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Cannot put buttons anywhere on a 2-page spread

Explorer ,
Mar 02, 2024 Mar 02, 2024

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My document is currently 200 pages, in 101 spreads. I am using navigation buttons (next/previous page, last viewed, next viewed) on all but a handful of inside pages. On one spread, I cannot get any of these buttons to appear anywhere within the document or even on the paseboard. As master page elements they don't appear, I cannot paste them in place, if I copy to the spread above and try to drag down onto that spread's pasteboard or into the document, they vanish instantly. I've tried "unlock all on spread" and that didn't work either. Is there anywhere a pasteboard can be locked out for a spread? This is crazy!   

 

EDIT: After more experimentation, I am unable to draw or paste anything on that spread now either, again, within the document or anywhere on the pasteboard.

 

really don't want to add a new spread, copy the contents, and delete the "bad" spread since that will break hundreds of hyperlinks from that point forward (don't ask me how I discovered that little gotcha last year--which took me ten days to find/fix). Any ideas? Thanks!

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Community Expert ,
Mar 02, 2024 Mar 02, 2024

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Kind of difficult without seeing the file. Can you show the page and with the layers pannel, the button selected.
Interactive documents do require rigorous structure and having navigation and buttons on a top level layer named Navigation is a good routine (same goes for page numbers). 

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Explorer ,
Mar 02, 2024 Mar 02, 2024

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My layers panel is pretty simple: three layers. Content that always appears, content that appears only on the printed version, and content that only appears on electronic version (PDF and while editing normally). The interactive elements were on a fourth layer (at the top), but I moved them into the PDF/electronic layer to simplify things. If InDesign had sub-layers I'd prefer to go that route.

 

There was even more craziness going on on that spread, so I created two new pages, moved everything over and deleted the bad spread. It did break a few links, but not as many as I feared. I think it's back to normal now. But that was unnerving for sure. I just made an IDML of the document and will start again from there.

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Community Expert ,
Mar 03, 2024 Mar 03, 2024

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You're building this for a PDF? My friend, if that is the case you are about to be in for a world of pain. Buttons are nothing but trouble in PDF and that's when using Acrobat or Reader. In third party readers, they generally don't work at all.

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Explorer ,
Mar 03, 2024 Mar 03, 2024

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The reason I'm going to this extra step is that I've used internal hyperlinks for years, but there are many instances where you jump from something like page 3 to page 85, but there's no easy way to get back to page 3 again. A few of my regular customers asked if it would be possible to implement this feature to help. This was my solution. Is there a better way? I'm all ears. This is a reference publication that jumps all over the place, thus there is a clear need for that type of functionality.

How is navigation accomplished in conventional electronic publications if not via forward/back buttons? I'm a paper guy from way back, and all my books are dead tree versions so I'm absolutely unfamiliar with how to make this work for my customers. Is there a better format than PDF for this? The process is when a customer buys a printed book from me, they're entitiled to the electronic book at no additional charge so they can zoom into the ultra-fine details in some areas, etc.

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Community Expert ,
Mar 03, 2024 Mar 03, 2024

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@PeterD-NJ

 

I'm not an expert in interactive PDFs - but from what I read here and what @BobLevine is suggesting - the problem is with buttons and how they work - so if you could stick with Bookmarks / Hyperlinks / CrossRefs - everything should work.

It might not be so "pretty" but should be much more stable.

 

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Community Expert ,
Mar 03, 2024 Mar 03, 2024

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I hope this isn't what you were building those MSOs for!

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Explorer ,
Mar 03, 2024 Mar 03, 2024

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I don't know what MSOs are, so I can't answer that question. I'd be just fine with using hyperlinks or whatever else if that's the better solution. The only real issue is when a reader is directed to a page that's in a different part of the book and there's no way for them to go back to where they were. That's the one big problem I'm attempting to solve. I'm trying to invoke the same functionality that's found on a Web browser with the back and forward buttons. I'd say in about 95% of the cases if there's a link to go from page 3 to page 85, there's a link on page 85 to go back to page 3--it's just the other 5%, where content on many pages refers to one text explanation page (pages 2, 78, 96, 132, and 141 all have a link to go to p. xxxiii for a full explanation of a certain difficult-to-grasp concept. I'd like readers to be able to flip over there, then right back again. I think I've said this before, but this is a reference work and not something intended to be read in a linear fashion beyond the intro text and explanations section.

 

@Robert at ID-Tasker, I'm familiar with simple hyperlinks (there are about 1000 of them in there, both to internal and external references), but not CrossRefs. How/when/where should those be used and what would they accomplish?

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Community Expert ,
Mar 03, 2024 Mar 03, 2024

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@PeterD-NJ 

 

MSO - Multi State Object.

 

CrossRefs - please check this link:

 

https://helpx.adobe.com/uk/indesign/using/cross-references.html

 

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Explorer ,
Mar 03, 2024 Mar 03, 2024

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Cross-references seems to solve one huge problem since I'm adding new pages every year and updating every one of these manually is a chore and a half. But this still doesn't solve the issue of moving back to where a reader came from when he/she follows a link.

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Community Expert ,
Mar 03, 2024 Mar 03, 2024

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quote

Cross-references seems to solve one huge problem since I'm adding new pages every year and updating every one of these manually is a chore and a half. But this still doesn't solve the issue of moving back to where a reader came from when he/she follows a link.


By @PeterD-NJ

 

I don't think you can do "go back" with hyperlinks / bookmarks / crossrefs - they are all static.

 

But if you switch to the above - and only use "go back" through buttons - maybe it will work better?

 

Or maybe ePUB would be better?

 

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Explorer ,
Mar 03, 2024 Mar 03, 2024

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I did an export to ePub earlier today and it didn't do what I expected, let's put it that way. I think if I need it converted to that format I'll have to hire a professional to do the conversion for me, and I don't know if that's worth it for one feature. Heck, I don't even know if the format and the sheer amount of text lends itself to ePub. It really is a mammoth project with so many moving parts at this point.

The book started out as three QuarkXPress files in 1997, migrated to InDesign's first or second generation and built up from a 64 page book to the 200 page book that it is now. Could it have been done better? Probably, but what I'm afraid of is adding something that will break the whole document and make it worse, so I really have to tread lightly. I'm a one-man shop here so that's another issue; I can't pawn this off to another employee who may know a lot more than me.

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Community Expert ,
Mar 03, 2024 Mar 03, 2024

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Sorry, I thought it was you that was building multi state objects.

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Community Expert ,
Mar 03, 2024 Mar 03, 2024

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@PeterD-NJ 

 

Maybe your file got corrupted - try trashing / reseting preferences:

 

https://community.adobe.com/t5/indesign-discussions/reset-indesign-preferences-and-other-troubleshoo...

 

Or IDMLing - but you've done that already. 

 

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Explorer ,
Mar 03, 2024 Mar 03, 2024

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Yep, trashed prefs and converted to IDML a couple of times. No joy, alas. As for the original issue, I just created a new spread, moved the conent over and deleted the old spread and it's all good, so the problem itself was resolved, but the issues brought out above (buttons) is unexpected.

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