The versatility of the PDF format allows you to create documents that contain interactivity, including movies, hyperlinks, bookmarks, page transitions, and buttons.
Let's add some interactivity to a document and export it to an interactive PDF file.
Now, I'm beginning this video with the Interactive Elements.indd file already open on my computer, and we're just going to add a couple of interactive elements to this so we can see how this works inside of InDesign.
Now, what I've already done is I've reset my workspace to one that ships with InDesign called Interactive for PDF. So when you choose that option, it's going to display the panels associated with that workspace.
And we're going to start off by adding some hyperlinks to our document. I'm going to go ahead and go to the hyperlinks panel, and I'm going to click on this Pluralist logo here. And we're going to come down here to our hyperlinks panel, and I'm going to click on the Create New Hyperlink button.
Now, this allows me to define where this hyperlink's going to go. I can use a URL, an email address, a file, a page, a text anchor, or a shared destination. Now, in this example, I'm going to use a URL, and I'm just going to put the Adobe website here. We'll just go ahead and type <a href=”www.adobe.com">www.adobe.com. Now, the shared hyperlink destination is turned on by default, and usually I would encourage you to turn that off unless you're going to reuse the URL multiple times. So in this case, I'll go ahead and keep that turned on. I'll go ahead and click OK, and you can see that now we have a new hyperlink down here.
Now, sometimes it can be helpful if you come up to the Panel menu and choose Rename Hyperlink and give it a more relevant name. I'll call this Adobe Hyperlink. And we'll click OK, and now at least you can tell what that hyperlink is doing. Now I'm going to navigate to page two and I'm going to do the same thing to this logo.
Now, this time when I create my new hyperlink, for the link to, I'm going to change that to Shared Destination, and then I can choose the Adobe URL that I created previously, so I don't have to re-type it in. We'll go ahead and click OK, and I should also point out that you can create a hyperlink by highlighting text as well, but obvious hyperlinks that are implicitly displayed are typically going to get converted automatically when you go to the PDF format anyway. So we'll go ahead and leave that as is, and let's go ahead and now add some bookmarks.
So I think what I'll do here is I'm going to go to the Pages panel and I'm going to navigate to Page 4, where we have our backpacks. Now, I'm going to open up the bookmarks panel and I'm going to click on the Create New Bookmark button. I'm going to call this bookmark Backpacks, and I'll press Enter, and then I'm going to go ahead and go to the Pages panel again.
We'll double-click on page 6, and I'm going to create a new bookmark again— this one's going to be Chairs. And last but not least, we'll go to page 7, where I'm going to add another bookmark for the sleeping bags. So I'm going to go ahead and click on the New Bookmark button and I'll call this one Sleeping Bags. Press Enter, and now we have some bookmarks in our document as well.
Now, one last thing I'd like to show you is, you can see that I've added some navigation icons here, and I've just quickly added these so we can see how we can add buttons to our document as well. Now, I've actually added these to the master page. So I'm going to go ahead and go to the Pages panel, double-click on A Catalog, and what we're going to do is, we're going to create some button navigations of these triangles here.
So I'm going to click on this first navigation, and I'm going to come over here to the Buttons and Forms panel. And I'm going to go ahead and click on this icon down here at the bottom to convert that object to a button. And then we can highlight the name— I'm going to call this one Previous—and then in the Actions here, I'm going to click the plus sign, and I'm going to go ahead and choose Go To Previous Page at the top.
Now, you could also change the event. Right now the event is on release or tap. You can change it to on click, on rollover, on roll off, and then you have on focus and on blur, and that's specific to the PDF format. But I'm going to leave mine set to on release or tap, and then what I'll do is go ahead and come over here to the next one—we're going to convert that to the button, call this one Next, and then we're going to add an action to this and we're going to say Go To Next Page.
Now, to save a little bit of time, what we can do is simply make copies of these two existing buttons. So I'm going to delete these two on the right, and I'll highlight these, and while holding down the Alt or Option key and the Shift key, I'm just going to drag this over to the right-hand page, and now I've got copies of those buttons on that page as well.
If I go to my Pages panel, go to page 1,we can see that we now have those buttons appearing here. Now, on the first page, what I'm going to do is I'm going to hold down Shift Command on Mac or Shift Control on Windows, and I'm going to click on that triangle to override it, and then I'm just going to delete it, because we don't want the previous button on the first page.
And now I'll do the same thing on the last page. Go all the way down to the bottom, Shift Command or Shift Control, and we'll delete that button as well. Now it's time for us to export to an interactive PDF. So I'm going to go to the File menu, choose Export, and for the format, instead of Adobe PDF Print, I'm going to choose Adobe PDF Interactive.
Now, I do want to point out that hyperlinks and bookmarks will, in fact, export in the PDF Print format, but other interactive elements will not. So we're going to go ahead and choose PDF Interactive. I'm going to go ahead and save this to the Chapter 15 folder, then we'll go ahead and click Save.
And you'll notice that the dialog box when exporting to an interactive PDF is a bit different than the one for the print version. So the important thing here is that down here at the bottom where it says Forms and Media, that we choose Include All. We're going to make sure that we include all of our interactive elements when we do this. In addition, you can choose whether you want to output the PDF as spreads or single pages. I'm going to go with single pages, and then I'm going to let it view the PDF after exporting.
So if I go ahead and click OK, it is letting me know—this is a common error here— because our document is using the CMYK blend space, and an interactive PDF uses an RGB color mode. So it's just letting you know you may encounter some color changes in this situation. So I'm just going to go ahead and click OK, and that's going to export my PDF. You'll notice that the interactive PDF format does not export in the background as a print PDF does.
And when it's all finished, I'm going to go ahead and press Command zero on Mac or Control zero on Windows, and I'm open now inside of Acrobat Pro, but you can open it in Adobe Reader as well. You'll get the same behavior.
You'll notice if I click on that, it's going to take me to the Adobe website in my default browser. So now I'm just going to return to Acrobat, and you'll see that I can also, when I hover over these buttons, that will take me to the next page or the previous page in my PDF document.
And then last but not least, if you open up the bookmarks panel, we can see that we do, in fact, have the bookmarks that we created. If I click on Backpacks, it's going to take me to the Backpacks page, or the Chairs page, or the Sleeping Bags page.
As you can see, adding interactivity can create a pleasant experience to the end user, which can be beneficial in a number of different ways.
You can create interactive PDF documents that contain movies, hyperlinks, bookmarks, page transitions and buttons.
- Open your InDesign file and select the Interactive for PDF workspace. The panels are displayed on the right of the screen.
- Add hyperlinks by clicking the Hyperlinks panel then selecting any element from your InDesign document. In the Hyperlinks panel, click the Create New Hyperlink button. Add your hyperlink destination.
- Add bookmarks to pages within the document by opening the Bookmarks panel. Click Create New Bookmark.
- To create buttons, open the Buttons and Forms panel. Select any element, then click Convert To Button icon on the Buttons and Forms panel.
- Click the + sign next to Actions to select the required action. Click Event to select how the button is activated.
Contributors: Adobe Press, Chad Chelius