Digital Publishing with InDesign: Types of Interactive Elements

DigPubIDCC one pageThis is a guest post by Sandee Cohen, adapted from Digital Publishing with Adobe InDesign CC by Sandee Cohen and Diane Burns. This article highlights the methods for adding interactivity to an InDesign document.

Types of interactive elements that can be added to InDesign documents

  1. Links: Hyperlinks, Cross-references, Table of Contents
  2. Bookmarks
  3. Audio/video files
  4. Multi-state objects
  5. Buttons
  6. Forms
  7. Animations
  8. Page transitions
  9. Overlays

Each has its own particular uses, and some of the features may overlap. Before you start work, you need to decide which type of interactive element is right for your job or you could be stuck with an effect that can’t be exported for your finished project.

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How to Add Advanced HTML Hyperlinking with in5

hyperlink panel lets your control how your links openUpdate (Oct. 15 2018):

It’s now waaay easier to control how each of your hyperlinks open.

You don’t have to manually edit the hyperlink URL (as described below).

In version 3.3 of in5, you simply choose the option you want from the Hyperlink panel (in5 > Interactive Widgets).

Woohoo!


indesign new hyperlink

InDesign has many strengths as an interactive layout tool.

One of its limitations, however, is that it doesn’t let you set a target attribute when creating a hyperlink. The target attribute lets you control how a hyperlink is open.

In this article, I’m going to take you on a deep dive of a new features that we’ve added in in5 version 2.6: Advanced Hyperlink Targeting.

Not only can you use this feature to control links in your web-based HTML, it also gives you a high degree of control in Web Apps, Baker Framework apps, and PhoneGap apps.

If you’re looking for a basic primer on hyperlinks in InDesign, start with this article first.

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in5 2.5 Improves InDesign to HTML Export Speed by up to 100x!

breaking the sound barrier

Image credit: wikipedia.org

Faster Exporting

Yes, you read that headline right. Up to 100x faster exporting from InDesign to HTML! There’s nothing extra for you to do, just run the latest version of in5 and you’ll find it’s much faster.

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Smart Image Exporting from InDesign to HTML and EPUB

The standard image format when exporting HTML or EPUB from InDesign in PNG because the PNG file format supports transparency (and more colors than a GIF).

The Problem

In some cases (e.g., photographic images), PNG can produce larger files, especially if you choose the High Definition (HD) option when exporting from the in5 dialog.

So, what if you know your images don’t have transparency and you want them to be HD…but you also want to try and keep the file sizes smaller?

In that case, you can use the Object Export Options (found in the Object menu of InDesign) to add custom settings to any given image. Great so far.

But now, what if you have a lot of images? It can take a long time to open the Object Export Options for each one, navigate to the EPUB and HTML tab, and select from the drop down menus.

The Solution

You can create an Object Style (Window > Styles) that only applies Export Options. And you can even narrow that to just the image type and quality.

Note how every checkbox for attributes in the image below has a minus sign (-), except the EPUB and HTML options. This means the style will let the object itself control those “pass through” settings. So only the image export settings are applied.

hd_jpg_object_class

Now you can simply select the images in your layout that you’d like to render as HD JPEGs (or any other type that you’d like to create an Object Style for), and it’s one click to apply the Object Style.

If you’re targeting an EPUB, you’re set to export. If you’re exporting HTML5 with in5, just make sure you choose Use Object Export Settings from the Advanced section of the in5 dialog.

in5_image_object_export

Here’s an IDML file with the style already created that can you can use to import the style into your own documents.

Split Text Extension for InDesign

This extension is useful if you’d like to break apart text in order to quickly create buttons, animated sequences, or simply separate blocks of text that can be individually positioned.

Before and After using Split Text

This extension can split text into separate text frames by:

  • Paragraphs
  • Columns
  • Words
  • Characters (new to v1.1)
  • Lines
  • Manual Line Breaks
  • Text Styling (new to v1.1)
  • Tabs
  • Custom Text
  • or even Custom Grep Expressions

Split Text automatically remembers the last settings used and can be undone in a single step.

Download

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Looking for the reverse? Check out Merge TextFrames.