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- Creating a new interactive document
- Linking to URLs and mail addresses
- Creating bookmarks
- Adding buttons with rollover states
- Adding text, list, and submit fields to forms
- Embedding audio and video
- Adding page transitions
- Best practices for exporting high-quality interactive PDF files
Skill Level Intermediate
The biggest problem with video files is their file size, which typically ranges from pretty big to totally huge. And if you place a 50 mega byte video file into your in design document and then export, the PDF the PDF gets 50 mega bytes larger. Well, maybe that's okay with you but there is another way. Instead of placing the video inside in design, you can put it on a web server. And then link to it in design. Then when we export a PDF, your PDF just links to it to and the video is streamed across the web into PDF, though it plays as though it were embedded. Linking to a video is easy.
Just make a graphic frame anywhere on your page, can be any size really, then select it with the selection tool, and open the Media panel. There're several buttons way down at the bottom of the Media panel. The one on the right is the Place Video or Audio File. If I click on that, it's kind of like the Place dialogue box, but it filters out all of the non-relevant files. In other words, it only shows me audio and video files. So that's kind of helpful. But in this case, it's not what I want. It's not letting me link to that URL. So I'll click Cancel. Instead, I'm going to click on this other button, the one that looks like a little globe.
You have to know the web address for the file and it has to be an appropriate file type like, M4V or MP4. Now I happen to know where there's a movie and I'll just type that in. Now when I click OK, InDesign goes out to the web, looks for that file, makes sure it's there, and grabs its first frame. It puts it inside my graphic frame here. Now, the frame is the wrong size, it almost always is, so I have to go up to the Object menu, and choose Fitting, and then choose Fit Frame to content. That fits the frame to the size of the video, now I can set up the rest of the media panel the way I'd want to, for example I could set a controller, lets turn on the skin overall, I'll make sure the controller shows up when ever I roll over it.
And I am going to set up a poster, instead of using a poster from inside the movie, I've actually saved a file to disk. And I'm going to use that by choosing choose image. The image I'm looking for is called PlayCandyMovie.png. You can see it's just a frame from the movie with a big triangle over it. All I did was grab a frame from the movie and Photoshop put the triangle on top of it. And then save it out as a png. That way, someone looking at this PDF will know that they should click on it to start it. So, let's go ahead and export this and see what we get. We'll choose file, export, and then save this out as an Adobe PDF interactive.
I'm just going to grab the first page of this so I don't have to take the time to get the entire document. And click OK. When it's done, it opens it up in Acrobat. We can see that the poster image is there, let's try clicking on it. There we go. There's our video, streaming over the internet. Now, of course, there's no free lunch here. And there are two major caveats regarding this technique. First, the movie won't play unless you're connected to the internet. Second, if the movie is really big, it could take a long time to download.
And because of that, even though this technique is really cool, unless you can control where people are going be when they're viewing your file, I generally recommend that you embed your movies rather than link to them.