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In InDesign CS5: Interactive Documents and Presentations, Adobe Certified Instructor and designer James Fritz shows print designers how to use InDesign by itself and in conjunction Flash Professional to layout and design a wide range of digital documents. The course provides a tour of digital publishing trends, showing real-world examples of what can be achieved through InDesign. Several start-to-finish projects are also included, such as creating a presentation with transitions and animations, and building an interactive microsite. Exercise files accompany the course.
Moving your layout from InDesign to Flash may seem as simple as an export, but there are some issues that need to be aware of to avoid some problems. One of the first problems we're going to avoid are using PDF only actions. In this layout I have a button over here, and if I select this and I go to the Button panel, you can see there is an attribute called View Zoom. Well, that action happens to be a PDF Only action. And that means if I would export this to a SWF file, the button would still work in the sense that you can mouse over and it would show its appearance, but it wouldn't do anything, because it was a PDF Only action.
Flash has no idea what View Zoom does. To avoid this problem, I recommend you put PDF Only buttons on their own layer. I happen have them on the layer called PDF Navigation. This way I can disable this layer and then when I export to SWF or FLA, I don't have to worry about them being included. Another problem with legacy media. In our early video we discuss some of their problems. You really should be using only Flash video in your layouts. Now, if you do use a Flash video file and you export to FLA, there will be a poster image that sits there. When you open the file inside Flash, you'll see just the static poster image.
If you want to replace it with the actual file itself, there will be a resources folder where the Flash video file resides. If there are any hyperlinks in your layouts such as explorecalifornia.org at the bottom, when you export to SWF they'll be functional, but when you export to FLA, you'd expect them to work. And from my experience it's been touch and go. Sometimes it has, sometimes it hasn't. I don't really know exactly why that is, but you should be aware of that possible problem. If you've lot of images in your layout, they will add to your file size. Repeating images will add substantial more. In a later video we'll learn how discuss with repeating images.
If you're using transparency in your layouts, you want to avoid putting above any interactive elements, such as buttons. In this layout I've placed a transparent box above this button. Upon export to a SWF file, you can see what happens. The button no longer works. To avoid this problem, we want to use layers inside our InDesign layout. By putting our buttons on their own layers, we can avoid this problem. Transparency Blend Space is another issue that we need to address. Inside the Edit menu at the bottom, we have Transparency Blend Space. There is Document RGB and CMYK.
RGB is what we should be using for our layout, because this will be viewed on screen. In fact, if you left it at CMYK, InDesign would warn you before you export it to SWF or FLA. Finally, if we're going to be using any layers that we happen to hide, when we package our document, we want to make sure that information is included. By going to the File > Package menu and we package our document, we can save this file. We'll click Continue. There is an option called Include Fonts and Links From Hidden and Non-printing Content. This means if we were to package a file and we had a link on this particular layer, this wouldn't be included, but when we turn this check box on, then it would be included when we package.
This is something in the past they were really never worried about, because in most of my documents I had all the layers on, but with interactive documents and presentations, I happen to use a lot of layers and I turn them on and off frequently. By turning this on, I don't have to worry about forgetting any of my information. If you keep these tips in mind when you're creating your documents, your transition from InDesign to Flash will be that much smoother.
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