presentation slide deck from InDesign via in5

Adobe InDesign has long had methods for publishing presentations—directly from InDesign using the Presentation Mode or via PDF using Full Screen Mode—but these methods never reached the level of sophistication and control found in Powerpoint and Keynote presentations.

That’s because those methods didn’t support many of InDesign’s powerful interactive features like Animation and Multi-State Objects. They simply produced static slideshows with no controllable transitions between slides.

In the past, I’ve modified my in5 output from InDesign so that I could present slides using HTML and include interactivity in my presentations.

When I noticed that my favorite conference—Creative Pro Week—now includes an entire day on presentations (dubbed the Click conference) it got my wheels turning about adding explicit presentation capabilities to in5.

Presentation expert, Mark Heaps, is heading up that section of the conference and also presenting an InDesign session on presentations.

I reached out to Mark and asked him what it would take to make InDesign an awesome presentation tool. You can see the results of our discussions below.

This first video shows a simple presentation in action.

Why Make Presentations with InDesign?

Here are a few reasons why you might want to create presentations with InDesign and export them to HTML using in5.

  1. Sophisticated Master Pages.
  2. Unlimited Paragraph and Character Styles for your text.
  3. The ability to create interactivity (e.g., Object States and Buttons).
  4. The ability to create Animation (and connect it to Buttons).
  5. The ability to share your presentation on your own site, including on mobile devices.
  6. Option to embed HTML (e.g., complex animation from Adobe Animate or Tumult Hype).
  7. Option to easily port your presentation to Sales Enablement platforms, kiosks, and retail displays (more on that below).

Setting up Presentation Mode within InDesign

Once you have the latest version of in5 installed, you find two new menu items under in5 > Enhancements.

The first one is the Presentation Mode panel.

in5 Presentation Mode panel

This panel enables all of the settings shown in the video above, such as Slide Builds using bullet items and animations.

It also sets up the typical slide navigation (keyboard presses and clicking) and enables full screen mode.

It even lets you enable the Save to Home Screen—the closest thing to full screen on iOS—a capability on iPhones and iPads in case you want to take your presentation mobile. When you save to the Home Screen, you can also have a custom icon on the desktop and your presentation launches without the web browser interface (without going through the App Store).

Check out how the Presentation Mode panel works in the video below.

Presentations of all shapes and sizes

Presentations aren’t limited to slide decks that are presented to a live audience.

Consider these other types of slide-driven presentations.

  • Webinars
  • Museum displays
  • Interactive kiosks
  • Retail Store displays
  • Tradeshow booth
  • E-learning

There are two other types of presentations that I want to address in a bit more depth.

Sales Enablement (what the heck is that?)

Sales Enablement is a process or a platform that makes it easier to sell a product, especially a complex product.

Many sales enablement platforms come with a Content Management System (CMS), shared directories, and mobile apps.

The mobile apps let salespeople access up-to-date presentations on their mobile device (offline) so that they can present to potential customers (even in an elevator).

Thus, Sales Enablement is a bridge between content creators (i.e., marketing & design) and the people inside their business who need to use that content (i.e., salespeople).

Marketing & Design > cloud repository > salesperson’s mobile device > in-person pitch

There are several platforms that support HTML content for sales presentations.

Self-Running Slideshows

Some presentations don’t need someone clicking through them to be useful.

David Blatner, co-host of Creative Pro Week, asked about adding an autoplay feature so that he could show InDesign-based slides with animation between presentations at the conference.

Check out the autoplay features in the video below.

Custom Slide Transitions

Part of my discussions with Mark Heaps centered around the ability to create “push transitions” (almost like parallax scrolling) where one slide seems to shove another slide over with a continuous background.

You can see examples of that effect, and how to create it in the video below.

To create these effects, there’s now a Custom Slide Transitions panel under in5 > Enhancements.

custom slider transitions panel for in5

The panel lets you control in and out transitions for each slide (InDesign page).

How to make those push transitions super easy

Slicing up a big image into multiple images is doable from Photoshop or InDesign, but it’s time consuming.

Why not make it easier?

That’s what the Slice Multi-page Image dialog can do.

Slice multi-page image dialog

It automatically cuts up the image for you, and optionally arranges on the pages (adding new pages when necessary) and applies push transitions based on the position of the slices.

See it do the cutting, layout, and push detection in the video below.

Note that the Enhancements described in this article are available to in5 Pro plans (or higher).

in5 Export Settings

Once last thing to make life even a little easier.

I’ve bundled up the export Presets to use with the in5 dialog for presentations.

in5 presentation presets

Drop your email address below and I’ll send you the presets that you can import into your own copy of in5.

Join the Conversation

  1. Iñaki Martinez says:

    Hi Justin:
    Awesome this new feature of In5.But I’m unable to make automatic bullets on my text.

    I’m using the live text preset to export my work.

    Any idea?


    1. Justin says:

      Hi Iñaki,
      Send me your InDesign file and I’ll take a look.

    2. Jesse says:

      I’m also unable to get the automatic bullets to work. Is there something that needs to be applied to the bullet text box for In5 to know I want to animate them? I’m running InDesign 2018 if that matters

  2. jamee says:

    how do you save these interactive files to be show when completed?

    1. Justin says:

      There’s an HTML file and a corresponding assets folder. The two have to be distributed together, so zipping is usually the way to go.

  3. Marion Gertz says:

    Hello Justin,

    It is possible to see the file exported by in5 in the computer before publish? Thank you

    1. Justin says:

      Yes, in5 exports to the local computer and immediately gives you the option to open the file in your web browser.

  4. Dawn says:

    I’m using Presentation Mode and On Page Click Animations in a pitch deck. The animations are working perfectly in Firefox and Safari, but not always in Chrome. Do you know why?

    1. Justin says:

      Hi Dawn,

      We’ll be happy to help with that! 🙂

      First, make sure you’re on the latest version:

      If it doesn’t resolve the issue, please send us your files and we’ll investigate:

  5. Joe says:

    Hi Justin, presentation mode works great, but I’m having trouble using my presentation clicker to navigate through the presentation. Anything I can do? Thanks.

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