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InDesign Insider Training: Interactive PDFs
Illustration by John Hersey
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Adding finishing touches in Acrobat


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InDesign Insider Training: Interactive PDFs

with David Blatner

Video: Adding finishing touches in Acrobat

Well InDesign can make terrific interactive PDF files there are some things that it just can do yet and if you are going to want to use Acrobat 4. For example you can't set all the intital view settings in InDesign and that's why once I export a PDF from InDesign I almost always open in it Acrobat and head right over to the File menu and choose properties. To fine tune initial view settings, I will click on the initial view tab and then I'll come down over here and change some of these pop up menus.

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InDesign Insider Training: Interactive PDFs
2h 22m Intermediate Jul 23, 2013 Updated Jan 17, 2014

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While PDFs can be used for printing, they also have interactive features that make them great for forms, brochures, and prototypes. In this course, InDesign insider David Blatner tells you what interactive PDFs are, why they're so useful, and how to make them yourself with Adobe InDesign and Acrobat. Learn to make hyperlinks to websites, other pages in your document, and email; add buttons that navigate, show, and hide content; create a form with check boxes and text entry fields; and embed audio and video. Plus, discover how to add polish with calculations, page transitions, and more.

Topics include:
  • Creating a new interactive document
  • Linking to URLs and mail addresses
  • Creating bookmarks
  • Adding buttons with rollover states
  • Adding text, list, and submit fields to forms
  • Embedding audio and video
  • Adding page transitions
  • Best practices for exporting high-quality interactive PDF files
Subjects:
Design Digital Publishing PDF
Software:
InDesign
Author:
David Blatner

Adding finishing touches in Acrobat

Well InDesign can make terrific interactive PDF files there are some things that it just can do yet and if you are going to want to use Acrobat 4. For example you can't set all the intital view settings in InDesign and that's why once I export a PDF from InDesign I almost always open in it Acrobat and head right over to the File menu and choose properties. To fine tune initial view settings, I will click on the initial view tab and then I'll come down over here and change some of these pop up menus.

As you know, some of these can be controlled in the export PDF interactive dialog box. For example, page layout and also magnification (NOISE). But other features can only be controlled here in Acrobat. For example, the navigation tab. Do you want this to open just the page, or do you want it to also show the bookmarks. If I've gone through the trouble of making bookmarks, then I want the viewer of my PDF to know about it. So I'm going to choose Bookmarks, Panel, and Page. You can also choose what page to open it on. I usually leave that set to 1. But here's something that I almost always change.

The show pop up menu. Look up at the top of the screen. See how this is showing me the name of the file? That's the file on disc. The actual file name. That'd kind of obnoxious. I don't care about the file name. What I care about is the file title. And I can control the title, by clicking on the description tab, here in this dialog box. For example, here I'll type, Lynnwood, Newsome, Portfolio. After all, that's what this thing is. That's the title of this document. I could also type in an author, a subject, even keywords.

And that's helpful for searching. But for right now, I'm going to leave it set to the title and I'm going to go back to the initial view tab and I'm going to choose document title from the show pop up menu. Now, because this is portfolio piece, I don't want the viewer of this PDF to see all these buttons up here. So I'm going to come down here and turn on hide tool bars. The last thing I'm going to do, is head over to the advanced tab, and set a language for this PDF document. It's a good idea to set the language for a document. Has to do with accessibility and, search engine optimization.

In general, I like coming in here and changing this to the proper language. In this case, English. Alright. I'll click OK and now I need to save this document. I'll just press Cmd+S or Ctrl+S on Windows and it saves it to disc. Some things change immediately, like the title at the top of the page changed to the title of the document. But some things won't change until you close the document and reopen them. So I'm going to go ahead and close this document and then come back and reopen it. Now all my changes are visible, the title of the document is displayed at the top of the screen.

All those buttons are gone and the book marks panel is open, so I can click on these to use them. Now some day maybe InDesign will let us set up everything about a PDF so that we won't need to do anything in acrobat. But until that day, it's worth taking a moment to put a few finishing touches on your PDFs.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about InDesign Insider Training: Interactive PDFs.


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Q: I am trying to turn objects in a layered InDesign document into buttons, following the lessons in Chapter 3, but they don't show up when I export to PDF. What's wrong?
A: This is a known issue with InDesign, stacked layers, and buttons. The final stacking order in your PDF is actually determined by the order the buttons are created, not the stacking order of the layers in your document. David Blatner has researched and proposed a solution to this issue on his InDesign Secrets blog. Read more about it here.
Q: This course was updated on 01/17/2014. What changed?
A: The author updated three movies in the "Links and Bookmarks" chapter, since the behavior of hyperlinks has recently changed in InDesign CC.
 
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