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Adobe InDesign CC – Advanced Training

How To Create An Interactive PDF In Adobe InDesign CC

Daniel Walter Scott || VIDEO: 32 of 74

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Hi there, in this video we're going to look at how to create an Interactive PDF in Adobe InDesign. This one, we're going to create just some basic interactivity. We're going to create a little link that links to a website and links to an email address. Then we're going to show you how to produce and export an Interactive PDF. Let's give it a test. Click on the little icon, it opens up a website, very exciting. Lots of pictures of me, look at this, I'm there everywhere. Let's go and do that now in InDesign.

So we're going to export an Interactive PDF. First we're going to add a bit of interactivity, just some simple stuff just to make sure, or we can test it works. So what I'm going to do is add a little hyperlink. When it clicks, it goes to a website and then another one, when it's clicked, it goes to an email. So I'm going to add it to my Master page, so I'm going to double click on our A-Master. So I'm in my Master page, I know I am because down the bottom left here it says A-Master. I'm going to bring in two icons that I'm going to use as the triggers. You could highlight text, I could just write my email address, "@maynooth". Select that and do it, but I want to do it with two little icons. So let's do that, let's go to 'File', 'Place', and if we go to our 'Exercise Files', and in Interactive, so '04 Interactive', there's two icons that I want, 'icon-email' and 'icon-website'. I'm going to use my cool little Gridify trick. I have two little guys here, they kind of match the same size, I'm going to scale them down. If you haven't done the Gridify video, go and do that one otherwise just scale him down manually.

I want website to be first, then email to be second. I'm going to put them in the bottom right here, and a lot smaller. You could do the exact same thing with maybe Twitter and Facebook icons, so that when they click, they jump out to those things. I'm doing another Master page just so that, watch this, when I double click page 1, page 2, page 3, they're on all of them. I still feel they're too big, so I'm going to make it a bit small. Holding 'Command' and 'Shift' while I'm scaling them down. And it's 'Control Shift' on a PC while you're scaling, will do it proportionately. So what we need to do is have one of them selected, and let's go to 'Type', which is kind of weird, and go to 'Hyperlinks & Cross-References', and go to 'New Hyperlink'. And in here, I'm going to say, when this is clicked, I want the link to go to email. And the email address, I'm going to put in, let's say '[email protected]'. So whatever your email address is.

You can add a subject line, it will just pre-fill it out for the user. I'm going to put in like 'Catalog Enquiry', something like that. And that's it, click 'OK'. Let's do it for the website address as well. So with this, it's going to go to my website. It's hard to know what the icon is for a website. Sometimes it's just 'www-- pick the globe, anyway. So, same principle, let's go to 'Type' and let's go down to 'Hyperlinks', 'New Hyperlink', and instead of email, it's got an URL. That Maynooth URL I'm using for this course is fictional. It's a fake company I've made through this course. This is my actual site, so I'm going to use this one,, or you can go to, just something you can test, that works. I'm going to click 'OK'.

So we've added a little bit of interactivity, we're going to add a lot more throughout the following videos, after this one, but let's get the basics done, so hyperlinks, emails, and now we need to produce a PDF that's interactive. So what we need to do now is go to 'File', and let's go to 'Export'. Just like we do for a normal PDF. What we need to do, by default it's set to 'Print', so 'Adobe PDF (Print)'. What I'd like to do is set it to 'Interactive', that's basically what we need to do. I'm going to save mine on to my 'Desktop', I'm going to put it in my 'Coursework'. I'll call mine 'Catalog', just for the moment, and I hit 'Save'. And in here, you can go through and play around with the defaults but basically it's ready to go. You can just click on 'Export'.

If you want to go into a little bit more details, probably the main thing you're going to go through is 'Compression'. At the moment, mine is set to '300' so it's going to make the files look really amazing. So you might decide that, actually I don't want it to be so high. And the main way to do this, is under 'Resolution'. 300 is print quality, it's probably not what I need when we're going out for an Interactive PDF. I pick like 144. Some people go to 72, it really depends on how big it is. You want to keep this as high as you can, but you want to compare that with how big the actual physical file size is. If you are at 300, and it's becoming like a 10MB PDF then it's not going to be easily emailable, and life becomes tough. So you might have to drop it down to 144 and if then it's still really big you might have to drop it down to something like 72. Have a little practice with the different resolutions. Just see what does it look like, versus how big it is. I'm going to keep mine at 300.

There's nothing much else you need to do in here. I'm going to click on 'Export'. I've got some Overset Text, all that means is that when I'm working on my text boxes here there's actually more text than the text boxes. Just wanting to say, "Hey, you've got text you can't see on the page." Because it's just demo, I'm not worried about that, but if this was a proper print document I might have text that's not visible on the page, and that will be bad. I'm going to click 'OK' though, because I'm not worried. Now depending on your computer, most computers will open up Acrobat Pro by default. If you don't, you might have to go to your 'Finder' or your 'Windows' if you're on a PC, find the file where you've kept it. We called ours 'Catalog.pdf', just double click it there. And once it's opened up in Acrobat or Acrobat Reader, down the bottom here are our two little icons that appear on all the pages. Hopefully you can click on them, click on the first one. It kind of comes up with a warning, mine didn't come up with a warning because I've disabled it. Yours is probably going to say "Hey, this PDF is trying to launch a website." And you click 'OK'.

You can see here, it's jumped into Chrome, and it has opened up, and lots of pictures of me, just what you needed. Let’s look at the other one, so email, so when I click on this, it's going to open up your default email clients. And in this case I'm on Mac, so it's MacMail. You can see, it's added the email and it's added the subject line, and now I can type it in. So it's just a way of kind of helping people email you. So before we move on I'm going to do a little bit of production video where I just kind of add some graphics and stuff, just to help this tutorial work when we do Page Transitions, and just to make the document look a little nicer. So you can skip on, you're not going to learn anything too new here. Just kind of a work flow I guess, me doing stuff.

So what I would like to do is add a new page in front of page 1. Easiest way is just to click the little 'New Page' icon and just drag it back and front. So it's at the page no. 1. Basically I just want to import some logos and text, and get working. So I'm going to go to 'File', 'Place'. From '04 Interactive' we're going to bring in 'image1-floating'. I'll click and drag it from one side to the other, and it should match up. I'm also going to grab the Rectangle tool. I'm going to drag in another box. So I'm going to maybe have no-- actually click off in the background. Then grab the Rectangle tool and say, actually I want you to have 'No Stroke'. And I'll have a 'Black' Fill. And I want to draw out a box that covers the entire thing. I'll lower the opacity, just so I can put some text. Basically just doing it so I can put text over the top of it.

So again, click in the background, nothing selected, and we're going to go to 'File', 'Place' again, just bring in the Logo. It's just in the group folder of the 'Exercise Files'. Here's all of these guys, I'm going to bring in 'Option4'. Click out and drag it in the corner here. And I'll put in some text, Type tool. Now with the Type tool, it's always better to draw on the side here and then bring it in, otherwise if I click in here, you can see, my Black box that I used to kind of tint the background is being turned into a text box, and it's a bit of a pain, so undo, grab the Type tool, draw it out here, and I'm going to write in here, 'Collection 2019'.

Now when I'm working-- so this is-- I'm just going to quickly pick a font. Make something light. Not sure if I could see light, and I'll pick-- you are going to be the bold, it's fine, it's going to be the yellow. Now instead of going through and picking font sizes, the Type tool font sizes, often what I do is, select it with the Black Arrow, use our shortcut that we learnt earlier, it's 'Command-Option-C'. That just fits the text box around it. Or 'Control-Option-C' on a Mac. And then I just scale it up, like I scale graphics, hold 'Control' and 'Shift' till it scale proportionately, and I do that to adjust my font sizes because I'm not sure what size I need it to be, I'm just kind of looking at it. Tongue out, eye browing, and going "Hey, I'm at that sort of size." 'W' key, see it in preview. Do some lining up.

All right, so that is it, let's get into the next video where we look at Transitions.