Publish Online provides an interface for interacting with your document pages. There is one part of the interface that can be customized. In this video, Diane Burns shows you how to create custom thumbnails for your document, using a simple trick in InDesign. Use custom thumbnails to clarify different sections or chapters in your document.
- [Voiceover] Your published documents sit on Adobe's servers and as we've discussed in another video, the interface for viewing and interacting with your document comes from the Adobe server side. So, you can't really customize it in any way. You can, of course, put navigation in your own document, such as these buttons here, but you can't change this interface in any way otherwise. However, there is one trick I'd like to show you for sort of customizing the experience. It has to do with these document thumbnails. These document thumbnails let you navigate through your document and they show you little miniatures of each page.
Depending on the document, these may or may not be easy to read and in this case, because of the animation and the way I've set it up here, this page actually looks kinda funky. You can't really tell what's going on here. It doesn't look the way that it will when the animation finally ends. So, for different reasons you may want to change these thumbnails and it turns out, it's pretty easy to do in InDesign. I'll show you a little trick. Let's go back to InDesign. Here's our InDesign document and I'll go to the second page here and let's take a look at how we make these custom thumbnails.
Basically, we want to cover the page that's here with an image that'll be picked up as the thumbnail. Now in my case, I just want something really simple. I just want the text for each page, like in this case, water, I want it to be part of that thumbnail. So, we're gonna cover the page with a text frame and because this covers the page, we want to put it on its own layer. So, I'm gonna go to my Layers panel. I already have a layer here and I'm gonna turn on the Custom Thumbnails layer.
I'll draw a text frame that covers the entire page and I've actually created an object style that's gonna format this frame for me. I'll go to the Window menu, to Styles, and open my Object Styles panel, Custom Thumbnail Frame. That makes it gray and when I start typing, it formats the text for me. Now, the problem here is I need to leave my thumbnail visible in order for it to be a thumbnail, but this would also be what displays on the Publish Online document.
We don't want that. So, here's the trick. After you draw your frame for your new thumbnail, whether it's an image or a group of frames, whatever, come to the Animation panel. Here's what we're going to do. We're going to animate this frame, doesn't matter what we choose. I'll just choose the first one on the list, Appear, but here's the trick. The trigger event here is set to On Page Load. We're going to turn that off by simply unclicking On Page Load. Now, this animation is waiting to occur, but there's nothing that will trigger it.
So, Publish Online will pick this up as the thumbnail, but because this never animates, it's going to display what's underneath this, a regular page. I've already set up this document so we'll turn that back on and if we go to the other pages of our document, you'll see that I've already set up this same kind of thumbnail treatment and they all are set to animate, but with no trigger action. Let's publish the document and see what we get. Now, one other thing as I'm publishing it, is that because I've covered the first page with this gray frame with text, I don't want that to be my thumbnail, especially if I publish this to Facebook and I don't want to see it in my web dashboard either.
So I'm gonna choose a thumbnail image. I created a jpg. I just exported the first page of this document as a jpg, right from InDesign and we're gonna make that our cover page and then let's publish it. So, here's our document. It looks exactly the same as before, but let's go to our thumbnails. Check that out. That's a lot easier to read. Isn't it? And I can still use the thumbnails to navigate throughout my document.
You can use any kind of treatment for these thumbnails, making them color coded, you can include icons, anything really. And you don't have to use them on every page. Maybe you just use them as section dividers. Just remember, the point is to simplify the thumbnails, so large type or simple images are best. Have fun experimenting with this little trick.
Learn what Publish Online can and cannot do, and how to adjust the publication settings to make sure documents look the way you want. Find out how to upload documents to the web and then share them via Facebook, Twitter, or email. Then look at the navigation and interface options used when viewing published documents, and learn how to update your published documents online. Author Diane Burns concludes with some advanced techniques, such as embedding published documents in websites and creating customized thumbnails for document navigation.
- Previewing real-world Publish Online documents
- Changing the publishing settings
- Uploading documents to Adobe servers
- Updating published documents
- Sharing documents via social media and email
- Using the Publications dashboard
- Understanding document analytics
- Viewing documents online
- Embedding documents on websites
- Adding projects to Behance