Join Anne-Marie Concepción for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating documents with interactive features, part of InDesign CS5 New Features.
One of the coolest new sets of features that you'll find in InDesign CS5 has got to be all of the new interactive things that you can do with the layout. You can tell that Adobe has spent a long time trying to figure out a way for people who are not Flash developers or programmers to be able to add things like animations or come up with interesting things you can do with videos, or sideshows, in the InDesign layouts. So you can use it as a layout tool for all sorts of things not just print. And they have done an incredible job. So let me give you an overview of all of these new features that you'll find in CS5.
First of all, look at the workspace, we have an Interactive workspace, and then we also have an Interactive for PDF workspace. So the Interactive for PDF workspace has things like buttons and bookmarks, and hyperlinks, and things that you can include in a PDF. If you're creating an interactive file for SWF, because you're going to export to SWF, or you're going to export to Flash, then you just want to choose Interactive, which has more panels, things that PDFs don't support. So I've switched to the Interactive workspace, and the top two, three, four, five panels here, these are all new in CS5. So let's take them one-by-one.
First of all, the Animation panel. When you see an object that has these kinds of things like little bubbles coming out of it, that means that someone has applied animation to that object. If I select this object, you can see this green line snaking from it, and that's actually a motion path, showing the path that this frame will take when viewed as a SWF file. If I open up the Animation panel, I can see this little pink butterfly showing me what that motion path looks like. And there are all sorts of motion paths that you can choose from in this preset menu. Now what would be great is if we can see this actually happened in the layout.
Unfortunately, we can't. However, they've come up with this fantastic new panel called the Preview panel that lets you see all sorts of interactive stuff without having to export to SWF, or Flash or PDF first. So let's open up the Preview panel, and click the Play button. InDesign shows us the spread and any animations and other interactive features on the spread. You can enlarge this panel as much as you'd like, and get this preview to be really big. So let's go ahead and add some animation to another object like say this icon right here.
I'm going to select this icon, open up the Animation panel, and let's just go ahead and choose, let's try, Pulse. Let's see what Pulse looks like. Oh! That's kind of fun. But we want it to do more than one time. Let's do it 2-3 times. Yeah, that's good. And now let's preview our spread again. Most of the Interactive panels have a shortcut to the Preview panel in their lower left corner. So I'm just going to click that and when you do that, you don't have to click the Play button. The Preview panel will show you automatically all of the interactive features on the active spread.
If you want to see it again, you can just click the Play button again. So what's happened here is that Taste of California came down first, and then this thing started pulsing. What if I wanted this thing to start pulsing first, and then Taste of California to come down? Or what if I wanted them both to happen at the same time? What if I had a whole pile of different kinds of things that were being animated, and I wanted control over what animates when? Well now is when you're probably thinking, oh, gosh! They added a timeline that I'm going to have to learn. No, not at all. It's actually far simpler. It's called the Timing panel. And the Timing panel shows you all of the animations on the active spread.
And you can just drag and drop them to appear in the order that you want. So if I wanted Taste of California animation to happen after the logo was pulsing, I could just drag -and-drop it below there. Or if I wanted them both to happen at the same time, I could just Shift+Click all the animations that I wanted to happened at once, or Ctrl+Click, if I wanted to make a discontiguous selection, and then click the Play together button. Let's see what that looks like. And now they both happen at the same time. Neat huh? Let's take a look at another new feature.
This has to do with bringing in audio and video. Now in CS4, and earlier versions, you could place a video and audio, and you can still place all of those formats in CS5. But they've increased it so that you can also place SWF files, and FLV files, and F4V files, these are like Flash-based video, as well as MP3 sound files. And to make things easier to manage, all of the rich media stuff that you're placing is managed in one panel called the Media panel. Now we've placed an FLV video here, but I'd like to see what this video looks like, and maybe assign a poster image.
So I'm going to open up the Media panel, and here I can scrub through the video, or I can just play the video right in the panel. And when it comes upon a frame that I'd like to use as the poster image, I can just say from the Poster pop-up menu, From Current Frame. If it's a Flash-based video, I can also choose any one of these Flash-based controllers for starting and stopping and pausing the video. Now, if you wanted to see this video play in thr layout, once again we can use the Preview panel. One more feature that's new in CS5 is a new kind of object called a multi-state object.
Now, if you're familiar with buttons, any kind of button that you've used in Web design or in InDesign that has multiple states, like a normal state, a rollover state, the appearance changes. That's kind of like what a multi-state object is, except it's not a button. It can be anything. Basically, you just make a multiple selection, and you turn it into a multi-state object, and every single one of those items in your selection becomes a different state. Now I've already done this for this group down here in the lower left. These are actually four different pictures that I placed one directly of top of the other.
And then I selected them all and opened up the Object States panel, and then just clicked Create a new state. And when I did that, it created a new state for each one of these pictures and I can just click through the pictures to see each one. And I named this slide show. Now, the thing is that you have to have a controller so that the person who's viewing this in the SWF file can move from state-to-state, right? And that is done with a button. So I've already set up one of these buttons. I'm going to set up the other button. I've just selected the button, open up the Buttons panel, and it's called Previous Image, and the action that I want to add is Go To the Previous State.
So these new actions that have to do with states and animation, these are also new in CS5. Now let's take a look at our work of art in the Preview panel, one more time. I'm going to select the Preview panel, and click Play. And we see our animations appear. Here is our video. I can click on the video and just go ahead and play it right in here. You remember, we could make this Preview panel much larger and to see this almost at full size, if we wanted to. And then here are our multi-state objects and we can test our little button actions to see how it moves you from state-to-state.
This is basically what this would look like if we export to SWF. But I want to show you one new feature that you get when you export to a Flash file. So I'm going to the File menu and choosing Export. So we want to export to Flash CS5 Professional (FLA) and we're going to save this out to the Desktop, I'll call this flash test, and put everything in that folder. And it is this new Text engine that is really called Flash TLF Text, and that's selected by default. So I'll just leave it like that and click OK.
Now when you export to FLA, it doesn't automatically open in Flash. So you have to jump over to Flash CS5 Professional and choose Open and navigate to your FLA file and open it. Now, what's neat is, check out this text. If I click inside it, note that Flash is maintaining the threading between the frames. And all the text is selectable, just like normal in InDesign instead of it being broken up into individual tiny text frames, which is what often happened in previous versions.
So there is a brief overview of the interactive features in InDesign CS5.
- Adding spanning heads over columns and splitting columns
- Using the revamped Layers panel
- Editing and customizing motion path presets
- Adding interactive features
- Controlling and managing multiple animations
- Mixing page sizes in a single document
- Publishing to a variety of Flash formats using the enhanced Export dialog
- Creating multi-state objects
- Using the new Gap tool and Gridify techniques