As demonstrated on BlogNot! (June 2008), it is possible to make very sophisticated interactive buttons with InDesign. For example, we can prepare a PDF so that it simulates a sequence of image popups as found in artist portfolios. However, this requires a complex set of operations in InDesign. We first must create a number of small frames containing the thumbnails, and a generic placeholder frame, then convert all this stuff into buttons, then import full-size images one by one into a copy of the placeholder and turn it into button, then create and manage the button states and behaviors . . . Whew! It's so exhausting that we can no more focus on the layout.
The script FlyingButtons for InDesign CS4 —currently in beta,— comes to the rescue to facilitate these tasks. Create your thumbnail frames, import the images within, create an empty ‘placeholder’ frame, select the thumbnails and the placeholder, then run FlyingButtons.js. The script builds and connects all the required buttons, before producing the final PDF.
Advanced style settings
By default, FlyingButtons preserves the object style of each component while turning it into a button. It does not create specific button states for the mouse over and the mouse click event. But the user can specify alternative appearances in creating one or several Object Styles according to the following conventions:
|Any term used as the default root style name.||THUMB||Default style applied to the thumbnail frame when no button is required.|
|Root name +" _off".||THUMB_off||Applied to the thumbnail frame when the button is in Normal (inactive) state.|
|Root name + "_over".||THUMB_over||Applied to the thumbnail frame on ‘mouse over’ event.|
|Root name + "_click".||THUMB_click||Applied to the thumbnail frame on ‘mouse down’ event.|
|Root name+ "_img_off".||THUMB_img_off||Applied to the thumbnail image when the button is in Normal (inactive) state.|
|Root name + "_img_over".||THUMB_img_over||Applied to the thumbnail image on ‘mouse over’ event.|
|Root name + "_img_click".||THUMB_img_click||Applied to the thumbnail image on ‘mouse down’ event.|
The most important point to remember is that you must re-apply your default root style to all the thumbnails before running the script.