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Author David Blatner provides in-depth training on InDesign CS5, the print and interactive page layout application from Adobe, in InDesign CS5 Essential Training. The course shows how to create new documents with strong and flexible master pages, precisely position text and graphics, prepare documents for print, and export designs as interactive PDF or Flash SWF files. Exercise files are included with the course.
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 trouble making interactive SWF files. Well, that's changing now that I can export SWF directly out of InDesign. Adobe has made the process nearly painless too. Watch this. Here is my InDesign document. It has buttons, rollovers, movies, all kinds of stuff. I want to export it as a SWF. So I'm going to choose File > Export, then I'll choose Flash Player (SWF) from the Format pop-up menu. When InDesign exports a SWF, it saves a number of different files including HTML and SWF and some resources and it is a good idea to put that in its own folder.
So I'll use the operating system's button to choose New Folder here and call it something like CA_swf, whatever you want to call it. I've made a folder, I've set the format, and now I'm going to click Save. The SWF Export dialog box gives me a number of options including what page range do I want to export. In this case, I'm only going to export two spreads. Pages 6 through 9, but you could export the whole document if you want. If you're going to be viewing your SWF in a web browser, you probably want InDesign to generate an HTML file for you.
On other hand, if you're just taking the SWF to put into Flash Player, you might not need that. We're going to go ahead and view our SWF after exporting, and I'm going to scale this down to a size that I can see inside my web browser. If you've already used the Page Transitions panel to set your page transitions, you can go ahead and use them from the document. But in this case, I'm going to override those by choosing Blinds, and whatever you do, don't forget to include the Interactive Page Curl. All SWF files have to have a Page Curl, just like all documents have to have Drop Shadows. I'm just kidding, but the Page Curl is pretty cool.
Let's click OK and see what happens. InDesign is going to export this SWF file to disk and then it's going to open it in my default web browser. Look at that, the animation works, the rollovers work. I'll scroll down on the page here so we can see the whole thing better. There's my rollover. When I click, I can see my cool Blinds transition, more animations. This is just amazing. I mean the fact that I can finally make SWF files like this, without knowing any ActionScript code at all, it makes me very, very happy. Enough said!
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