using indesign

Creating Interactive Documents with InDesign

An interactive InDesign document makes use of the same elements used in a traditional InDesign document, with additional interactive features:

  • Animation of text, headlines and images
  • Image resolution should be 72 PPI (rather than the 300 PPI used above)
  • Hyperlinks that take you to another page or new website
  • Sound files on buttons
  • Page transitions
  • The ability to play videos
  • Interactive forms

When creating an interactive document, it is important to consider the following:

Page Transitions Should be used carefully. Too many transitions could distract your viewer, cause confusion, or detract from your design aesthetics. It is important to review all of the page transitions and stick with one or two different transitions for your document.

Interactive documents Need to be configured for document RGB. You can set this under Edit → Transparency Blend Space → Document RGB. Interactive documents should be less than 1024 pixels wide.

Interactive Effects: Roll overs on buttons should change color – the color should complement the colors in your design, however, stand out enough so the user notices the roll over color effect. Buttons can have as many appearances as you want, however, it is recommended to not include more than four per button. We do not want to overwhelm the user with effects.

Sounds on buttons need to be used cautiously. Before you add sound to a button, decide whether or not it truly enhances the interactive document? Will it annoy the viewer if they return to the document the second time? How long is the document and how many sounds will be used? What happens if the viewer doesn’t have speakers or has their sound muted?

When you add hyperlinks to buttons, make sure you apply an appearance to them that helps the user navigate to different pages within the document. When the user clicks on the button, should the document take the user back a page, to the next page, to a URL, or to the start or end of the document?

Export SWF Files: When you export an interactive document as a SWF file, check under the Advanced tab to make sure the image quality is set to maximum. When you export an interactive document as a SWF file, check under the Advanced tab to make sure the image resolution is set to 72 PPI. After you export a SWF always test the interactive features. Make sure they all work correctly. If you find an error, correct the problem in InDesign. Then export as SWF again and test the new document.

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