Archive for March, 2011

InDesign multi-state objects in interactive PDFs

InDesign has cool multi-state objects that let you create some really awesome effects. You can use these to create slideshows and other interactive content. As you might have noticed, multi-state objects work in SWF output only. So what do you do if you want to include a slideshow in an interactive PDF?

You can add multi-state objects to interactive PDFs. It is a  little cumbersome and clumsy, but works quite well.

A simple two-step process; so simple, that most of you might be doing this already!

  1. Create a multi-state object and export to SWF.
  2. Place the SWF in your main document.

See Create Multi-state objects in the InDesign help for information about multi-state objects.

For example, if you want to add a slideshow to an interactive PDF, do the following:

Create a multi-state slideshow

  1. Create your slideshow in a new document.
  2. Export to SWF. See this for more information on exporting to SWF.

It’ll help if you specify the dimensions as per the frame where you’re going to place it.

Bob Bringhurst, has written a nice overview about Multi-state objects here.

InDesign CS5 introduces a new kind of page item designed for creating slide shows in a SWF file. A multi-state object changes its content when a button is clicked in a SWF file. To create a multi-state object, place a bunch of images in your document and align them in a stack. Select them all, and then click the New button in the Object States panel to create a multi-state object. Then use the Buttons panel—which has been enhanced in InDesign CS5—to create navigate arrows that jump to the next or previous state in the multi-state object.


Place SWF in your main document

  1. Choose File > Place and place the SWF file.
  2. Specify Poster settings.

For more information see Add movies and sound files to documents.

Export to interactive PDF

  1. Choose File > Export.
  2. Specify a name and location for the file.
  3. For Save As Type (Windows) or Format (Mac OS), choose Adobe PDF (Interactive), and then click Save.
  4. Specify options in the Export To Interactive PDF dialog box, and then click OK.

For more information see Create interactive documents for PDF.

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