Join Anne-Marie Concepción for an in-depth discussion in this video Setting up a template for an interactive layout, part of InDesign: Designing Templates.
- I haven't yet had a chance to address creating templates for digital documents, but in general, they're not that much different than creating templates for print or PDF documents. A couple provisos, let's take a look at this document that we have actually seen in a couple of my videos in this course, but I had removed all the interactivity because I wanted to concentrate on other things. But here it is in all of its glory, Cooking with Vegetables. If you want to see how this works interactively, you can use the EPUB Interactivity Preview right here, this wonderful little thing.
Let's close that up. You find that EPUB Interactivity Preview from the Window Menu, Interactive, EPUB Interactivity Preview. And even though this might not be an EPUB, it's going to go up as a publish online document or something else. It still is really the best way to preview how interactive things work in InDesign without having to export it. So here it is, I made sure the document has been set, and I choose Play so we can see how it works.
InDesign renders the entire document and puts this as page one. How we can tap these little arrows to move from page to page, and how there's a fun little bit of thumbnails down here at the bottom that we can click and go around. Here's the Table of Contents, there's stuff about broccoli, and so on. So that's how the interactivity works, these are buttons with actions that bring us places. You should be putting the buttons at the top layer because if other things obscure the button, then the interactivity will be lost.
Take a look at the Layers Panel, and you can see that buttons are indeed in the top layer. Then there's Text, Pictures, and Background which is locked. If we go to the Pages Panel, you'll see really there's only one Master, that's fine, but all the interactive buttons are on this Master. And that's the other tip, that if you have never created a digital document before, you might be thinking, oh, these buttons are not going to be clickable if I put them on the Master because you need to override them, but that's really not how it works when you export to a digital format.
You want to put your buttons on the Master, but you want to make sure they're at the top layer so that nothing obscures them. You can see that this is a button, so if I select it and I go to Buttons and Forms, it tells us what it does. This is a group of buttons, and I can double click each one individually in here, and you can see that they have been already set to do things. We're not going to be talking about how to make the buttons work, I just want to give you a couple tips about if you're creating a template for a digital file, and obviously this is not yet a template, this is an actual finished file, but from here is where I would start to create my template, but you want to make sure that your interactive elements, places where people are supposed to tap or click, appear at the top of the stack.
That means they have to be in a layer at the top, and if they're going to be repeated on every page, put them on the Master.
So what are you waiting for? In this course, Anne-Marie Concepción shows how to use InDesign to find and create templates that fit your needs. By building in the power tools you need for production—flexible master pages, logical layers, object styles, libraries and snippets, and styles—you'll have a template that prepares you for success. Plus, get tips, secret shortcuts, and useful scripts, as well as practice lessons to reinforce your newfound skills along the way.
- Finding free and paid InDesign templates
- Creating templates from existing documents
- Setting up new templates: margins, swatches, grids, and more
- Adding text and image placeholders
- Creating reusable elements
- Making smart paragraph, character, and object styles
- Embedding a custom preflight check
- Adding a style guide
- Working with special EPUB and interactive templates