This video contains a look at the steps in an Interactive PDF workflow, which can be divided into two main parts: the work done in InDesign, and the work that has to take place after you export the PDF. Adding features and fixing common problems are both covered.
- [Instructor] While everyone's workflow can be different, generally speaking you can divide the job of creating interactive PDFs into two main parts: the work that you do in InDesign, and the work that has to take place after you export the PDF. And within these two main parts, there are several common tasks to consider and to do. So, let's take a look at the steps in an interactive PDF workflow. If you're starting a new project, the interactive PDF workflow begins pretty much the same as any other InDesign project. In order to build consistent, professional-looking pages and do it with some amount of efficiency, you have to do some pre-production work.
Building things like styles for text and objects, swatches for color, and setting up your document with proper layers and guides. If you're gonna be creating similar documents over and over, then you might want to save a template so you're always starting from a clean slate. Then, in the next phase, you put real content into your document. Text is written or placed into the document from Microsoft Word or other sources, text is formatted and often edited, and images, illustrations, and maybe media, like sounds and video, are put in place. Then comes a phase where you can build the connections between your content.
What I like to call the document infrastructure because it involves things like navigating content with cross-references and hyperlinks, tables of contents, and bookmarks. This is also when you'd create the necessary elements for accessibility, like setting up articles and a tab order. And then comes the production of purely interactive elements. Adding things like buttons to navigate pages, or control the visibility of contents, and adding PDF forms. When everything is complete and correct, you can export the interactive PDF.
But you're not done yet. The second part of the workflow is post InDesign jobs that you do in a PDF editing application, like Adobe Acrobat. These might include combining documents, adding or deleting pages, adding or editing bookmarks, duplicating navigation buttons, which can be much more efficient than creating entirely unique navigation buttons all in InDesign, or adding additional features to forms, like a convo box that allows the user to type their own text in it. If accessibility is important to you, then you would need to use Acrobat's tools to fix or add accessibility features.
And if file size is a concern, you might use the PDF optimizing controls to reduce the file size. So with all these potential jobs to do after you export from InDesign, you can see how important it is to try and finalize your content before you export. Otherwise you might find yourself having to do the post-export work over and over again, which can be really frustrating. Finally comes the testing of the PDF. It's time to check everything, including links and bookmarks, play the media, use the buttons and forms, and if you think your readers are going to be viewing the PDF on a mobile device, then check it there.
Feature support for interactive PDF varies widely from app to app, so you might want to test your PDF in multiple apps to know what your readers are going to see. And finally, when you're satisfied that everything in your interactive PDF is as good as it can be, then comes the delivery. Then you can sit back and enjoy the satisfaction of having built and delivered a well-crafted interactive PDF.
- Overview of interactive document types, including PDF and EPUB
- Creating interactive objects
- Setting up hyperlinks, cross-references, and a table of contents
- Working with media
- Publishing documents with Publish Online
- Creating EPUBs
- Following workflows for interactivity: interactive PDF, reflowable EPUB, and fixed-layout EPUB