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Learn how to create interactive rollover buttons with animation in Adobe InDesign



This week, we're talking buttons. Not just buttons though. Interactive buttons with rollover states!!

Follow along in this tutorial and learn how to create custom rollover animations to buttons using Object States. The buttons created in this project will also have multiple actions to trigger a photo gallery and recipes in a fictional e-cookbook magazine layout.

Before getting started, it's important to create and work on multiple layers for this tutorial, as there will be many files placed on the page, which could become overwhelming on a single layer.

So, create four layers all together named Recipe Text, Buttons, Thumbnails and Main Images.

Perfect, now let's get started!

Even though I am labelling these as "animated buttons" the Animation panel isn't actually used to set these up. Instead, we'll add custom animation using a combination of the Object States and Buttons and Forms panels.

Note: For anyone looking to use these techniques for PDF (Interactive) please note the interactions with Object States will not be functional for that platform.


Setting up Animated Buttons

  1. Place your first thumbnail image on the page and position where you would like. (Make sure you're currently working on the Thumbnails Layer).

  2. With the Selection Tool, click on the image frame (not the content grabber) and go to Edit > Copy and then Edit > Paste in Place.

  3. While still in the Selection Tool, now click the content grabber in the top image and increase the size slightly. The best way of increasing an image size is manually – Shift + Command + > or if you're on Windows, Shift + Ctrl + >

  4. With the image frame still selected, send it behind the duplicated version, so you have the same image but one is more cropped. You can arrange in the Layers panel by dragging the one image under the other or use the Object > Arrange > Send Backward step.

  5. Next, select both images and in the Object States panel, convert the selection into a Multi-State Object. This will create two states – one image at full frame and a cropped version.

  6. Rename the Multi-State Object to Recipe 1 Thumbnail.

  7. Repeat steps 1-6 for the remaining thumbnails in the layout.


Great! Now that you have set up the Object States to the thumbnails, let's go ahead and add buttons with a rollover state to toggle between both states when you hover over them.

We're going to work on the Buttons layer now.

Setting Up Rollover Buttons

  1. With the Rectangle Frame Tool, draw another rectangle the same dimensions as the thumbnails.

  2. In the Swatches panel, change the colour fill of the frame to white and set the Opacity to 50%. This can be done in the Properties panel in the Opacity field.

  3. With the frame selected, convert the object to a button in the Buttons and Forms panel.

  4. Rename the button to Recipe Button 1.

  5. The Event will be On Roll Over.

  6. The Action will be Go to State

  7. The Object State will be Recipe Thumbnail 1

  8. The State will be State 2

  9. Check the Go Back on Roll Off box

  10. Repeat Steps 1-9 for the remaining buttons in the layout.

Here's a visual overview of the steps explained above.

It's probably a good idea at this point – once you have set up your thumbnails and assigned button triggers to them – to simply test them out to see if they work.

In any of the Interactive panels – including Object States or Buttons and Forms – click the EPub Preview player icon in the bottom left corner. This will bring up a separate window where you can now preview your work and check the progress in real time.

Follow along in the video to learn the rest of the lesson on how to add multiple actions to the buttons you've already created. By the end of the tutorial, you should have something will look like this:


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