By Lauren Sharp
An interactive PDF is a novel way to showcase your portfolio or used as a marketing tool. It basically works like a mini website. Opening up in Acrobat the designer would want to prompt the viewer to interact with the PDF instead of just clicking to the next page. Follow our basic steps to create your own interactive PDF
1.Launch InDesign and create a new document. File > New > Document. Deselect facing pages and insert 4 under number of pages (or as many pages as you like). Customize the rest of the page presets to your needs.
2.Plan how you would like these pages to interact with each other. Maybe drawing out a flatplan will help you.
3.Once you have all the elements in place and your pages correctly laid out. Create interactivity between them, starting from page 1. Let’s make my About Us button link up to page 2 where all my About Us information is.Select the about us image icon.Object >Interactive > Convert to Button.
4.We now need to create Behaviors for the button. Select the button CTRL Click (Mac) / Right Click (PC) navigate to Interactive > Button Options.Under general you can name your button and create a description. Ensure that the Visible option is selected. Then under Behaviors you can leave the default setting of event to Mouse Up, and in the behavior there is a drop down arrow, select Go To Next Page. Zoom can be left at the default which is Inherit zoom. Then Click the add icon and OK to finish up.
5.Do the same for the Contact Us icon. Except in the Behaviors change it to Go To Last Page.
6.Now convert the What We Offer icon to a button. If you went into the button options you will find that it’s very limiting in the Behaviors, in so much as it doesn’t allow you to select which page you’d like to link it to. To get around this small problem we need to create a hyerlink. Remove button properties.Object > Interactive > Convert from Button
7.Window > Interactive > Hyperlinks. This opens up a panel that you can dock with all the other panels on the right of your screen. With your icon / image selected click on the create new Hyperlink icon
8.A dialog box pops up and allow you to specify what page you would like your icon to link to. Select the page number and click OK when you are done.
9.The previous steps we have just covered will easily allow you to create the necessary buttons, links and icons for your PDF.
TIP: Once you have created a button for Go To Previous Page you can copy and paste it on another page and the properties will copy along with it. Or create it on the master page allowing it to be a fixed option on each page.
10.Once you have finished. It’s always good to test the results. Because InDesign doesn’t have the ability to Preview the document as an interactive PDF. You have to export the file as a PDF in order to see the results. Remember every change that you make in an InDesign document a new PDF needs to be made.
11.File > Adobe PDF Presets > High Quality Print or Smallest File Size. We are going to customize our PDF any way so it doesn’t matter which of those presets you select. Smallest File Size works well for email purposes.
12.Make sure in under Include in General you select Hyperlinks and Interactivity selected. Also select View After Exporting, this opens up the PDF in Acrobat for you. In compression you have power over how your images display. By selecting various compression options under image quality you can reduce the size of your PDF, but this also effects how pixelated the image will display. When you are happy with your settings, you can select SAVE Presets, and save this preset. This means you never have to worry about setting up these options again. Once you have saved your preset click Export.
13.Voila Adobe Acrobat launches for you and you are able to test out your PDF. If you plan to email the file you may need to check how big it is. Some-times these PDF’s can be really large in size especially if you have used High resolution artwork. Forward planning is always the key. Enjoy.