Create Pop-up Menu (or a simple pop-up) in ID for Pdf

Explorer ,
May 19, 2021 May 19, 2021

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I was asked, rcenly, to create a pop-up menu for a pdf document, and found that there isn't a proper tuorial of how to do it, and that it is not quite obvious (including inability to use some features in a pdf file that are built in i InDesign, like actions for buttons). I have summerised it for myself (as I do, gotta start a blog one of these days 🙂 and I am sharing it here for whoever will find it useful. So here we go:

 

- We work with buttons in InDesign and export as Interactive pdf file (print pdf will not work).

- here’s a link for a nice video for starters: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UGTbcqUMJcI , however, it’s not exactly what you need for the Menu which is a little more tricky than that, but it covers the basics

- as in the video, we will create the buttons/elements that we need, that is the (1) icon that triggers the (2) pop-up frame (and all the additional page-link buttons/words) and a (3) close button (“x”) (unless we are able to make the menu disappear through “Hover off”, in which case you don’t need the “x” button)*.

That’s the basic structure, but for a menu we will need also the link-button-words that will lead us to different pages, which is not covered in the video and takes a bit going out of the way, creating bookmarks in ID for each page ( —> )

 

- the video shows in a simple way (skip straight to 9:47 or smth like that) the properties each type of button element needs to have:

1. We need to create all the buttons first and then give each type the proper properties.

We shall have the Menu icon, the pop-up frame, the page links (each as a separate text box) and the close button, if needed*.

2. Properties (according to the Buttons Panel in ID)

the Menu icon:   type: button; Name (Menu, or whatever you name it); Event: On release or Tap; Actions (+): show/hide buttons an forms; Visibility: all the existing buttons appear in that window and we make them all visible (there’s 3 possible states: not activated (x), visible (eye), invisible (crossed eye))

The Pop-up menu frame: button, Pop-up Menu, On release or Tap, No actions, Hidden Until triggered - CHECKED, (Printable - Unchecked, I suppose)

The page links (Text frames with “Page 1” etc.):

Before we set the properties we need to assign Bookmarks to each page. It’s not a very obvious process (surprise! It can’t be all perfect in Adobe) https://helpx.adobe.com/indesign/using/bookmarks.html :

Let’s say we have 4 pages. We open the Bookmarks panel (window>interactive). Stand on the page you want to bookmark, then create a new bookmark. Name it (“page 1” etc.) That’s about it - it doesn’t have properties, apparently it just works according to where you stand with the cursor, or if not, just the page that is open). Then you will go to the other page and create another bookmark naming it accordingly.

Now we can assign these bookmarks as a destination in each link button/word (apparently the Actions like “go to page”, which are available in the list of potential actions, just don’t work in a pdf - great  “_”  😞

So, Links (button properties): Button, Page 1, On release or Tap, Actions: Go to destination, Document (now available in the panel): your-doc-name.indd, Destination: Page 1 (now available - those are the bookmarks that now show up), Hidden Until triggered - CHECKED, (Printable - Unchecked, I suppose)

The Close button: Button, Page 1, On release or Tap, Actions (+): show/hide buttons an forms; Visibility: all the existing buttons shall be active but invisible, accept for Menu (probably 1st on the list), Hidden Until triggered - Checked, (Printable - Unchecked, I suppose)

 

3. That’s it, you can copy paste the whole shebang on each page leaving it all visible in ID (in the pdf there will be just the menu icon visible, till triggered, and you can make it printable or not according to your needs). Until now we have a menu that has to be closed using the close button, otherwise it will just stay open on each page it’s been triggered (if you open it, or close it, on 1 page - it won’t open or close on the other pages, just on that page)

 

* I will try to update this when i figure out a way for the whole thing to diappear on Hover of.

Hi everyone!In this video we will create Pop-up Windows in Adobe InDesign and export the document as an Interactive PDF. Pop-up Windows are another great way...
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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 09, 2021 Jun 09, 2021

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"I was asked, rcenly, to create a pop-up menu for a pdf document, and found that there isn't a proper tuorial of how to do it"

 

No wonder.

If  this works in PDF, it only works with Adobe Reader or Acrobat Pro for Mac OS or Windows 10.

For any other PDF reading software, even from Adobe, it will not.

 

Regards,
Uwe Laubender

( ACP )

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Explorer ,
Jun 09, 2021 Jun 09, 2021

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sure, acrobat and reader, what else do you need? Reader is a wide spread and accepted tool for reading pdf files... 

i didn't check other reading software, don't really need to, but i might. in any case that is enough for my clients needs

still wonder

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 09, 2021 Jun 09, 2021

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You can't now do the interactive stuff you mention in PDFs, stick to simple hyperlinks such as a word or words or images. No multi-state buttons. That's about it, to be reliable for circulation of a PDF to others. If you want video,  include a hyperlink to an external source such as YouTube or similar. 

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Explorer ,
Jun 09, 2021 Jun 09, 2021

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sure i can, i did it

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 09, 2021 Jun 09, 2021

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Sure you can do it, but will your readers, on a myriad of devices and all kinds of PDF readers? Unless you have a controlled and limited system of users, it won't work.

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Explorer ,
Jun 10, 2021 Jun 10, 2021

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a. you often do have a limited group who use Adobe reader, which is my case

b. Adobe reader is widely used

c. since it's only a feature, that doesn't interfere with the actual usability, meaning it doesn't prevent me from reading the file, so there's no problem of doing it and still worth the time

 

after all if u are to do smth like that you will have to choose a platform, there's no platform that is more "native" to a pdf format than Reader or Acrobat (not sayinng it is actually native but nither are others)

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 10, 2021 Jun 10, 2021

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For example, you may have problems with smart phones and tablets with roll over buttons.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 10, 2021 Jun 10, 2021

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sure, acrobat and reader, what else do you need? Reader is a wide spread and accepted tool for reading pdf files... 

i didn't check other reading software, don't really need to, but i might. in any case that is enough for my clients needs

still wonder


By @Eliyah Gevalt

 

That is, unfortunately, not true anymore.

 

Mac and Windows machines will both open PDF files with default apps that are not Acrobat or Reader. If you're doing this for some very limited and controllable audience, then I guess it's your time and effort, but otherwise, it's a complete waste of time and effort IMO and doomed to failure.

 

And as already pointed out, even, if by some chance you got some of this to work properly it wouldn't even work on phones or tablets.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 10, 2021 Jun 10, 2021

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What I wanted to point out is:

The interactive features you are seeking can only seen with PDFs opened with Adobe Reader and Acrobat Pro on Macs and PCs. Not on tablets, not on smart phones. And even with Adobe Reader and Acrobat Pro on Macs and PCs some features can only be done with JavaScript for Acrobat and that means that the user gets a message to turn on JavaScript in the preferences which is turned off by default.

 

Regards,
Uwe Laubender

( ACP )

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