Join Bob Levine for an in-depth discussion in this video Using Object States Assistant, part of InDesign: Multistate Objects.
- As we've seen, adding objects and buttons to states can be a bit tedious. I'm always on the lookout for third-party extensions or scripts that can make my life easier, and there's one in particular that I highly recommend. It's called Object States Assistant, and it can be purchased from automatication.com. Let's take a look at how this extension works. I've already downloaded and installed Object States Assistant. The first thing I wanna bring to your attention is the fact that we're gonna get a new panel choice under the Interactive menu, and there it is, Object States Assistant.
We don't really need to go through all of the choices here, but one in particular that I happen to like is if I select the MSO, I can actually just navigate through it with the little buttons here for next state or previous state, and that's a little bit easier than going through them by clicking on them in the Object States panel. While that's a nice little convenience, let's take a look at where this extensions really shines. I'm gonna make sure that I've got my MSO selected, so let's just open up the Object States panel and let's just make sure I've go the entire MSO selected by clicking on the little icon up here.
I'd like to add this button, which already has a Go To Next state action applied to it, to the first through the fourth states in this MSO. So I'm gonna shift click the button to select it. And now I've got the button and the multi-state object selected. Let's take a look at what happens if I pull this Object States panel out so we can see, and if I open up the panel menu, I've got some extra choices here that I didn't have before.
I've got Add Objects to Some States and Add Objects to All States. I just wanna add it to some, so let's click on that and see what we get. Okay, so I wanna add this to the first through fourth states because I don't wanna have a next state choice on my last state. Let's click the first state, and then let's come on down and shift click the fourth one. And if you want it to skip over some states, you could just command shift if they were not contiguous.
So I'll come over and just click OK. That's in there. Let's just do the other one first, before we even check this out. I'll select that by clicking on it, and I'll click on the MSO as well. So now I have my Go To Previous State button as well as my MSO selected. Let's add that to some states. So we'll open up the panel again. We'll select Add Objects to Some States. And let's get the 2 through last states selected.
I'll pull this away so you can watch what happens when I say OK. And that's actually disappeared from the first state, right? So let's make sure we've got our MSO selected. I can now just sorta breeze through this to make sure that things went exactly where I wanted them to go. And I get to the fifth state, and sure enough, all I have is the previous state button. And if I go back, we can just see that everything is okay. Now, here's where things get really, really good.
I'm gonna double click on this button. Remember what happened last time when I did this in an earlier movie? When I added a button to a state, we lost the action for the button. So let's just take a look by opening up the Buttons and Forms panel while we've got that button selected, and take a look. The Go To Next State action is still applied to that button. So now I can simply click on the little preview button here and open up our EPUB Interactivity Preview panel.
Let's test this out. I can click on the button. You'll see the cursor change. And sure enough, everything is working quite nicely. I can get through all of these states and I can go back. And there you have it. While an MSO with just a few states is easy enough to manage, when you get into MSOs with 10, 20 or even more states, Object States Assistant could save your hours of work.
- 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