How to create interactive documents without Flash?

New Here ,
Jun 27, 2017 Jun 27, 2017

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Hello everyone.  I imagine similar questions have been raised already. I need to create an interactive user guide for a company (how to access it, where to park, where to eat, how to set up your desk chair, how to use the printer, and so on).  The guide will include text, pictures, maps, sounds and videos, forms, etc..  It will be used on PCs, mobile devices (Android, Apple),… It should be usable even with no Internet connection.  Flash is not an option.  I have been trying to find the ideal format for a while but it is not that easy.  Interactive PDF would have been a nice option as it supports multimedia but you need to have the Flash Player installed to make it work, and that is impossible in this case.  Would you have any recommendations?  Thank you.

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Macintosh, Rich media and 3D, Windows

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 27, 2017 Jun 27, 2017

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Without programming it in multiple languages?... HTML5

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New Here ,
Jun 27, 2017 Jun 27, 2017

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I am not against this idea.  The problem is: how do users access the user guide when they are offline?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 27, 2017 Jun 27, 2017

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Offline?!? [shudder]

There are several "packagers" available that will turn your HTML into an app but then you have the joy of getting it into the various app stores.

That said, even with PDF, you wouldn't get consistent behavior across all the platforms you are requesting especially with the kind of interactivity you want to create. You're better off dropping the offline requirement and going with a responsive layout in HTML5.

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New Here ,
Jun 27, 2017 Jun 27, 2017

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Well, this user guide will be used in a very secure environment with no access to the outside world.  If I choose for an app it will only be available internally.  Some departments have access to a SharePoint portal, others only to a shared drive, etc.  Some people have an iPhone, others not..  Most people have a PC but they are connected to several different, completely isolated networks.  That is why I am trying to find a system where I could design only one user guide which would be accessible no matter where you are located in the company.  You could get it by email, on a shared drive, on a USB stick, etc.  No matter who you are and what equipment you are using, you will be able to access the user guide.  iPDF would have been the ideal solution but as Flash will not be running on our machines it will be a little bit complicated to embed the videos.  I think the only thing I can do it to use iPDF and to create links to the videos to bypass Flash.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 28, 2017 Jun 28, 2017

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You can created links to videos but if they are colocated with the PDF, they won't work on mobile. If they are hosted online, you're back to your offline problem. I assure you, I've gone through this decision making process multiple times with multiple different clients that are in the same exact situation as yo are. They all end up using HTML5 with responsive designs and simply require the users to be online.

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New Here ,
Jun 28, 2017 Jun 28, 2017

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I would love to use an online solution but we are talking about a very secure place with no access to the Internet and a very restricted access to the local networks.  iPDF was definitely the ideal solution.  If only it was not using Flash...

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 29, 2017 Jun 29, 2017

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How long are the movies and do they have sound? I have a utility that will allow for "animations" in PDF. It works kind of like a children's flip book where it swaps out the images in a button at a high enough rate that it looks like a video... you just don't get any sound.

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New Here ,
Jun 29, 2017 Jun 29, 2017

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Well, I am not sure yet but probably too long (a few minutes).  We are still discussing internally how this is going to happen.  Catch 22...

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New Here ,
Jul 04, 2017 Jul 04, 2017

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Pdf can do it with Javascript.

You can link to other files in the same directory or other pages of the same doc.

You can embed avi video search "acrobat embed rich media".

Is it essential that it's delivered as one file or would you consider a folder on usb stick with resources that is auto-run when usb stick is plugged in?

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New Here ,
Aug 22, 2017 Aug 22, 2017

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Born out of frustration of a need to have fully interactive documents, at InfoSlips, we built a solution that can composite and distribute fully interactive and responsive documents (HTML) that can operate in a number of different ways including a fully offline mode. The document is encrypted, can be optionally authenticated and is legally compliant. We have solutions that work with PDF (option 2) or standalone.

Documents are built from a template (HTML; CSS; Widgets; Script etc.) merged with source data and then packaged in a fully interactive file (.ifs) than can be distributed as an email attachment (offline) or any other file sharing method. A number of other distribution channels, apart from email, are also available including using mobile apps; an online portal or print and post.

The document consumption options are as follows:

  1. Fully offline: The recipient uses a viewer (mobile or desktop) to engage with a fully interactive version offline. No connectivity is required.
  2. Hybrid: The recipient receives a summary non-interactive PDF with an embedded link to a supporting online document.
  3. Fully online: The recipient clicks on a link, the already composited document is unpacked and streamed to the browser.

Option 1 may be a solution to your issue.

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New Here ,
Mar 08, 2021 Mar 08, 2021

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I have not read therough all the answers so my apologies if this has already been said put a Fixed format Epub would anwer all your problems. It can be exported right out of InDesign and is a standalone package that is readable on most devices with a Epub reader. 

THre are a couple of quirks in the export and the finels are not small but they work well.

Let me know if  you have any questions,

Shan

 

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