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Create a digital catalogue layout with interactive product buttons in Adobe InDesign


Creating a digital catalogue with interactivity can be somewhat complex and overwhelming, especially if you're just jumping into the world of Adobe InDesign.

In this step-by-step tutorial, I'll go over a few tips on how to work with multi-state objects to create buttons that trigger products displayed from different angles with each click. For example, a backpack with three different buttons – each that triggers a different view of the product from front, side and back.

In addition, you will learn how to use Show/Hide Buttons and Forms to create a separate "details" window and a close button that takes you back to the original backpack state.

I have included a set of backpack images and other content that you can download in the tutorial materials here.

Creating Multi-State Object

  1. Place the image of the first set of backpacks on the page (This is JPG which I have duplicated on the page and renamed in the Layers. You can remove background and save as PNG if you like).

  2. Adjust the backpack content within the first frame and then copy/paste two more versions. Adjust the backpack content for the other two frames. You should know have the same backpack with three different angles.

  3. Click on each individually and in the Layers panel rename the images Backpack_1, Backpack_2 and Backpack_3.

  4. With the Selection Tool, select all three backpack images and use the Alignment and Distribution tools to line up the frames.

  5. Open the Object States panel (Window > Interactive > Object States). In the Object States panel, convert the selection to a Multi-State Object by clicking on the plus icon logo in the bottom right hand corner of the window.

  6. Rename the Multi-state Object to Backpack Set 1.

  7. Repeat Steps 1-6 for the second and third backpack image sets, however rename the Multi-state objects to Backpack Set 2 and Backpack Set 3, respectively.

Now that the backpack sets have been created, it's time to set up the button structures to trigger each set to show backpacks from the three different angles. For this, use the Ellipse Tool or Ellipse Shape Tool to create three small circles under the backpacks. We'll start on the first set and then repeat the same process for the others.


For this next step, you will need Buttons and Forms panel, which is located under Window > Interactive > Buttons and Forms.

Creating Buttons to Multi-States

  1. Under Backpack Set 1 Multi-state Object, click on the first circle and in the Buttons and Forms panel, convert the object to a button by clicking the arrow icon in the bottom right corner.

  2. Rename the button to Backpack Button 1A and leave the Event On Release or Tap.

  3. Under Action, click the Plus icon and select Go to State.

  4. Under Object, select Backpack Set 1.

  5. Under State, select State 1.

  6. Repeat Steps 1-5 for the next two buttons under Backpack Set 1, naming the buttons Backpack Button 1B, 1C, etc., and setting the States to their respective targets.

When setting up the buttons for the other two Multi-state Object sets, be sure to name the buttons Backpack Button 2 A, B and C for the second set and Backpack Button 3 A, B and C for the last set.

The last part of this exercise is setting up a separate button structure to open and close a "details" window. For this, we'll use Show/Hide Buttons and Forms in the Buttons and Forms panel.

I have included the details information in the lesson download material so you can practice with that for this exercise. You can find it on the paste board of the InDesign file on Page 2.

Creating Open and Close Window Buttons

  1. Create a Details text frame above all three Multi-state Backpack Set. We will convert these text frames into buttons.

  2. Under the first Multi-state Object Backpack set, place a text frame containing the "Mountain Crew" information.

  3. Create a separate text frame with an X and place it in an area where you can close the details text. Typically in the upper right corner is a good spot to close the information box.

  4. Click on the Mountain Crew information text frame and convert it to a button.

  5. Rename the Button to Mountain Crew Details.

  6. Click on the X text frame and convert it to a button.

  7. Rename the Button Close Button 1.

  8. Go back to the Details button that I referenced in Step 1 and in the Buttons and Forms panel, convert it to a Button.

  9. Rename the Button "Details Button 1".

  10. Under Actions, select Show/Hide Buttons and Forms.

  11. In the Visibility section, anything with an X will be ignored. However you will have to hide Backpack Button 1 A, Backpack Button 1 B, Backpack Button 1 C, as well as the Details Button 1. (Tip: You can't hide the Multi-State Backpack Set, but you will have to make sure it's below the Mountain Crew Details Button and Close Button 1 in the Layers panel).

  12. Repeat steps 4-11 in this exercise for the next two backpack information sets, but using respective naming conventions.

Once you have set up all three Details information windows and close buttons, move both on top of each the Multi-state Objects in your layout. What I do, is group the Multi-state Backpack States and Information Window content together and rename it in the Layers panel as Set 1 and do the same for the other two, renaming those Set 2 and Set 3.

This makes it easier to find and edit the content as you work.

Be sure to follow closely in the video tutorial as I cover all these steps in detail. It may be easier for you to visually see the steps taken.


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