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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.
In an earlier chapter I talked about making navigation buttons, buttons that you can click to jump from one place to another. While these buttons sometimes don't work in some tablet PDF readers, buttons are still a really important way to let your audience jump from one page to another. But there's a secret side to buttons. Each button that you include adds a little bit to your PDF's file size. Even if you put your buttons on a master page, InDesign creates a new button for every page. So, if you're trying to keep your file size down, that can be a problem.
Here's a quick trick that I often use on longer documents with a lot of buttons, like in InDesign magazine. Instead of putting my buttons on a master page or on every page, I only put them on the first page. Here in this interactive catalog file from the Exercise Files folder, you'll see that I've put each button right on the first page, but they do not appear on the second page or any other pages. Instead of taking the time right now to export this PDF, I've already created it on the desktop, and I'll just switch over to looking at it in Acrobat. I simply export it out of InDesign, open it in Acrobat, and then made a few little finishing tweaks, like making sure the Bookmarks panel is open and stuff like that.
But, once again, we can see that the buttons only appear on page one. The buttons work. If I click on the next page button here on the right, it jumps to the next page, but there's no buttons there to go any further. So here's the trick. Let's go back to the previous page. And now, I need to select those buttons and duplicate them on all of the other pages. To do that, I need Acrobat Pro's special tools. So I click on the Tools link over here. Make sure I'm looking at the Interactive Objects area and then, choose select object.
This lets me select any of the interactive objects on my page. All I need to do is drag over this area and it selects all of those buttons. Next, I right-click or Control+click with the one button mouse to show the context menu. And inside this Context menu, I can choose duplicate across pages. That sounds very promising. And, in fact, that's exactly what we want. So, I'll choose to duplicate these fields on all the pages of my document. I just click OK and it takes about one second and it's done.
Let's switch back to the Hand tool here, so that we can see it in action. Here we are on page one, and I'll click the Next Page button. And now you see we have buttons on every page of our document. And the good news is because we duplicated these in Acrobat, it added almost nothing to the file size. Now if your document isn't too long or you don't have too many fancy buttons, it's probably not taking this extra step. And I would just do the buttons in InDesign. But, if you do have a longer document, you should definitely try this out. See if it helps keep your file size down.
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