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Once you're done designing and building your presentation file, you need to export it to the Flash Player format, also known as SWF; if you've included things that InDesign can only export to SWF. This includes things like animations and multi-state objects. You can still have animations and multi-state objects in interactive PDF, but the first step is to export to SWF, then place this SWF back in InDesign, and then export a PDF. So let's look at the first step, exporting to SWF. So here I have my presentation document and it includes animations that have to be output in SWF format in order to work.
So I'm going to press Command+E or Ctrl+E to export, I'll export it to the Desktop, Flash Player SWF format, and click Save. We'll look at the General options. First of all, if I had selected objects on the page I could export just to Selection to SWF. I can export the whole document, or a range of pages, and new in CS6 is the ability to export just a specific layout, but in this case, I'll export all pages. I can have InDesign generate an HTML file and view the SWF immediately after exporting. So I'll leave those selected now, and I can also scale it.
If you build your presentation to the size you want to output it, then choose 100% for scale. In this case, I'm going to scale it down a little bit, say to 75% just to fit it on my screen. In other cases you could fit it to a specific screen size or you could specify any width and height that you want, but again, I'm going to choose 75% now. For the Background I can have Paper Color or Transparent. Notice that when I select Transparent, I can no longer have Page Transitions. I'm going to select Paper Color and since we've gone to the trouble of building interactivity into our file, we'll be sure to include it.
For Page Transitions, I can use the ones built into the document. I can remove them or I can override them with any of the Page Transitions. I'll keep From Document, and I can also decide if I want to have Interactive Page Curl, where users can click and drag the corner of the page to make it look like they're turning a piece of paper. Let's look at the Advanced options. The first option is Frame Rate. 24 frames per second is the default and it's suitable for most SWF output. You can specify a higher frame rate to get smoother animations, but doing so will increase the file size of your SWF.
For Text, you have three options: Flash Classic Text, Convert to Outlines or Convert to Pixels. Flash Classic Text will keep the text as live text and use real fonts. If you export this way you also have the information at the bottom of the dialog box about which fonts will be embedded in the SWF, and there is button you can click to get more information about the end-user license for that font, to see if embedding in the SWF is permitted under your license. You also have options to rasterize your pages, make them into a static picture, and to Flatten Transparency, but don't select either of these if you have interactivity, because it won't work.
Under Image Handling, you have choices for JPEG, PNG or you can let InDesign decide. You also have a choice of JPEG quality and resolution. Typically, the defaults of JPEG, high quality and 72 pixels per inch, will result in a good looking on-screen presentation. All right, let's click OK, and have InDesign export the SWF. It opens in my web browser, the animations play, and the navigation controls work.
Another thing to remember about the settings in the SWF Export dialog box is that those are the same settings that will be used in the SWF Preview panel. So the changes I make in the Export dialog box will be used for all documents that I preview in the SWF Preview panel. Likewise, if I make changes to the preview settings, those will be what I see next time I open the SWF Export dialog box. So let's just go back to InDesign and take a quick look in the Preview panel, and right here, Preview Settings. So these will stay in sync with what you set in the Export dialog box.
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