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Create interactive menu buttons in a scrolling frame in Adobe InDesign


If you've followed my #Adobe InDesign interactive tutorials, you've likely learned how to create interactive buttons.

For this lesson, we'll take it a step further – creating an interactive menu in a scrolling frame – in a fictional watch company digital catalogue layout. As an added bonus, learn how to create rollover and click appearance states to the buttons, so that they enlarge when you hover over them and go back to the original state when clicked.

Here's a preview of how the interactive menu will look like by the end of the tutorial.

Before we get started, we'll be using In5's Scrolling Frame panel for this lesson. To download it, visit the Adobe Extensions website and install the In5 (InDesign to HTML5) extension. You may have to restart InDesign after installing to make sure it loads in the menu dropdown.

Also, this lesson requires images of watches and other content, which you can download here if you'd like to follow along and create yourself.

Setting Up Scrolling Frame

  1. Import all seven images of watches (PSD or PNG versions) by going to File > Place and choosing the files or dragging them in the layout.

  2. On the page or pasteboard, organize the watch images in a vertical or horizontal layout – based on which way the scrolling frame menu will be.

  3. Once you have positioned and distributed them where you want, group all seven images together. This can be done by Command/CTRL + G or by going to Object > Group once you have all seven frames selected.

  4. With the Rectangle Frame Tool, create a rectangle the size of the scrolling frame around the grouped watch images.

  5. With the Selection Tool, click on the grouped images once and go to Edit > Cut or use Command/CTRL + X.

  6. With the Selection Tool, right-click on what will become the Scrolling Frame rectangle and select Paste Into. You can double-click inside the frame to manoeuvre the images how you would like.

  7. In the In5 dropdown, go to Interactive Widgets and select Scrolling Frames.

  8. Select the Scroll Direction based on your menu setup. For this lesson, I used Vertical.

  9. You have the option to hide or show (check box) the scroll indicator once it has been published or exports for EPub (Fixed Layout).


Now that you have set up the scrolling frame, the next step is converting each watch image in the interactive menu into a button. However even before that, you'll have to set up with multi-state objects in the layout – one with the information about each watch and another with the watches at larger scale, both of which correspond with the menu buttons.

Setting Up Multi-State Object

  1. Import the PSD or PNG watch images individually once again and be sure to make them roughly around the same size.

  2. In the Layers panel, rename the watch images so they'll be easier to set up when creating buttons. For instance, Watch_1.PSD, Watch_2.PSD, etc.

  3. Reorder them in the Layers panel to match how you have them in the interactive menu scrolling frame.

  4. Select all the image layers and in the Align panel, align the vertical and horizontal centres.

  5. Open the Object States panel under Window > Interactive > Object States, and with the images still selected click the Create Multi-State Object.

  6. In the Object Name, call the multi-state Object "Watches Main".

  7. Repeat steps 1-6 for the information content in the layout, and rename that multi-state object "Watch Information".

OK, now that the multi-state objects are intact, we can move back to the scrolling frame buttons to set those up and trigger them to the Watches Main and Watch Information Object States.

Setting Up Buttons

  1. Double-click the interactive scrolling frame and then double-click to drive into the first watch image.

  2. Open the Buttons and Forms panel by going to Window > Interactive > Buttons and Forms.

  3. With the first watch image still selected, convert the object into a button.

  4. Rename the Button to Watch Button 1.

  5. In the Actions section, click the + icon and choose Go to State.

  6. In the Object dropdown, choose Watches Main and leave it set to State 1.

  7. In the Actions section, click the + icon to add a second action and choose Go to State.

  8. In the Object dropdown, choose Watch Information and leave it set to State 1.

  9. Repeat the same steps for the remaining six images in the layout, renaming the Object dropdown and choosing the proper state for each corresponding Watches Main and Watch Information pieces.

Follow along in the video tutorial as I also go over how to add create rollover and click appearance states to the buttons and publish the project online.

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