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In InDesign CS5: Interactive Documents and Presentations, Adobe Certified Instructor and designer James Fritz shows print designers how to use InDesign by itself and in conjunction Flash Professional to layout and design a wide range of digital documents. The course provides a tour of digital publishing trends, showing real-world examples of what can be achieved through InDesign. Several start-to-finish projects are also included, such as creating a presentation with transitions and animations, and building an interactive microsite. Exercise files accompany the course.
A new area of InDesign CS5 is the ability to create animation. In another chapter, we'll learn how to do this. But for now I want to address how we can use animation inside a PDF. On the first page of this presentation, let's take a look at the animation. I am going to preview this spread with the Preview panel. As you can see, "explore" and "California" fade in slowly. Let's take a look at this inside a PDF. I am going to close this panel, and go to File > Export. On my Desktop, I am going to save it as Adobe PDF (Interactive). p1.pdf.
I am going to change the range to Page 1. I am going to view it after exporting, and click OK. As you can see in the PDF, it's static. Unfortunately, InDesign cannot pass along this information into a PDF directly, but we do have a simple workaround. Let's close this and go back into InDesign. Back inside InDesign, we have to create a couple of guides to line up the animation. I am going to go to my Guides layer and draw out a couple of guides to the left and right edge of this animation.
Next, I am going to put one at the bottom and the top. Now I am going to hold Shift and select both of the animated elements, and I am going to go to File > Export. In Export, I am going to go to Flash Player (SWF), p1.swf, and click Save. Inside my dialog, I want to be on Selection, and I don't need an HTML file, and I want to be scaled at 100% with a transparent background. I'll click OK. Next, I am going to hide the text layer and create a brand-new layer by Option+Clicking or Alt+ Clicking the New Layer button.
We'll name this "SWF" and click OK. Now that we are on this layer, we're going to go to File > Place. On our Desktop, we are going to grab p1.swf and click Open. With my loaded cursor, I am going to place this where the guides meet. Next, I am going to open the Media panel and choose Play on Page Load. Let's preview the animation with the Preview panel. Looking at the animation inside the Preview panel, you can see that it plays correctly, but it's at the wrong position.
Let's move the play SWF file into the correct position. We'll close the panel. With the Selection tool we'll select the play SWF and move it up slightly. Next, let's preview it inside our Preview panel, and now it's placed in the correct position. We'll close the panel. Now that we are finished, let's export this to a PDF and take a look. We're going to go to File > Export. This time, we'll call it presentation. I am going to change the format to Interactive PDF and click Save.
We'll put the range to 1-2-- we don't need the entire presentation right now--and click OK. Now when we are looking at this, you're probably thinking, "Wait a minute. This isn't working!" Well, we can fix this. There is a little bug that's happening when you export to an interactive PDF. Unfortunately, InDesign doesn't transfer the PDF correctly into Acrobat. In order to fix this, we have to the manually select the play SWF and turn on the transparent background. We can go to our Tool panel, right-click or Ctrl+Click and choose Advanced Editing. We're going to grab the Select Object tool and select the play SWF.
Right-click or Ctrl+Click your mouse and go to Properties, and we are going to change Appearance to Transparent background, and click OK. We can close this panel, and we'll select the Hand tool. Now let's go to the next page and come back. Now the animation plays correctly. Unfortunately, this isn't as smooth as you would expect. It is a workaround, but hopefully it will fix this in the future. But what happens if we've a lot of play SWF files? This entire process would become pretty tedious quickly. Luckily, there is a workaround that will help automate the process.
I am going to close this PDF--I don't need to save it--and back inside InDesign, I am going to delete what we made. I don't need this layer, and I can turn off the Guides layer. We are going to turn text back on. We're going to use a script to help automate this process. Because we have animation on every single page, I don't want to have to manually export each animated element, place it back in, export to a PDF, and then manually change the transparent background inside Acrobat Professional. That's way too much work. We are going to go to Window > Utilities > Scripts.
Inside our Scripts panel, I have a script called SWFPresenter.jsxbin. You can download the script for free from www.automatication.com. To learn how to install a script, you can watch a previous video in this course. When we run this script, it's going to automatically export the contents of each page into a SWF and then place the SWF back inside our layout for us. It's a big time saver. I am going to double-click, and it's going to ask me, where do I want to keep all of my SWFs? On my Desktop, I am going to make a New Folder called "swfs", press Create, and then I'll click Open.
Inside the Export dialog, I am going to choose All Pages, scale it 100%, with the transparent background, and click OK. Now, it's doing the work for us. Now that the script is complete, we can close the Script panel. You'll see there is brand- new layer called swf.presenter. What we can do is turn off all of the other layers inside the document, and you'll see that there is a play SWF on every single page. If I go to the Media panel and select the SWF, you'll see it is set to Play on Page Load. Now that this is complete, we can export to an interactive PDF; File > Export.
We'll choose the Desktop. We'll leave the same name, Presentation, Adobe PDF (Interactive). We can replace this file. We'll choose the entire document, and View After Exporting, and we'll click OK. Inside the exported PDF, I can use my navigation system to go through the entire document and see all of the animations inside my PDF. This script is a huge time saver if you have lots of animation for your presentation and you want to present it inside a PDF.
For more information about the script, please visit Martino da Gloria's web site at www.automatication.com.
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