With InDesign’s button tools, you can create navigation buttons that readers can use to move through the pages of your document. In this video, Mike shows how to create navigation buttons from scratch.
- [Instructor] With InDesign's button tools, you can create navigation buttons that readers can use to move through the pages of your document. Let's see how to do that. We'll start by taking a look at how this document in our exercise file is set up. In the Pages panel, I'll double click on the A-Master to jump to it. Now this is the master page, on which all of my other document pages are based, so changes I make here, like adding navigation buttons, will be reflected throughout the document. I want my navigation buttons to appear at the bottom of each page in this purple area on the right hand side.
So let's create our navigation controls. The first thing to do is to setup a layer in the Layers panel to keep our navigation controls above everything else, so they're always visible and accessible. So I'll go to the Layers panel, I'll option or alt + click on the New Layer button, and name it Nav. I'll click OK. Then I'll select the text frame containing the page number and these purple elements at the bottom, and drag them to the Nav layer in the Layers panel just by dragging up like that.
Next, I'll zoom in on the right hand side down here at the bottom where I want the buttons to go. I'll select my Polygon Tool, and I'll start dragging. Now the shape I want for the forward and back buttons is a triangle, so to create a triangle, I can tap the space bar once, then press the down arrow key on my keyboard. Each time I press the down arrow key, one of the sides is removed, so eventually I'll get a triangle. I can hold shift to make all the sides of the triangle the same length, and release.
Now to rotate it so it looks like it's pointing forward, I'll take my Selection Tool, hover near a corner, and drag. I'll hold shift again and this makes the rotation snap in 45 degree increments until I get a triangle pointing to the right. Now let's add a fill color, so go to the Swatches panel. I'll choose this first purple color, and we'll give it a tint of about 60%. I'll drag it into position, and it's a little too big, so let's re-size it by holding the shift key and dragging down one of the corners like so.
Now I need to make this triangle into a button, so I'll select it, open the Buttons and Forms panel, and I'll add an action by clicking the plus sign next to the Actions, and from the menu, I'll choose Go To Next Page. I'll give it a name, Next Page, and for the event, I'll choose On, Release or Tap. Notice that I could also have the magnification level of the PDF change when the button's used, right here by selecting something from the zoom menu.
I'll keep it at Inherent Zoom. I can also set the appearance if I want the button to change when the user mouses over it or clicks it on a computer. So I'll click the Rollover state, and I'll change the fill color to Paper. In the PDF options, I could also give it a name that can appear as a tool tip by typing something in here in the description field. In this case I'll leave it blank because this button's pretty self explanatory. Now to make the button for going back a page, I'll save myself some work by duplicating this button.
I'll click back on the Normal state. With the button selected, I'll hold option or alt + shift, and drag to the left. Then I'll use the flip horizontal button in the Control panel. I'll change the name to Previous Page, and I'll delete the existing action by clicking this minus button, and add a new one, Go To Previous Page. Now there's one more button I'd like to create and that's the one the reader will use to jump to the table of contents. Since I want a different symbol, I'll do this one from scratch.
So I'll drag out a rectangle using my Rectangle Tool. I'll fill it with 60% of the purple color, same as we used for the Normal state in the triangles. Then I'll hold option or alt with the selection tool and drag down to create two more copies. I'll shift + click to select all three. Again, hold option or alt + shift and drag to the left to make some new copies, and then shorten these so they're about square shaped.
And then I want to convert these into circles, and to do that, I'll go to the Object menu, and choose Convert Shape, Ellipse, and all three rectangles become circles. Now select all six pieces, and group them. And to make this a button to take the reader to the table of contents, I first have to make that table of contents a destination. Why do I have to do that? Well, there's an action that will jump to a specific page, but if I look in the Buttons and Forms panel, right here, Go To Page, notice that it's in the SWF/EPUB Only section, so this won't work in a PDF, so that leaves me with the very first choice in the menu, Go To Destination, but I haven't set up the destination yet, so I have to do that first.
I'll zoom out, and in the Pages panel, I'll jump to the table of contents page, and in the Hyperlinks panel menu, I'll choose New Hyperlink Destination. The type will be Page, the name will be TOC, and the zoom setting will be Inherit Zoom. Click OK. Now we can head back to the A-Master page. Select our button. Go to the Buttons and Forms panel, add an action, which will be Go To Destination, and the destination will be TOC.
Now we also need to name this button, so let's also call it, TOC. We'll give it a rollover appearance, so click the Rollover state, go to the Swatches panel, target the fill, and set it to Paper. And now we have our navigation buttons set up. Now let's export to interactive PDF, and test these buttons. Press command or control + e, let's export to the Desktop, make sure that we're exporting All pages, and View After Exporting, and click Export.
There's our PDF. As I mouse over the buttons, they change color. I can click this one to go forward one page at a time. This one goes to the previous page, and this one jumps to my table of contents. Now, it's worth noting that PDF reading apps on mobile devices vary in their support of buttons like these. In some apps, these buttons will just disappear, like they never existed. In other apps, they'll display and work just as intended. So if you're expecting your readers will view your document as a PDF on a mobile device, you might want to skip the navigation buttons and just instruct them to navigate in a different way, like simply by swiping the page.
However, navigation buttons will display and work in a Publish Online document, a fixed layout EPUB, and an interactive PDF when it's viewed on a computer. So if any of those are the way you think your readers will be viewing your interactive documents, then you'll know they'll be able to use these buttons.
- 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