Interactive InDesign CS5: Take your Print Skills to the Web and Beyond

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Print designers make the transition to multimedia by mastering the interactive capabilities of InDesign with this tutorial-based guide to the new CS5 toolset that integrates with the Adobe Flash platform.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Written in a simple, concise style, this book is for any InDesign user who wants to push the envelope on delivery without having to learn new applications.-Katherine Houghton, Adobe Certified Instructor, Amediamark

Prior to reading this book generating visually rich interactive documents was a painful and multi-application process, now with CS5 and this excellent primer, creating these documents is as easy as opening up InDesign. -Saul Rosenbaum, Visual Chutzpah

. enabled me to break through into web design more easily than imagined....provided career-transforming training and techniques by allowing a greater understanding and ability to create and implement effective web-based designs.-Lisa Adamaitis, president, Vaal Design

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780240815114
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 1/7/2011
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

is an Adobe certified instructor in the Adobe Creative Suite applications and is also an eLearning specialist. As the principal of Mira Images, a Philadelphia-based Adobe Authorized Training Center and consultancy (, she has inspired reckless pursuit of all things Adobe in countless students since the dawn of the new millennium. Routinely using the full complement of CS applications in her freelance work, Mira has abundant practical experience in deploying the interactive capabilities of the suite as well as a strong foundation in animation and coding. Gifted with an ability to make even the most complex concepts understandable, she places a great emphasis on real-world'skills, best practices and productivity tools.

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Read an Excerpt



Focal Press

Copyright © 2011 Mira Rubin
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-240-81512-1

Chapter One


You're going to be blown away by what you can create with InDesign CS5. This chapter provides a first taste of what can be accomplished with this awesome tool as you tour some of the completed project files from the book. Both in a browser and in Adobe Reader or Acrobat, you'll see video and animation in action, navigate through the pages, send email, and open a web page. Then, when all is said and done, you'll have the rest of the book to learn how to do all it all and more.

Welcome to the PrInteractive Paradigm

THIS JUST IN: InDesign is not just for print anymore! The folks at Adobe have gone way above and beyond, smashing the mold with this release of InDesign. Defying categorization as an application purely for print, InDesign CS5 represents a new category of hybrid technology, making a lunar leap toward seamlessly migrating print content to web and interactive content.

While it's true that this is not the first version of InDesign to include interactivity, it is the first version with animation capabilities and media support, which makes all the difference. The previous version of InDesign supported export directly to SWF (the export format for Flash animation), but it created a more static file. In CS5, the combination of new features, with which you'll become intimately familiar, along with Acrobat and Reader 9 support for Flash media, has made interactive InDesign a reality that can't be denied.

To orient you to what's in store, you might want to take some time to play with the sample files we've collected for you from the exercises later in the book. Since the next two chapters lay the groundwork for designing for interactivity, this chapter is meant to get you hooked and excited enough to hang in through the foundation stuff. If you prefer surprises, and don't require extra inspiration, feel free to just dive right in and skip to Chapter 2. Otherwise, hang onto your hat and prepare to be amazed—and try to remember, everything you're seeing was created in a "print layout" application.

Exercise 1.1: Kicking the Tires and Taking Her for a Spin

To check out the sample files for this exercise, you'll need to have Adobe Reader or Acrobat 9 (Standard or Professional) as well as a browser with Flash Player installed on your system.

1. Open your browser of choice, go to File > Open, and browse to the chapter1_exercises folder. Open interactive_indesign_end.html and marvel at the images flying in from the left of the page. The animation was created entirely in InDesign!

2. Mouse over the large images and then the buttons on the navigation bar at the top of the page to see the dropdown menus. Click the upper left image of the tree bark to navigate to the Texture page.

3. Note the animation of the thumbnail images flying onto the filmstrip as the page loads. Mouse over the thumbnails to see the button rollover effect, and then click the thumbnails to display large versions of their images.

4. Click the Flora button on the navbar (navigation bar) and explore the Flora About page. Mouse over the province names (below the "Pacific Ocean" text on the map) to highlight the Costa Rica provinces. Click the volcano names at the lower right of the page to display popups that tell you more about each volcano. When you're done, click the see Flora slide show text (yet another button) at the lower right of the page.

5. On the Flora Slide Show page, click the Next and Previous arrow buttons on either side of the flower images to cycle through the slide show. Click the fauna button on the navbar to navigate to the Fauna Scrap Book page.

6. Note how the scrap book images position themselves along an arc as the page loads. Click each of the thumbnail images, and when the large popup image appears, click to close it.

7. Mouse over the fauna button on the navbar to display the dropdown menu, and then click on slide show. Click the thumbnail buttons on the scrolling navbar to display larger versions of the images.

8. Click the Contact button on the navbar and mouse over the envelope on the page to see the rollover effect. Click to bring up your email client with a pre- addressed email, and then close your email application without sending.

9. Back in the browser, click the link to open the web page in a new browser window. Close the new window and, when you're done exploring, close the file.

The rich media file you've just seen is 100% InDesign, created with no external development, and not one line of code. The layout, the buttons, the animation—all of it was done directly in the foremost print layout application in the industry. With a few minor adjustments, the same file can be exported to Interactive PDF with similar results: the video, the audio, and even animation. But wait, there's more!

10. Once again, still in the browser, go to File > Open, and from the chapter1_exercises folder, open banner_ad.html.

Banner ads are to web as print ads are to magazines and newspapers. Chapter 11, starting on page 208, teaches you how to create a banner ad with the proper dimensions and gives you the skinny on industry standards. The file size of the banners you can create in InDesign is too hefty for commercial placement, but might work perfectly for a local site. In whatever way you choose to use them, the animation skills you'll learn in this chapter will serve you well.

11. Close the file, quit the browser, and open either Acrobat 9 Standard or Professional, or Adobe Reader 9. Go to File > Open, navigate to the chapter1_exercises folder, and open flower_gallery.pdf. When the alert pops up, click Yes to allow the file to display in Full Screen Mode. When the file opens, click the flower images to explore the gallery. right-facing arrow below each photo.

In real life, you wouldn't want a different transition on every page of your document, but this file is built for demonstration purposes, to familiarize you with InDesign's wide assortment of Page Transitions.

12. When you're finished exploring the document, press Esc on your keyboard to exit Full Screen mode and then close the file. Still in Acrobat or Reader, go to File > Open and, once again, navigate to the chapter1_exercises folder. This time, open multistate_presentation.pdf. You may need to scale the document window to see the buttons at the bottom of the screen. Click the octagon buttons in the main content to see an assortment of animations. Click the buttons at the bottom of the screen to navigate to the different "pages" of the presentation.

13. When you're finished checking out the document, close the file and quit Acrobat or Reader.

The files you've just toured provide you with a taste, just a bit of a tease, and hopefully your mind is churning with ideas of how you might apply some of the effects you've seen to projects of your own. By the end of the book, you'll be able to do all this and more. So, without further ado, let's get started!


This chapter got you up close and personal with a bunch of really remarkable results you can achieve with InDesign CS5's interactive tools. You viewed documents exported to both Interactive PDF and Flash SWF that included interactive buttons, animation, audio, and video. You interacted with a full screen presentation complete with page transitions, and, hopefully, came away from it all awed and inspired by the possibilities of taking your print skills into the world of interactive design.

The next couple chapters provide a road map for navigating that world, and introduce you to the dynamic design tools in InDesign that make the journey possible.

Chapter Two


If you're coming from the world of print, and this is your first encounter with the world of interactive design, the landscape may initially feel somewhat upside down. Color model, image resolution, document size, page orientation, and font choices are all different when designing for electronic media. Once you understand the lay of the land though, getting acclimated is easy. This chapter will start you off on the right foot as you begin your adventure into this expansive and exciting terrain.

Print vs. Web and Interactive

It's a good bet that if you're reading this book, you're probably a print designer. And like so many other print designers, you're probably being tasked to expand your skill set to design for the web, and possibly for electronic devices. The beauty of InDesign CS5 is that it allows you to design it all in the very same interface.

The thing is, print and interactive are, by their nature, very different animals. To design effectively for both requires an understanding of the differences. You can then let these differences inform your design choices in order to create an optimal workflow.

Color: RGB vs. CMYK

In doing a point-by-point comparison, the obvious place to start is with color, or, more specifically, how that color is achieved. Color in print is obviously a function of ink on paper. In standard 4-color process printing, cyan, magenta, yellow, and black inks (CMYK) are combined to achieve a multitude of colors. The more ink added, the darker the color becomes. Theoretically, if you added 100% cyan, 100% magenta, and 100% yellow ink together, you would end up with black. In actuality, what you end up with is a muddy reddish brown, so black is added to make a true, rich black.

In the world of digital communications, color is made of light. No doubt you have, at one time or another, seen light split through a prism. White light goes in and a rainbow comes out. Actually, when talking about projected light, the color white is achieved by combining 100% red, 100% green, and 100% blue light to create what is known as the RGB color model. The exact opposite of ink: the more colored light you add, the lighter the color becomes—until, when you've added all the color you can add, you end up with white.

RGB is the color space for devices that project or measure light, and CMYK is the color space for print. The two color spaces are quite literally opposites. Red is actually the opposite of cyan. So, for example, to reduce the amount of red in an image, you would add cyan. Similarly, to add yellow, you would reduce the amount of blue.

CMYK is measured in ink percentages from 0% - 100%. By contrast, RGB color is represented on an indexed scale of 0 - 255. On this scale, 0 equates to 0 percent light, and 255 equates to 100% light. While higher percentages of ink make color darker, RGB is the opposite. Higher index numbers indicate a greater amount of light, and, generally, the more light, the lighter the color.

If you've been working in print, you know that, traditionally, you are expected to deliver your files to your print provider in CMYK color. What's important to know here is that the RGB color space has a wider gamut than CMYK, meaning it encompasses a broader range of colors. In order to retain the largest possible color palette, Adobe has long recommended that files be kept in RGB until it's time for final print conversion to CMYK. When files are converted from RGB to CMYK, colors outside of the color space are irretrievably lost. Switching back to RGB will not reclaim them. For this reason, ideally, you'll want to stick with the RGB color space up to the last possible moment in your print workflow. If your print provider doesn't use a PDF workflow, most modern RIPs (raster image processors) do an excellent conversion at the time of imaging, which means that most print providers can handle RGB files. This was not true three to five years ago.

In terms of workflow, the good news is that anything destined to be viewed on screen will be viewed in RGB. If you use an RGB workflow, and your print provider prefers PDFs, you can typically do the RGB to CMYK conversion when you do the PDF conversion. This makes it feasible to repurpose the same RGB file for output to both print and interactive documents.


Excerpted from INTERACTIVE INDESIGN CS5 by MIRA RUBIN Copyright © 2011 by Mira Rubin. Excerpted by permission of Focal Press. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Part One: Interactive InDesign!
Chapter 1: Showcase
Chapter 2: Designing for Interactivity
Chapter 3: The Interactive Interface

Part Two: Buttons
Chapter 4: About Buttons
Chapter 5: Simple Image-based Buttons
Chapter 6: Multi-object Buttons
Chapter 7: Button Variations

Part Three: Animation
Chapter 8: Introducing: Animation in InDesign!
Chapter 9: Getting Fancy with Animation
Chapter 10: Multi-state Objects
Chapter 11: Banner Ads
Chapter 12: Page Transitions

Part Four: Working with Media In Indesign
Chapter 13: Abode Media Encoder
Chapter 14: Adding Media in InDesign

Part Five: Bookmarks, Hyperlinks, and Cross-references
Chapter 15: Bookmarks
Chapter 16: Hyperlinks and Cross-references

Part Six: Layout
Chapter 17: Working with Text
Chapter 18: Multi-page Document Layout
Chapter 19: Shapes and Color

Part Seven: Output: Processes, Pitfalls, and Performance
Chapter 20: Output
Chapter 21: Preparing for Output


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