Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member
One of the best ways to liven up a PDF is to add some rich media to it. That's kind of a jargon term that actually means things like video or sound or animation. It's actually quite simple do in Acrobat. Now, in fact, you could even include that stuff in the authoring file. Like in Word, you could place a video, or in InDesign, or in Illustrator. Then when you export to PDF, there are options that will include that media, so that it's already in the PDF. But we will start with the scenario that you have a PDF that has no rich media that you'd like to add to it.
So we have here a very simple two page extract of a brochure that you would like to add some interest to. Let's start with video. I have some room down here to add a video. You add rich media from the tools panel. Go to Content, down here under Add or Edit Interactive Object; we want to add some Multimedia called a Video. So you choose Video and if you're thinking I'm going to get a pop-up that says where is the video file, you're mistaken. Actually, what you get is a crosshair. So you're supposed to drag out the area of the page where you want the video to go.
You can always move it later if you want. So I am dragging out a rectangular area. Now we get the little pop-up. Where is the video? I am going to click Browse and I have an F4V, a Flash video here in the Exercise Files. You can place any F4V or other Flash video format or any MOV, QuickTime movie file, that has been saved with H.264 encoding. So we will click Open. Now let's take a look at the Advanced Options before we actually place it. The Advanced Options ask us first of all about Launch Settings.
When should this video start playing? The default is when somebody clicks on it. They will get a little pop-up that says, click to play or click to enable. You could say when somebody moves to the page like in a multipage PDF, or when somebody scrolls to the page, that it should start playing immediately, but I think most users like to have more control over that. When should it be disabled? When Disable Content is selected from the right-click or context menu, or when somebody moves away from the page. We will just leave that at the default.
The Playback Style is, do you want the movie to play on the page or do you want it to open in a little pop-up window, like a little floating window, and then they click a close box when it's over? It's up to you. I am going to leave it as content on the page. Let's go down here to Poster Image. I usually like to create a little JPEG or PNG file that is a preview or a poster for the movie. That's what shows on the movie file until it's actually playing. So I've already created one here. If you click Browse, you can go to Poster Images and here's the picture of olive picking, which is what the movie is all about, picking olives, kind of neat.
Under controls you have your choice of skins. A skin is kind of like a style and these are all the controls that you would find on any kind of video player. So Play, Seek, Mute, Stop, Pause, all that kind of stuff. Now these controls, I am going to leave it at All Controls, are set to Auto-hide by default. What that means is that the controls don't appear underneath the video, they appear on top of the video. Sort of like toward the bottom. They are like a rollover effect. So when your mouse goes over the video, then they see the control. When your mouse leaves the video area, then the controls disappear and you can see the full movie.
Even when the controls are on top of movie though, you can still see the movie content behind it, because it's not 100% opaque. It's 75% opaque. That's what this is all about. Let's just leave those as is. Finally, the last video tab lets you set chapter points. These are kind of like bookmarks at different time codes in the video that lets you use buttons or links to jump to certain points in the video. So, basically using the default settings, except for our Poster Image, we are going to click OK, and there is the video.
Now if you want to see it play, put your cursor over and click to activate like the tooltip tells you. (Video Playing) This is a very interesting video about picking olives, and you notice that when I moved my cursor over the video that you saw the playback controls, and when the cursor moved away, they disappeared. Pretty neat. Now let's add some sound.
I am just going to drag out a little area for sound right below the movie. Again, I'm going to the Multimedia menu choice and I'll choose Sound. Again, I have the crosshairs. So I am going to drag out a little area for the sound. I am going to get a pop-up saying where is the sound? You can use AIFF or you can use MP3s. That's new in more recent versions of Acrobat. I have an MP3 file here, which is just me in a very bad recording saying welcome. So I will click Open. Let's look at the Advanced Options for sound.
Again, when should the sound play? When somebody goes to that page? That's everybody's favorite thing. When somebody goes to a page and music starts playing. Ah! Forget about it! When content is clicked, that's what I like to have. And the Playback Style, play the content on the page or do you want it in a pop-up window? Let's take a look at that one this time. A little floating window. Again, I have a Poster Image that I created. It's just my headshot, because it's actually me talking. So I thought that would make a lot of sense. Then let's click OK. So there is the headshot and then click to activate.
(Music Playing) Wasn't that exciting? So I am going to just close the box right here. That's how you add a sound file. Finally, let's add an animation. Now, this file is created in InDesign, and InDesign CS5 can export SWF animation. So in InDesign I actually made this cool little logo up here twirl. Then I exported that selection as a SWF and that's what we are going to place here. We are going to replace this boring static one with a twirling logo. So first I need to delete the existing one.
I am just going to use my Edit Object tool. To select it, just drag a little selection rectangle over it and press Delete, and then we're going to go to the Multimedia tool and choose SWF. You can get SWF files not just by exporting them from InDesign, but for Flash or there are also web sites where you can download different kinds of SWF files. They're a lot of fun to play with. Here we go! I am going to drag out a little area for the SWF file. Now I want to know where is the SWF file? I am going go back to Rich Media, and let's look at those Advanced Options.
They're essentially the same as they were for video and sound, we are just going to use the poster artwork that's already in the SWF file. The other two tabs are for more advanced uses for SWFs. Programmers can do all sorts of interesting things between dynamic data and SWF files. We will leave that for another title. So I am just going to accept the existing default and click OK. And there's our animation. It comes in sideways for some reason. I'm not quite sure why, but if we click to activate, there it is and it's twirling.
Now I am going to select this thing and enlarge it. Here we go! I just dragged it to scale it up. Now notice it's obscuring some of the artwork behind it. So I am going to right-click, Properties and choose Transparent Background, so we can see some of the background behind it. Let's play with our Hand tool. There we go! So you saw how easy it is to add interest to any PDF, just by bringing in video or sound or cool animations.
It's a lot of fun.
Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.Become a member
82 Video lessons · 73620 Viewers
80 Video lessons · 129297 Viewers
52 Video lessons · 63666 Viewers
59 Video lessons · 49428 Viewers
Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.
Search within course videos and transcripts, and jump right to the results.
Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.
Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.
Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.
Your file was successfully uploaded.