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Use Object States to create an interactive video slide in Adobe InDesign



Adding video to your interactive layout is a great way of engaging with your audience and bringing stunning appeal to your digital presentation.

In this lesson, we'll take things one step further — adding Object State interactions to create an interactive video slide and allowing the user to play videos by clicking a thumbnail button.

Essentially, this setup gives the user full control of how to experience the video rather it being displayed — or even played — on page load.

Before getting started, I have to mention that this technique will not work for PDF Interactive, so the focus will be on exporting for ePub (Fixed Layout) or Publish Online.

Let's get started!

First, we'll touch on placing a videos and create a Multi-State Objects to them once on a page layout.


Placing Videos + Creating Multi-State Object

  1. To add a video file (preferably an MP4), go to File > Place and choose the video from your computer, or simply drag the video file into your layout and drop it onto the page. Another way of adding a video is through the Media panel, by clicking the Add Media icon in the bottom right.

  2. Once the video is placed, resize it by clicking on it once and using any of the four corners to drag it inwards while also holding your Shift + Command (Shift + Ctrl on Windows).

  3. Once you have all the videos on the page, stack them on top of one another on the page and then reorder them in your Layers Panel. It's important to rename the video files so you can tell which order the videos are displayed without having to move them out of place on the layout. Simply drag the layers to reposition.

  4. In the Layers panel, click each coloured dot next to the video files to select them

  5. Open the Object States Panel by going to Window > Interactive > Object States

  6. With the video files still selected in the Layers panel, create a new Multi-State Object — this can be done by clicking the plus sign icon in the bottom right hand corner of the Object States panel.

  7. Rename the Multi-State Object to Video Package — they should be in order of how they appeared in your Layers panel. If not, reorder them in the Multi-State window.

Now that you have your videos placed and put them into a Multi-State Object, it's time to place four icons and set as Play buttons for each video. For this, we'll be using the Buttons and Forms Panel, which can be accessed by going to Window > Interactive > Buttons and Forms.

Setting Buttons with 'Play Video' Action

  1. Place the play icon over one of the video thumbnails and create three other copies for the other three thumbnails.

  2. Click on the first play button icon and in the Buttons and Forms panel, create it into a button.

  3. Rename the button to Play Button 1.

  4. Set the Action to Video.

  5. From the Video dropdown, choose the video you would like to play when button is triggered.

  6. Leave the Options selection set to Play.

  7. Repeat the same process for the next three buttons, but selecting the other three videos in the layout.


In this lesson, I also go over how to set a double-action to a button — in this case also triggering an animated caption when the video plays. Follow along in the video tutorial to learn how to accomplish this.

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