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Create a digital magazine layout with interactive map in Adobe InDesign

Updated: Mar 22


Infographics are a great way of adding visual appeal to a corporate catalogue, presentation slide or even editorial design.

In this lesson, we'll go one step further to create an interactive map with buttons that trigger statistics in a fictional digital magazine layout.

For this tutorial, you'll need several panels – including Object States, Animation as well as Buttons and Forms – which can be found under Window > Interactive > _____. You will also want to make sure you have the Layers panel open - we'll need to access that when we're setting up the buttons in the map.

Let's get started!

Firstly, I used a vector map of Canada that can be downloaded for personal use here. Open the map in Adobe Illustrator and change to your desired colours there, or copy the map and paste it directly into your InDesign layout. Remember, if you import the Ai file into InDesign as a File > Place, it'll import as an image and you won't have any flexibility to edit or add buttons this way.

In this tutorial, I also added text on each province. If you want to use the exact files from this lesson, you can download here.


Setting up Buttons

  1. Once you have the map placed and edited the way you want, group each text frame (province name) with the actual province.

  2. Open Button and Forms and convert the first province + text frame group into a button.

  3. Rename the button for each Province. For example, the first button I created in the layout is British Columbia, so it's named BC Button.

  4. Leave the event set to On Release or Tap. (Skip over the Action - we'll circle back to that step later on when we set up the Object State + Animation).

  5. In the Appearance section, click roll over and then double-click the button to drive into the selection.

  6. Open Swatches panel and change the tint from 100% to 85% so there's a subtle roll over appearance on the button.

  7. Repeat steps 3 through 6 for the remaining 12 provinces in the map, renaming the buttons accordingly, and setting up the roll over appearances.

Now that the buttons are created, it's time to set up the Multi-State Object they will trigger to. In this case, it'll be text frames containing stats about average price of homes in each province.

Setting up Text Frames as Multi-State Object

  1. Stack the text frames together and reposition in the layers panel how you want them to appear when you convert to multi-state object.

  2. Position the text frames on the page where you want the statistics to appear in the layout.

  3. With all the text frames selected with the Selection Tool, go to the Object States panel and convert the selection to a Multi-State Object.

  4. Rename the Multi-State Object Provincial Statistics.

  5. Click on the first province button and in the Action, select Go to State.

  6. The Object setting will be Provincial Statistics.

  7. The State will be State 1.

  8. Repeat Steps 4 through 7, clicking each button in the map and setting up the corresponding State trigger.

Finally, you can add an Animation to the Provincial Statistic Text Frame states. This can be accomplished as follows:

Adding Animation to Multi-State Object

  1. Click on the Multi-State Object with the Selection Tool.

  2. In the Object States Panel, click on State 1 and then double-click the first state in the layout to drive into the selection.

  3. In the Animation Panel, choose a preset of your choice. (Tip: for this tutorial, I used Zoom In 2D with a duration of 0.5 seconds

  4. Back in the Object States Panel, click State 2 and repeat the same step. Go ahead and repeat the same steps to add animation to the other provinces in the map.

That is it! When you're done, you should have something that resembles this. It may take a few times to get it right, but stick with it and put your interactive design skills on the map!


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