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Creating Long Documents with InDesign shows designers how to create book-length documents in workflows with multiple users—using both InDesign features and third-party plug-ins. Publishing veteran Mike Rankin focuses on long document elements such as page and chapter numbering, table of contents, cross-references, and indexes. The course also provides an overview of document construction, from creating master pages and applying consistent formatting with styles to placing text and images and outputting to both print and interactive PDF.
In addition to making press-quality PDFs, you can also output your documents to interactive PDFs for onscreen use. Here I have a document that I want to export to interactive PDF and it doesn't have tons of bells and whistles, just some buttons at the bottom of each page that folks can use to navigate back and forth. And let's take a look at the Interactive PDF Export options. So with the document open, I'm going to a press Command+E or Ctrl+E to export, and I'll just export to my Desktop, Format: Adobe PDF (Interactive), and click Save, and here're the export options for interactive PDF.
First of all, I can choose whether to export the entire document or just a range, whether to open it in Acrobat right after I'm done exporting it, and whether I should include page thumbnails. Acrobat Layers is an interesting option. You can preserve your InDesign layers in the exported PDF. So in Acrobat, someone could turn them on and off, but be careful if you don't want the people viewing your PDFs to have access to those layers. If this option is turned on, all your InDesign layers will show up in the PDF, including those you've turned off in InDesign. This will also create a layer called Grids and Guides in the exported PDF, as we'll see after we export this document.
I can also create a tagged PDF to try to make it more accessible. These tags can either come from XML tags I've applied to page elements and are visible in InDesign's Structure pane, or InDesign can try to infer which tags should be applied to the objects. The latter method is not usually very successful and will probably lead to a lot of cleanup work in Acrobat after the PDF is exported. And then we have options for how the PDF will be shown to the viewer. In the View modes, you can pick a different size for your PDF to be viewed at. In your Layout options, you can choose to export a single page or a two-up, but just beware: InDesign always exports with spreads on to Interactive PDF, so it's always going to look like two-up when someone opens it in Acrobat, unless you take some extra steps that we'll see later on.
For now, I'll just leave it at Single Page. In the Presentation options, you can force the PDF to open up in Full Screen mode, and you can also force pages to advance every certain number of seconds. This can be quite useful in some kinds of presentations. You can apply page transitions. Here I have the Wipe transition I'll make visible when people change from one page to the other page in the PDF. And the Buttons and Media choices are mostly what makes an interactive PDF interactive. You can choose Include All to include buttons, movies, and sounds in the PDF, or if you select Appearance Only, buttons and movies will appear as static elements.
And finally, I can choose my image quality. I can choose a compression method, a JPEG quality, and a resolution. I'll click OK and the PDF is generated. So let's see what we've got with those settings. The PDF opens in Acrobat and even though I exported as single pages, remember, I got spreads. Over in the navigation panes, I can look at my pages and they're all spreads.
I can click on the layers and tip them open and I can see all my InDesign layers, including this new one, Guides and Grids. I can turn on and off the visibility of any layer. I can also change the name at the top, which right now is at the default for the document. If I go into Full Screen mode, now I can see my transitions. So I'll press the right key on my keyboard to go to the next spread, and I can see that wipe transition happening. I'll press Escape to get back to my normal viewing mode.
Okay, so how can we overcome the fact that Export as Spread seems to be stuck turned on? There are some scripts you can run that will turn spreads off for interactive PDF export, but some people have reported problems with losing their interactive buttons and master page items when they run the script. So what we're going to do is go back to InDesign, I'm going to switch to a different document here, and we're going to go to the Pages panel, and I'm going to Shift+Click to select all the pages in the document. I'm going to go to the Pages panel menu, and I'm going to deselect Allow Selected Spreads to Shuffle.
And this is going to allow me to pull the spreads apart so they're no longer touching each other at the spine. And this is a little tricky. You have to click and drag, but not too far, just when you have that vertical bar disappear inside the hand, and do this for each spread. See, it's a little bit tricky. There we go. And again. And this spread and this one.
So now I've pulled all my spreads apart. Now I can export to interactive PDF. And again, I'll choose Single Page layout and click OK, and sure enough, now I have a single-page view in Acrobat. If I view my pages, they're single pages, not spreads, and my buttons work.
If I wanted to see spreads, I can go up to View > Page Display > Two Page View, and now I can navigate spread by spread. Okay, now that we've finished our export, it's time to wrap up our long-document project and archive our assets for the next time we're going to use them. That's next.
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