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Learn how to add video to an interactive layout in Adobe InDesign

Updated: Jun 1



Adobe InDesign's Digital Publishing workspace allows you to add rich media to your interactive layouts.

Did you know among the features include adding video files to InDesign projects? It's true!

In this lesson, I will teach you how to add a video to a layout and use the Media panel for additional options. Create your own custom video thumbnail in #Adobe Photoshop and learn how to use it as the cover art for your InDesign video. These are just a couple topics covered in this tutorial, so let's get started!

Firstly, it's important to note that for best quality and functionality, your video should be saved as an MP4 before importing into an InDesign layout. For this example, I am using a short video also saved at 1280 x 720p. The larger the video, the bigger your project will be, so be mindful of that as well.


Adding Video

  1. Locate the video on your computer and either drag it into your layout, or go to File > Place and import that way. Another option is going to Import File button in the Properties Panel.

  2. With the video in your loaded cursor, either click anywhere on the layout to drop the video in, or drag the size you want and release.

  3. Open the Media panel by going to Window > Interactive > Media.

  4. Click the play button in the panel to test that your video is working properly.

  5. Also in the Media panel, select if you would like to have the video play upon page load and if you'd like it to loop. I have both options unchecked for this lesson.


Now that your video is placed on the page, there is another option of how you would like the video thumbnail will look like. You'll notice in the Media panel that among the options under Poster, you can choose none (you don't want that), From Current Frame or From File — the latter is the best way to go, but here are a couple examples of how to add a poster to your video.

Adding Poster To Video

From Current Frame

  1. In the Media panel, with either the video playing or paused at a certain point, select From Current Frame and InDesign will set the Poster to the specific moment in the video.

  2. Click the Refresh icon to the right of the dropdown to set a new poster from the current frame.

From a File, Choose Image

  1. In the Media panel, select From File and navigate to an image that you would like to be displayed as the cover thumbnail

  2. Make sure the image you are choosing is also sized to 1280 x 720 pixels to fit the frame. If not your image might be distorted or stretched when imported).

Now that you've added videos to your InDesign layout, it's time to Publish Online or export as an Interactive PDF. Both of these methods will work when playing video as long as you have followed the steps in this tutorial.

Watch the video included to learn how to export as an Interactive PDF or Publish Online.

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