Creating interactive documents with InDesign

Published by | Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

InDesign is best known for its print abilities, but over the years it has added a variety of interactive features. While InDesign CS4 was limited to mostly buttons and basic links, CS5 added animation and SWF interactivity. Now with the release of InDesign CS6 and the Adobe Digital Publishing Suite, InDesign is fully able to publish interactivity directly to tablets including the iPad. To get a better idea of what InDesign can do, lets take a look at four tutorials that really showcase the breadth and depth of what creating interactive digital documents with InDesign is all about.

1. Exploring trends in digital design
Chapter one of Mike Rankin‘s InDesign CS6: Interactive Documents course begins by sharing some of the design trends that showcase the wide variety of ways in which we can share our messages via digital technology. These examples include interactive PDFs, digital books, responsive web sites and even digital magazines. In the movie below, Mike explains how a talented designer created an interactive keyboard shortcut guide primarily using InDesign CS5.

2. Interactive PDFs
When you hear PDF, you might think print. While PDFs may be a primary resource in the world of print, there really is a lot of that you can accomplish with interactive digital PDFs as well. In the past it was mandatory for you to do serious modifications in Acrobat Pro in order to get the interactive results you wanted. Finally, with the release of InDesign CS6, most of the PDF creation process can be done completely inside the InDesign software. In chapters four through six of InDesign CS6: Interactive DocumentsMike walks you step-by-step though PDF projects including presentations, catalogs, and PDF forms. In this video from chapter six of the course, Mike shows you how to make an interactive PDF document with checkboxes that can be turned on or off.

3. Animation
Moving beyond static layouts is easy when you use InDesign’s animation tools. In chapter seven of InDesign CS6: Interactive Documents, Mike walks you through the steps necessary to create your very own interactive portfolio or presentation with animation and page transitions. The movie below specifically covers the steps necessary to control the timing of animations in a bulled list.

4. Adobe Digital Publishing Suite
One of the biggest developments of the last few years has been the release of Apple’s iPad. Soon after the tablet’s release Adobe put together a series of plug-ins called the Adobe Digital Publishing Suite which provide the ability for designers to transform their InDesign layouts into interactive applications for the iPad and other tablets. The final few chapters of the InDesign CS6: Interactive Documents course cover the basic steps needed to create your first interactive magazine for tablets. In this movie from chapter eight of the course, Mike shows you specifically how to use the Web Content Overlay option to add a Google Map to your webpage.

 

Interested in More?
• The complete InDesign CS4: Interactive Documents and Presentations course on lynda.com
• All courses from Mike Rankin on lynda.com
• All InDesign courses on lynda.com

Suggested courses to watch next:
• InDesign CS5: Interactive Documents and Presentations
• InDesign CS5.5 to EPUB, Kindle, and iPad
• Up and Running with Adobe Digital Publishing Suite

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