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Create a mobile catalogue with interaction, scrolling frames in Adobe InDesign

Digital catalogues are are great way for consumers to view and learn more about products. However, depending on the document setup it's created on, often times it won't display well for mobile.

In this lesson, I will go over how to set up a document specifically for mobile users and create a multi-page interactive catalogue, which will be exported out as an EPub (Fixed Layout) and viewed in Apple Books for iOS.

Keep in mind that this will still work for Android users, however you will need to download Google Play Books or an e-reader of your choice on your device.

Let's get started!

Document setup

  1. In the InDesign document preset options, click the Mobile Tab and choose iPhone X – or any of the other devices you would like to use. You can also add a custom size if you choose.

  2. Set the pages to two, unless you want to create more.

  3. Uncheck Primary Text Frame.

  4. Click Create.

Once your document is created, you will use the Page Tool to increase the height of the pages temporarily. This is important as you'll be able to visualize how the layout will look like before placing it into a scrolling frame.

Page Tool

  1. Click the Page Tool and then click on the first page

  2. In the Properties Panel, set the height of the page from 2436 px to 5000 px. Don't worry, the document is still setup for iPhone X.

  3. Repeat the same for the second page.

After you have laid out the content on the pages, it's time to start adding the interaction. First, we'll set up the text frames with the product name and price of the products. For this, we'll use Object States.

Setting Up Object States

  1. Click on the first three text frame sets which contain information for the first three products - in this case it's the hand bags.

  2. Next, use the alignment tools to centre the frames vertically and horizontally.

  3. Open the Object States panel, which can be found under Window > Interactive > Object States.

  4. With all three text frames selection, click the Create Multi-State Object icon in the bottom right corner of the Object States panel.

  5. Rename the Multi-State Object - in my case, I renamed it to Hand Bag States.

  6. Repeat these steps for every instance in the layout where you will have users interact by tapping on a product and having the product details appear.

Now that the the multi-state objects have been set up throughout the entire document, you can go ahead and set up the buttons to trigger the states. Let's do that next.

Setting Up Buttons

  1. Using the first example of the hand bags, click on the first image frame and in the Buttons and Forms Panel, choose Button from the Type dropdown.

  2. Rename the button to Hand Bag 1 - or whatever your images are.

  3. Leave the event to the default On Tap or Release.

  4. Click on the Plus icon to add an Action of Go to State.

  5. Under Object, select the "Hand Bag States" multi-state object.

  6. Under State, select State 1.

  7. Repeat the same steps for the remaining image frames and set the Action to the corresponding States.

The final step is adding the layouts into a scrolling frames. For this you will need to download the Ajar Productions In5 extension. You can find that here. While this is a subscription-based plug-in, it still offers some free features, including Scrolling Frames.

The only thing that's required to access the Scrolling Frames panel is an email address to subscribe to the In5 newsletter.

Watch the video tutorial as I go over steps on how to set up scrolling frames in a layout.

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1 Comment

Simbie Yau
Simbie Yau
May 25, 2022

Wow, I just cannot get over how much available content you have on your platforms. So informative and incredibly valuable. Thank you 😊

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