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Create an interactive company brochure with pop-out windows in Adobe InDesign

Updated: Jan 23

Last week one of my YouTube channel subscribers asked if there was a way of creating pop-out windows that would work in an Interactive PDF.

The answer to this question is yes! Not only that, it will work for Publish Online as well as EPub.

In this tutorial, learn how to design a corporate digital brochure for a fictional express delivery company. From there, we'll also go over how to add pop-up windows with close button actions to an interactive map and add animation to other objects in the layout.

As always, you can find the lesson material available for download here. The font used in this lesson is Filson Pro.

For this lesson, the panels we'll be working with are Buttons and Forms and Animation. For Page 1, we'll use the Show/Hide Buttons and Forms action to set up an interactive map with pop-up windows with close buttons.

For Page 2, we'll set up animation to a series of Bar Graphs to highlight the company's financial report.

Interactive Map with Pop-Up Windows

  • In the tutorial assets, you will find a vector map that you can place on the page by either going to File > Place or dragging and dropping into the layout.

  • Also in the tutorial assets, you will find a map marker icon which you can also place on the page using the same technique as Step 1. However you will want to make several copies and place in areas of the map you'd like to highlight. (Tip:for this tutorial, I am marking Vancouver, San Francisco, New York, Buenos Aires, Rome, Mumbai and Melbourne)

  • In the Buttons and Forms panel, convert each map marker into a button and rename for corresponding city. Example: Vancouver Button, San Francisco Button, etc.

  • Next, bring in the information pieces for each country as well as the close button for each window. I have included these in the lesson assets, and they can be found at the bottom the layout as well.

  • In the Buttons and Forms panel, convert each information window into a Button. Rename each window to "(City) Information". For example, Vancouver Information, San Francisco Information, etc.

  • In the Buttons and Forms panel, convert each close icons into a Button. Rename each icon to "(City) Close". For example, Vancouver Close, San Francisco Close, etc.

To recap what we've done so far: Add the map vector, place the Map Marker and convert each into buttons, place information windows and close buttons and convert each into buttons. We have not added actions to anything yet, so let's do that now.

  • Click on the Vancouver Button marker first.

  • In the Buttons and Forms create an Action of Show/Hide Buttons and Forms.

  • In the Visibility section, SHOW "Vancouver Information" and "Vancouver Close", and IGNORE everything else.

  • Click the Vancouver Close Button.

  • In the Buttons and Forms panel, create an Action of Show/Hide Buttons and Forms.

  • In the Visibility section, HIDE Vancouver Information and Vancouver Close and IGNORE everything else.

  • Repeat these same steps for the remaining information windows and close buttons.

The Show/Hide Buttons and Forms actions may take some time to set up but it's extremely important to double-check the work to ensure all the button structures are functioning as intended.

It's always a good idea to use the EPub Preview window to test the work as well.

Follow along in the video tutorial and learn how to add animation and work with the Timing panel.

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Oksana Samarskiy
Oksana Samarskiy
Oct 12, 2023

Hi Angelo, great tutorial! Thank to you, I'm learning how to make Interactive PDFs thanks to you. I have made one that contains pop-ups. The preview inside InDesign for each buttons shows correct function as intended. But when I go to export as an interactive PDF, the function works incorrectly (after button is pressed shows only portion of the pop up) and then stops working completely. Can you please point me in to the right direction? I saved it as interactive PDF, its just not functioning like one after being exported as one.

Angelo Montilla
Angelo Montilla
Oct 12, 2023
Replying to

Hi Oksana! Thanks for the question. It sounds like either your pop-up content isn't grouped properly or perhaps you haven't set the Show/Hide settings properly. It is very easy to miss showing or hiding an object. If you like, you can send me the Id file and I can have a look at your setup. Thanks!

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