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Flash and InDesign CS4 Integration

FlashR is a great animation and vector drawing program but when it comes to design and mockup of your project, InDesignR is a much better tool. With this new upgrade to Creative SuiteR 4, you can design your project in InDesign and then move it into Flash to add the complex interactivity that only Flash can handle. On the other hand, some users of InDesign only need to add a few simple interactive elements such as buttons, rollovers and page transitions. This task usually required opening the InDesign project into Acrobat and adding the interactivity. Now with CS4, you can add these simple interactive elements directly inside the InDesign workspace.

Let's discuss how easy it is to add rollover buttons and page transitions. You will want to use the Workspace Switcher to change to the Interactivity workspace. This will give you the panels that you need to use for this task. Once you decide on the location where you want to place the rollover button, you will want to open the Sample Buttons panel to view all the prebuilt buttons that ship with InDesign CS4. To add a button to a page, simply drag it from the Sample Buttons panel and you now have a fully functional button. But, you might want to customize the button to your needs. In that case, open the Buttons panel. There you will see that the button already has an attached event and behavior. You can change these with the drop-down menus in the Buttons panel. You can also customize the rollover state from the Buttons panel. Of course, you aren't limited to the prebuilt buttons. Any object on the page an be turned into a button with the Convert to Button menu command. Then, open the Buttons panel and attach an event and behavior to your button. To create the rollover states, simply apply InDesign's effects such as drop shadow, bevel or change the color.

Page transitions are just as easy to do in InDesign. First you will choose from any of the prebuilt page transitions in the Page Transitions panel. When you place your cursor over a thumbnail of the transition you will get a preview of how the transition will work in your PDF. Then you can customize the transition as to speed and direction. You can also choose to apply a different transition to each section of your PDF or to a single page.

These interactive elements will work in your published PDF but you can also turn your InDesign project into a Flash XFL or SWF file. If you choose to publish your project as a working SWF file, InDesign will automatically create the SWF and accompanying HTML files. The other option is to export your project in the new XFL format that can be opened into Flash. Each page of your InDesign document will become a frame on the Flash Timeline. The interactive elements that you created in InDesign will still work and the InDesign text has been converted into Flash text. All are still editable.

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Content copyright © 2015 by Diane Cipollo. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Diane Cipollo. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Diane Cipollo for details.


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