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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.
InDesign is a layout application but notice that I didn't say what kind of layout. Most people use it to layout print documents but you can use it for interactive on-screen documents just as easily because it offers a wide range of interactive features. For example, this document has buttons, animations, sound, movies, and more. Now these days it's not about print or on-screen documents. It's all about print and on-screen. You simply have to know at least a little bit about both worlds. That said, creating interactive documents is a vast topic.
In this chapter, I'm going to touch on the essentials and then after you get these under your belt, consider watching Michael Ninness' Interactive Documents title in the Online Training Library. You'll be glad you did. But before I go any further, I want to point out that when I talk about building interactive documents, I mean interactive PDF or SWF documents. Things like movies and buttons don't really do that much on your document page itself, but fortunately, you can view your interactivity inside the Preview panel. Let me show you.
InDesign has a workspace called Interactive. So I'm going to choose that out of my application bar and open the Preview panel. Now I'm going to tell InDesign to preview this document by clicking on the Play button in the lower-left corner. InDesign literally exports my spread as a SWF file and then loads that Flash SWF into this panel. Did you see that little animation there? That is one thing that's animated on my page. But this document has all kinds of interactivity. It has buttons with rollovers. It has a movie.
It even has hyperlinks. Once you get your file working the way you want it and it previews correctly, you can export it out as a PDF and open in Acrobat or export a SWF and open it in Flash Player or your web browser. I'll show you how to do those things in the chapter on exporting. Okay, first, let's look at how to build the most basic interactive element of all, a hyperlink.
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