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InDesign's high-quality typography and layout tools go beyond print. In InDesign CS4: 10 Things to Know About Interactive PDFs, David Blatner explores interactive PDF files and the techniques used to add movies and sounds to them. In addition, David explains how to avoid common pitfalls and reveals some tricks for making eye-catching documents as efficiently as possible.
Here, let me show you something. See how when I roll my cursor over this text, the image shows up and then I roll off and the image disappears. Roll on, roll off. This ability to hide and show objects is fundamental to many interactive designs but it's not immediately obvious how to achieve this when making an interactive PDF from InDesign. Fortunately, it's not that hard, once you get the hang of it. I am going to close this PDF and switch back to InDesign and show you how to make these other images turn on and off. In order to hide or show an image, it has to be a button. So I am going to select this image and open up the Buttons panel. To turn it into a button, I am going to click the Make Button button at the bottom of the Buttons panel. Now it's a button, so all I need to do and in the Buttons panel fly-out menu, I am going to say that this is hidden in the PDF.
That's setting its initial state, that is, when the PDF first opens, it will be hidden. I am going to give it a name, something a little more obvious than Button 10. How about Image 2? That sounds pretty good and now, it's ready to go. I can hide or show that by turning this text frame at the bottom here into a button. So I'll select it, click on the Make Button button and then give it a name. How about call it text 2. You can call anything you want. In order to make this image up here hide or show, I need to first set an event to the text frame. So I am going to say On Roll Over. So on the event called Roll over, give it an Action called Show/Hide Buttons. Here we go. InDesign now gives me a list of all the different buttons on my spread. Image 1, image 2, text 2, we want to change image 2, that's the one I just made, and I am going to select that and then click on the Eyeball icon down here to say that this should be visible on Roll Over.
Now I'll set this to On Roll Off and I'll just do the opposite. On Roll Off, I should show or hide buttons and I am going to hide image 2 by clicking on the icon which has the little red line through it. That's it. I am done with that set with these two buttons. Let's do it one more time with this set. I'll select the Baking Chocolate image, convert it to a button and set it to hidden at first and then I'll give it a name, something I'll recognize later like image 3 and then I'll select the text frame down here, convert it to a button, give it a name like text 3 and I'll say On Roll Over, it should Show/Hide the button and I want to, not image 2, I want to find image 3. So I click on image 3 and turn it on, make it visible.
Now on Roll Off, I am going to say, this should be a Show/Hide a button and it will turn off that image 3. It will make it invisible again. And I am done. Actually just for kicks, let's add one more button in here. I am going to make all three images show up at the same time when I Roll Over this great gifts text frame. So I'll turn that into a button, I am going to call this one, Show All Images and I am going to say On Roll Over, it should Show/Hide all of the images.
I can scroll through this list here and select image 1, and I am going to hold down the Command key on the Mac or Ctrl key on Windows to select more than one item from this list. And let's go ahead and grab image 1, 2 and 3 again I'll hold down the Command or Ctrl key to select the number 3 as well . Now when all three of those are selected, I am going to click on the make visible button, the Show button that makes them visible. Then on Roll Off, I'll go ahead and do just the opposite. Show/Hide 1, 2 and 3 and I am going to make sure that all 1, 2 and 3 are selected still. Yes it is.
So I'll click on the Hide button and now they'll all hide, let's go ahead and try it out by going to the File menu, choosing Export and saving this to disk as a PDF. I am going to just write over the PDF file that was there earlier that I showed you. I'll say sure go ahead and replace that and I am going to make sure that my Interactive Elements checkbox is turned on, otherwise I wont get my buttons. They wont work at all. I'll click Export, and see what it looks like in Acrobat. Here it is. My cursor is on top of text frame 3. So I am seeing the third image. When I Roll Off, it's off, it disappears. On, Off, On, Off, On, Off. So my buttons worked perfectly. Now let's try the fourth button we had here, the great gifts one.
Yes that shows all of them at the same time and when I Roll Off of it, they all disappear. I have to admit that I do wish it were easier and faster to achieve this effect. Turning on all of those little Eyeball buttons can get tedious, but the end result is worth it. I loved being able to do these kinds of interactive effects in my PDF files.
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