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InDesign Buttons Distorted in Interactive pdf

Explorer ,
Aug 25, 2020

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  I'm making an interactive pdf with several vector objects I've converted to buttons, either as links or simply to highlight on rollover (the Hyperlinks controls don't seem to offer different states). When I export as an interactive pdf, whichever vector objects I've turned to buttons are distorted (please see attached image). I have been through the usless copy-and-paste troubleshooting steps with Adobe support (or rather "support") -- renaming the ID folder in Roaming and Local App Data folders with ".old," uninstalling and reinstalling ID, etc, but nothing works. Has anyone else run into this issue and if so how did you manage to fix it, if at all? Thanks in advance for any help. 

 

Untitled-1.png

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InDesign Buttons Distorted in Interactive pdf

Explorer ,
Aug 25, 2020

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  I'm making an interactive pdf with several vector objects I've converted to buttons, either as links or simply to highlight on rollover (the Hyperlinks controls don't seem to offer different states). When I export as an interactive pdf, whichever vector objects I've turned to buttons are distorted (please see attached image). I have been through the usless copy-and-paste troubleshooting steps with Adobe support (or rather "support") -- renaming the ID folder in Roaming and Local App Data folders with ".old," uninstalling and reinstalling ID, etc, but nothing works. Has anyone else run into this issue and if so how did you manage to fix it, if at all? Thanks in advance for any help. 

 

Untitled-1.png

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Aug 25, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 25, 2020

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Hi

They do not look distorted in your screenshot. Can you look at the Width and Height in both Acrobat and InDesign and give us the numbers?

  • InDesign: Selection tool > look in the Control panel
  • Acrobat: Prepare Form tool > Properties > Position

~ Jane

jane-e_0-1598375472679.png

 

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Aug 25, 2020 1
Explorer ,
Aug 25, 2020

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In the icon with the red box around it, the circle doesn't look wavy? The circle icon is the only button; the other two aren't. I left them in for comparison. But if the circle looks smooth to you, that's odd, because it's a screenshot, I though that would be an exact picture of what I'm seeing on my screen. Could you please share a screen shot of my screen shot?

 

Anyway, the dimensions are 0.2409" square. The dimensions and position in the pdf are attached as a png. Thanks for your help.

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Aug 25, 2020 1
Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 25, 2020

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Hi

I zoomed in and see the fuzziness now. The rectangle looks sharp; the circle looks pixelated. You said it's vector. Did you draw it in InDesign or elsewhere? Assuming your screenshot is from Acrobat, what does it look like when you zoom in on it in InDesign? Can you try drawing another circle to see if that works?

 

Your png did not come through, btw. Is it the same W and H in both Acrobat and InDesign?

 

~ Jane

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Aug 25, 2020 1
Explorer ,
Aug 25, 2020

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Yeah it's weird with the 2nd png file, when I go to edit the post, it shows as an attachment, but it doesn't show up. I'm attaching it here too to see if that works.

 

The vector elements were all made in Illustrator, so I don't think what you're seeing there is pixelation; The line is wavy (aside from one photo there are no raster elements in the document). The distortion doesn't appear in ID at any magnification, whether or not the element is a button. The distortion does not appear in Acrobat at any magnification if the problematic icons are not buttons. It only happens once those vector elements are turned into buttons. Thanks again.

 

 

 

Untitled-2.png

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Aug 25, 2020 1
Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 25, 2020

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Did you copy and paste the circle from Illustrator or choose File > Place?

  • Copy and paste is fine for simple shapes like these
  • If it was placed, go to the Links panel and check to see if the Link is updated

Jane

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Aug 25, 2020 1
Explorer ,
Aug 25, 2020

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The problem is the same whether I place or paste directly from Illustrator. When placed the links are updated. I've done both multiple times.

 

PS I'm appending an image of the icons side by side. The one on the left has been turned into a button, the one on the right hasn't.

 

Untitled-3.png

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Aug 25, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 25, 2020

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Hi

 

I'm at a bit of a loss — maybe another volunteer will step forward. 

 

I do have one idea for a workaround. The circle looks good in the PDF before it is made into a button, so try this:

  • Don't make the circle/rectangle a button
  • Instead, draw a new button on top of the shape and set its appearance to no fill and no stroke so it is invisible and the artwork shows through

 

Let me know if this will work for now until we can figure this out.

 

~ Jane

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Aug 25, 2020 0
Explorer ,
Aug 25, 2020

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Thanks. I've thought of that, but the only reason I want to make them buttons instead of regular hyperlinks (which doesn't cause any display issues)  is that I want them to change to white on rollover, which I don't think is possible with an invisible overlaid button. There are also other graphics on the page I want to be highlighted on rollover without being links, just a little something extra for anyone viewing the file on a PC (and I really wish there were a way to keep the arrow cursor for objects that are buttons but aren't links,but that's another can of worms).

 

This seems to be an actual bug, though that's just my layperson's guess.

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Aug 25, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 26, 2020

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Hi Morazan,

I had time to play with it today, and I am not having an issue. It's crisp in Acrobat. We didn't go through how you made the button in Acrobat, so let's review the steps.

jane-e_0-1598462937706.png

 

 

Here's what I did:

  • InDesign (or Illustrator):
    I created the artwork for the button in InDesign on a small size page (using Object > Pathfinder > Intersect to create the "rectangle")
  • InDesign: File > Export > Print PDF > High Quality
    (Illustrator: File > Save As > PDF)
    Give it an appropriate name. I'll say "Button 1".
  • Acrobat: Open or create a new PDF > Create a button in this document, then size it and format it.
    Appearance: no fill, no stroke
    Options: Icon only > Choose icon > choose the PDF you just made with the artwork
    Behavior: Push (this will give you the three states of Up, Down, Rollover)
    jane-e_1-1598463321917.png

  • InDesign or Illustrator: Change colors and make one or two new PDFs for Down and Rollover. These can be pages in the same file.

  • Acrobat: Select Down State and choose icon. Page up or down if all icons are in the same file.
    Repeat for Rollover if using

     

Let me know if this works.

Jane

 

 

 

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Aug 26, 2020 2
Explorer ,
Aug 26, 2020

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Wow, thank you so much, Jane! I will give that a try. As it happens, I was pasting items in directly from Illustrator or importing them as either .ai or .svg. I didn't think to try .pdf or use any of the other steps you kindly enumerated. I will give it a try and let you know. Thanks again!

 

MP

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Aug 26, 2020 1
Explorer ,
Aug 26, 2020

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Ok, I'm sorry, but I've hit a dead end. I've created the button in Acrobat as you've suggested. However, when I place that Acrobat-created button into my ID document and export, it does nothing (in fact it's not even selectable in Edit or Form modes). And I can't see a way to import buttons directly into Acrobat, which in any case seems like an unnecessarily tedious way to do such work. As far as I can see, in Acrobat there's no way to 1) import a button or 2) change an image into a button.

 

I made the original buttons in ID not Acrobat. When I look at the buttons in Form mode in the PDF, they have the settings I gave them in ID, which leads me to believe that I'll run into the same problem even after going through whatever this new process entails.

 

In short: what do I do with the button I created in Acrobat? How do I get it into the PDF? Thanks again for your help.

 

PS: I've scaled the Illustrator file to the actual size of the icon as it should appear on the page (0.2417"sq.), imported it into the ID file as an .svg, .ai, and .pdf, exported, then added the roll-over functionality to the icon in Acrobat. Same issue. The button looks wavy, with or without the roll-over added to it.

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Aug 26, 2020 1
Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 26, 2020

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I made the original buttons in ID not Acrobat.

 

Here is second method that is closer to what your have been doing:

 

Artwork

You can make the buttons in InDesign: draw the artwork and make the button. In InDesign I drew the circle and used Pathfinder > Intersect to make the inner shape from a rectangle and second circle.

 

You can also copy and paste the artwork from Illustrator to InDesign to make editable paths, but it needs to be editable paths in InDesign so you can make the other states.

Illustrator: Select and Copy

InDesign: Paste

 

jane-e_1-1598486063898.png

 

To make the button:

  1. Group the two objects and make your button (Window > Interactive > Buttons). This will be the "Normal" state
  2. Select the Rollover state. Double-click with the Selection tool to enter the Group and change the format. Escape to exit the group.
  3. Repeat for Click state if desired.
  4. Save as Interactive PDF.

jane-e_0-1598485533348.png

 

Pro tip: Buttons (and other fields) can be copied and pasted from one PDF to another when you have the Prepare Form tool active in each document.

 

~ Jane

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Aug 26, 2020 1
Explorer ,
Aug 26, 2020

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Thanks again Jane. I didn't know you could copy and paste buttons from PDF to PDF, that's handy. However (not to sound ungrateful), the pasted-in button comes through just as distorted/aliased.

 

Regarding drawing directly in ID: 1) as soon as I turn any such object, no matter how simple, into a button, it distorts (please see the appended image; the grey circle was drawn directly in ID and made a button; immediately its edges became aliased). 2) I have other more complex icons in the document it would be highly impractical to try to draw from scratch directly in ID. It also would also rather defeat the purpose of having a dedicated vector illustration program and a dedicated word-processing/page layout program.

 

I appreciate your suggestions, but this really does seem like some sort of software bug. I have everything in ID at the highest graphics settings, anti-aliasing selected, etc.

 

 

Untitled-6.png

PS: Reading through the posts, I just want to clarify: the only place the vector assets are distorted is in an interactive PDF when they're buttons. Everything looks perfect everywhere else: ID, Illustrator, and even Acrobat -- if the icons aren't buttons.

 

 

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Aug 26, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 26, 2020

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I wonder why I'm not getting the fuzziness and you are. I created the button from InDesign and from Acrobat, and both are crisp for me.

 

Can you put the files in Creative Cloud or Dropbox and send a link to me by PM? Click my name, then click Send Message. I'll look tomorrow morning, as it's late in my time zone. Also: what is your OS?

 

~ Jane

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Aug 26, 2020 1
Explorer ,
Aug 26, 2020

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Thank you Jane. I'm running Windows 10, latest update, on an MSI graphics/gaming rig.

 

Now, are your images smooth in an interactive PDF as buttons? Or have you tried putting your vector files into an ID document, turning them into buttons, then exporting as an interactive PDF, and the lines are still smooth?

 

I will gladly link you to my working files and assets, just need a moment to put everything together for you. I really appreciate your help, have a good night.

 

MP

 

MP

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Aug 26, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 27, 2020

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Hi

The object was made in Illustrator and converted to PDF before being placed in InDesign, where it was converted to a button. I made a PDF of your InDesign file (after updating the Links) and the button came across as expected. So I did nothing except make a PDF of your InDesign file, and the image looks fine here.

 

This screen shot is from the PDF of your InDesign file and no issues here.

 

Am I missing a step?

 

~ Jane

 

jane-e_0-1598560571848.png

 

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Aug 27, 2020 1
Explorer ,
Aug 29, 2020

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Thank you, Jane. That is so strange, when I do the exact same thing the lines come out aliased -- I just tried it again to confirm. I'm glad to know it works on other systems though, that narrows things down somewhat. I'll take it up with Adobe support, I don't want to waste any more of your time.

 

Thanks so much for your help and your patience!

 

MP

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Aug 29, 2020 0
Explorer ,
Aug 29, 2020

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Sorry for the double reply, but I've found something of a workaround -- based on one of your earlier suggestions -- which I'll describe here in case it might be useful to anyone down the road.

 

So... First, in the InDesign file, place an invisible frame over the icon (with the exact same dimensions, centered over the regular icon). Convert the frame to a button, no need for additional settings. Export an interactive PDF.

 

Then, in Acrobat, go to Prepare Form. Select the invisible button, right-click, select Properties.

Under the General tab select Visible. Under the Options tab select Icon Only/Push. For the Up state keep as-is (ie blank). For the Rollover state, import the white version of the icon.

 

This results in the normal (grey) version looking perfect, with only a minimal amount of aliasing on rollover (which curiously only seems to affect the inside curves), as in the image below:

 

Untitled-8.png

 

Thanks again for all your help, I wouldn't have stumbled on this workaround without your having suggested invisible frame buttons and if you hadn't shown me how to edit buttons from within Acrobat!

 

MP

 

 

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Aug 29, 2020 0
Explorer ,
Aug 29, 2020

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[Removed accidental double post]

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Aug 29, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 29, 2020

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I'll send my final PDF in a PM to see (one way or the other) if it's a display issue.

 

~ Jane

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Aug 29, 2020 1
Explorer ,
Aug 29, 2020

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Excellent, thank you so much!

 

PS: Ok, just opened the file you sent, and same issue. That's so weird, because obviously my screen is able to display things properly. At least we've narrowed it down to a display issue having to do specifically with buttons. I've been through all my graphics settings multiple times and all are at their maximum settings.

 

PPS: Yep, definitely something with my laptop display. Everything looks fine on my mobile devices (no interactivity, I know, but still).

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Aug 29, 2020 0
jane-e LATEST
Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 29, 2020

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Check on the Acrobat forum to see if you are missing a setting:

https://community.adobe.com/t5/acrobat/bd-p/acrobat

~ Jane

 

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Aug 29, 2020 1
Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 25, 2020

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Roll-over buttons won't work on tablets and smart phones.

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Aug 25, 2020 1
Explorer ,
Aug 25, 2020

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I know that part, thanks. This is meant to be viewed on a PC. Does the circle look wavy to you?

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Aug 25, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 28, 2020

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In Acrobat, what options have you checked under Preferences > Page Display.

Perhaps if you check "Smooth line art" it will display more smoothly?

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Aug 28, 2020 0
Explorer ,
Aug 28, 2020

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Thanks for your reply. I've got the highest settings in Page Display, please see below. The lines on all buttons are still shaky/aliased upon export to interactive PDF. As mentioned above, when those same items are not buttons, they're 100% smooth, so the issue seems to be with the way buttons are being rendered by Acrobat rather than with any general graphics settings.

 

Untitled-7.png

 

 

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