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Learn how to create interactive buttons with animations in Adobe InDesign

Creating interactive buttons for an EPUB or a personal portfolio to publish online is something that can enhance your Adobe InDesign digital layouts while engaging viewers at the same time.

I have gone over how to use Object States in the previous tutorials. We're going to cover that subject again, only in this lesson, I'll show you how to also add multiple multi-state objects within one button.

For example, click one button and it will create two object state actions simultaneously. One will trigger the image to appear in full opacity and the other will load an animated text frame with body copy.

In this example, I created an informational menu for a fictional content creator named Sam Stevenson. Among her talents as a content creator include giving travelling and food tips, being a blogger and photographer, so those were the areas that I focused on in the menu.

Let me show you how this works.

  1. Import the images in the thumbnail menu by going to File > Place or Command + D. Select all the images and click Open. Add them into your layout.

  2. With the Selection Tool, select all the images and in the Properties Panel, change the opacity to 40%

  3. Copy the images and go to Edit > Paste in Place or Shift + Command + Option + V to paste a copy over the original four images.

  4. Select the top four images only (Click one of them, hold your Shift key and select the others), and change the Opacity back to 100%

  5. Open the Object States panel and make the selection a multi-state object. Click on each state individually and rename them — this will make the process easier when adding buttons.

  6. With the Type Tool, draw out a text frame under the first image. Add your title, format the font and size and then Option + Drag three more copies for the other images, placing each below.

  7. With Selection Tool, click on the first title and open the Buttons and Forms panel. In the Type field dropdown, select Button.

  8. Rename the Button to something that relates to the image it corresponds with. For example, if it's a photo of camera gear, call the button Photography Button.

  9. Click the + icon next to Action and choose Go To State.

  10. The Object should say Multi-state 1 or whatever you may have renamed your multi-state object to.

  11. Under the State field dropdown, select the specific state you want to have appear. If you recall, you renamed the states in Step 5.

  12. Finally, repeat Steps 7 through 11 for the next three images in your menu.

Perfect! You have now set up the first part of your interactive menu. Click the EPUB Preview Spread icon in any bottom left corner of an interactive panel to view and test out your buttons. If something happened to go awry, go over the steps again. It's a lot to consume at the start, but once you get it, the end result is very rewarding.

Now that you have your images set up, it's time to add information content in the layout, creating a more complete interactive menu experience.

  1. Bring in a text file or copy/paste a short bio or other information into your layout. Format the text and size.

  2. Copy the text frame, paste three other versions and change the text within the box. Stack them in the order you want them to appear. (Tip: Use the Object > Arrange tool by right-clicking the text frames and either sending them backwards or forwards)

  3. Select all four text frames containing the information and open the Object States panel. With them all selected, create a new Multi-state Object. Don't forget to rename these states to something more recognizable — trust me it will save you headaches and frustration!

  4. Click on the first title and open the Button and Forms panel again.

  5. Set the Type to Button and rename the button to something more specific.

  6. Click the + icon next to Action and choose Go To State.

  7. In the Object dropdown, choose Multi-state 2 or whatever you may have renamed the Multi-state Object.

  8. Repeat steps 4 through 7 with the next three titles in your interactive menu.

Awesome! Your title buttons now have two actions when clicking — they both go to states but one will highlight the image above and the other will trigger the information to appear.

As a final step, let's add an animation to the information text frames so that they transition cleaner when appearing rather that just popping up when the title frames are clicked.

  1. Open the Object States.

  2. Click on the first state in the panel, then double-click the text frame in your layout to drive into the selection.

  3. Open the Animation panel and choose one from the presets. For this tutorial, I went with Fly in from the Bottom.

  4. Repeat steps 1 through 3 for the rest of the states in the second Multi-state object — the text frames containing the information.

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