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InDesign is an essential tool for design firms, ad agencies, magazines, newspapers, book publishers, and freelance designers around the world. This course presents the core features and techniques that make this powerful page layout application fun and easy to use. Author David Blatner shows how to navigate and customize the workspace, manage documents and pages, work with text frames and graphics, export and print finished documents, explore creating interactive documents, and much more. He also covers popular topics such as EPUBs and long documents and includes advice on working with overset text, unnamed colors, and other troublesome issues that may arise for first-time designers.
I have a secret I want to share with you; I have never been comfortable with working in Flash, and that means I've had a lot of trouble making interactive SWF files. Well, that's changing now, because I can create my SWF files right in InDesign. Adobe has made the process nearly painless, too. Watch this: I have my Roux portfolio document open from the Exercise Files folder, and I've also added a bunch of different interactivity here. This page is not so exciting, but if I go to the next page, I can see some more interesting things. Here, I've got an image, and I am going to double-click on that to jump inside this group, and I have an animation applied to this.
I made that animation by going to the Window menu, choosing the Interactive submenu, and then choosing Animation. This animation makes this image fade in slowly over one second, when it's called to appear, and the thing that calls it to appear is this button over here; this number 10. Now, I am not to going to get into all the details about how to create these interactive animations. If you're interested in that, check out the wonderful title on InDesign interactive documents in the Online Training Library. But what I do want to show you right now is that we can preview this animation inside of InDesign.
I'll close the Animation panel, and instead I'll go to Window > Interactive > SWF Preview. Now, when you first open the SWF Preview panel, it usually takes a little time to kick in. That's because it's actually exporting the SWF file to disk, and then loading that into this panel. Currently, it's set to only preview this one page. That's with this middle icon down at the bottom means. If I wanted to preview all the pages, I'd click on the last button, but that takes even more time, because it has to re-export everything. You may have noticed, when the preview did open, these objects faded in slowly; that's part of the animation.
The problem with the SWF Preview panel is that is just way too small, but we can fix that; we'll just make it bigger. You can make it as big as you want. I'll drag this out much larger, and you can see that the SWF automatically resizes to fill the panel. You'll notice that as I scroll over these buttons at the top, they highlight; that's great. And you'll notice that I have buttons that I can click on over here. Here's that number 10, and when I click on it, in comes that image. Now that we know the SWF is going to work, it's time to export it.
I'll go to the File menu, and choose Export. I'm going to places this SWF up on the Desktop, and I want to make sure that Flash Player (SWF) is chosen in the Format pop-up menu. When I click Save, up comes the Export SWF dialog box. I've a number of options in here; I could export just the Selection, or All Pages, or just a Range of pages. In this case, I do want the entire document. I have the option for it to create an HTML file, or just a SWF. Usually, I'll just let it create the HTML file, because it's really helpful for InDesign to write the HTML code for me.
Of course, I want to view it after exporting, and I want to scale it down. In this case, I am going to scale it down to 800 by 600, because it will show up on my screen better. All right; let's go ahead and export. I'll click OK, it takes a moment to write the SWF to disk, and then it launches in my Web browser. There it is. Now, you'll notice that usually when it opens the HTML in the Web browser, it's a little bit lower than you'd hope for. I' m going to go ahead and scroll down little bit in the Web browser to center it on the page. Let's try it out.
I'll move my cursor over the buttons, and they work. I click on the Portfolio button, and it takes me to page 2. Everything fades in beautifully, and now I can come down and click my number 10. There it is. If you have the exercise files, you can play around with this, and try it for yourself. You can see the other artwork, or switch to other pages. The main thing I want to point out about exporting SWF from InDesign, however, is if this is not for creating a little Web banners; it's for making SWF ads to put on your Web page.
The reason is, SWFs from InDesign are always too big. There is a lot of document overhead in there. If you need to make SWF Web banners, you're going to have to use Adobe Flash for that.
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