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In this series, David Blatner and Anne-Marie Concepción, co-hosts of the web's top resource for InDesign tips and tricks, InDesignSecrets.com, share some hidden and sometimes surprising workflow tips that will make working in InDesign more efficient and more fun. The course covers built-in timesaving features such as Quick Apply and auto-expanding text, but also little-known tricks, such as using the eyedropper to copy and paste character and paragraph text attributes and making accurate selections by selecting through or even into objects.
New techniques will be added to the collection every other week, so check back early and often. Find more tips and tricks at indesignsecrets.com.
InDesign's buttons are really helpful when creating interactive PDF or SWF files, but InDesign's buttons have a peculiar limitation. They're only one state, that means a single click can only do one thing, like make a picture up here. For example, let me zoom in here on this upper right corner, and I can see that this is a button--see the little icon there; this is a button that's going to make this picture appear. But what if I want to second click on this to make the picture disappear? Can I do that? Sure, but it takes a little trick.
The trick is you need two buttons that look like a single button. Here's what you do. First, I'm going to switch my workspace over to my Interactive workspace so that I can see my Buttons and Animations panel, and I can open my Buttons panel, and I'll show you that this bottom plays an animation. The animation is this icon over here. I'll click on that, open the Animation panel, and you can see that it's set to fly in from top, that's all it does. Click the Button and it runs the animation to fly in from top. Let's go back to my Buttons panel and I'm going to grab this button and duplicate it by holding down the Option or Alt key and dragging it down here.
Now in my duplicate, I'm going to change the color just a little bit by changing its tint, just so you can see that it's two separate frames. Now I'm going to change the color of this. I'll just change the Tint a little bit here so you can see that it is two different buttons, two different objects. I'll change the name of this duplicate button here in the Buttons panel, I'm going to call this hide artwork; you call it anything you want. And I'm going to give it an action and the action is going to be in Animation action, but instead of playing that animation, I'm going to choose Reverse the animation, same animation but do it in reverse.
Now there are a couple of other problems I need to solve here. One is that this button will be visible when I don't want it to be visible. I don't want it be able to see both buttons at the same time. I want this one to be hidden until I need it. So I'm going to turn on the Hidden Until Triggered check box down at the bottom of the Buttons panel, that way when I first see this page that button will not be visible. Okay, but if it's not visible how do make it visible. The trick there is to use another action on these buttons. I'll go back to my original button and I'm going to add a new action which is a Show/Hide Buttons action.
So when I click on this button it will do two different things. It'll start the animation playing and then it's going to hide and show various buttons. All the buttons on this page show up here in this list, so I can scroll through here and then we can see there's my show artwork and here's my hide artwork, they're all like there in the list. So when I click on the Show Artwork button, I want it to show the Hide Artwork button and I want it to hide itself.
I'll click on the Show Artwork item here in the list and I'll just click on the Hide icon. You can do it either way, click on here and then click the button or just click in the little icon there. The eyeball with a slash through it means hide this object, the X means ignore it, don't do anything to it, and the eyeball icon means show this. You get the idea, when I click on this button it's going to play the animation, hide itself and show this button. Now I'm going to select this object, and I'll add my new action the Show/Hide Buttons action, and I'm going to say when I click on this button I want it to hide itself so I'll click twice on this little icon here to make it hide that button, and I'll zoom up here, and I want it to show the Show Artwork button. Does that makes sense? You might need to watch this movie a couple of times until it kind of sinks in.
The last thing I'm going to do is drag the second button on top of the first so that they align perfectly. And finally, we're going to try it out. We'll open up the Preview panel. I've made it larger so I can see the page a little bit better, and then I'm going to click on the Play button in the lower-right corner. After a moment of rendering it shows me the final result inside this panel and we can try it out. I'll click on the button and in comes the image, looks great. Click again and out it flies.
It looks like a two-state button; a single button that does two different things, but you know the secret now, it's actually two different buttons. You can even use the same technique to make a button that both plays and pauses a movie. For example, down here I've created one, when I click on it, it starts the movie playing, changes the button, when I click again it pauses it, and when I click a third time it resumes.
It's three different actions, three different buttons, but they all appear to be a single button. It's tricky but I'm sure you can figure it out. Remember, never say you can't do something in InDesign, it's always just a question of finding the right workaround to get the job done.
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