The only change made to prepare the form for a mobile layout involves resizing the form and the form elements to fit on a smaller screen. When you add widgets with interactive features (such as Slideshow widgets) to mobile layouts you create in Muse, you'll notice that the Options panel includes the option: Enable Swipe. This setting is enabled by default, so any widgets you add to your mobile designs are automatically set up to allow visitors to tap and use gestures on touch screens.The Section 04 page contains a Slideshow widget that displays the corresponding image when a thumbnail is tapped. The slideshow is configured to use a horizontal transition to flip between images in the gallery. This example requires user interaction to display the photos, although if you choose, you can set the Slideshow widget to autoplay, so that it will cycle through the images automatically when the page loads.

Note: If you configure slideshow widgets to use the Fade, Horizontal, or Vertical transitions, the code in Muse automatically enables the Swipe finger gesture to allow visitors to swipe their touch screen to flip through the slideshow images.

In the next section, Creating mobile layout designs in Muse, you'll learn how to easily update assets across all mobile platforms, and how to publish your Muse site for each mobile layout.

Update and optimize assets for your mobile website

Compared to desktop computers, tablets and smartphones have a much more limited processor, slower connection speeds, and smaller storage capacity. As a result, special consideration is required when designing and delivering site designs on mobile devices.

Muse includes features that can help you optimize the graphics displayed in the mobile layouts to ensure that the site loads quickly and performs acceptably.

  1. Press Command/Control+7 to display the desktop layout, and then double-click the A-Master desktop file to open it in Design view.
  2. Open the Assets panel by clicking its tab in the panel set to make it active. Or, if it is closed, choose Window > Assets.
  3. Select the large background image of the green hills. The asset is highlighted in the Assets panel.
  4. Click the asset's name, background.jpg, to expand the list of instances used in the site. Notice that the background image file is listed three times, with two different icons, indicating that it is used in both the phone and desktop layouts.
Check the instances of background.jpg in the Assets panel to get information about where the asset exists on the site.

In this small example site, the list of assets is fairly manageable, but when you build larger sites, the list of assets can become longer and harder to scan.

To make the list of assets easier to navigate, you can select the first item for each asset and then click the arrow to the left to collapse the set. Click it again when you want to expand to view the full list of instances where the asset is used in the site project.

If you want to locate the assets used for a specific layout, click the top of the column on the far right of the Assets panel that displays the Desktop, Tablet, or Phone icons. This causes the list of assets to sort so that the assets for each layout are displayed in a consolidated set.

Click the header titles of any column in the Assets panel to sort the list of assets by that type.

If you want to make a change to a graphic that will update all instances of it (on all layouts) you can right-click on an asset name and choose Edit Original from the menu that appears.

Choose Edit Original to update the asset for the entire site.

The original file you placed opens in Photoshop, Fireworks, or the image-editing program you used to create it, so that you can quickly make changes.

When you save the revised original file and return to Muse, the item in the Assets panel will display the Out of Sync icon to indicate the version of the graphic in the site no longer matches the source file. Right-click the file again and choose Update to update all iterations of the graphic to use the new version.

Use the Update feature to revise all instances of the asset used in the site.

Preview mobile layouts

There are several options you can use to preview the site designs you create:

While in the Design View of the Desktop layout, click Preview to see the built-in Webkit-based emulator render the HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Preview lets you see how your layouts will appear in a browser before publishing a site and checking it online with a device.

While in the Design view of the Phone view, click Preview to see the phone layout display. Use the Preview Size menu to select between iPhone 4, iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy S III, and Nokia Lumia 920 to see the layout displayed on different screen sizes.

Preview mobile layout
The Preview Size menu appears when previewing pages in the phone or tablet layout.

Click the icon to the right of the Preview Size window to switch between viewing the layout in portrait or landscape modes.

The Preview Size includes pre-defined height and width ratios that cover the most common mobile phone screen sizes.

Some of the smartphone screens are wider, such as the Motorola Droid. If a visitor has a wider display, then the Viewport feature in Muse automatically scales the phone layout width to fit the available screen real estate.

While in preview mode, you can click links and navigate through the site. You can scroll, which simulates a finger gesture swipe, but to actually test it, you'll want to test it on the device.

If you click the i button next to the Preview Size menu in Preview mode, you'll see a note with a link describing an Adobe tool named Edge Inspect. Edge Inspect lets you use a Chrome browser extension to connect mobile devices to your computer, and then sync them with content viewed in your desktop Chrome browser.

With Edge Inspect, you can use Chrome and the Preview in Browser option in Adobe Muse to view a site on your desktop, and the same page is also automatically displayed on the connected devices. (Be sure to set Chrome as your default browser).

If desired, you can also purchase a third-party tool named Reflection, which enables you to see an emulation of your device (which is connected using the same network connection) appear on your desktop computer screen. While using your smartphone or tablet to navigate a site, the emulator mirrors the touch screen of your device.


As of November 2015, Edge Animate is no longer being actively developed. For more information, see Edge family of products | End of development.

Additional features related to mobile layouts

Sticky footers

As in previous versions of Muse, you can drag guides to define the area below the page and set the footer region. You can also set any content element as a Footer Item, which causes it to display below the minimum page height set in the Site Properties or below the existing page content, whichever is longer.

Defining footer content is very helpful when a site has pages of varying lengths, because the footer placement adjusts vertically to display consistently along the bottom of pages without overlapping the page content.

By default, the Sticky Footers option is enabled. This is a feature that is especially designed for visitors with larger desktop monitors. In most cases, you'll want to keep the Sticky Footers option enabled for your websites, because it causes the footer to remain in the desired location, even if the browser window is significantly larger than the web page design, as it is on an Apple cinema display.

To see how this works, you can preview a Muse site in a browser and zoom out on the page. Notice that if you make the page content too small in the relationship to the browser window, the area below the footer displays the browser window, instead of keeping the footer flush at the bottom.

When you create new sites in Muse you'll see that the Sticky Footer option is enabled in the New Site dialog box.

The Sticky Footer checkbox is automatically selected when you create new sites.

Generally speaking, it is best to use the Sticky Footers feature when you design sites. However, if you notice that the length of pages is displaying much longer than desired (because a site has minimal page content and the pages are fairly short), you can always disable it by deselecting the checkbox in the Page Properties dialog box.

Disable Sticky Footer from Page Properties.
After creating a site, update the Page Properties and disable the Sticky Footer option.

Pinned elements

The code generated by Muse is tested to ensure it displays and behaves as expected across all modern web browsers and platforms.

One of the web standards that differs between desktop and mobile browsers is support for pinned page elements. When designing sites for desktop browsers, you can select an element and use the Control panel option to pin it to the browser window. Pinning is helpful for creating consistent navigation. It is also helpful in cases where you want to keep an element in the same region of a longer page, regardless of how far down the page the visitor scrolls.

At the time of this writing, mobile browsers do not equally support pinned objects. As a result, it's necessary to come up with alternate strategies for pinned objects when designing phone and tablet layouts.

When designing the Phone or Tablet layouts, you'll notice that the Pin options are grayed out and inactive.

The Pin interface in the Control panel is not available when designing mobile layouts.

Publish a site with mobile layouts

You can publish sites with multiple layouts in Muse using the same method you use normally to publish desktop sites. It is helpful to publish trial sites and then use mobile devices to view the live version to test the designs on smaller screens.

Click Publish or choose File > Upload to FTP Host to upload the site files to the hosting server.

When you publish a Muse site with multiple layouts, it is pushed live with a single URL. So you only have to register one domain name, like this:

When you publish a site with two or three different layouts, Muse generates the code for the site that includes detection scripts that identify which type of computer or device and which type of browser the visitor is using the access the page.

The detection code determines the platform and browser version, and then automatically displays the correct layout. You don't have to do anything to ensure that visitors using a tablet will see the tablet design and visitors using smartphones will see the phone design. It all happens behind the scenes.

The new mobile layout features in Muse enable you to optimize your mobile layouts so that device users do not download larger files unnecessarily. The alternate layout functionality serves up only the smaller, resized image files so that the site performs well across all platforms and browsers.

To learn more about working with Muse, check out the articles and tutorials on the Adobe Muse Help page.

Using Go to Page to copy site content between layouts

Click the Master (Desktop) tab to make the master desktop page active in Design view.

Muse makes it easy to switch between layouts using the included navigational tool: Go to Page. This button appears in Design view in any project that has multiple layouts.

  1. Click the Go to Page button.
The Go to Page button looks like an arrow pointing to a page.

When working with multiple layouts, it is helpful to be able to jump back and forth quickly between two or more pages, so that you can easily copy and paste content.

Note: In addition to clicking the Go to Page button, you can also use the keyboard shortcut: Command+J (Mac) or Control+J (Windows).

The Go to Page dialog box appears. It contains a text field that you can use to type the first few letters of a page name in the site, so that you can easily jump to that page without going back to the Plan view repeatedly.

  1. Enter the first three letters of the page name you want to locate. For this example, type the first three letters of the word Master: mas.

The field scans the site for any matching page names and displays them in the list below.

  1. Press the down arrow twice to select the A-Master (phone) page and then press Return/Enter to open it.

The Master (phone) page opens in Design view and is ready to edit.

Another great way to jump between the different layouts in a site is to use the new keyboard shortcuts:

  • Command/Control+7 displays the desktop layout
  • Command/Control+8 displays the tablet layout
  • Command/Control+9 displays the phone layout

These shortcuts are only active when editing a site that has the corresponding layout. Experiment with using these new shortcuts to develop a workflow that you prefer when switching between layouts and specific pages.

Next, you'll create a second master phone page and add the design elements.

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