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Learn how to create a scrolling mobile magazine in Adobe InDesign

Updated: Oct 24, 2023


Angelo Montilla holding phone displaying mobile magazine layout.

In this tutorial, we'll take a closer look at how to create a scrolling mobile magazine for a fictional digital magazine called Tech News.

Follow along and learn how to convert a short video clip to a GIF using a beyond useful Quick Action in Adobe Express and then placing the content into a Scrolling Frame in InDesign. This allows users to view the project on a mobile device by swiping down. In this tutorial, we'll also look at how to add a slow Grow animation to the main artwork.

Before we begin, there are a couple things to take care of:

  1. Download the Scrolling Frames plug-in from Ajar Productions In5, by following the steps here.

  2. The fonts used in this lesson are called TT Travels Next and Articulat CF. When you open the InDesign doc, those fonts should activate automatically. However, feel free to visit the links provided to add those font families to your Creative Cloud.

You can download the assets for this lesson by clicking the zip folder below.

Mobile_Magazine Lesson Files
.zip
Download ZIP • 16.80MB

The first step to get started is creating the document for the mobile magazine. For this, we'll create a 1080x1920 sized document.

Creating a New Document

  • Click New File or go to File > New > Document.

  • Set the Width field to 1080 px and the Height field to 1920.

  • Set the Margins to 120 px all the way around.

  • Click Create.


Now that the document is created, let's set it up to accommodate the mobile magazine layout, which we will copy and paste from another InDesign document. In the Properties Panel or Control Panel, locate the document Height, which we set to 1920 px when setting up the new document.

This layout will be comprised of four 1920 panels, so to make the layout process easier, we'll extend the height to 7680 px (1920 x 4 = 7680).

  • Next, open the Mobile Magazine.indd document provided in the lesson files.

  • With the Selection Tool, drag to select all the objects in the layout. You may have to Zoom out a little bit to achieve this.

  • Press Command (Mac) / Ctrl (Windows) + C to copy the content. You can also go to Edit > Copy.

  • Go to the blank document created for this lesson, and press Shift + Option + Command + V (Mac) / Shift + Alt + Ctrl + V (Windows) to Paste in Place.

You will notice that there's a grey box in the layout. This is where you will place the animated GIF. To accomplish this, we'll first convert a video clip to a GIF using the Adobe Express web-based converter.

Convert Video to GIF with Adobe Express

  • Once You have the Adobe Express website launched, click the Upload your Video button.

  • In the lesson files folder, choose the VR Main 2.mp4 and drag it into the area of the web browser to upload the video. Alternatively, you can also click Browse and choose VR Main 2.mp4.

  • Select the File size of the GIF. For this tutorial, let's go with Large (High Quality).

  • This is a vertical video, so we'll keep the settings to 9:16, however you can choose from the other size options.

  • Click Download


Once the GIF has been downloaded, you can place it in the grey placeholder frame on the page. Click on this frame and go to File > Place and then choose the VR Main 2.gif file exported from Adobe Express.

Another nice touch to this interactive mobile magazine is adding a slow Grow animation to the main artwork. The goal is when a user opens the project, the image will slowly grow larger, from top to bottom over a seven-second span.

Slow Grow Animation to Main Artwork

  • Click the Main VR Image and in the Animation panel, set a Preset of Grow.

  • Set the Event to On Page Load.

  • Set the Duration to 7 seconds.

  • Set the Speed to Ease In and Out.

  • Set the Animate dropdown to From Current Appearance.

  • Sett he Origin Point anchor to bottom centre so the animation grows from the bottom.

Adding Animation to main artwork.

Finally, let's add the entire creative to a Scrolling Frame.

Adding Content to Scrolling Frame

  • Select all the content in the layout and press Command (Mac) / Ctrl (Windows) + G to group everything. You can also go to Edit > Group.

  • Press Command (Mac) / Ctrl (Windows) + X to cut the grouped content. You can also go to Edit > Cut.

  • In the Properties Panel, set the Height of the page back to 1920 px.

  • With the Rectangle Frame Tool, create a container the size of the page (1080x1920).

  • Right-click the container frame and choose Paste Into.

  • Adjust the layout within the frame so the top of the layout is snapped to the top of the page.

The final step is applying the scroll to the mobile magazine. To access the Universal Scrolling Frames panel, go to Window > Universal Scrolling Frames.

Applying Scroll to Mobile Magazine

  • Click on the container frame with the Selection Tool and in the Scrolling Frames panel, choose the Scroll Direction of your choice. In this case, we'll select Vertical.

  • There's an option to hide the scroll indicators, however in this tutorial, we'll leave them turned on. So, leave it unchecked.


Once you've completed those final steps, your mobile magazine scrolling frame is now set up! Check out the video below to preview how the scrolling frame will look in the end.


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