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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.
Any .PDF document longer than a few pages that's meant to be read on screen needs bookmarks. And these let your reader jump directly to the section of the document that they want to read. For example here in Acrobat I can simply come over to the Bookmarks tab and then click on one of these bookmarks. InDesign jumps right to the page that has that course listing on it. Now pretty much all PDF readers can show bookmarks,including Acrobat, and even most of the PDF readers on tablets. So it's a really go idea to add bookmarks to your InDesign documents, and then they'll show up in the PDF.
Let's switch back to InDesign and see how to do it. You create bookmarks using the Bookmarks panel, and I'm going to open my Bookmarks panel, it's right here in the dock. If you don't have it in your dock you can go to the Window menu and choose it out of the interactive sub menu. Now right now my Bookmarks panel is blank, I don't have any bookmarks in this document. So let's go ahead and add some. And there are three ways that you can add bookmarks to your Bookmarks panel. First, you could use the Table of Contents feature. I covered the Table of Contents feature in some detail inside my InDesign Essential Training course. So, if you need to have information about how it works, go check that out. But really quickly, let's make a table of contents inside this document. Here in my Interactive Catalog file from the Exercise Files folder, I'm going to press Shift + Page Down a couple of times just to jump to page three that has the table of contents on it.
Now normally, when you create a table of contents it will actually make the bookmarks for you. But in this case, I didn't just so that I could show you how to do it. I'll go to the Layout menu, choose Table Of Contents, and then fill out this dialog box. Now this is pre-filled because I already made a table of contents but, there are a couple of things that you need to pay attention to inside this dialog box. First, you'll notice that I have four paragraph styles as first level table of contents entries. Each of the departments; animation,drawing, fashion and this mysterious GD.
And then as a second level heading, I have course name. So all the courses are going to go underneath these first level headings. The second thing I need to pay attention to is this check box. That's the key. Create PDF bookmarks, when that's turned on, the table of contents feature will populate the Bookmarks panel for me. Now, because I've already created one table of contents, I'm going to make sure that the Replace Existing Table of Contents checkbox is also turned on. So, it'll throw away that old one and replace it with a new one. I'll click OK and very quickly it goes through the whole document and makes my Table of Contents. It replaced this one, updating all the numbers, if it needed to. And more importantly check out the Bookmarks panel there is all my bookmarks you can see each one of those level table of contents shows up in the bookmarks and as the first level bookmark.
To the left of these I can see a little expand triangle and if I click on that it expands so that I can see all the courses inside that. That was the second level of table of contents entries. Now the cool thing about the Bookmarks panel, is I can actually double click on one of these, and it'll go right to that page. So not only do these bookmarks work inside Acrobat or the PDF reader, they even work in InDesign. Which actually makes the bookmarks panel kind of helpful for navigating your own InDesign document. So the Table of Contents feature makes bookmarks, there is two other ways you can do it. You can make a page bookmark or a text bookmark.
I am going to open my Pages panel and scroll down here until the page that I find to add a bookmark to probably this one here. I will double click on it to jump to that page. Then I'll go back to my Bookmarks panel, and I'm going to add a bookmark for this page. But more precisely, I'm going to add it to this text itself. I'll double click on this to switch to the Type tool, select the text that I want to make the bookmark. And then I'm going to come over to the Bookmarks panel and click the new bookmarks button at the bottom of the panel.
Or instead of clicking the button, I could go to the Bookmarks panel Flyout menu, and choose New Bookmark here. Either way it works, and you'll see that the bookmark's created at the bottom of the Bookmarks panel, and the text is highlighted. Any text that I had selected on the page is automatically copied in, so it becomes the name of the bookmark. Now I'll just press Enter or Return, and you can see that the bookmark is completed. Let's go to the next page of this document by going to "Layout, Next Page", and I'm going to add a bookmark for this whole page.
Instead of using the text method, I'm simply going to go to this page, click on it anywhere with a Selection tool, and then click the "New Bookmark" button. That tells InDesign to make a bookmark for this page. Now, you'll see that InDesign comes up with kind of a random naming for this called Bookmark 22. So, I'm going to give it my own bookmark name, and I'm going to call this Libraries and Galleries. You can see to the left of the bookmark name that there are two different kinds of icons. The Page Bookmark icon or the Text Anchor Bookmark icon.
Just a couple more things that you should know about the Bookmarks panel. First of all, you can drag these bookmarks around. For example, I could click on this name to select it and then drag it anywhere I want. And you'll see little highlights show up. If I drag it on top of one of the other bookmarks, it becomes a nested bookmark. So for example, I'm going to drag it on top of the campus bookmark and now you'll that it's become a nested bookmark. You see the little triangle that shows up? I can click on that and I can see libraries and galleries indented underneath that bookmark.
There's also one thing about the Bookmarks panel that can kind of trick you up. And that is if you have a bookmark selected inside the Bookmarks panel when you make a new bookmark. It's added immediately after that bookmark that's selected in the panel. So for example, I'll go to the next page here. And this is my application form. So, let's say I make a new bookmark here. I'll just click the New Bookmark button and then say, Application. You'll see that my new bookmark was added, after the one that was selected. And in this case, because it's a group or a nested bookmark, it adds it to the end of that nested bookmark. So, that's not where I wanted this.
I need to move it. And again you can move it simply by clicking and dragging until you see the correct line. You also want to make sure that that line is the right width. So, like, right here if you look closely, I'm going to be putting this inside the campus. But if I move my cursor to the left just a little bit, the line gets extended and now when I let go it'll actually end up as its own first level bookmark. Pay attention to your line, pay attention to your cursor and be precise. So that's making bookmarks. In a later chapter, I'm going to show you how you can set up your PDF, so that the bookmarks appear in Acrobat automatically when you open the PDF. After all, if you've gone through all this trouble of making bookmarks, you want to ensure your audience sees them.
And believe me, your audience will thank you, because bookmarks are typically the easiest and fastest way to navigate your PDF.
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