Join Bob Levine for an in-depth discussion in this video How to add an MSO to a state, part of InDesign: Multistate Objects.
- We've already seen how to add static or interactive content to an existing MSO, but if you try to add an addition MSO to a state, you'll find that to be impossible. The Add To Visible State or Paste Into State actions are simply grayed out, and therefore unavailable. Fortunately, there's a workaround we can use to trick InDesign into letting us do this. Let's take a look. I've got my file open, and let's just select this MSO that's on the page, and you can see that familiar dashed line around it.
And I wanna go to a state where I'm gonna put a popup video into here, so let's open the Object States panel. And we'll be using it a bit, so let's just drag it out into the workspace. I wanna go to the San Francisco state. So I'll just click on that in the Object States panel, and that takes us to the state that we wanna work with. Now, we created a popup video earlier in the course, and I'm gonna use that here. So let me go to my Layers panel, where I've already put it, and I'm just gonna turn on the layer that I've saved it on so that we can see it.
Now, it doesn't look like much here, but you may have noticed when I clicked on that layer to turn it on, that I've got my button here. When I mouse-over it, it's going to allow me to select the multistate object that contains the popup video. And you can see that that's on a different layer by the red dashed line around it. Now, again, it doesn't look like a whole lot, but notice that the Object States panel is now showing me the popup video. And we're in the closed state, but if I click on the video state, we can now see what we're gonna go for.
So, let me close this back up again. I've got the MSO on here, and what I wanna do is I just wanna draw a small text frame out of the way. It doesn't matter where you put this, and you'll see why in a moment. So I'm just gonna draw it up here in the corner. And now that I've got my text frame there, I wanna make sure I select my multistate object that I'm going to put into the San Francisco page. So, let's open up the Layers panel and make sure that we select the popup video by clicking on the little proxy icon to the right.
And so I've got that. And with the Selection tool active, I'm going to get a small red icon here, and that's gonna let me drag into that text frame that I created, and once I get that little highlight in there, I'm just gonna let go. And that is going to anchor the multistate object to that small text frame. So, now let's see what we can do. If I select the text frame and if I open up my Layers panel here for the main MSO, I can select the multistate object as well by Shift+clicking on it.
So, there we go. I've got the text frame. I also have the main multistate object selected. Now, take a look at the Object States panel. I've got some choices to make down here, and one of them is "Add objects to visible state", and that's the one I wanna use. So let's go ahead and do that and see what happens. And, look at that. Now, it may not be apparent right away, but let's take a look in the Layers panel and see what we've got here.
In the main California MSO, if I expand that, you'll see the San Francisco state, and that's the SF here, and that's going to correspond to the SF here in the Object States panel. Let's open that up one more time. And now, look on top here, and there's my text frame. If I click on that to select it, you can see that that is selected and it's inside the other multistate object. That's gonna let me work with this now.
And so I'm gonna close this up for a moment, and I wanna make sure that I've got that selected, and I can do this a couple of ways. I can try to start double-clicking into here, and that's just going to give me the button that's in that state. It's not giving me the MSO. This is where things do get a little bit more detailed. And, it's really a lot easier to start using the Layers panel for doing your selections. So, let's come on back here, and we'll expand the SF state here.
Let's expand the text frame choice, and now I've got the MSO. And now I can start working with that again in the Object States panel. And the reason I need to do that is because one of the problems with anchoring MSOs into other states is the same problem we have with inserting buttons into MSOs. We start to lose actions. So, I need to take a look and make sure that I've got buttons that work here, which means I need to expand the popup video choice in the Layers panel one more time.
So now I've got the state called "closed", and you can see that "closed" corresponds to "closed" here again. So, let's go back to the Layers panel. In fact, I'm gonna pull the Layers panel out. That's gonna make it a little bit easier for all of us. Let's expand that again. Here's the button. Okay, now it wasn't named, but it's a button. Let's click on that. You can see that I've got a button highlighted. It's got a little button icon here in the lower right corner. I can now open the Buttons and Forms panel, and, sure enough, I have indeed lost the action that was on that button.
So let's add it back. I'm just going to click the Add New Action, and this is a two-state multistate object, so let's just click Go To Next State for this one. And, you can see it's picking the popup video and that's the only choice. Because the button is in the MSO, we have to go with that multistate object to be controlled. Okay, so, I've got that state taken care of. Let's just close up the Buttons and Forms panel here, and let's go back up in the Layers panel and get our popup video selected so we can get to the next state.
Okay, I've got the MSO selected. Now I can use the Object States panel to get to the next state, and that's the video. And here I want to be able to add an action to my "closed" button. So, we're gonna use the Layers panel again. Let's expand this video choice, and now we're gonna look into this state to see if we can find the button that we're looking for. And, let's take a look. I don't see anything that really says "button", but, I've got this here, and notice that when it's expanded, there's the word Normal.
That's sort of a clue that I've got a button in there, so let's just select it and see what happens. And, sure enough, that is a button. You can tell by that dashed line that goes around it, as well as the icon down in the lower right corner. So now we can open up the Buttons and Forms panel. And again, there's no action assigned to it, so let's just go ahead and click the "+" button to add an action. We'll choose Go To Next State again, because it's really the easiest way to handle a two-state multistate object.
Let's go ahead and click that. It's going to add that action for us, for the popup video to go to the next state, and that next state is, of course, the closed state. So, I think we're all set here. Let's just close up the Buttons and Forms panel. Let's go back into the Layers panel to select our video, and now I can close that up so it's just sort of not in the way. Now, even if I hadn't done that, when we start to preview this, by default it's going to show it to me in the closed state.
So, let's just get our panels a little bit out of the way here. I'm just gonna put this up here and get it out of the way. Let's go ahead down on the Object States panel and click on the EPUB Preview button, and see what we get. Well, this is not exactly what I want, and why is that? Well, I want to take a look at the San Francisco state, but in all my excitement to add a multistate object to another state, I forgot to add a way to get to that state.
So, let's close the EPUB Interactivity Preview panel, and let's just do something real quick to our main multistate object. I'm gonna go back to the "start" state, and I'm just gonna draw a real quick button here, just for testing purposes, right? And I'm going to use the Buttons and Forms panel to turn this into a button for Go To Next State, because San Francisco is the next state in this MSO. And we're doing this real quick.
And, let me close this up. And, I'm going to add this into the MSO by selecting the MSO and the button and then just adding that to the visible state. Okay, a quick test for those of you who are watching. What did I do wrong? I added the action to the button before I added it to the MSO, and if we just double-click this button and open the Buttons and Forms panel, you'll see I lost it. So, let's go ahead and add that, and we'll just use the Go To Next State so that I can get to San Francisco with this once I preview it.
So, let's try the preview one more time. Okay, let's just click on the EPUB Preview panel to launch it. And there is my first state in the California multistate object, and as I mouse-over San Francisco, you can see my cursor changes to the little hand with the pointer, and I'm gonna click on that, and that takes me to my San Francisco state, and that's great. Now, if you remember, we put the button for the video down here where it says "Video".
And, sure enough, when I run my cursor over that, it does change to the hand, so let's go ahead and click the word "Video" and see what happens. And, sure enough, there's my video layer. I can actually click to play the video. And, when I'm done, I can just click the close button by running my cursor over, and you can see the cursor changes again to the little pointer, and I'm gonna go ahead and click on that to close that up.
And that's about it, that's how you add a multistate object to another multistate object. Now, if this process seems familiar, that's great. It's because it's very similar to the one we used to add buttons to a multistate object in order to control a video.
- Working with the Object States panel
- Creating content for basic multistate objects (MSOs)
- Using layers and pages to create MSOs
- Adding and removing states
- Adding content
- Adding objects as states
- Controlling MSOs with buttons
- Using MSOs for interactive content
- Nesting MSOs