creating interactive multimedia PDFs in Indesign or Acrobat that work across different PDF readers

Community Beginner ,
Feb 11, 2021 Feb 11, 2021

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Hi, I'm trying to create an interactive PDF that is a series of pages containing a mix of text and images. I want to create a document with additional layers of information, so for example you click on an image and it might take you to additional video, 360 images, text or sound. 

Add hyperlinks is not a problem and seems to work across devices and PDF readers.

Additional text can be added using buttons but only works when the document is opened in Adobe Acrobat and not, for example in Mac Preview.

I haven't as yet figured out how to insert sound or video using the Indesign buttons (any help welcome). I have theoretically added sound into the document using Acrobat but haven't been able to get playback and the message from Adobe is that it uses Flash which is no longer supported.

Neither sound or additional text  work when published online via the Adobe Online Dashboard which would seem the obvious place for all to be able to access the features.

Please can anyone point me to a workaround for this? Thanks.

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Feature request, How to, Publish online

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 11, 2021 Feb 11, 2021

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You can't successfully use PDF to include all the features you mentioned. There's no one clear alternative, they all have advantages and disadvantages. Have a look at FXL ePub, InDesign's Publish Online, and the InDesign plugin (at extra cost) in5 https://ajarproductions.com/pages/products/in5/

 

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 11, 2021 Feb 11, 2021

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Thanks. Will definitely take a look.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 12, 2021 Feb 12, 2021

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"You can't successfully use PDF to include all the features you mentioned."

This is not true.

You should ask PDF experts.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 12, 2021 Feb 12, 2021

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you are incorrect.

Derek is correct, you can't have all of those features work on a .pdf since some are not all supported by .pdf format

360 images is done via a image overlay (like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AiZNFK68uBw) which is not supported by .pdf, as it comes out of the box.

 

you can purchase something like this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kq7a1iMdA4Q

 

but that is a panorama image. not an image sequence.

 

Mark Plunkett from VOXLAB shows how you can create a 360 degree view image sequence in InDesign for publishing in devices like iPad with Digital Publishing S...
PDF3D's First Professional Tool to Create Panoramic 360 Photos in a PDF 360-degree panoramic photography is now commonly used across industry, from civil eng...

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Feb 11, 2021 Feb 11, 2021

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What you want is a nothing short of a pipedream. In5 would be the closest you'll come but even that isn't going to be a terrific solution for iPads.

In short, there is no single output format that will allow you to do what you want.

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 11, 2021 Feb 11, 2021

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Ok, thanks. I guess that's why I can't figure it.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 11, 2021 Feb 11, 2021

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Don't even try. It will not work.

Create a website, far simpler, far better.

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 11, 2021 Feb 11, 2021

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Ha ha. Thanks, and I guess that about covers it. Have a website, full of multimedia, but some people want a brochure so was trying to find a way to pull it together.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 12, 2021 Feb 12, 2021

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"Don't even try. It will not work."

This is not true.

You should ask PDF experts.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 11, 2021 Feb 11, 2021

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I'm not sure why Publish Online wouldn't work. You should be able to do this and more. Here is a document with many examples work done in InDesign with Publish Online: http://bit.ly/PubOnCollection

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 12, 2021 Feb 12, 2021

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That looks like just what I'm trying to do thanks. (Great portfolio by the way!). Nice that you've also included a couple of Indesign tutorials/ course at the end. Can you point me to which would give a concise workflow for creating the interactive elements? I've used Publish Online quite a bit so not too sure why I'm struggling with this.  Thanks again, at least I know it's possible now so will keep trying. 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 12, 2021 Feb 12, 2021

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Diane's got a whole online video tutorial on creating InDesign Publish Online documents (you can get 30-days free access): https://www.linkedin.com/learning/indesign-publish-online-2?trk=learning-serp_learning_search-card&u...

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 12, 2021 Feb 12, 2021

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The latest InDesign version can export interactive PDFs that doesn't require the Flash Player, you can also use Acrobat Pro to place multimedia files, and/or for some fine tuning not available in InDesign.

 

Your issue is not InDesign nor the PDF format, your issue is Apple Preview, aka "the PDF killer", which only partially supports the old specifications of the PDF 1.4 format, which has been out of date for over 20 years. 
These articles are still relevant today :

- http://khkonsulting.com/2013/06/preview-app-killer-of-pdf-files/

- http://duff-johnson.com/2014/04/07/apples-preview-still-not-safe-for-work/

 

 

This tutorial, in French, explains how to get around the problem, you can copy and paste this URL into Google Translate: https://www.abracadabrapdf.net/ressources-et-tutos/js-et-formulaires-ressources/forcer-utilisation-p...

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 12, 2021 Feb 12, 2021

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Now, that is not true. Video and audio, yes; MSO, Animations etc. will NOT work in iPDF. Use Publish online or build a website. If you need a 'file' use FXL ePub. Ask real InDesign/PDF experts indeed. As Bob said: what the OP wants is a pipedream.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 12, 2021 Feb 12, 2021

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"MSO, Animations etc. will NOT work…"

These are not required by the OP.

 

"Video and audio, yes"

These are required by the OP.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 12, 2021 Feb 12, 2021

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Apple Preview is the primary obstacle on the desktop platform. Add in the mobile platforms and the failure possibilities explode beyond too-many-to-count.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 12, 2021 Feb 12, 2021

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You are incorrect, the issue here is that adobe .pdf are meant to play in the adobe .pdf reader. None of the features are actually supported by any other .pdf reader. which is why if anybody has issues with a .pdf in any other .pdf reader the answer is "adobe does not support other .pdf readers and the user needs to open the adobe indesign created .pdf in an adobe .pdf reader".

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 13, 2021 Feb 13, 2021

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Your strange beliefs do not stand up to the fact checking.

 

The PDF format does not belong to Adobe, it is the ISO 32000 standard.

 

All editors of PDF reader software are free to fully or partially support the specifications of the ISO 32000 standard.

 

There are several software that support all specifications of PDF format and with which you can use multimedia PDFs: Acrobat Reader, Foxit Reader and PDFelement to name only the most famous, but there are others.

Try them with this multimedia PDF made with InDesign and Acrobat Pro to convince yourself: https://www.abracadabrapdf.net/pdf-de-demo/multimedia-pdfs-de-demo/remember-that-night/

 

Apple has always chosen to respect only its own "standards" and exposes plenty of bad reasons for not supporting true standards.
The downside is that all Mac software that relies on Apple's PDF Services suffers from the same shortcomings and limitations.

 

As for web browsers, well these are precisely web browsers, not PDF reader software. Hence their minimalist support for this format.

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Feb 13, 2021 Feb 13, 2021

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I downloaded the PDF, JR. While if functions, I do get pop-ups asking for permission to launch it in full screen, to launch my email app and to play the audio. That is not something I consider to be a good user experience. It would, IMO, work far better as a web page, but I'm making those points in a vacuum. I have no idea what the target audience was for it and how much information your client was willing to provide to users to make it function properly.

Which brings me to what I think the important point is here, and one I've made many times. These types of interactive PDFs are only suitable if the reader app and its preference settings are made perfectly clear. Since the OP clearly cannot do that, I would stand on the side of saying that PDF is not likely to provide the result that is being sought.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 15, 2021 Feb 15, 2021

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" I do get pop-ups asking for permission to launch it in full screen…"

This is by design but it's not mandatory.

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Feb 15, 2021 Feb 15, 2021

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As far as I know, those alerts are the default settings for Acrobat and Reader, so again, while these PDFs do function in Acrobat and Reader with the proper permissions, there's still no assurance the user will have the proper preference setting.

As I said, for the OP, and based on the subject of this discussion, this is a non-starter. The fact is that there is no way to assure the files will work properly across all readers or devices. That is fine if they are being distributed to a controlled audience.

I've done plenty of jobs with fixed layout epubs and in5 HTML output where the users required training in how to use them since they were targeted to sales people.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 13, 2021 Feb 13, 2021

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The OP topic:

"creating interactive multimedia PDFs in Indesign or Acrobat that work across different PDF readers"

Well I downloaded your PDF, opened it here on my iPad Pro in Acrobat. Nothing works. Which proofs what we said: "that work across different PDF readers" is a pipedream, forget it it will not work. That statement is easily to test. As I did.

Further advise to you would be to choose a different tone here, you have ACP in your name, act like one.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 15, 2021 Feb 15, 2021

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Should an ACP let another ACP write untruths?
I do not believe.

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 15, 2021 Feb 15, 2021

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Thanks. Will do

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